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The Math of a Fly's Eye May Prove Useful

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the saw-that-one-coming dept.

Math 90

cunniff writes "Wired Magazine points us to recent research that demonstrates an algorithm derived from the actual biological implementation of fly vision (PLoS paper here). Quoting the paper: 'Here we present a model with multiple levels of non-linear dynamic adaptive components based directly on the known or suspected responses of neurons within the visual motion pathway of the fly brain. By testing the model under realistic high-dynamic range conditions we show that the addition of these elements makes the motion detection model robust across a large variety of images, velocities and accelerations.' The researchers claim that 'The implementation of this new algorithm could provide a very useful and robust velocity estimator for artificial navigation systems.' Additionally, the paper describes the algorithm as extremely simple, capable of being implemented on very small and power-efficient processors. Best of all, the entire paper is public and hosted via a service that allows authenticated users to give feedback."

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Presentation (5, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087728)

After presenting his paper, researcher David O'Carroll strode off the stage and into a sliding glass door.

-Peter

Re:Presentation (1)

ChrisMounce (1096567) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088160)

Multiple times.

Re:Presentation (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088730)

Durn it. Tried to mod you "underrated", but hit "off topic" instead. Commenting to delete my mod.

Re:Presentation (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30091810)

This a remarkably funny early post, so you might have spared yourself from doing that I suppose.

I don't get it... (0, Offtopic)

Kc_spot (1677970) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087742)

so will we finally be able to predict where the fly will be so that way we can swat them? or is this just a good excuse for doing some mathing?

Re:I don't get it... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30087790)

Look, you've got to at least RTFS.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30087858)

I'm with Anonymous Coward in this one.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088062)

But you are Anonymous Coward!

Re:I don't get it... (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30090462)

mumble mumble Brute Squad mumble mumble!

Re:I don't get it... (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087964)

If God had intended for us to read the summary, He wouldn't have invented headlines.

Re:I don't get it... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30088024)

And if God had intended for Man to fly, we would have been born with airline tickets.

Re:I don't get it... (3, Funny)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088584)

And if God had intended for Man to drink beer we would have been born with stomachs.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089258)

If God had intended us to find anything accurate or informative in the summary, he wouldn't have invented kdawson.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087834)

No, this will allow hyper-realistic modeling of fly motion with less processor overhead for the next Modern Warfare game.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Kc_spot (1677970) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087868)

OH so it's a computer program realistically mimicking a fly... Very cool. :)

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089232)

Lemonj'ello, this is the most realistic game I have ever seen. Its like bin Laden and al Zwahiri in person.

Watch it, NanoCommando, that's military; its not a game.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088602)

so will we finally be able to predict where the fly will be so that way we can swat them? or is this just a good excuse for doing some mathing?

If landed, swat from behind aiming above the fly (from its perspective). The instinctive reaction to a moving threat from behind is to take off upwards and forwards, which is directly into the path of the swat if you judge it right. This beats the fly's reactions (which are far faster than yours) by aiming where it is likely to be at the time, not where it is as you start your attack swing.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30092322)

I usually just wait until they start rubbing their feet together or doing whatever it is that flies do with their wings. They don't even get airborne before they die.

Anyone know about bees? (5, Interesting)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087788)

The researchers drew their algorithm from neural circuits attuned to side-to-side yaw, but O’Carroll said the same types of equations are probably used in computing other optical flows, such as those produced by moving forward and backwards through three-dimensional space.

I vaguely remember seeing a study that examined how bees travel without hitting anything but using very few neurons. Something about the relative size change of objects between eyes. They tested this by putting bees in a clear tunne with patterns on belts on the right and left walls. By changing the speed of the belts, the bees would ram into the walls, but as long as the belts were moving at the same speed, the bees were fine. Is this ringing a bell for anyone else?

Re:Anyone know about bees? (5, Informative)

Bazzargh (39195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088066)

You mean this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2069903 [nih.gov] "Range perception through apparent image speed in freely flying honeybees."

Re:Anyone know about bees? (1)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088154)

Thanks. You're my hero. So we've solved side-to-side yaw and moving forwards and backwards in 3-d space... now if only we could find something in nature we could copy (without fully understanding) that hunted for Sarah Connor.

