100,477 research outputs found

    How shoud prey animals respond to uncertain threats?

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    A prey animal surveying its environment must decide whether there is a dangerous predator present or not. If there is, it may flee. Flight has an associated cost, so the animal should not flee if there is no danger. However, the prey animal cannot know the state of its environment with certainty, and is thus bound to make some errors. We formulate a probabilistic automaton model of a prey animal's life and use it to compute the optimal escape decision strategy, subject to the animal's uncertainty. The uncertainty is a major factor in determining the decision strategy: only in the presence of uncertainty do economic factors (like mating opportunities lost due to flight) influence the decision. We performed computer simulations and found that \emph{in silico} populations of animals subject to predation evolve to display the strategies predicted by our model, confirming our choice of objective function for our analytic calculations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first theoretical study of escape decisions to incorporate the effects of uncertainty, and to demonstrate the correctness of the objective function used in the model.Comment: 5 figures, 10 pages of tex

    Miscommunication in the institutional context of the broadcast news interview : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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    This study examined the pattern and relative success of linguistic interaction in the Broadcast News Interview (BNI). BNI is modelled as a genre of institutional communication. The psychological and functional characteristics of the BNI were examined from the viewpoint of how communicative conventions that normally regulate interview performance may, at times, impede effective communication. The BNI is intended to transfer information from an expert witness to an interested, though relatively uninformed audience. The interviewer is supposed to act as both conduit and catalyst. Pragmatic properties of the interlocutors' speech as they orient themselves towards the context of the conversation was analysed in order to reveal the manner in which prior assumptions or beliefs may lead to faulty inferences. The notion of miscommunication is used to describe and explain the faults associated with processes of representing the illocutionary force of an utterance, rather than deficiencies in pronunciation or auditory sensation and perception. Opting for a qualitative analysis, an attempt was made to ground explanations in relevant theoretical models of interpersonal communication and communication failure. Results indicate that the conventions that distinguish the BNI from more mundane types of interaction impede successful communication. The study highlights that participants who wish to attain their communicative goal must be more aware of the functional procedures of the BNI and anticipate impediments to successful communication

    Facilitating evolution in relational database design : a procedure to evaluate and refine novice database designers' schemata : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies in Information Systems at Massey University

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    Relational database management systems (RDBMS) have become widely used by many industries in recent years. Latterly these systems have begun to expand their market by becoming readily available at minimal cost to most users of modern computing technology. The quality of applications developed from RDBMSs however is largely dependent upon the quality of the underlying schema. This research looks at the area of schema design and in particular schemata designed by people who have a minimal understanding of relational concepts. It uses a survey and case studies to help define some of the issues involved in the area. A procedure to modify existing schemata is described, and the schema from one of the case studies used to apply the schema re-design procedure to a real database design. The results are compared to the original schema as well as a schema designed using a conventional application of the NIAM analysis and design methodology. The research supports the hypothesis that database applications based on schemata designed by lay-persons are currently being used to support business data management requirements. The utility, reliability and longevity of these applications depend to some extent on the quality of the underlying schema and its ability to store the required data and maintain that data's integrity. The application of the schema re-design procedure presented in this thesis reveals refinements on the original schema and provides a method for lay-persons to evaluate and improve existing database designs. A number of issues and questions related to the focus of this research are raised and, although outside the scope of the research, are noted as suggestions for further work

    Fuel Efficient Computation in Passive Self-Assembly

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    In this paper we show that passive self-assembly in the context of the tile self-assembly model is capable of performing fuel efficient, universal computation. The tile self-assembly model is a premiere model of self-assembly in which particles are modeled by four-sided squares with glue types assigned to each tile edge. The assembly process is driven by positive and negative force interactions between glue types, allowing for tile assemblies floating in the plane to combine and break apart over time. We refer to this type of assembly model as passive in that the constituent parts remain unchanged throughout the assembly process regardless of their interactions. A computationally universal system is said to be fuel efficient if the number of tiles used up per computation step is bounded by a constant. Work within this model has shown how fuel guzzling tile systems can perform universal computation with only positive strength glue interactions. Recent work has introduced space-efficient, fuel-guzzling universal computation with the addition of negative glue interactions and the use of a powerful non-diagonal class of glue interactions. Other recent work has shown how to achieve fuel efficient computation within active tile self-assembly. In this paper we utilize negative interactions in the tile self-assembly model to achieve the first computationally universal passive tile self-assembly system that is both space and fuel-efficient. In addition, we achieve this result using a limited diagonal class of glue interactions

    Fault-Tolerant Spanners: Better and Simpler

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    A natural requirement of many distributed structures is fault-tolerance: after some failures, whatever remains from the structure should still be effective for whatever remains from the network. In this paper we examine spanners of general graphs that are tolerant to vertex failures, and significantly improve their dependence on the number of faults rr, for all stretch bounds. For stretch k3k \geq 3 we design a simple transformation that converts every kk-spanner construction with at most f(n)f(n) edges into an rr-fault-tolerant kk-spanner construction with at most O(r3logn)f(2n/r)O(r^3 \log n) \cdot f(2n/r) edges. Applying this to standard greedy spanner constructions gives rr-fault tolerant kk-spanners with O~(r2n1+2k+1)\tilde O(r^{2} n^{1+\frac{2}{k+1}}) edges. The previous construction by Chechik, Langberg, Peleg, and Roddity [STOC 2009] depends similarly on nn but exponentially on rr (approximately like krk^r). For the case k=2k=2 and unit-length edges, an O(rlogn)O(r \log n)-approximation algorithm is known from recent work of Dinitz and Krauthgamer [arXiv 2010], where several spanner results are obtained using a common approach of rounding a natural flow-based linear programming relaxation. Here we use a different (stronger) LP relaxation and improve the approximation ratio to O(logn)O(\log n), which is, notably, independent of the number of faults rr. We further strengthen this bound in terms of the maximum degree by using the \Lovasz Local Lemma. Finally, we show that most of our constructions are inherently local by designing equivalent distributed algorithms in the LOCAL model of distributed computation.Comment: 17 page

    Stressed out with Sepsis.

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