In 2002, K. M. Passino proposed Bacterial Foraging Optimization Algorithm (BFOA) for distributed optimization and control. One of the major driving forces of BFOA is the chemotactic movement of a virtual bacterium that models a trial solution of the optimization problem. However, during the process of chemotaxis, the BFOA depends on random search directions which may lead to delay in reaching the global solution. Recently, a new algorithm BFOA oriented by PSO termed BF-PSO has shown superior in proportional integral derivative controller tuning application. In order to examine the global search capability of BF-PSO, we evaluate the performance of BFOA and BF-PSO on 23 numerical benchmark functions. In BF-PSO, the search directions of tumble behavior for each bacterium oriented by the individual's best location and the global best location. The experimental results show that BF-PSO performs much better than BFOA for almost all test functions. That's approved that the BFOA oriented by PSO strategy improve its global optimization capability.
Studying cultural variation around the world has always been expensive, time-consuming work. Which is why the newfound ability to mine the data from location-based social networks is revolutionizing this science.
The habits and behaviors that define a culture are complex and fascinating. But measuring them is a difficult task. What’s more, understanding the way cultures change from one part of the world to another is a task laden with challenges.
The gold standard in this area of science is known as the World Values Survey, a global network of social scientists studying values and their impact on social and political life. Between 1981 and 2008, this survey conducted over 250,000 interviews in 87 societies. That’s a significant amount of data and the work has continued since then. This work is hugely valuable but it is also challenging, time-consuming and expensive.
Today, Thiago Silva at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil and a few buddies reveal another way to collect data that could revolutionize the study of global culture. These guys study cultural differences around the world using data generated by check-ins on the location-based social network, Foursquare.
That allows these researchers to gather huge amounts of data, cheaply and easily in a short period of time. “Our one-week dataset has a population of users of the same order of magnitude of the number of interviews performed in [the World Values Survey] in almost three decades,” they say.
Researchers at GE Global Research are taking a closer look. Not at Lorenz’s question but at the wings themselves. They are using nanotechnology to mimic the iridescent sheen of butterflies from the Morpho genus and develop fast and super sensitive thermal and chemical imaging sensors. In the future, the technology could be used in night vision goggles, surveillance cameras and even medical diagnostic devices.
Imitating nature is not a new idea. Swiss engineer George de Mestro invented Velcro after his dog came home covered with thistle burrs, Speedo came up with fast sharkskin swimsuits, and every aircraft engineer since Leonardo has been aping birds.
When the GE team put Morpho wings under a powerful microscope, they saw a layer of tiny scales just tens of micrometers across. In turn, each of the scales had arrays of ridges a few hundred nanometers wide. This complex structure absorbs and bends light and gives Morfo butterflies their trademark shimmering blue and green coat.
But the GE team also observed that the color of the wings changed when they came into contact with heat, gases and chemicals. Working with DARPA, the scientists started exploring and enhancing the wing’s properties and geometry to build better sensors.
Detectors based on their research could one day they help doctors create visual heat maps of internal organs, assess wound healing, test food and water safety and monitors power plant emissions.
The findings could also lead to new sensors for detecting warfare agents and explosives.
Radislav Potyrailo, principal scientist at GE Global Research who leads the photonics program, found that when infrared radiation hits the wing, the nanostructures on the wing heat up and expand, causing iridescence and color change.
He and his team added tiny nanotubes to the wings and were able to increase the amount of radiation the wings can absorb, improving their heat sensitivity.
“This new class of thermal imaging sensors promises significant improvements over existing detectors in their image quality, speed, sensitivity, size, power requirements and cost,” Potyrailo says.
From Crystal Ball to Magic Wand: The New World Order in Times of Digital Revolution. Dirk Helbing, ETH Zurich. Talk delivered via skype on March 24, 2014, to the AAAI workshop on THE INTERSECTION OF ROBUST INTELLIGENCE AND TRUST IN AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS
We need another Apollo project, but this time focusing on our Earth. I am ready for this, are you?
Please watch this movie to the end. The solution to our world's problems is different from what many strategic thinkers believed.
GPU maker Nvidia is hoping to ride the wave of artificial intelligence. The company is already powering machine learning workloads within data centers of large companies, but now it’s targeting individuals with a cheap-but-powerful development kit targeted at robotics and the internet of things.
