Abstract: Uncertainty in site characterization, due to sparsely distributed samples and incomplete site knowledge, is of major concern in resource mining and environmental engineering. Scientists are able to model the spatial continuity and quantify uncertainty of phenomena of interest (i.e. ore grade, subsurface contamination) through the generation and analysis of many equiprobable stochastic simulations (realizations) using concepts of probability theory. We have developed a method of generating equiprobable simulations by combining the traditional frame work of spatial dependencies witnessed in geostatistics with an artificial neural network (ANN) algorithm know as counterpropagation. This new method allows for the generation of simulations that respect the observed sample data as well as the data's underlying spatial structure. Conditional simulation is a natural product of the counterpropagation network using random initial weights while its architecture has computational advantages over other simulation generators due to its parallel information passing topology. Computational speedup, due to the implementation of the algorithm on a local cluster of off-the-shelf computational nodes and software, is another factor that will be discussed. The results of this research illustrate the potential applicability and utility of using the counterpropagation algorithm to conduct a probabilistic assessment while increasing interpretational value of site characterization data.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).