Re:Anyone know about bees? (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088792)

Coming soon: The Worminator!

Re:Anyone know about bees? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 3 years ago | (#30154016)

Should be able to find a rabid fanboy fairly easily, and use his neural cortex.

Or dragonflies... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30090292)

They should have all this stuff implemented also relatively easily, I guess, and they appear quite "ultimate" when it comes to perception in bugs.

I seem to remember they follow some impressive flight pattern when pursuing their prey - first remaining stationary in relation to background image perceived by prey, and then, in final moments, stationary in relation to vision of prey.

Re:Anyone know about bees? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30092202)

Any explanation for why moths fly into anything and everything? It's especially irritating when living in a warm climate with moths the size of small cars.

Re:Anyone know about bees? (1)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 4 years ago | (#30093986)

Um, because they fly at night when optical flow techniques are useless? So they use "constant angle w.r.t. to the moon" navigation. Which worked great until humans added 10 billion artificial moons to the environment.

Re:Anyone know about bees? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30116752)

Insert obligatory "That's no moon, it's a space station" comment here.

Re:Anyone know about bees? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 3 years ago | (#30154020)

Any explanation for why moths fly into anything and everything? It's especially irritating when living in a warm climate with moths the size of small cars.

Pretty simple, actually. They navigate using the moon as a reference point, since it's essentially a directional light. In order to fly straight, they keep the moon at a particular point in their field of vision. Sadly, when the brightest object in their field of view is a light bulb, keeping it in the same position in their field of view results in them spiralling madly around and towards it.

So moths don't really like bright lights, candle flames etc. Lights just screw with their navigation system.

We don't understand it but we can do it (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087824)

Why does this sound like every PC user and quite a few programmers I have had to deal with?

I find it unimaginable that people would attempt to implement a technology that is not fully understood. Doing so will eventually yield unexpected results or at the very least, results that cannot be explained.

I am not saying that everything we presently or regularly do is something that everyone presently understands as I am sure there are ample examples of this happening everywhere. Usually, however, "someone" somewhere actually knows and understands because they created it. In this case, it seems, things are being created and implemented without a full working understanding of how it all works. At the very least, such inventions should be unworthy of patenting.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30087864)

You'd be surprised. About medicine.

Starting with simple Aspirin, the line of medicaments that have known positive results but nobody knows why, is loooooooong.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (5, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088358)

Aspirin's mechanism of action was unknown for a long time, but now we know it's due to suppression of prostaglandin synthesis by irreversible inhibition [wikipedia.org] of cyclooxygenase enzymes.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (2, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088756)

"Yes that string of complicated words would explain this." - Farnsworth, Futurama

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30089190)

Nice try. That would be what we know it does to cyclooxygenase enzymes, but is that how it works? We think we understand the mechanism, then we go and make COX-2 inhibitors that reduce pain but cause increased clots. Plus knowing that aspirin inhibits cyclooxygenases doesn't explain why it make gout worse (competes for excretion with uric acid in the kidney). It's always dangerous to assume we know how a medication works just because we give it and people get better.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30091292)

The lightbulb was invented before the physics model of how it works was complete.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30093940)

If you want to split hairs, that will probably be true about every human construction for all time.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30116782)

What sort of hairs... straight or curly? Curly hairs are flatter and thus easier to split.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30089594)

There are no "magic potions" in modern medicine. Yes, many medicines are found through experimentation, and sometimes pure luck, but then they spend years getting researched and scrutinized in clinical trials.

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4708250_aspirin-work.html

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087918)

Why isn't it modded off-topic? So we don't know everything for sure about how a fly's brain works, but it doesn't matter, because we're looking at them for inspiration for the algorithms actually implemented, which we actually understand. No one's stupid enough to not understand their own algorithms, at least not at that level.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (2, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088288)

I believe the poster was talking about understanding the algorithm itself, not the fly brain.

The key idea here is that emergent algorithms (which is what these sort of things are) are unpredictable. It is one thing to understand the methodology, another to grok the full picture.

