Bradley, Elizabeth


Strange Beta: An Assistance System for Indoor Rock Climbing Route Setting Using Chaotic Variations and Machine Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper applies machine learning and the mathematics of chaos to the task of designing indoor rock-climbing routes. Chaotic variation has been used to great advantage on music and dance, but the challenges here are quite different, beginning with the representation. We present a formalized system for transcribing rock climbing problems, then describe a variation generator that is designed to support human route-setters in designing new and interesting climbing problems. This variation generator, termed Strange Beta, combines chaos and machine learning, using the former to introduce novelty and the latter to smooth transitions in a manner that is consistent with the style of the climbs This entails parsing the domain-specific natural language that rock climbers use to describe routes and movement and then learning the patterns in the results. We validated this approach with a pilot study in a small university rock climbing gym, followed by a large blinded study in a commercial climbing gym, in cooperation with experienced climbers and expert route setters. The results show that {\sc Strange Beta} can help a human setter produce routes that are at least as good as, and in some cases better than, those produced in the traditional manner.


Water Conservation Through Facilitation on Residential Landscapes

AAAI Conferences

Plants can have positive effects on each other in numerous ways, including protection from harsh environmental conditions. This phenomenon, known as facilitation, occurs in water-stressed environments when shade from larger shrubs protects smaller annuals from harsh sun, enabling them to exist on scarce water. The topic of this paper is a model of this phenomenon that allows search algorithms to find residential landscape designs that incorporate facilitation to conserve water. This model is based in botany; it captures the growth requirements of real plant species in a fitness function, but also includes a penalty term in that function that encourages facilitative interactions with other plants on the landscape. To evaluate the effectiveness of this approach, two search strategies--simulated annealing and agent-based search--were applied to models of different collections of simulated plant types and landscapes with different light distributions. These two search strategies produced landscape designs with different spatial distributions of the larger plants. All designs exhibited facilitation and lower water use than designs where facilitation was not included.


Providing Decision Support for Cosmogenic Isotope Dating

AI Magazine

Human experts in scientific fields routinely work with evidence that is noisy and untrustworthy, heuristics that are unproven, and possible conclusions that are contradictory. We present a deployed AI system, Calvin, for cosmogenic isotope dating, a domain that is fraught with these difficult issues. Calvin solves these problems using an argumentation framework and a system of confidence that uses two-dimensional vectors to express the quality of heuristics and the applicability of evidence. The arguments it produces are strikingly similar to published expert arguments.


Providing Decision Support for Cosmogenic Isotope Dating

AI Magazine

Human experts in scientific fields routinely work with evidence that is noisy and untrustworthy, heuristics that are unproven, and possible conclusions that are contradictory. We present a deployed AI system, Calvin, for cosmogenic isotope dating, a domain that is fraught with these difficult issues. Calvin solves these problems using an argumentation framework and a system of confidence that uses two-dimensional vectors to express the quality of heuristics and the applicability of evidence. The arguments it produces are strikingly similar to published expert arguments. Calvin is in daily use by isotope dating experts.




Review of The Computational Beauty of Nature

AI Magazine

A review of "The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Exploration of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation, by Gary William Flake. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1998.