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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Intelligence, Smartness, Brilliance and Genius - Can a technological system be a Genius? Part 1

A technical system is an artificial system. It is usually made by human beings. When Robots are making/designing large complex aircraft, maintaining nuclear power plants, is the above statement correct? For the time being park this question - let us assume every technical system is an artificial system.

What is a technical system? A system that delivers a function.
What is a system? A set of elements that interact together to achieve an objective or deliver a function {The text book definition}

What is a Function? Definitions of function on the Web:

  • (mathematics) a mathematical relation such that each element of a given set (the domain of the function) is associated with an element of another set (the range of the function)
  • what something is used for; "the function of an auger is to bore holes"; "ballet is beautiful but what use is it?"
  • the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group; "the function of a teacher"; "the government must do its part"; "play its role"
  • a relation such that one thing is dependent on another; "height is a function of age"; "price is a function of supply and demand"
  • perform as expected when applied; "The washing machine won't go unless it's plugged in"; "Does this old car still run well?"; "This old radio doesn't work anymore"
  • a formal or official social gathering or ceremony; "it was a black-tie function"
  • serve: serve a purpose, role, or function; "The tree stump serves as a table"; "The female students served as a control group"; "This table would serve very well"; "His freedom served him well"; "The table functions as a desk"
  • affair: a vaguely specified social event; "the party was quite an affair"; "an occasion arranged to honor the president"; "a seemingly endless round of social functions"
  • officiate: perform duties attached to a particular office or place or function; "His wife officiated as his private secretary"
  • routine: a set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program
  • In mathematics, the Minkowski question mark function, sometimes called the slippery devil's staircase and denoted by ?(x), is a function possessing various unusual fractal properties, defined by Hermann Minkowski in 1904. ...
  • In computer science, a subroutine or subprogram (also called procedure, method, function, or routine) is a portion of code within a larger program, which performs a specific task and is relatively independent of the remaining code.
  • In engineering, a function is interpreted as a specific process, action or task that a system is able to perform .
  • A function is part of an answer to a question about why some object or process occurred in a system that evolved through a process of selection. Thus, function refers forward from the object or process, along some chain of causation, to the goal or success. ...
  • A notional-functional syllabus is a way of organizing a language-learning curriculum, rather than a method or an approach to teaching. ...
Very confusing indeed - let us look at the engineering definition above - specific process, action or task that a system is able to perform. {However, this defines Function in the context of a system} Let us go to more abstract definition from mathematics - a mathematical relation such that each element of a given set (the domain of the function) is associated with an element of another set (the range of the function). In layman terms, some sort of process that changes "something" from one state to another - now this can be the state of the system itself or the environment that the system contains. Further, there are two known sets - domain and range - indicating some sort of relation (input - change - output).

Let us say a technical system is a set of elements that interact with each other and possibly with the environment to deliver "what something is used for - a useful or usable state" through transforming either its own state or the state of the environment in which it exist - which we call as delivering a function.

A technical system - since it is a transformation from one state to another must have structure to fulfill its functions. The structure needs information. It has to have information about states - or it has to be designed/structured for processing information - which gets manifested in transformation to multiple states.

Now one needs to look at the meaning and nature of information when we are defining a system - any system in general - but specifically a technical system - needs structure and has to have information about its structure and processing of transformation from input state space to output state space - which we call performing a function. 

Now information about what - about elements - which are nothing but matter and energy - and their organization in space and changes in time which leads to the mapping and possibly transforming the input state to an output state. Thus - we have - Space Time Energy Matter and finally Information as 5 fundamental elements of describing any system. I call these the STEMI. In a technical system the STEMI goes through various changes which define the states and dynamics of the system. The CHANGE(S) can be evolutionary, revolutionary, destructive, constructive etc. When these changes happen in a iterated, semi-iterated, semi-recursive, manner, the system complexity emerges as the system elements performing specific functions can not be decoupled from each other to attribute specific functions emerging from these interactions. 

Living systems are examples of such systems. And so are software based systems. 

One of most interesting emergence of complexity in living systems has been the MIND - that leads to Thinking,  Consciousness and in fact Power - The TCP. 