In any sort of complex input space, you cannot test all possible input permutations and so cannot guarantee that these algorithms wont go ahead and output the worst possible thing from time to time.

In some cases we can get away with emergent algorithms because the worst possible output isnt going to kill anybody (for example, using an ANTS algorithm for network routing is OK because the worst case is the already frequent phenomenon of a lost packet, and we are using the ANTS algorithm specifically because it does better routined and thus, in general loses fewer packets)

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (2, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088724)

Stupid? They're multiple non-linear equations interacting with each other. The people who came up with the algorithms themselves state that they don't understand the full effects of the algorithms. They know that they work, they know if they remove parts of the algorithm they stop working nearly as well, but they can't predict the output from the input.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (5, Insightful)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087970)

I find it unimaginable that people would attempt to implement a technology that is not fully understood. Doing so will eventually yield unexpected results or at the very least, results that cannot be explained.

Except that occasionally building a working model is a useful step to understanding it. I'm happy that Edward Jenner in 1796 started infecting people with cow pox as a way to prevent small pox even though he didn't fully understand why it worked.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30087982)

Maybe you need to stop dealing with Indian outsourcing firms and their "programmers"?

When all you program for is Windows and .NET like they do, and most of that is closed-source to most developers, of course you won't have a fucking clue what's going on.

Almost all of us open source developers know what's going on from the the hardware up. We can see ever layer of the Linux, FreeBSD or OpenSolaris kernels, for instance. Those of us who did chip design in the past also know how the hardware works (and we usually know the quantum mechanics underlying modern transistor design, as well).

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (2, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089384)

Someone from Mumbai underbid you on ELance again ?

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087990)

Well, it's not flying airplanes full of people. They've copied a system that seems to work well, and they are testing it for ultra-small UAVs. They'll get a better idea of how it works then.

There are many things people have used throughout history without understanding how they work. Salt preservation is ancient, but we didn't discover the bacteria it kills until the last 200 years.

Sometimes, "works" is good enough. And works often leads to understands.

I think this is really cool. We've been trying to do this kind of thing for years. The fly does it with a tiny-micro-fraction of the resources we were using, and does a much MUCH better job. By testing this system, perhaps we'll find out WHY our systems are tricked by certain stimulus and this one isn't.

It's not like they put a bunch of stuff together and said "this works, as far as we can tell", they took a proven system and copied it.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089036)

they took a proven system and copied it.

And not just copied it (it's easy to breed flies :), but translated it into mathematics! This will open it to a much broader audience for analysis and adaptation into working systems. I'm really excited to see how this research pans out... vision processing is a major hurdle for robotics today, and this could have significant impact.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30089510)

they took a proven system and copied it.

Too bad the IBOAA (Insect Bio-Optic Association of America) is sending them a DMCA take-down as we speak.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30090142)

I would be also interested in determining which stimulus can trick even fly system...

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30092170)

Speaking of airplanes, I don't fully understand how the pilot converts sensory input to control surface instructions, and I'm certain that there are many cases where the pilot's reaction will be absolutely the worst thing possible. Still, the risk is worth it when you consider the alternative of not having high-speed continental or global travel.

The bar of plugging something in instead of a pilot is not at "do we understand what it will do in all circumstances" but the much more attainable, "will it perform at least as well as all pilots have." If the fly-brain neural-net software can be prevented from consuming the software equivalent of alcohol, that's a very low bar to reach.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (3, Interesting)

Nobo (606465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088040)

A scientist says, "This works, but I don't know why, How do I complete the theory?"
An engineer says, "This works, but I don't know why. How do I use it to build something that does what I want?"
A good engineer says, "This works, but I don't know why. How do I use it to build something that does what I want.. And, in what domain does my model break down and how do I make sure I don't get my system into that domain?"

Sizable chunks of control theory, frequency analysis, and some other core theoretical components of what we now consider to be solid engineering work were being applied long before the theoretical basis behind them was solidly proven to be correct from a pure mathematical standpoint.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (2, Interesting)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30092892)

A scientist says, "This works, but I don't know why

Here is my falsifiable hypothesis, I'll test it experimentally and see if successful results can be reproduced independently.
Theory comes a LONG ways down the road.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30088408)

At a deep level, how does invisible tape (a.k.a. Scotch tape) work? Why does the goo on the tape stick to the surface it is applied to?

