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Thought experiment: a kind of Nv/Nu net/mesh

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  • Your Friendly Hogfather
    Hi all, As some of you might know, I occasionally start thinking that experimenting with arbitrary nervous network nets or meshes might produce
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1, 2004
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      Hi all,

      As some of you might know, I occasionally start thinking that experimenting
      with "arbitrary" nervous network "nets" or "meshes" might produce
      interesting or useful results. With the notable exception of Scotty
      Dogmabot (cute variation there...) and the Borg thing, I don't think that
      many of such setups have been created. Usually, what I've seen is "modules"
      of Nv/Nu stuff put together along with analog circuitry to produce a
      definite effect: a complex device like Bruce Robinson's "Hider"

      So... here is the most recent wild concept... Anybody have any thoughts
      about it? Y'know, like "deVries, you really are an idiot, doncha know" or
      better :-} deVries, your are amazing"

      Um, really, I mean technical thoughts. Kindly ignore that silliness.


      ==========================================
      Nv/Nu Network Process Avoidance/Routing Idea
      ==========================================

      1) Start with a set of Nv neurons (Nv[1], Nv[2], Nv[3], ... Nv[n])

      (note: all neurons are buffered to LEDs. Gotta make it a BLIFNAR, right?)

      2) For some of those neurons (Nv[x]'s), choose two neurons (Nv[a],
      Nv[b]) as
      destinations

      (note: this implies an absolute minimum of 3 neurons; practically there
      would be
      more)

      3)For each the Nv[x]'s, monitor the output of the destination neuron Nv[a]

      (note: the choice is arbitrary, however, I think it would be
      more "appropriate"
      somehow if Nv[a] is not busy that processes are sent to it. something
      like
      "don't bother it if it is already doing something")

      (variation: each neuron could also have an associated Nu neuron; use it's
      output for
      monitoring; it might provide an interesting memory effect)

      (variation: choose an arbitrary neuron Nv[y] (or Nu[y]) for monitoring,
      i.e. not
      a destination neuron)

      4)If the monitored neuron is "not busy", route processes to Nv[a]
      (74xx139 Dual
      2/4 decoder??). If the monitored neuron is "busy", route process to Nv[b]

      (variations: use an arbitrary number of destinations - two cases

      a) destinations are grouped in two sets, the ones for "busy" and the ones for
      "not busy" - watch out for fan-out problems

      b) use several monitored neurons; their outputs are "decoded" to choose
      some arbitrary destination neuron)

      ---

      Problems/questions:
      0) what the heck would this do?
      1) avoiding hypersaturation
      2) avoiding stasis (if desired)
      3) determining (by experiment) if stasis is
      achievable
      4) determining how to get processes into some set of neurons (i.e.
      "sensor input")
      5) determine how to "mix" multiple inputs to a given destination
      neuron. after all, any given neuron might have been chosen as
      the destination
      for more than one source neuron.
      6) how does one build a "patch-panel" for a bunch of Nv's and Nu's and
      routers? in
      other words, how does one do this within a budget and within some degree of
      construction perseverance. can you imagine building a Borg???

      Note: the routing is generally independent of the processes (other than
      they sort
      of run it) - in other words, it directs processes but neither generates nor
      extinguishes them.


      Your whatever-the-heck Hogfather
      spelling, grammar, stupidity problems all caused by being up at this hour
    • Wilf Rigter
      In your thought experiment you raise the question/problem 2) how to avoid saturation. If this process avoidance/router has to interface with Nv/Nu logic, it
      Message 2 of 2 , May 1, 2004
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         In your thought experiment you raise the question/problem 2) how to avoid saturation.
         
        If this process avoidance/router has to interface with Nv/Nu logic, it may be worthwhile to review the basics.
           
        Take the simple case of a series connected branch of grounded Nv neurons of some arbitrary length. Each Nv neuron has one input and one inverting output. The logical function of the common grounded Nv neuron is:
         
        1) an inactive or reset Nv has a high output
        2) a Nv process is triggered on a rising - low to high - edge at Nv input
        3) the trigger generates an inverted active low Nv output pulse/process
        4) a Nv process is reset after RC duration OR
        5) a Nv process is reset by a high to low edge at Nv input
         
        So for a high input pulse, a Nv will generate a low output pulse of a duration equal to the input pulse or the Nv R/C time constant, whichever is less.
         
        When Nv neurons are connected in series, in strings or rings, the rising output at the end of each Nv process triggers the input of the next Nv neuron.
         
        So what can an Nv process do for you? 
         
        The Nv process duration can be directly influenced by sensors which change the Nv R/C time constant.  Nv outputs can control LEDs or actuators (motor, etc).  A Nv output can trigger other logic including other Nv neurons. Nvs can be connected in branches or loops to form a complex pulse sequence generator(CPG). 
         
        Aside from the typical linear Nv core topology, Nv outputs can be connected to more than one Nv input and a treelike fractal structure is simple to achieve.
         
        A mesh of Nv neurons such as the Borg, in which Nvs tricores are interconnected can can generate complex coupling behaviour in which the state of one tricore influences another  through coupling resistors or diode and depending on the phase and frequency can generate complex pulse patterns including chaos.
         
        And so what information or message is being processed by Nvs let alone by Nv routers?
         
        To paraphrase Marshall McCluhan, "The process is the message"  For now anyway since aside from beam robotics we are still looking for that killer app.
         
        Ok, so much for the way Nvs behave, now onto the router question.
         
         In general, a design is optimized for a specific application. In this case we are designing a kind of solution looking for a problem.
         
        Based on the description, it sound a bit like a priority circuit like Bruce's h-switch which  ranks input sensor conditions and enabes  the highest priority sensor driven task.
         
         In that case only one active output is permitted and a higher priority active output state disables all lower priority outputs via a daisychain inhibit signal.
         
        The daisychain inhibit makes the h-switch scalable for connecting any number of h-switches in series.  Scalability is raised in your question 6:  "how to construct a router patch panel?"
         
        Instead of the single output of an h-switch tree we want many parallel active outputs and the router actually functions to resolve conflicts when two Nv outputs (processes)  want to access the same Nv input. A daisychain can be used as a selector to route a coliding Nv output signal to  the next  available non-active input from a bank of parallel Nvs, which it then triggers. Once triggered that process cannot be affected by other processes other than the one that triggered it.
        Therefore a falling edge reset signal from the input Nv can pre-emptively reset the associated output Nv an indeed, generate the transition cascade we call saturation.
         
        Well that is it for a start.  Some circuits will follow. Let me know if this is useful.
         
        regards
         
        wilf  
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2004 2:46 AM
        Subject: [beam] Thought experiment: a kind of Nv/Nu net/mesh

        Hi all,

        As some of you might know, I occasionally start thinking that experimenting
        with "arbitrary" nervous network "nets" or "meshes" might produce
        interesting or useful results. With the notable exception of Scotty
        Dogmabot (cute variation there...) and the Borg thing, I don't think that
        many of such setups have been created. Usually, what I've seen is "modules"
        of Nv/Nu stuff put together along with analog circuitry to produce a
        definite effect: a complex device like Bruce Robinson's "Hider"

        So... here is the most recent wild concept... Anybody have any thoughts
        about it? Y'know, like "deVries, you really are an idiot, doncha know" or
        better   :-}   deVries, your are amazing"

        Um, really, I mean technical thoughts. Kindly ignore that silliness.


        ==========================================
                 Nv/Nu Network Process Avoidance/Routing Idea
        ==========================================
        snipped
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