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Cool Word of The Month: March, 2004

calad (Sindarin, noun) - light

Yeah, I think you know where this is going. :-D


Previous months' cool words:
February, 2004: su (Chinese, adjective/noun) - 1. flaky; 2. a baked good with a crisp or flaky consistency, such as a cookie
January, 2004: pizdarija (Croatian, noun; vulgar) - something messed-up, feeble, or ridiculous (definition provided by jereeza)
December, 2003: basherte (Hebrew, noun) - "apportioned one" (implication of predestined/ordained mate; courtesy of yahvah)
November, 2003: panmictic (English, adjective, "exhibiting random mating within a breeding population")
October, 2003: kreteno (Esperanto, slang noun, "idiot")
September, 2003: kawai (Japanese, adjective, "cute")
August, 2003: ser (Spanish, intransitive verb, "to be")
July, 2003: cordillera (Spanish, noun, "principal mountain system of a continent")
June, 2003: kallüsarayam (Tamil, noun, "illicit liquor")
May, 2003: hoh (Singlish, particle, "connective expression of expected agreement")
April, 2003: tmesis (English, noun, "separation of the parts of a compound word for humorous effect")
March, 2003: nerazreshimost (Russian, noun, "undecidability")


In other news: I'd like to write a survey article on autonomous nanorobotics.

Surprisingly, I have found much literature on nanotechnology, with rampant speculation on the role of nanorobotics. I've also found quite a bit on massively multi-agent systems as one aspect of the copious literature on autonomous robotics. I just haven't found much on both. Nanorobotics really has to be autonomous, if you think about it: communication takes quite a bit of energy and isn't well suited to organic or other insulation.

Any ideas?

--
Banazîr

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
f00dave
Apr. 2nd, 2004 05:21 am (UTC)
I'd be quite interested in such a survey; nanotech has always been one of my (non-professional) interests. When you solicit ideas, of what sort did you intend? Potential solutions to the autonomy requirements? If so, then it seems fairly obvious to me that there *can* be communication, just not *direct* communication. I envision a sort of "jets, carrier, and "high command" metaphor, where:
  • "jets" are chemically-programmed, viral-sized (or at least sub-prokaryotic-sized) chemical/nucleic acid carriers (basically "payload" vacuoles with some locomotion and possibly protein-carrying external membranes [immune-response supression and cellular-recognition/absorbtion])

  • "carriers" are eukaryote-sized cells (basically), that generate the vacuole-delivery dudes, metabolize nutrients from the environment, and communicate either chemically (via "coarse" means such as hormones or "detailed" means, such as the absorbtion of vacuole carriers with certain protein markers on their exteriors) or electromagnetically (outside my area of knowledge, here, but I'm pretty sure something could be cobbled together that would fit inside 25% of a cell that could receive/detect at least *some* kind of EM information)

  • "high command" is basically either a megacell or a small artifical organ that has plenty of room for EM transduction/generation, chemical production/release, etcetera. Again, marked to be treated as benign by the immune system, with integration into the body's metabolism (stimulating neovascularization is easy enough). This "organ" serves as the link between the external and internal systems (in the case where the "carriers" don't have EM capability). I see this, eventually, as becoming a sort of second immune system, recognizing and dealing with threats/conditions the natural immune system doesn't handle (cancers, strokes and other blockages, etcetera).


Please forgive the military metaphors. ;-)

BTW, post much? (I bet you had caffeine, you crazy guy, you.)
banazir
Apr. 2nd, 2004 03:51 pm (UTC)
Hobby Nanotech
I'd be quite interested in such a survey; nanotech has always been one of my (non-professional) interests.
Same here; thank God we aren't up to the point of cooking up grey goo in our basements, eh? ;-)
(J/K... :-P)

When you solicit ideas, of what sort did you intend? Potential solutions to the autonomy requirements? If so, then it seems fairly obvious to me that there *can* be communication, just not *direct* communication.
Just so; bandwidth/energy issues are what I was primarily wondering about.

I envision a sort of "jets, carrier, and "high command" metaphor
It's a start. If you are using these for coordinated activity (e.g., the old holy grail of nanotechnological angioplasty, stent installation, or even artery unblocking), how will they maintain their position? I'm not up on nanolocomotion.

