Showing posts from February, 2006

Optimization vs. Adaptation

A word on optimization. This is feasible for static problem domains, like airplane wings, since the problem domain (laws of aerodynamics) doesn't change. In dynamic problem domains, such as traffic or societies, you can't really optimize, because the "optimum" is changing constantly (if it is knowable). In these circumstances, indeed the system tries to find the "best" solution for the current situation (optimize), but since the optimization process neither reaches an optimum nor stabilizes, it would be better described as an adaptation process. Like this you can understand why short term decisions lead to long term failures.

More on my paper: Self-Organizing Traffic Lights. Complex Systems 16(1): 29-53. [preprint]

Everybody's Hive

After more than two years of being "too busy", I finally did another painting...

"Everybody's Hive"
Carlos Gershenson
Acrylic on canvas, 65x80 cm.
Merelo Guervós collection.
Mathematical explanation: This painting uses ideas of self-organization. Even when the tiling is periodic, the colouring patter isn't. I used local rules to determine which of the five colours to use in each tile, leading to an irregular, yet not random, colouring pattern. Each new tile to be coloured has a colour chosen randomly, constrained by the colours of its neighbours, not to have two tiles of the same colour touching each other. Since the minimum number of colours that could be used is four (leading to a regular colouring), adding a fifth colour allows nonperiodicity, yet constraining the choice of colours that result in local regularities. I say that the colouring is self-organizing because it would not be possible to determine the pattern globally, i.e. without actually doing …

Four things...

JJ Merelo got me into this... memetic experiment???
4 jobsI've been enjoying the benefits of the graduate shcolarship since 2001, so these are old...
Teacher at the Fundación Arturo Rosenblueth (Introduction to Computing)Teacher at the Diplomado en Informática Médica in the Facultad de Medicina,
UNAM. (Artificial Intelligence course)
Development Director of Principia Informatica (coordinating graduate studies in Mexican universities, teaching...)Consulting for Tecnología, Medios y Aplicaciones (Tecnomedia) (Worked as
developer for the project Astra of TELMEX)
4 movies I can watch over and over and overThe Lord of the Rings (all three)
Peter Greenaway films...
Woody Allen films...Monty Python films...
4 places I've liked(4 is too few, so some of these are a bit random...)
St. Petersburg, Rossija
Siena, Italia
Sydney, Australia
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
4 TV shows I likeFawlty Towers
The SimpsonsMonty Python's Flying Circus
Futurama 4 places I've vacationedSuppose they should be different…

Land of the Free?

No, this is not a post concerning that great Gamma Ray album. It sparked from a conversation with Nadia, who was born in Leningrad in Soviet times, and lived the crumbling of the USSR.

Well, the thing is that the Soviet regime was criticized, among other things, by a lack of freedom of expression. In Stalin's times, if you were a dissident, or plainly if three people didn't like you and told you were a dissident, it was enough to declare you "enemy of the people". Millions were sent to Siberia, repressed, or simply dissapeared. Certainly, that was hell. After Stalin, during the "thaw", there was much less repression. People still wouldn't tell jokes about the government in the open (though many, many people did in their kitchen). OK, so there wasn't ideological freedom (Now there is, but there's no certainty in the future...). A similar situation persists now in Cuba. Nevertheless, there is an active political oposition in the island. Anyway, &q…