23 September 2018

Data Science: On Computation (Just the Quotes)

"If the system exhibits a structure which can be represented by a mathematical equivalent, called a mathematical model, and if the objective can be also so quantified, then some computational method may be evolved for choosing the best schedule of actions among alternatives. Such use of mathematical models is termed mathematical programming."  (George Dantzig, "Linear Programming and Extensions", 1959)

"Computers do not decrease the need for mathematical analysis, but rather greatly increase this need. They actually extend the use of analysis into the fields of computers and computation, the former area being almost unknown until recently, the latter never having been as intensively investigated as its importance warrants. Finally, it is up to the user of computational equipment to define his needs in terms of his problems, In any case, computers can never eliminate the need for problem-solving through human ingenuity and intelligence." (Richard E Bellman & Paul Brock, "On the Concepts of a Problem and Problem-Solving", American Mathematical Monthly 67, 1960)

"Cellular automata are discrete dynamical systems with simple construction but complex self-organizing behaviour. Evidence is presented that all one-dimensional cellular automata fall into four distinct universality classes. Characterizations of the structures generated in these classes are discussed. Three classes exhibit behaviour analogous to limit points, limit cycles and chaotic attractors. The fourth class is probably capable of universal computation, so that properties of its infinite time behaviour are undecidable." (Stephen Wolfram, "Nonlinear Phenomena, Universality and complexity in cellular automata", Physica 10D, 1984)

"The formal structure of a decision problem in any area can be put into four parts: (1) the choice of an objective function denning the relative desirability of different outcomes; (2) specification of the policy alternatives which are available to the agent, or decisionmaker, (3) specification of the model, that is, empirical relations that link the objective function, or the variables that enter into it, with the policy alternatives and possibly other variables; and (4) computational methods for choosing among the policy alternatives that one which performs best as measured by the objective function." (Kenneth Arrow, "The Economics of Information", 1984)

"In spite of the insurmountable computational limits, we continue to pursue the many problems that possess the characteristics of organized complexity. These problems are too important for our well being to give up on them. The main challenge in pursuing these problems narrows down fundamentally to one question: how to deal with systems and associated problems whose complexities are beyond our information processing limits? That is, how can we deal with these problems if no computational power alone is sufficient?"  (George Klir, "Fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic", 1995)

"Small changes in the initial conditions in a chaotic system produce dramatically different evolutionary histories. It is because of this sensitivity to initial conditions that chaotic systems are inherently unpredictable. To predict a future state of a system, one has to be able to rely on numerical calculations and initial measurements of the state variables. Yet slight errors in measurement combined with extremely small computational errors (from roundoff or truncation) make prediction impossible from a practical perspective. Moreover, small initial errors in prediction grow exponentially in chaotic systems as the trajectories evolve. Thus, theoretically, prediction may be possible with some chaotic processes if one is interested only in the movement between two relatively close points on a trajectory. When longer time intervals are involved, the situation becomes hopeless."(Courtney Brown, "Chaos and Catastrophe Theories", 1995)

 "An artificial neural network (or simply a neural network) is a biologically inspired computational model that consists of processing elements (neurons) and connections between them, as well as of training and recall algorithms." (Nikola K Kasabov, "Foundations of Neural Networks, Fuzzy Systems, and Knowledge Engineering", 1996)

"In science, it is a long-standing tradition to deal with perceptions by converting them into measurements. But what is becoming increasingly evident is that, to a much greater extent than is generally recognized, conversion of perceptions into measurements is infeasible, unrealistic or counter-productive. With the vast computational power at our command, what is becoming feasible is a counter-traditional move from measurements to perceptions. […] To be able to compute with perceptions it is necessary to have a means of representing their meaning in a way that lends itself to computation." (Lotfi A Zadeh, "The Birth and Evolution of Fuzzy Logic: A personal perspective", 1999)

"Theories of choice are at best approximate and incomplete. One reason for this pessimistic assessment is that choice is a constructive and contingent process. When faced with a complex problem, people employ a variety of heuristic procedures in order to simplify the representation and the evaluation of prospects. These procedures include computational shortcuts and editing operations, such as eliminating common components and discarding nonessential differences. The heuristics of choice do not readily lend themselves to formal analysis because their application depends on the formulation of the problem, the method of elicitation, and the context of choice." (Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty" [in "Choices, Values, and Frames"], 2000)

"Prime numbers belong to an exclusive world of intellectual conceptions. We speak of those marvelous notions that enjoy simple, elegant description, yet lead to extreme - one might say unthinkable - complexity in the details. The basic notion of primality can be accessible to a child, yet no human mind harbors anything like a complete picture. In modern times, while theoreticians continue to grapple with the profundity of the prime numbers, vast toil and resources have been directed toward the computational aspect, the task of finding, characterizing, and applying the primes in other domains." (Richard Crandall & Carl Pomerance, "Prime Numbers: A Computational Perspective", 2001)