A BRIEF GUIDE TO THE IDEAS AND ARTEFACTS OF COMPUTATIONAL ARTIFICIAL LIFE Alan Dorin, Animaland, 2014 This guide provides broad coverage of computational Artificial Life, a field encompassing the theories and discoveries underpinning the invention and study of technology-based living systems. It is targetted at students of all ages who are new to Artificial Life or are hoping to gain a broad understanding of its themes. The book focusses specifically on Artificial Life realised in computer software. Topics include: • pre-history of Artificial Life • artificial chemistry • artificial cells • organism development • locomotion • group behaviour • evolution • ecosystem simulation
Biological Bits includes animations and interactive software for experimentation with key processes. Simulations are included to allow exploration of cellular automata, developmental models, group behaviour and ecosystem simulation to aid in illustrating the text. The book can be read cover-to-cover as a general introduction to Artificial Life, or it can serve as a textbook for university or advanced high-school courses.
Christopher Watts and Nigel Gilbert explore the generation, diffusion and impact of innovations, which can now be studied using computer simulations.
Agent-based simulation models can be used to explain the innovation that emerges from interactions among complex, adaptive, diverse networks of firms, people, technologies, practices and resources. This book provides a critical review of recent advances in agent-based modelling and other forms of the simulation of innovation. Elements explored include: diffusion of innovations, social networks, organisational learning, science models, adopting and adapting, and technological evolution and innovation networks. Many of the models featured in the book can be downloaded from the book's accompanying website.
Bringing together simulation models from several innovation-related fields, this book will prove a fascinating read for academics and researchers in a wide range of disciplines, including: innovation studies, evolutionary economics, complexity science, organisation studies, social networks, and science and technology studies. Scholars and researchers in the areas of computer science, operational research and management science will also be interested in the uses of simulation models to improve the understanding of organisation.
The Data Economy is an analysis column by Wikibon Senior Analyst Jeff Kelly covering the business of Big Data.
The terms and size of Intel’s recent investment in Cloudera have been revealed and, as you probably know by now, both are considerable. Intel has invested $740 million in Cloudera for an 18 percent ownership stake in the company. The Intel investment follows fast on the heels of a $160 million investment in Cloudera led by T. Rowe Price. For those keeping track, that’s $900 million raised in about a week and a half for Cloudera.
You can’t help it; sometimes, you just get a bad feeling about someone that’s hard to shake. So, what's happening in your brain when you make that critical (and often lasting) first judgment? Peter Mende-Siedlecki shares the social psychology of first impressions -- and why they may indicate that, deep down, people are basically good.
Scientists have synthesized an entire yeast chromosome, the first artificial chromosome for the kingdom of life that includes humans, plants, and fungi. The methods developed to create the designer genomic structure could help synthetic biologists better use the single-celled fungi as biological factories for chemicals like biofuels and drugs.
Humans have been manipulating yeast for thousands of years, first turning wild strains of the fungus into the life-affirming fermenters that give us beer and bread. Yeast also has long been a lab organism for studying molecular biology and genetics; in fact, a lot of what we know about cancer genetics comes from research on our fungal friends. In recent years, scientists have figured out how to engineer new biochemical pathways into yeast, creating living factories for medicines, biofuels, and more (see “Microbes Can Mass-Produce Malaria Drug” and “Biofuel Plant Opens in Brazil”). The report of the first artificial, designer yeast chromosome suggests ways for researchers to produce new chemicals in the microbes or potentially make their biological production more efficient.
For the biggest part of human history, difficult problems like communicating at distances or agreeing with large numbers of people simply didn’t scale, and because they didn’t scale we built hierarchical institutions to solve them: representative democracy, councils and committees to solve decision making, banks and central banks to solve issuance of currency and hierarchical media organisations because we needed a single voice to tell us what to think.
Then gradually we started to develop solutions that are decentralised, that solve the problem without a hierarchical organisation, and at scale. The internet was the first decentralised communications that scaled to the whole planet, and then suddenly all the hierarchical solutions for communication were no longer necessary – they solved a problem that no longer existed – the problem of it being difficult to transmit information across the globe. Once that problem goes away, the institutions built to solve it, news systems, large entertainment and marketing organisations to create single output products – all of those are no longer necessary and the choice blossoms.
We’re building a platform which applies the same concept of decentralisation to organisations. Instead of requiring vast, stodgy, rigid hierarchies, our platform will make it possible for thousands of independent people distributed around the world to form agile, flexible, decentralised, autonomous corporations owned and operated by their participants in precise proportion to the value of their contribution.
An app based on a complex mathematical model promises full recovery from jet lag in just a few days, even for extreme time zone shifts.
