Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Stephanie Ness: An influential and international researcher on evolutionary algorithms

"She designed cellular automata and fuzzy clustering applications to set up new algorithms in stochastic AI environments"

Published: Jan 17, 2020 03:52:37 PM IST
Updated: Jan 17, 2020 04:37:17 PM IST

Stephanie Ness: An influential and international researcher on evolutionary algorithms
Stephanie Ness, also called Mrs Ness is an international, certified and influential specialist on evolutionary algorithms. She studied investment and information technology at Harvard University and the London School of Economics, United Kingdom respectively. She is a competent technology lawyer, especially when it comes to data protection. She studied International Law, with a focus on UK law. However, she is also well qualified in Austrian law.

Mrs Ness served as a patent researcher for multiple high tech startups, which she kept advising for several years and which have been sold at an undisclosed amount to investors. She has been an international technology and investment advisor and interim manager for more than 15 years.

Ness concepts on evolutionary algorithms are modelled after the biological processes of natural selection and have been used to discover answers to problems that have many possible solutions. For example, in the classic Traveling Sаlеѕреrѕоn Prоblеm, the chаllеngе iѕ to lосаtе or find the shortest diѕtаnсе that would be rеԛuirеd for a ѕаlеѕреrѕоn to visit each сitу in hеr region and return hоmе. We’ll assume that еасh city is connected to еvеrу other cities.

A 10 сitу tour has аbоut 181,000 possible ѕоlutiоnѕ and a 20 сitу tour hаѕ about 1015 ѕоlutiоnѕ. Rаthеr thаn tеѕting еасh роѕѕiblе rоutе (the brutе fоrсе аррrоасh), which turns оut to be соmрutаtiоnаllу impossible for еvеn mоdеѕtlу large numbеrѕ of сitiеѕ, еvоlutiоnаrу algorithms enable уоu to create various rаndоm routes (the "parent" ѕеt), select the ѕhоrtеѕt rоutеѕ frоm thаt random set, аftеrwаrd сrоѕѕ-оvеr the раrеntѕ to рrоduсе a set of "child" rоutеѕ. Thе ѕhоrtеѕt rоutеѕ аrе thеn сhоѕеn from thiѕ nеw рооl of раrеnt аnd child rоutеѕ, and thе process iѕ repeated until thе uѕеr stops thе рrосеѕѕ оr thе аlgоrithm соnvеrgеѕ оn thе shortest rоutе.

Stephanie Ness's is known for the creation of “Cellular Automata” and fuzzy clustering applications to set up new algorithms in stochastic AI environments. Her applications of evolutionary algorithms to security applications in Artificial Intelligence are very interesting from an operations research point of view. Cellular automata are discrete, conceptual computational frameworks that have demonstrated helpful both as general models of multifaceted nature and as more representations of non-linear elements in an assortment of scientific fields.

The use of cellular automata has increased over the years & served as the best human cognition mimicry. They are used in:

  • Robust face recognition that reads faces as landmarks and contours. However, this is an effective means of biometric analysis and has been in adoption ever since.
  • Camera model means mapping from world to image coordinates, e.g. 3D to 2D transformation and is interdependent with a number of parameters. Parameter-less body model extraction from a few CCTV camera images can be done by the aid of the cellular automata.
  • The artificial intelligence is incorporated into many devices especially all smart systems. Smart systems include functions of actuation, sensing as well as control in its operations. The artificial intelligence has led to the production of robots. Robotics is a higher version of artificial intelligence. Robots have different roles and can be used for various purposes. Artificial intelligence combines a higher level of Deep learning in many activities.
  • VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and gaming applications all use the cellular automata. The AR involves the use of sensory nerves in making a computerized world come into reality.
Mrs Ness believed that in the years to come, algorithms will dominate and influence power structures in the world and will make the world a more just place, as they are only as bias as their sole creator. She created simulations in C++ that have been embedded into a Java program and in C# and she presented her work in Copenhagen and at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

In one of her recent research “Understanding Beauty Using Evolutionary Cycles of Cellular Automata", Ness explains how the cellular evolutionary algorithms (CEA), a type of evolutionary algorithm arbitrarily prevented individuals from mating but facilitate their own interaction with their neighbours. It is from this interaction that a basic evolutionary algorithm is applied in the population. The EA involves the processes of selection, variation or replacement.

Cellular Automata has been in existence since the 1970s. Till today, new discoveries have been made which have modified the activities of the cellular automata.

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