DRNets can solve Sudoku, speed scientific discovery


Say you're driving with a friend in a familiar neighborhood, and the friend asks you to turn at the next intersection. The friend doesn't say which way to turn, but since you both know it's a one-way street, it's understood. That type of reasoning is at the heart of a new artificial-intelligence framework – tested successfully on overlapping Sudoku puzzles – that could speed discovery in materials science, renewable energy technology and other areas. An interdisciplinary research team led by Carla Gomes, the Ronald C. and Antonia V. Nielsen Professor of Computing and Information Science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, has developed Deep Reasoning Networks (DRNets), which combine deep learning – even with a relatively small amount of data – with an understanding of the subject's boundaries and rules, known as "constraint reasoning." Di Chen, a computer science doctoral student in Gomes' group, is first author of "Automating Crystal-Structure Phase Mapping by Combining Deep Learning with Constraint Reasoning," published Sept. 16 in Nature Machine Intelligence.