People found that they could apply goo to a surface and it stuck there. They had no idea why...

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30088986)

On the contrary, no single person on earth fully understands even the most mundane, common-place things around us. See, for example, the essay "I, Pencil" [wikisource.org] .

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30089226)

Doing Quality Assurance at a medical device company, I know where you're coming from. However, we need to bare in mind that this is research. This isn't some company poking around for a new product, this is trying to figure out how to create better optical systems. Sure, they didn't understand the technique before making the implementation but at the same time they're implementation is helping them understand the technique. I'd rather they attempt to make an implementation and learn off of that than to bash their heads in getting nowhere trying to fully understand the technique before they even attempt to create such a system.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

epine (68316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30090540)

I find it unimaginable that people would attempt to implement a technology that is not fully understood.

This is precisely why this kind of algorithm has remained undiscovered over such a long period of time that people have begun to speculate that the human brain employs a quantum magician behind the curtain. Not so. We're just slow on the uptake. (I find this amazing: against the backdrop of our intellectual failings, we manufacture glory for our miraculous cognition.)

Compositions of non-linear components tend to defy traditional explanation. We've done a pretty good job of mining the ore where our preferred mode of understanding serves us well. This campaign is presently stuck in the mud halfway between chess and Go: computers rule the chess trench, neurons rule the Go trench; there's a large no man's land in between, with the computers gaining a few hundred yards a year, though we don't yet know how far apart these trenches lie. Reminds me of the quote: "Never mistake a clear view for a short distance." -- Paul Saffo.

There seems to be a wide range of applications remaining where mother nature--unhindered by our need to shoehorn systems into our preferred mode of explanation--gets better results at less expenditure. The most interesting feature of this discovery is that it computes well within our existing computational regime. A computational factor of 10,000 means that this algorithm running on a 486 circa 1990 would not have been out of the question (see also: slow uptake; we had the hardware, no one knew how to best use it).

There's a lot we don't yet understand about non-linear systems. I'm not in the camp where I throw up my hands and go "this is so difficult, the best we can do is discover these systems through content-free genetic algorithms". There's an entire intellectual discipline yet to be established half-way between our traditional mode of analysis (understanding things before we build them) and content-free genetic algorithms.

The deep work lies at the bionic boundary: how to interface the analytic system (in chess, this is tree search) with non-linear systems (inspired by neurological models or other forms of stochastic algorithm) to get a result greater than the sum of its parts. It's extremely difficult to synthesize the opaque, so this should present some gnarly challenges.

BTW: Kurweil has been projecting great progress in reverse engineering human neurology for quite a while. He usually hauls out as his example some work by Lloyd Watts (and others, I'm sure). This paper covers a lot of ground in acoustics and vision.

Commercializing Auditory Neuroscience [nae.edu]

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30091246)

Mod parent up! We know how gravity works, but we don't know where it comes from.

This is why I never leave my basement.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (1)

middlemen (765373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30091514)

I find it unimaginable that people would attempt to implement a technology that is not fully understood. Doing so will eventually yield unexpected results or at the very least, results that cannot be explained.

Yes, as we can see very well in the financial industry today. "Algorithms" and complex "trading strategies" implemented without understanding the fundamentals.

Re:We don't understand it but we can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30144694)

How do you think we got from caves to skyscrapers?

Do you think the Chinese had the slightest clue as to how or why gunpowder worked? No.

Did they know how or why rockets worked? No.

Did the first boaters have a detailed understanding of buoyancy? No.

Ad infinitum...

I am sure others can come up with much better examples and our advancement is chock full of such things. The guy on the scene observes and notes that if A and B are merged C happens...which is cool as hell (or sometimes, to be avoided!) He can reproduce the result on demand; he can profit from it; he can kill with it...yet, he has zero understanding of the underlying processes.

