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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wolfram 2,3 Turing Machine Research Prize

Stephen Wolfram Stephen Wolfram [photo credit: Tom Feldcamp]

Wolfram Research, the creator of Mathematica, is to award a $25,000 prize to the first person or group to prove (or disprove) that a particular very simple Turing machine, a very simple theoretical computer stipulated by Stephen Wolfram, can act as a universal computer – in other words, emulate any other possible computer.

This is a 70-year-old puzzle at the very core of modern computing. The problem was originally laid down in 1936 by British mathematician Alan Turing, and paved the way for the computer revolution. He created the Turing machine – an abstract model of a computer – and showed that a 'universal Turing machine' could in effect perform any computation.

Since then, there has been many efforts to find the simplest universal Turing machine. By the early 1960s, American artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky had shown that a particular machine with 28 possible operations (7 states and 4 colors) could be universal.

The prize was announced on the 5th anniversary of Stephen Wolfram’s book 'A New Kind of Science', which showed how programs and systems with extremely simple rules can be capable of highly complex behavior--and of sophisticated computation. In that book, Stephen proved a machine with just 2 states and 5 colors is universal, substantially improving on Minsky's previous result. But Wolfram wants the prizewinner to go one better and prove that a machine with only 2 states and 3 colors is a universal Turing machine, making it the simplest possible.

The prize is open to anyone, has no closing date, and will be judged by a committee with nine members, including Stephen Wolfram. For more details, visit Wolfram 2,3 Turing Machine Research Prize.

Monday, May 14, 2007

2D Visualizations Software from AxisPackage

AxGCSt. Petersburg (Russia) based AxisPackage Software has launched AxGC 2D Graphical ActiveX Control v3.7, a software component for developing scientific and mathematical software that enables users to create high-performance 2D visualizations of various data.

This software component has been specifically designed to allow engineers and scientists to plug it in directly into their native application software. The software reportedly includes support for ActiveX friendly programming languages (Visual Basic, Visual C, Delphi, VB.NET, C#, etc.), intuitive, user-friendly interface, a broad range of data processing capabilities (e.g., cubic spline, Akima spline, polynomial fitting), built-in JScript and VBScript interpreters and the ability to operate from these scripts.

The AxGC 2D Graphical ActiveX Control v3.7 supports more than 40 ActiveX events and allows for complete customization of total data in each series. According to a statement from the company, the velocity and performance of the component is limited only by the power of the graphics card, enabling users to handle extremely large amounts of data. This solution lets the user visualize the data through a variety of charts and graphs. With AxGC 2D Graphical ActiveX Control v3.7 users can export the final data in JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG or BMP files. The software copmponent also reportedly includes sophisticated graphical elements such as labels with diacritical and interlinear marks and support for Greek characters and various markers.

More Details from Company website: www.axispackage.com/products.htm
You may also download the free demo version.

Monday, May 07, 2007

VTT's MegNet® for Analyzing Complex Medical Data

There has long been a pressing need to exploit efficiently research results in patient care. One of the key problems has been in linking clinically relevant information to the knowledge obtained across multiple disciplines, experimental platforms, and biological systems.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland developed a new software tool MegNet® for integration and visualization of complex life science and biomedical data. The new tool can be applied in understanding complex relations in living organisms, and characterizing various diseases, such as cardiac diseases and diabetes.

VTT has applied in the development work of MegNet® conceptual space theory for mining and visualizing life science and medical data. This includes state-of-the-art 3D techniques, mathematical modelling and contextualization. The theory of conceptual spaces combines elements from other theories in cognitive science, psychology and linguistics. It is based on the topological analysis of the information space that enables similarity to be modelled and computed in a natural way. It suits well for integration of complex clinical data such as medical images with molecular level information.

The MegNet® enables integrative mining of, e.g., molecular interactions, genomes, gene expression profiles, metabolic profiles, medical images and clinical data. VTT is currently applying the MegNet® to combine medical image and metabolomic data in search of new biomarkers for various diseases. The objective is also to link preclinical and clinical data in pharmaceutical development and healthcare with MegNet® -tool.

VTT has already applied MegNet® software tool in its research projects. In the VISUBIOMED project the researchers analyzed cardiac magnetic resonance images. Metabolomics analyses can be performed from serum samples of the same patients. The data was complemented with molecular network information and with information on molecular interactions related to the disease. In the TRANSCENDO project VTT applied MegNet® in order to elucidate molecular pathways in the early stages of type 1 diabetes.

For more information, visit www.vtt.fi/?lang=en.
Here is a screen-shot: www.vtt.fi/kuvat/uutta/megNet.jpg