Future: year 2213

Combine augmented reality, nano robot swarms and mind-device communication.  So the idea is you first imagine a structure.  This imagined structure is displayed (could be on glasses contact lens etc), augmenting reality.  Using the image you can then improve and change the design.  Could use your hands to manipulate it or just use your thoughts which ever is easier.  The nano robots can then form the imagined structure.  You could then store useful structures for later use and the system could learn to predict and suggest new structures based on your preferences and behavior.

You all knew I am a bit crazy ;).


Well, I am learning OpenCV for my Advanced AI project.  I was never that into computer vision stuff, but its something new and might come in handy someday.

I got my eclipse environment set up and ran their sample app.  (I had to use -L/usr/lib not /usr/local/lib like they say)  Now am going to go through some of the simple core examples so that I can get an idea of how opencv works.

Xp-Dev web app

I made a php app to automate the task of creating group projects on xp-dev.  As a GTA for CS321, I had to create 70 accounts, around 16 projects and then add the students to their project!  That is a lot of clicking if you do it manually.  So, I made a php web app that utilizes Xp-Dev’s web api to do the work for me :).  Their api is very easy to use.  However, in order to use the code you must generate a developer api key and then request, through xp-dev’s ticket system, permission to add sub accounts.  Then all you need to do is put the names of the projects in one file and the email addresses of the group members with a blank line between project group in another.  Then run the app and voila all done :).

New Theme

I really am liking this new theme.  The text is easier to read and I like being able to choose the background.  The background used to be my wallpaper for my computer.  It seemed to go with the tech feel.

Book idea

I was thinking it would be fun to read about a world where our concept of prison is the natural state of the denizens.  Then for punishment (rather than jail) they are given full freedom.  Would be interesting to read an authors rendition of such a state.  Sounds like it would be a classic.  Going to have to find it.

I’m reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  So far I like it.

Summer Internship

Over break I applied to pretty many internships.  Hopefully I can get one :). I applied to

  • OPower
  • AddThis
  • Boeing
  • Decisive Analytics
  • GAO
  • Near Infinity
  • IDA
  • CGI

All of these companies are doing something I am interested in and would allow me to stay in Fairfax.


I finally found the name that describes what I wanted to know if agents could do back in 2010!!!!  My original question was:

I was wondering: if multiple cooperative agent teams are competing, could they learn when it would be in their best interest to cooperate with a competitor.

Now I know I was really wondering if learning agents could learn coopetition!!!


I always love to find the right terminology.  It makes life so much easier when doing research.

Thoughts on old research question

Back in undergrad (July 2010!) my professor, Dr. Babcock, posed the following question in order to help expand my narrow focus:

The really interesting question is how does making the individual rules more complex affect the aggregate behavior patterns (or does the society no longer have patterns).

As I am studying MAL, swarms and emergence I am thoroughly intrigued with this idea.  I am hoping that with a better mathematical framework for understanding emergence and swarms I can formulate an answer.

Based on nature patterns generally emerge from either coordination or cooperation.  So, a better question might be can coordination and cooperation be so far abstracted due to the complexity of the rules that aggregate behavior patterns do not emerge?  Then at that point we may still observe emergent behavior only due to some more complex social notion.  So, what is it and how can we observe it :).


*On a side note: Since I found that email, I noticed the date I sent, July 2 2010, and he replied July 6 2010.  I really had a cool professor to take his time to reply even around July 4.

Some swarm thoughts

UPenn researchers have collected examples of swarms or group behaviors found in nature.  More than half of the papers describing the collective behavior of swarms exhibited coordination.  The cool thing was that they found that coordination behavior is present from killer whales to cancer cell populations!  It definitely seems that the ideas of coordination and cooperation are the keys to characterizing swarms.

So far, I have been assuming that swarms relied on cooperation and that was why I thought that the Shapley value would be very useful in characterizing them.  However, it can only describe half the cases.  Because in nature, coordination without cooperation happens.  Some good examples I found in the powerpoint here are:

”A group of people are sitting in a park. As a result of a sudden downpour, all of them run to a tree in the middle of the park because it is the only source of shelter.”


“Individual drivers in traffic following traffic rules”

The difference between having cooperation and not is responsibility.  They give the counter example of a convoy of drivers.  They are cooperating.

So, I believe that there are at least three types of swarms.

joint coordination cooperation

Only coordination

Only cooperation

The good news is that joint intentions are useful in describing coordination.  So, I need to read up on that.


This paper seems very interesting because it takes a wholly physics approach to describing the swarm phenomena.  Also this paper is interesting because it determines the most influential k nodes in a social graph using the shapley value.