It drives some people nuts to not know how it works...others could care less as long as it kills, profits, or entertains.

isn't the design of the fly's eye a marvel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30087846)

The engineering behind this design is positively marvelous!

Thousand scientists in a room with a typewriter... (2, Interesting)

chogori (1514025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087862)

Okay, so the article is titled "Secret Math", and...

Though they built the system, the researchers don’t quite understand how it works.

and...

Intriguingly, the algorithm doesn’t work nearly as well if any one operation is omitted. The sum is greater than the whole, and O’Carroll and Brinkworth don’t know why.

Wow, some interesting "science" that's going on here.
Great result, but, really, way to go guys! You can't understand a non-linear system's behavior; join the club. I still can't understand why z_n+1 = z_n^2 + c looks so pretty either.

Re:Thousand scientists in a room with a typewriter (1)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088018)

Great result, but, really, way to go guys! You can't understand a non-linear system's behavior; join the club. I still can't understand why z_n+1 = z_n^2 + c looks so pretty either.

Maybe your mother had a little z_n in her and it's a latent Oedipus complex?

Re:Thousand scientists in a room with a typewriter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30088620)

HA hahahahahahaha... snort... good one dude

Re:Thousand scientists in a room with a typewriter (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088916)

I don't need to know how the chemistry of combustion works to be able to use it to make a fire to cook food, generate light and heat for my shelter, and so on. Fire was not well understood as a chemical process until relatively recently; certainly not until after the discovery of oxygen in the 1770s.

It frustrates nerds to no end, but "why" is often a pretty useless question to ask in the grand scheme of things:
"The hard drive seems to have failed."
"Why?"
"I could answer that with a level 4 clean room and a team of investigators, or I could just replace it for $80."

Re:Thousand scientists in a room with a typewriter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30090126)

"The hard drive seems to have failed."
"Why?"
"I could answer that with a level 4 clean room and a team of investigators, or I could just replace it for $80."

That is worthy of being a sig.

Extinction (1, Interesting)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087900)

You know I can forsee a time, a few hundred years down the line, where we are recovering from the environmental catastrophe caused by man. In this time I think the great profiteers of the day will look down shamefully on the profiteers of today, who destroyed so many of natures feats of engineering in order to harvest lumber or food. I think that they will look back at all the diversity that could have been exploited for their designs and curse us. Mankind will probably be roaming the stars in search of biodiversity by then. If for no other reason then to get the hundreds of thousands of years benefit of tried and tested solutions to engineering problems.

Re:Extinction (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30090190)

Mankind will probably be roaming the stars in search of biodiversity by then.

Wouldn't it be easier to simply build a Dyson spheres and computers as large as planets to simulate bio-diversity if needed.

Re:Extinction (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30094294)

I certainly hope to be recovering from an environmental catastrophe in a few hundred years.

So easy a fly can do it? (1)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30087954)

They don't even know how it works! Cue ominous music...

So, how about that for borrowing work? Rely on biological optimizations that have undergone hundreds of millions of generations with billions of test configurations!

In general, I don't see that this can generally be applied to CS, due to the implicitly parallel nature of biology, but I guess this case must not be too bad.

At any rate, TFA is fairly interesting - even the wired report is fairly informative.

A good read... (3, Insightful)

CockMonster (886033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088064)

But where's the source code???

Re:A good read... (4, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088274)

But where's the source code???

You don't want to read it. It's written in Fly [wikipedia.org] and the comments contain too many buzz-words.

Re:A good read... (4, Funny)

Njoyda Sauce (211180) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088302)

It's also buggy.

Re:A good read... (2, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089466)

Fly tends to get caught in the Web, but you can usually Spider the results. Also Gecko eats Fly.

"Fly" programming language (2, Funny)

tlambert (566799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30092090)

"Fly" programming language ...and just like the original thing, it has garbage collection!

-- Terry

Re:A good read... (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089544)

It got stuck after they wrote their fly paper.

WTF? (0)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088388)

Here we present a model with multiple levels of non-linear dynamic adaptive components based directly on the known or suspected responses of neurons within the visual motion pathway of the fly brain. By testing the model under realistic high-dynamic range conditions we show that the addition of these elements makes the motion detection model robust across a large variety of images, velocities and accelerations

Did anyone else's head hurt after reading that?