Feeling groggy after that long-distance flight? Hold the coffee and reach for your mobile phone. A mathematical tool promises a full recovery in just a few days, even for extreme time zone shifts. While the model has not yet been proven in the real world, a recently released app will let people try it out for themselves.
Your daily activity is usually aligned with your circadian rhythm, a roughly 24-hour cycle controlled by exposure to light and darkness. But a sudden change in schedule caused by travelling to a different time zone can throw off this internal clock.
Timed exposure to bright lights can trigger biological markers associated with sleep patterns, such as levels of the sleep-related hormone melatonin and body temperature. That can help get the body in sync with a new schedule. Previous work on adjusting to jet lag showed that people who experience a 12-hour time shift but forgo light therapy will still be off-schedule after 12 days.
Mathematical models that recommend exposure patterns already exist, and the best current versions require more than a week of carefully adjusting your light exposure to get you over a 12-hour shift.
With help from Kirill Serkh at Yale University, Daniel Forger at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor used techniques from a branch of maths called optimal control theory to reengineer a model that Forger designed in 1999. "The equations are very hard to solve numerically, that's what has taken so long," he says.
Jet lag arises from a misalignment of circadian biological timing with the timing of human activity, and is caused by rapid transmeridian travel. Jet lag's symptoms, such as depressed cognitive alertness, also arise from work and social schedules misaligned with the timing of the circadian clock. Using experimentally validated mathematical models, we develop a new methodology to find mathematically optimal schedules of light exposure and avoidance for rapidly re-entraining the human circadian system. In simulations, our schedules are found to significantly outperform other recently proposed schedules. Moreover, our schedules appear to be significantly more robust to both noise in light and to inter-individual variations in endogenous circadian period than other proposed schedules. By comparing the optimal schedules for thousands of different situations, and by using general mathematical arguments, we are also able to translate our findings into general principles of optimal circadian re-entrainment. These principles include: 1) a class of schedules where circadian amplitude is only slightly perturbed, optimal for dim light and for small shifts 2) another class of schedules where shifting occurs along the shortest path in phase-space, optimal for bright light and for large shifts 3) the determination that short light pulses are less effective than sustained light if the goal is to re-entrain quickly, and 4) the determination that length of daytime should be significantly shorter when delaying the clock than when advancing it.
Finally, there’s a dashboard that confirms your wildest suspicions: WhatsApp knows your name, your location, your interests, and even your political leaning. They can know things about you that you may not, like they if certain people respect your opinion (or don’t for that matter) and what preoccupies your thoughts–whether it’s sex, food, shopping or something a bit more kinky.
WhatsApp has become an omniscient gatekeeper, holding data about you, the personal information you write and receive, and can open the floodgates to the world at their own free will. About a month ago it would have been just 450 million people using WhatsApp, but since Facebook acquired it for a whopping $19 billion, WhatsApp could merge its data with the social media titan very soon—putting your most intimate details at the mercy of the world’s biggest social media platform with 1.3 billion users and counting.
Considering Facebook has over 2 billion connections between local businesses and people, it seems safe to point a finger at advertising as the long-term, overarching objective for acquiring WhatsApp. Plus, the billion-user club may just get a new member: WhatsApp gains millions of users every day, and Mark Zuckerberg himself predicts that number will reach 1 billion in 2015-—allowing Facebook to capitalize on being the global leader in data-driven messaging. If that’s not a jackpot for Facebook, what is?
Food and drink are two of the most basic needs of human beings. However, as society evolved, food and drink became also a strong cultural aspect, being able to describe strong differences among people. Traditional methods used to analyze cross-cultural differences are mainly based on surveys and, for this reason, they are very difficult to represent a significant statistical sample at a global scale. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to identify cultural boundaries and similarities across populations at different scales based on the analysis of Foursquare check-ins. This approach might be useful not only for economic purposes, but also to support existing and novel marketing and social applications. Our methodology consists of the following steps. First, we map food and drink related check-ins extracted from Foursquare into users' cultural preferences. Second, we identify particular individual preferences, such as the taste for a certain type of food or drink, e.g., pizza or sake, as well as temporal habits, such as the time and day of the week when an individual goes to a restaurant or a bar. Third, we show how to analyze this information to assess the cultural distance between two countries, cities or even areas of a city. Fourth, we apply a simple clustering technique, using this cultural distance measure, to draw cultural boundaries across countries, cities and regions.
