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Mathematicians in Support of Defense

Mathematicians in Support of Defense

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Published by GMAP Center
Mathematicians in Support of Defense

By Georges Ulzberger, IBM France, mathematician and engineer
Thierry Lorho, Gobe Expert’s designer, information scientist and engineer
Guy Poulain, Rear-Admiral, director of IBM France Defense & Security Department

Article first published in French, in the French Journal of National Defense
(Revue de la Défense Nationale), May 2012 issue.
Translation by Valerie Fert and Mariah Edson

In mathematics, to predict or foresee means to identify a model. The mathematical ability to spot links and trends can lead to the development of solutions that are put to use in a wide range of applications. In particular, modeling has allowed the dramatic development of the understanding of complex physical phenomena, as well as chemical, biological, energetic, economic and human phenomena. All of our defense systems, and therefore their capacities, benefit from scientific progress, especially through modeling and simulation of complex phenomena.
Mathematicians in Support of Defense

By Georges Ulzberger, IBM France, mathematician and engineer
Thierry Lorho, Gobe Expert’s designer, information scientist and engineer
Guy Poulain, Rear-Admiral, director of IBM France Defense & Security Department

Article first published in French, in the French Journal of National Defense
(Revue de la Défense Nationale), May 2012 issue.
Translation by Valerie Fert and Mariah Edson

In mathematics, to predict or foresee means to identify a model. The mathematical ability to spot links and trends can lead to the development of solutions that are put to use in a wide range of applications. In particular, modeling has allowed the dramatic development of the understanding of complex physical phenomena, as well as chemical, biological, energetic, economic and human phenomena. All of our defense systems, and therefore their capacities, benefit from scientific progress, especially through modeling and simulation of complex phenomena.

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Published by: GMAP Center on Jun 16, 2012
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Mathematicians in Support of Defense
 By Georges Ulzberger, IBM France, mathematician and engineer Thierry Lorho, Gobe Expert’s designer, information scientist and engineer Guy Poulain, Rear-Admiral, director of IBM France Defense & Security Department  Article first published in French, in the French Journal of National Defense(Revue de la Défense Nationale), May 2012 issue.Translation by Valerie Fert and Mariah Edson
In mathematics, to predict or foresee means to identify a model. The mathematical ability to spot linksand trends can lead to the development of solutions that are put to use in a wide range of applications.In particular, modeling has allowed the dramatic development of the understanding of complex physical phenomena, as well as chemical, biological, energetic, economic and human phenomena. Allof our defense systems, and therefore their capacities, benefit from scientific progress, especiallythrough modeling and simulation of complex phenomena.
A Valuable Resource
French excellence in mathematics is a result of the major contributions of prestigious mathematicians,from the first half of the 17
th
century to the present, including Laurent Schwartz, AlexandreGrothendieck, Jacques-Louis and Pierre-Louis Lions, Alain Connes, and more recently, CedricVillani. Moreover, the Bourbaki Group, created in 1935, was composed of eminent Frenchmathematicians who rethought and redefined mathematics and its bases. This group considerablyinfluenced the evolution of mathematics all over the world during the 20
th
century. Since theestablishment of the Fields Medal in 1923, eleven French mathematicians have been awarded, amongthem Cedric Villani, thereby elevating France to the second place after the United States. Other  prestigious prizes recently awarded to French mathematicians have been the Abel prize to Jean-PierreSerre, and the Gauss Prize, which Yves Meyer won for his Wavelet theory.Today, the frontier between basic and applied mathematics tends to narrow or, at least, the connectionsare much more numerous. To illustrate, the most abstract areas of mathematics (category theory,algebraic geometry, algebraic topology, theory of numbers) are used to solve complex issues in physics and chemistry. Again, French mathematics plays a leading role, for instance, innoncommutative geometry developed by Alain Connes, and Alexandre Grothendieck's algebraicgeometry. Moreover, the developments of numerical analysis, driven by Jacques-Louis Lions,addressed many problems, notably for solving partial differential equations in physics regardingaeronautics.This know-how and significant progress, combined with modeling and simulations allowed by theHPC technologies (High Performance Computing) have applications in finance, energy, and medicine.
 
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They contribute to meeting 21
st
century challenges, notably in the areas of nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, stress tests, information processing (data mining,artificial learning, semantic analysis, etc.), complex systems and systemic analysis, man/machineinterface and interaction, social networks, neural networks, and so on. As one can see, the list is longand the applications numerous.Thus, we are currently witnessing the modeling and simulations of behavioral strategies of agents or  players interacting with their environment. This kind of problem, which can be considered a part of thegame theory with N players, when N is very big, has very concrete applications in the management of commodities, social networks, conflicts, the modeling of crowd movements, and economics.
From Mathematics to Innovative Use
The experience of Thierry Lorho, the designer of Artificial Intelligence system Globe Expert withinInternational Focus, perfectly illustrates this perspective. Globe Expert was selected by DARPA(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the framework of its prospective on the futuregeopolitical background of human expansion into outer space. This AI system also serves as a basis of analysis and simulation for the research program
“Dynamics of Emotions and Fear in Conflicts and  Reconstruction,”
jointly carried out by the Graduate Institute of International and DevelopmentStudies (Geneva) and Lausanne Technology Institute (Behavioral Genetics Laboratory). In the beginning, Globe Expert was designed for applications focused on the major changes of the 21
st
 century: geopolitical and economic, environmental, scientific, technological, and societal. Here,modeling complexity and anticipating uncertainty are at stake by comprehending complex and sudden phenomena, which occur on the edge of reality and are also called “black swans” or “dragon kings.”Understanding Artificial Intelligence can seem difficult. Indeed, it involves multiple disciplines and, beyond expert eyes on particular topics, only the broad vision of a generalist, addressing the wholefields and establishing relations between them, is able to go to task.Artificial Intelligence is primarily and basically concerned with signals more than language andsemantics. In order to design Globe Expert, the following processes and their combinations wereneeded:1.
 
