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ShanghAI Lectures: Shaohua Tan “Qualitative modeling and analysis”

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28 November 2013



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ShanghAIGlobeColor_mini_0_0Guest talk in the ShanghAI Lectures, 2009-11-12

“It has increasingly been realized that some of the key characteristics underlying real-world complex dynamical systems (such as economical, financial and ecological systems) can only been modelled and thus understood and predicted at qualitative level directly.However, lacking a coherent and arithmetically sound theoretical framework for modeling and analyzing such systems entirely at qualitative level has long been an obstacle to such a qualitative modeling endeavor. Our research work led to a novel qualitative theory that provides a solution to overcome this obstacle. We develop a ternary qualitative algebra and related arithmetic operations directly over a qualitative space and use this algebra as the basis to build a direct qualitative modeling approach with qualitative functions without falling back to quantitative details inherent in most existing approaches. One of the important results of our proposed modeling theory is that any qualitative system can be represented as a piecewise linear qualitative function. This result lays a theoretical foundation for piecewise linear qualitative function structure to serve as a normal form for representing arbitrary qualitative functions. This short lecture will provide a non-technical description of our qualitative modeling techniques and demonstrate its usefulness in modeling, thus analyzing, complex real-world systems such as financial and economical systems.”

Professor Shaohua Tan received his Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium in 1987. He has been Professor in Center for Information Science, Peking University, for 13 years. He held various teaching and research positions in a number of countries prior to joining Peking University. His research interests include developing qualitative modeling techniques in modeling complex real-world systems and analysis of financial systems using AI techniques.

The ShanghAI Lectures are a videoconference-based lecture series on Embodied Intelligence run by Rolf Pfeifer and organized by me and partners around the world.

The ShanghAI lectures have brought us a treasure trove of guest lectures by experts in robotics. You can find the whole series from 2012 here. Now, we’re bringing you the guest lectures you haven’t yet seen from previous years, starting with the first lectures from 2009 and releasing a new guest lecture every Thursday until all the series are complete. Enjoy!



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Nathan Labhart Co-organizing the ShanghAI Lectures since 2009.
Nathan Labhart Co-organizing the ShanghAI Lectures since 2009.





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