Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stock Market Models Help NYU Researchers Predict Animal Behavior

13.11.2014

In an unexpected mashup of financial and mechanical engineering, researchers have discovered that the same modeling used to forecast fluctuations in the stock market can be used to predict aspects of animal behavior. Their work proposes an unprecedented model for in silico—or computer-based—simulations of animal behavior. The findings were published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

The team, led by Maurizio Porfiri, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the school’s Dynamical Systems Laboratory, is more accustomed to studying the social behavior of zebrafish—a freshwater species often used in experiments due to its genetic similarity to humans. Porfiri has drawn considerable attention for his interdisciplinary research on the factors that influence zebrafish collective behavior.

However, designing procedures and conditions for animal experiments are time-intensive, and despite careful planning, many experiments yield mixed data. Porfiri and his team, comprising postdoctoral fellow Ross P. Anderson, doctoral student Violet Mwaffo, and former postdoctoral fellow Sachit Butail (now assistant professor at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi), set out to develop a mathematical model of animal behavior that could predict the outcome or improve the effectiveness of experiments and minimize the number of fish used in them.

When mapping the movement of zebrafish as they swam, Porfiri and his colleagues observed that the species does not move in a continuous pattern; rather, it swims in a signature style characterized by coasting periods followed by sharp turns. As they plotted the turn rate of the fish over time, the researchers noticed that their data, with its small variations followed by large dips (reflecting fast turns), looked very different from the turn rate of other fish but very similar to another type of data, where such volatility is not only common but well studied: the stock market.

The team embraced the mathematical model known as a stochastic jump process, a term used by financial engineers and economists to describe the price jumps of financial assets over time. Using many of the same tools employed in financial analysis, the researchers were able to create a mathematical model of zebrafish swimming, mining video footage from previous experimental sessions to seed what they hope will become a robust database of zebrafish behavior under varying circumstances.

“We realized that if we could simulate the swimming behavior of these fish using a computer, we could test and predict their responses to new stimuli, whether that is the introduction or removal of a shoal mate, the presence of a robotic fish, or even exposure to alcohol,” Porfiri said. “In behavior studies, you can easily utilize thousands of test subjects to explore different variables. This will allow researchers to replace some of that experimentation with computer modeling.”

Porfiri emphasized that this mathematical model of animal behavior will also allow researchers to make better use of their data following experiments, not just beforehand. “The data that result from zebrafish experiments look quite messy initially,” Porfiri said. “Giving researchers a model they can use to compare, filter, and refine their analysis afterwards will allow them to maximize data for better results.”

Porfiri and his team plan to continue to add data to their model with the hope of creating a toolbox that all researchers engaged in this field of study can utilize.

The idea of incorporating financial engineering to model zebrafish behavior came from Mwaffo, now a doctoral student in Porfiri’s lab who had earned his master’s degree in financial engineering from the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.

This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. The full paper, “A Jump Persistent Turning Walker to Model Zebrafish Locomotion” is here.


Learn more about: Maurizio Porfiri

Kathleen Hamilton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://engineering.nyu.edu/press-release/2014/11/12/stock-market-models-help-nyu-researchers-predict-animal-behavior

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>