Understanding information theory and the fundamental definition of entropy as given byClaude Shannon;2.
 
Building on thermodynamics and above all the second law, important to Boltzmann, whichdefines the entropy notion of a complex system;3.
 
Broadening this comprehension to the quantum theory of information and subtleties of statessuperposition, coherences and decoherences;4.
 
Further broadening this horizon to singular phenomena where information, in its mostfundamental form, is at the heart of modern physics (disconcerting concept of multiverse,holographic universe, quantum theory of black holes and entropy limits of Bekenstein-Hawking);5.
 
Focusing attention on quantum theories of decision and games, graph theory, complexitymeasure, distances calculation;6.
 
Mastering different models; environmental, neural, econometric and others (Lotka-Volterraequations, PSO, perceptrons, Hash model…);7.
 
Mastering the semantic issues, structures of language (Zipf-Mandelbrot law, multilingualismissues, global or structured approach of comprehension);8.
 
Addressing the human paradox in its infinite complexity in order to model it through aquantum approach of decision (for instance Allais or Ellsberg paradox).Globe Expert’s consistency is driven by its practical applications and its ability to replace thecomplicated visible by simple invisible. First of all, the fundamentals of information theory are practically applied. Then, a clusters’ system integrates information in analytical frameworks. This
 
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integration is based on signals analysis and digramic Bayesian statistics. This step provides GlobeExpert with a learning base, allowing it to analyze the signals, determine the basic structures and,consequently, the structure of information gathered together in those clusters.The second step consists in modeling the evolution of signal when an external event occurs. In thiscase, the event is a request, that is to say a question posed by the user. This question is submitted to thesystem and each of its clusters. One creates an initial signals’ interference, so to speak. Thisdisturbance is in turn analyzed. Globe Expert measures the quantity of new information brought intothe system by this interference. In much-simplified terms, this quantity of new informationcorresponds to entropy or, in other words, an increase of disorder.At this time, everything is in place for “playing” with Globe Expert, which has an adequate learning base and a set of new facts that disturbs its initial knowledge. Globe Expert generates its firstcartographies of information in the form of maps of contact between the different clusters. The closer a cluster is to another and the more affinities are between them (that is to say, they have almostidentical signals of communication), the more they react in a similar way to the disturbances. Playingwith Globe Expert also means to ask this artificial intelligence to use all the elements at its disposal,and to make them evolve beyond the simple use of statistical tools. For thinking, an intelligence, either artificial or not, uses models; in other words, it simulates what might happen in some specificcircumstances. Globe Expert can use different models such as neural or behavioral ones. For thatmatter, neuroscientists have known for a long time that human intelligence uses different models andhas the ability to choose the most appropriate model for a given circumstance!
The Benefit of Innovation for Defense and Security Capabilities
All defense sectors are concerned. If all of them obviously benefit from the whole scientific,technological and industrial competencies, in this matter of innovation we will limit ourselves to theinformation domain and thus to the capabilities of “knowledge and anticipation,” which represents thefirst line of defense.
A First Point to Be Noticed: The New Capacities of Computing Calculation
Many announcements are made on supercomputers that will be operational this decade. The thresholdof 10 petaflops, that is to say 10,000,000,000,000,000 (10
15
) operations per second has been crossed.On February 15
th
, 2012, the European Commission announced a plan aiming at reversing the relativedecline of HPC (High Performance Computing) regarding its use and available capacities in theEuropean Union. Under this plan, the European Union is to double its investments in HPC (from 630million euros to 1.2 billion) and host computers capable to perform 10
18
operations per second (“exascale”) by 2020. Thanks to new architectures and energy progress, this increased capacity will affectnot only the speed of calculation, but also a fast processing of large amounts of data. IBMsupercomputer Watson illustrates a first achievement of this advance. It allows taking up thechallenges of the information society because it is able to understand natural language
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and provideuseful information by referring to a large bibliography in a matter of seconds.
Second Point: Mastering Complex Systems
Complexity stems, on one hand, from the constitution of a unique system by numerous elements or stand-alone software interacting in centralized or distributed architectures, and from theinterconnections of several systems in order to create a system of systems on the other hand. The purpose of current developments is to propose new theories, methods and tools (mathematical as wellas computer) in order to better understand, model, and design new mechanisms of resolution, self-organization and emergence in complex systems. In addition to the complexity particular to each
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Natural Language: human language with all the complexities of senses according to the contexts, byopposition to the machine language which uses only one sense.

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