Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computer-based weather forecast: New algorithm outperforms mainframe computer systems

13.02.2020

New algorithm solves complex problems more easily and more accurately on a personal computer while requiring less processing power than a supercomputer

The exponential growth in computer processing power seen over the past 60 years may soon come to a halt. Complex systems such as those used in weather forecast, for example, require high computing capacities, but the costs for running supercomputers to process large quantities of data can become a limiting factor.


Use of SPA ensures that errors in temperature forecast are reduced significantly in comparison with those of other procedures

ill./©: Illia Horenko

Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany and Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano in Switzerland have recently unveiled an algorithm that can solve complex problems with remarkable facility – even on a personal computer.

Exponential growth in IT will reach its limit

In the past, we have seen a constant rate of acceleration in information processing power as predicted by Moore's Law, but it now looks as if this exponential rate of growth is limited. New developments rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning, but the related processes are largely not well-known and understood.

"Many machine learning methods, such as the very popular deep learning, are very successful, but work like a black box, which means that we don't know exactly what is going on. We wanted to understand how artificial intelligence works and gain a better understanding of the connections involved," said Professor Susanne Gerber, a specialist in bioinformatics at Mainz University.

Together with Professor Illia Horenko, a computer expert at Università della Svizzera italiana and a Mercator Fellow of Freie Universität Berlin, she has developed a technique for carrying out incredibly complex calculations at low cost and with high reliability.

Gerber and Horenko, along with their co-authors, have summarized their concept in an article entitled "Low-cost scalable discretization, prediction, and feature selection for complex systems" recently published in Science Advances.

"This method enables us to carry out tasks on a standard PC that previously would have required a supercomputer," emphasized Horenko. In addition to weather forecasts, the research see numerous possible applications such as in solving classification problems in bioinformatics, image analysis, and medical diagnostics.

Breaking down complex systems into individual components

The paper presented is the result of many years of work on the development of this new approach. According to Gerber and Horenko, the process is based on the Lego principle, according to which complex systems are broken down into discrete states or patterns. With only a few patterns or components, i.e., three or four dozen, large volumes of data can be analyzed and their future behavior can be predicted.

"For example, using the SPA algorithm we could make a data-based forecast of surface temperatures in Europe for the day ahead and have a prediction error of only 0.75 degrees Celsius," said Gerber. It all works on an ordinary PC and has an error rate that is 40 percent better than the computer systems usually used by weather services, whilst also being much cheaper.

SPA or Scalable Probabilistic Approximation is a mathematically-based concept. The method could be useful in various situations that require large volumes of data to be processed automatically, such as in biology, for example, when a large number of cells need to be classified and grouped.

"What is particularly useful about the result is that we can then get an understanding of what characteristics were used to sort the cells," added Gerber. Another potential area of application is neuroscience. Automated analysis of EEG signals could form the basis for assessments of cerebral status. It could even be used in breast cancer diagnosis, as mammography images could be analyzed to predict the results of a possible biopsy.

"The SPA algorithm can be applied in a number of fields, from the Lorenz model to the molecular dynamics of amino acids in water," concluded Horenko. "The process is easier and cheaper and the results are also better compared to those produced by the current state-of-the-art supercomputers."

The collaboration between the groups in Mainz and Lugano was carried out under the aegis of the newly-created Research Center Emergent Algorithmic Intelligence, which was established in April 2019 at JGU and is funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation.

Image:
https://download.uni-mainz.de/presse/10_idn_spa_algorithmus_01.jpg
Use of SPA ensures that errors in temperature forecast are reduced significantly in comparison with those of other procedures
ill./©: Illia Horenko

Read more:
https://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/8760_DEU_HTML.php – Carl Zeiss Foundation supports the establishment of a new research center for artificial intelligence at Mainz University (2 Oct. 2019)

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Junior Professor Dr. Susanne Gerber
Institute of Developmental Biology and Neurobiology (IDN) and
Center for Computational Sciences in Mainz ((CSM)
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-27331
e-mail: sugerber@uni-mainz.de
https://csg.uni-mainz.de/susanne-gerber/

Originalpublikation:

S. Gerber et al., Low-cost scalable discretization, prediction, and feature selection for complex systems, Science Advances 6:5, 29 January 2020,
DOI:10.1126/sciadv.aaw0961
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/5/eaaw0961/tab-pdf

Weitere Informationen:

https://csg.uni-mainz.de/susanne-gerber – Susanne Gerber
https://csg.uni-mainz.de – Computational Systems Genetics Group at JGU
https://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/fb10-compscien/ – Center for Computational Sciences in Mainz
https://www.ics.usi.ch/index.php/people-detail-page/20-illia-horenko – Illia Horenko at the Institute of Computational Science at Università della Svizzera italiana

Kathrin Voigt | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Project AUTOASSERT: DFKI scientists develop software tool for the support of German electronics companies
07.07.2020 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Genetic code for stem cell heart repair detected
06.07.2020 | Universität Rostock

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New ways to keep proteins healthy outside the cell

09.07.2020 | Life Sciences

TU Graz experimental physicists study steel on board the ISS

09.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Shock-dissipating fractal cubes could forge high-tech armor

08.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>