The confluence of new approaches in recording patterns of brain connectivity and quantitative analytic tools from network science has opened new avenues toward understanding the organization and function of brain networks. Descriptive network models of brain structural and functional connectivity have made several important contributions; for example, in the mapping of putative network hubs and network communities. Building on the importance of anatomical and functional interactions, network models have provided insight into the basic structures and mechanisms that enable integrative neural processes. Network models have also been instrumental in understanding the role of structural brain networks in generating spatially and temporally organized brain activity. Despite these contributions, network models are subject to limitations in methodology and interpretation, and they face many challenges as brain connectivity data sets continue to increase in detail and complexity.
The Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) – a Brazilian think-tank linked to the government – is making a request for proposals for eight IDB consultants to contribute with chapters to a seminal book on Complex Systems applied to Public Policies. On one hand, the project aims at pushing forward the modeling frontier, its methodologies and applications for the case of Brazil. On the other hand, the project pursues actual improvement on the understanding of public policies’ mechanisms and effects, through complex systems’ tools and concepts. The book encompasses five broad themes: (1) concepts and methods; (2) computational tools; (3) public policy phenomena as complex systems (specifically: society, economics, ecology and the cities); (4) applied examples in the world and its emergence in Brazil; and (5) possibilities of prognosis, scenarios and policy-effect analysis using complex systems tools. The consultant is expected to deliver a proposed extended summary, a preliminary version to be discussed in a seminar in Brazil (July-September 2014) and the final version of the chapter.
Decisions in a group often result in imitation and aggregation, which are enhanced in panic, dangerous, stressful or negative situations. Current explanations of this enhancement are restricted to particular contexts, such as anti-predatory behavior, deflection of responsibility in humans, or cases in which the negative situation is associated with an increase in uncertainty. But this effect is observed across taxa and in very diverse conditions, suggesting that it may arise from a more general cause, such as a fundamental characteristic of social decision-making. Current decision-making theories do not explain it, but we noted that they concentrate on estimating which of the available options is the best one, implicitly neglecting the cases in which several options can be good at the same time. We explore a more general model of decision-making that instead estimates the probability that each option is good, allowing several options to be good simultaneously. This model predicts with great generality the enhanced imitation in negative situations. Fish and human behavioral data showing an increased imitation behavior in negative circumstances are well described by this type of decisions to choose a good option.
The Informative Herd: why humans and other animals imitate more when conditions are adverse Alfonso Pérez-Escudero, Gonzalo G. de Polavieja
From the caves of memory to the castles of deception, by way of naughty neurotransmitters and giddy ganglia.
Scientists are only just beginning to understand how the brain works — from what transpires in it while we sleep to how to optimize its memoryto what love does to it to how music affects it — and the rest of us fall somewhere on the spectrum between fascinated and confused when it comes to the intricate inner workings of our master-controller.
From British indie press Nobrow — who also brought us Freud’s graphic biography, those lovely illustrated chronicles of the Space Raceand aviation, as well as Blexbolex’s magnificentNo Man’s Land — comes Neurocomic (public library), a graphic novel about how the brain works. This remarkable collaboration between Dr. Hana Roš (and dog knows I love few things more than a female neuroscientist) and neuroscience-PhD-turned-illustrator Dr. Matteo Farinella, with support from the Wellcome Trust, explains the inner workings of the brain in delightful and illuminating black-and-white illustrations, covering everything from perception and hallucinations to memory and emotional recall to consciousness and the difference between the mind and the brain.
Tractability of multivariate problems studies their complexity with respect to the number of variables, dd, and the accuracy of the solution εε. Different types of tractability have been used, such as polynomial tractability and weak tractability and others. These tractability types, however, do not express the complexity with respect to the number of bits of accuracy.
People instinctively organise a new language according to a logical hierarchy, not simply by learning which words go together, as computer translation programs do. The finding may add further support to the notion that humans possess a "universal grammar", or innate capacity for language.
The existence of a universal grammar has been in hot dispute among linguists ever since Noam Chomsky first proposed the idea half a century ago. If the theory is correct, this innate structure should leave some trace in the way people learn languages.
To test the idea, Jennifer Culbertson, a linguist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and her colleague David Adger of Queen Mary University of London, constructed an artificial "nanolanguage".
They presented English-speaking volunteers with two-word phrases, such as "shoes blue" and "shoes two", which were supposed to belong to a new language somewhat like English. They then asked the volunteers to choose whether "shoes two blue" or "shoes blue two" would be the correct three-word phrase.