The TCP on mind gives us the capability to create, observe, and evaluate Changes taking place in STEMI. 

So in nutshell a new model of the technical system emerges which I call STEMIC TCP. 

Reader may also like to read some earlier STEMIC TCP posts

<<<< To be Continued >>>>

Social Citation Network Analysis of a Patent - "Automated Invention" patents

"Invention as a search" hypothesis results in application of various search algorithms such as genetic algorithms, simulated annealing etc applied to the process of inventing. One such patent is US 7117186.

The patent describes a method and apparatus for automatic synthesis of controllers. As one can see the problem has been reduced to an optimization problem of finding the right configuration and signal blocks etc to meet specific performance parameters. It is interesting patent and approach, However, one needs to design this for different fields - for example I can not use this for designing a new solar energy system.

A general automated method for synthesizing the design of both the topology and parameter values for controllers is described. The automated method automatically makes decisions concerning the total number of signal processing blocks to be employed in the controller, the type of each signal processing block, the topological interconnections between the signal processing blocks, the values of all parameters for the signal processing blocks, and the existence, if any, of internal feedback between the signal processing blocks within the controller. The general automated method can simultaneously optimize prespecified performance metrics (such as minimizing the time required to bring the plant outputs to the desired values as measured by the integral of the time-weighted absolute error or the integral of the squared error), satisfy time-domain constraints (such as overshoot, disturbance rejection, limits on control variables, and limits on state variables), and satisfy frequency domain constraints (bandwidth).

When one apply the depth1 citation analysis using Crafitti's methodology implemented at SocialCitNet we get the following network

 One can see the base patent that this patent refers to is US 5867397. This patent has been granted to the same inventor and describes genetic programming for automated design of complex structures

An automated design process and apparatus for use in designing complex structures, such as circuits, to satisfy prespecified design goals, using genetic operations. The present invention uses a population of entities which may be evolved to generate structures that may potentially satisfy the design goals. The behavior of such generated structures is evaluated in view of the design goals, and those structures more closely meeting the design goals are evolved further until a structure is generated that either meets the prespecified design goal or some other process completion criteria. In this manner, a design complex structure may be obtained.

The key to these invention are the bit-string encoding of population in a solution space and searching using fitness function and genetic operators as per GAs.

Now if we do the depth2 analysis of this patent at USPTO using SocialCitNet we get a network of a mind boggling 311 patents

Database: USPTO
No. of Nodes:311
No. Of Connections:680
Sparsity of Graph:0.0102

 Now how do we choose which of these 311 patents one should study. Visually it may be very difficult. Here the SocialCitNet gives us a remarkable visibility on the relative value of each of these patents in the network - please see the network has 680 connections.

The NDPI - network dependency on patent index gives a relative measure of how much the whole network of 380 patents cites the specific patent - obviously if the network cites the patent more the patent has high relative NDPI

One can see US 5867397 indeed is the base patent on which this network depends. It also shows US 6360191 and US6424959 shown in depth1 network as well. However it gives US5136686 and US5148513

However all the patents are by the same inventor. Clearly it is a field driven by one specific group of researchers. May have potential in future?

Let us see the future - SocialCitNet gives the PDNI indices of all those patents in the network that are citing the more of the network relative to other patents. The belief is if a patent cites more of the network, it is extending the domain and definitely improving the previous inventions. If however, it cites less of the network, it may be using some part of the field or may be an application in some other domain.

US 7940105 stands out sharply, which was available in depth1 network as well. Now look at US7692397 - this was not in depth 1. This one is by Finkler and not shown in depth1 network. Further, it cites, relatively higher relative value of the network. It is imperative for us to study these patents.

From the point of view of a balanced PDNI and NDPI indices SocialCitNet gives a social citation index of the patent

One may argue, what are we getting with so much exploration on a single patent.

One Patent Leading to a network of 311 patents. Then choosing top 20 patents above that if you study you cover the 311 - or the whole space - is it not a considerable time saving and effort saving. I know, inventors searching for new solutions or new problems in patent databases - but SocialCitNet gives you a very well directed focused view of the domain that you are interested in.

You can just start using SOCIALCITNET today!

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