Shouldn't "these elements makes" drop the last 's'? If so, what a dumbass. ;)

Re:WTF? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30088654)

No. Addition is the subject of the verb makes. Subject-verb agreement says the original post is correct. Get your grammer rules right first if you're going to criticize.

Re:WTF? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089516)

Pot, Kettle, Black.

The word is grammar.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30090062)

Spelling mistakes are not grammatical errors. They are spelling mistakes.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30090686)

speling has nothing to do with grammar.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30089606)

Get your grammer rules right first if you're going to criticize.

You mispeled grammar, what an idiot.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30092382)

You misspelled mispeled, what a funny guy.

Re:WTF? (1)

puthan (155000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088930)

No. Since the makes refers to the model and not to the elements.

Re:WTF? (1)

puthan (155000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088980)

Let me rephrase that. The makes refers to the addition of the elements, which ill be treated as a single object.

I know how this will go... (1)

I'm not god any more (613402) | more than 4 years ago | (#30088402)

a whole slew of vehicles crashing into plate glass windows.. over and over..

RMS Error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30089382)

"Region or feature based matching. Such techniques normally involve maximizing a cross-correlation or minimizing a difference measure such as the RMS error".

I wonder if they mean the eating-crap-out-of-your-toes error.

Fly's Eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30091588)

I'm looking at the world through fly's eyes
Looking at the world through fly's eyes
Looking at the world through fly's eyes
And you can just buzz off

Well I think I'll buzz in the front door
Think I'll buzz around the back door screen
Think I'll buzz around your face
And then I'll land on the ceiling

Well I get up in the morning when the dew is on the doo
And I date a little maggot named Mary Lou
Some day we'll get married and we won't think twice
When our kids all look like dancing rice

I think I'll land on some horse manure
Think I'll land on the poop du jour
Think I'll land on a squashed possum --
And then I'll land on your potato salad
(Just washing up!)

Buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz...

I'm looking at the world through fly's eyes
Looking at the world through fly's eyes
Looking at the world through fly's eyes
And you can just buzz off

Get that fly, get that fly!
(Accordian solo)

I'm looking at the world through fly's eyes
Looking at the world through fly's eyes
Looking at the world through fly's eyes
And you can just buzz, you can just buzz, you can just buzz off!

Don't understand how it works (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30091692)

We've implemented this algorithm in several autonomous flying surveillance vehicles. While it appears to work adequately, we're still trying to determine why the only thing they manage to locate is cow shit.

Refreshing Story (4, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30092934)

This might be offtopic but seeing a legitimate R&D story on slashdot with a link to the actual (open) technical write up of the research made my day. I haven't read the whole paper yet (I will when I get home) but going through it and reading the first few sections I can see that the researchers included their (simulink?) processing models as well as some good data in the results section. This story finally gave me something worth breaking out my old signal processing and DAC notes from college out over and studying the raw math and theory behind the algorithm.

I have to say, I really wish we would see more papers like this posted and published openly. It's very inspiring when other folk in similar fields can access a paper's full contents and start playing with similar models themselves...

"capable of being implemented on very small ... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095306)

and power-efficienct processors."

Given the inspiration for the algorithm, why would this be so surprising?

New Kind of Computer Science (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095790)

I think this must be the first of a new kind of computer science. Reverse engineer something from even an insect brain to create a computer program, is completely new to me. As you can see from the diagram, this is very different to the neural networks some AI researchers (but no biologists) claim mimic the human brain. It does look like an evolved algorithm, in the sense that works very well and efficiently but there no obvious design or understanding of how it works.

---

AI [feeddistiller.com] feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:New Kind of Computer Science (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143300)

It does look like an evolved algorithm, in the sense that works very well and efficiently but there no obvious design or understanding of how it works.

Funny... when faced with an algorithm that works very well and efficiently yet whose design seemed to escape me and gave me no understanding of how it worked, I'd have concluded that it appeared to be designed by someone a whole lot smarter than myself.

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