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 How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung

nachricht Demographic change depresses tax revenues
04.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>