Please forgive the military metaphors. ;-)
I will if you forgive my imminent submission of a grant proposal to DARPA. :-)

BTW, post much? (I bet you had caffeine, you crazy guy, you.)
Bha! I'll have you know this was 100% sheer teunce!

--
Banazir
f00dave
Apr. 5th, 2004 06:39 am (UTC)
Re: Hobby Nanotech
Same here; thank God we aren't up to the point of cooking up grey goo in our basements, eh? ;-)
(J/K... :-P)

Maybe *you're* kidding. I'd love to. Well, maybe not *melt the planet*, but in-vitro? Sure!

Just so; bandwidth/energy issues are what I was primarily wondering about.
Yeah, which is why I propose a hierarchy, rather than single autonomous or externally-communicating cell analogues....

It's a start. If you are using these for coordinated activity (e.g., the old holy grail of nanotechnological angioplasty, stent installation, or even artery unblocking), how will they maintain their position? I'm not up on nanolocomotion.
Why do they have to maintain their position? Have the vacuole carriers released upstream, and incorporate a "defuser" that neuters the payload after a certain time (perhaps incorporating a bunch of dissolving enzymes inside a slowly-soluble capsule in the vacuole?). If you're talking about nano-*fabrication* instead of just very-precise chemical delivery, that's another story entirely. My intuition tells me that, rather than try to duplicate our large-scale metaphors (scaffolding, walls, etcetera), we're better off thinking on the chemical level. Too much arterial plaque? Release chems onto it that dissolve a small portion. Repeat lots and lots of times. *shrug*

I will if you forgive my imminent submission of a grant proposal to DARPA. :-)
Hey, go for it! Maybe you can cut me in for a slice, since I'm *poor*, eh? =]

Bha! I'll have you know this was 100% sheer teunce!
I call it sleep deprivation, you call it "teuncing". I call it a caffeine high, you call it "teuncing". I call it a quizblog, you call it "a teunc blog". ;-)

*runs away and hides from the inevitable nuclear explosion of wrathful teuncination*
scottharmon
Apr. 2nd, 2004 09:00 am (UTC)
Nanorobotics really has to be autonomous, if you think about it: communication takes quite a bit of energy and isn't well suited to organic or other insulation.

I would think that the comunication would be more subtle. For example, simple movements and behaviours could be a form of comunication to the collective group of nanobots. So, of course they probably won't be sending GB of maps back and forth, but simple protocols could be developed that allow them to communicate on some level (think ants or bees).
banazir
Apr. 3rd, 2004 07:52 am (UTC)
Autonomy, communication, and swarm intelligence
I would think that the comunication would be more subtle. For example, simple movements and behaviours could be a form of comunication to the collective group of nanobots.
So could pheromone trails and other "environment-borne" media, but it's hard to accurately simulate the dynamics or explain the emergent communication - i.e., capture the capacity, link it to channel coding, etc.
Ever read Cover and Thomas's Information Theory? hermes_imagod can tell you, it's good stuff. I keep trying to get Julie to look at it.

So, of course they probably won't be sending GB of maps back and forth, but simple protocols could be developed that allow them to communicate on some level (think ants or bees).
Dude.
Prey.
Crichton is lovenano.

See also this book whose link I posted to KDD yesterday. Actually, to look at the reviews, Sugarscape seems rather dinky. OTOH, there's a SourceForge project for it. I wonder if RoboSim could include a "massively multi-agent" scalability test bed. I think that would be a good research topic (both in terms of fundability and publishability).

Have you read Haipeng's survey work on ACO (Ant Colony Optimization, also called the AAAA track at GECCO)?
I still have Dorigo's tutorial from AAAI-2002, and there's ACO/PSO (Particle Swarm Optimization) work throughout the soft computing communities.

Personally, what I see is a lot of dynamic programming with ad hoc randomized dynamics tacked on, but there are a few "SA (simulated annealing)/GA-complete" ACO and PSO approaches (meaning that they have the same search power as an equivalent SA or GA). But if you really want something powerful, study the MCMC (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) books of Neal and Gilks, and take a course or read a book or two on stochastic processes. I can point you through the relevant particle filtering literature from UAI.

--
Banazir
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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