"Complexity Theory is concerned with the study of the intrinsic complexity of computational tasks. Its 'final' goals include the determination of the complexity of any well-defined task. Additional goals include obtaining an understanding of the relations between various computational phenomena (e.g., relating one fact regarding computational complexity to another). Indeed, we may say that the former type of goal is concerned with absolute answers regarding specific computational phenomena, whereas the latter type is concerned with questions regarding the relation between computational phenomena." (Oded Goldreich, "Computational Complexity: A Conceptual Perspective", 2008)

"Granular computing is a general computation theory for using granules such as subsets, classes, objects, clusters, and elements of a universe to build an efficient computational model for complex applications with huge amounts of data, information, and knowledge. Granulation of an object a leads to a collection of granules, with a granule being a clump of points (objects) drawn together by indiscernibility, similarity, proximity, or functionality. In human reasoning and concept formulation, the granules and the values of their attributes are fuzzy rather than crisp. In this perspective, fuzzy information granulation may be viewed as a mode of generalization, which can be applied to any concept, method, or theory." (Salvatore Greco et al, "Granular Computing and Data Mining for Ordered Data: The Dominance-Based Rough Set Approach", 2009)

"How are we to explain the contrast between the matter-of-fact way in which v-1 and other imaginary numbers are accepted today and the great difficulty they posed for learned mathematicians when they first appeared on the scene? One possibility is that mathematical intuitions have evolved over the centuries and people are generally more willing to see mathematics as a matter of manipulating symbols according to rules and are less insistent on interpreting all symbols as representative of one or another aspect of physical reality. Another, less self-congratulatory possibility is that most of us are content to follow the computational rules we are taught and do not give a lot of thought to rationales." (Raymond S Nickerson, "Mathematical Reasoning: Patterns, Problems, Conjectures, and Proofs", 2009)

"It should also be noted that the novel information generated by interactions in complex systems limits their predictability. Without randomness, complexity implies a particular non-determinism characterized by computational irreducibility. In other words, complex phenomena cannot be known a priori." (Carlos Gershenson, "Complexity", 2011)

"The notion of emergence is used in a variety of disciplines such as evolutionary biology, the philosophy of mind and sociology, as well as in computational and complexity theory. It is associated with non-reductive naturalism, which claims that a hierarchy of levels of reality exist. While the emergent level is constituted by the underlying level, it is nevertheless autonomous from the constituting level. As a naturalistic theory, it excludes non-natural explanations such as vitalistic forces or entelechy. As non-reductive naturalism, emergence theory claims that higher-level entities cannot be explained by lower-level entities." (Martin Neumann, "An Epistemological Gap in Simulation Technologies and the Science of Society", 2011)

"Black Swans (capitalized) are large-scale unpredictable and irregular events of massive consequence - unpredicted by a certain observer, and such un - predictor is generally called the 'turkey' when he is both surprised and harmed by these events. [...] Black Swans hijack our brains, making us feel we 'sort of' or 'almost' predicted them, because they are retrospectively explainable. We don’t realize the role of these Swans in life because of this illusion of predictability. […] An annoying aspect of the Black Swan problem - in fact the central, and largely missed, point - is that the odds of rare events are simply not computable." (Nassim N Taleb, "Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder", 2012)

"[…] there exists a close relation between design analysis of algorithm and computational complexity theory. The former is related to the analysis of the resources (time and/or space) utilized by a particular algorithm to solve a problem and the later is related to a more general question about all possible algorithms that could be used to solve the same problem. There are different types of time complexity for different algorithms." (Shyamalendu Kandar, "Introduction to Automata Theory, Formal Languages and Computation", 2013)

"These nature-inspired algorithms gradually became more and more attractive and popular among the evolutionary computation research community, and together they were named swarm intelligence, which became the little brother of the major four evolutionary computation algorithms." (Yuhui Shi, "Emerging Research on Swarm Intelligence and Algorithm Optimization", Information Science Reference, 2014)

"The higher the dimension, in other words, the higher the number of possible interactions, and the more disproportionally difficult it is to understand the macro from the micro, the general from the simple units. This disproportionate increase of computational demands is called the curse of dimensionality." (Nassim N Taleb, "Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life", 2018)

"Computational complexity theory, or just complexity theory, is the study of the difficulty of computational problems. Rather than focusing on specific algorithms, complexity theory focuses on problems." (Rod Stephens, "Essential Algorithms" 2nd Ed., 2019)

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