Past Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar

20 February 2014
16:00
Abstract
In Parkinson’s disease, increased power of oscillations in firing rate has been observed throughout the cortico-basal-ganglia circuit. In particular, the excessive oscillations in the beta range (13-30Hz) have been shown to be associated with difficulty of movement initiation. However, on the basis of experimental data alone it is difficult to determine where these oscillations are generated, due to complex and recurrent structure of the cortico-basal-ganglia-thalamic circuit. This talk will describe a mathematical model of a subset of basal-ganglia that is able to reproduce experimentally observed patterns of activity. The analysis of the model suggests where and under which conditions the beta oscillations are produced.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
13 February 2014
16:00
Abstract
Strongly nonlinear problems, written abstractly in the form N[u]=0, are typically difficult to analyze unless they possess special properties. However, if we are able to find a quasi-solution u_0 in the sense that the residual N[u_0] := R is small, then it is possible to analyze a strongly nonlinear problem with weakly nonlinear analysis in the following manner: We decompose u=u_0 + E; then E satisfies L E = -N_1 [E] - R, where L is the Fre'chet derivative of the operator N and N_1 [E] := N[u_0+E]-N[u_0]-L E contains all the nonlinearity. If L has a suitable inversion property and the nonlinearity N_1 is sufficiently regular in E, then weakly nonlinear analysis of the error E through contraction mapping theorem gives rise to control of the error E. What is described above is quite routine. The only new element is to determine a quasi-solution u_0, which is typically found through a combination of classic orthogonal polynomial representation and exponential asymptotics. This method has been used in a number of nonlinear ODEs arising from reduction of PDEs. We also show how it can be extended to integro-differential equations that arise in study of deep water waves of permanent form. The method is quite general and can in principle be applied to nonlinear PDEs as well. NB. Much of this is joint work with O. Costin and other collaborators.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
6 February 2014
16:00
Hannah Fry
Abstract
Much of the mathematical modelling of urban systems revolves around the use spatial interaction models, derived from information theory and entropy-maximisation techniques and embedded in dynamic difference equations. When framed in the context of a retail system, the dynamics of centre growth poses an interesting mathematical problem, with bifurcations and phase changes, which may be analysed analytically. In this contribution, we present some analysis of the continuous retail model and corresponding discrete version, which yields insights into the effect of space on the system, and an understanding of why certain retail centers are more successful than others. This class of models turns out to have wide reaching applications: from trade and migration flows to the spread of riots and the prediction of archeological sites of interest, examples of which we explore in more detail during the talk.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
30 January 2014
16:00
Abstract
Many real-life complex systems arise as a network of simple interconnected individual agents. A central question is to determine how network topology and individual agent dynamics combine to create the global dynamics. In this talk we focus on the case of continuous-time random walks on networks, with a waiting time of the walker on each node assuming arbitrary probability distributions. Such random walks are useful to model diffusion processes over complex temporal networks representing human interactions, often characterized by non-Poissonian contact patterns. We find that the mixing time of the random walker, i.e. the relaxation time for the process to reach stationarity, is determined by a combination of three factors: the spectral gap, associated to bottlenecks in the underlying topology, burstiness, related to the second moment of the waiting time distribution, and the characteristic time of its exponential tail, which is an indicator of the tail `fatness'. We show theoretically that a strong modular structure dampens the importance of burstiness, and empirically that either of the three factors may be dominant in real-life data. These results are available in arXiv:1309.4155
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
23 January 2014
16:00
Ludmila Kuncheva
Abstract
Combining classifiers into an ensemble aims at a more accurate and robust classification decision compared to that of a single classifier. For a successful ensemble, the individual classifiers must be as diverse and as accurate as possible. Achieving both simultaneously is impossible, hence compromises have been sought by a variety of ingenious ensemble creating methods. While diversity has been in the focus of the classifier ensemble research for a long time now, the importance of the combination rule has been often marginalised. Indeed, if the ensemble members are diverse, a simple majority (plurality) vote will suffice. However, engineering diversity is not a trivial problem. A bespoke (trainable) combination rule may compensate for the flaws in preparing the individual ensemble members. This talk will introduce classifier ensembles along with some combination rules, and will demonstrate the merit of choosing a suitable combination rule.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
5 December 2013
16:00
Ken McLaughlin
Abstract
The plan: start with an introduction to several random matrix ensembles and discuss asymptotic properties of the eigenvalues of the matrices, the last one being the so-called "Normal Matrix Model", and the connection described in the title will be explained. If all goes well I will end with an explanation of asymptotic computations for a new normal matrix model example, which demonstrates a form of universality. (NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE TO L2)
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
28 November 2013
16:00
Abstract
The dynamics of networks of interacting systems depend intricately on the interaction topology. Dynamical implications of local topological properties such as the nodes' degrees and global topological properties such as the degree distribution have intensively been studied. Mesoscale properties, by contrast, have only recently come into the sharp focus of network science but have rapidly developed into one of the hot topics in the field. Current questions are: can considering a mesoscale structure such as a single subgraph already allow conclusions on dynamical properties of the network as a whole? And: Can we extract implications that are independent of the embedding network? In this talk I will show that certain mesoscale subgraphs have precise and distinct consequences for the system-level dynamics. In particular, they induce characteristic dynamical instabilities that are independent of the structure of the embedding network.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
21 November 2013
16:00
Neville Fowkes
Abstract
After an MISG there is time to reflect. I will report briefly on the follow up to two problems that we have worked on. Crack Repair: It has been found that thin elastically weak spray on liners stabilise walls and reduce rock blast in mining tunnels. Why? The explanation seems to be that the stress field singularity at a crack tip is strongly altered by a weak elastic filler, so cracks in the walls are less likely to extend. Boundary Tracing: Using known exact solutions to partial differential equations new domains can be constructed along which prescribed boundary conditions are satisfied. Most notably this technique has been used to extract a large class of new exact solutions to the non-linear Laplace Young equation (of importance in capillarity) including domains with corners and rough boundaries. The technique has also been used on Poisson's, Helmholtz, and constant curvature equation examples. The technique is one that may be useful for handling modelling problems with awkward/interesting geometry.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
14 November 2013
16:00
Abstract
The problem of hydrodynamic turbulence is reformulated as a heat flow problem along a chain of mechanical systems which describe units of fluid of smaller and smaller spatial extent. These units are macroscopic but have few degrees of freedom, and can be studied by the methods of (microscopic) non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. The fluctuations predicted by statistical mechanics correspond to the intermittency observed in turbulent flows. Speci cally, we obtain the formula $$ \zeta_p = \frac{p}{3} - \frac{1}{\ln \kappa} \ln \Gamma \left( \frac{p}{3} +1 \right) $$ for the exponents of the structure functions ($\left\langle \Delta_{r}v \rangle \sim r^{\zeta_p}$). The meaning of the adjustable parameter is that when an eddy of size $r$ has decayed to eddies of size $r/\kappa$ their energies have a thermal distribution. The above formula, with $(ln \kappa)^{-1} = .32 \pm .01$ is in good agreement with experimental data. This lends support to our physical picture of turbulence, a picture which can thus also be used in related problems.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
7 November 2013
16:00
David Marshall
Abstract
The ocean is populated by an intense geostrophic eddy field with a dominant energy-containing scale on the order of 100 km at midlatitudes. Ocean climate models are unlikely routinely to resolve geostrophic eddies for the foreseeable future and thus development and validation of improved parameterisations is a vital task. Moreover, development and validation of improved eddy parameterizations is an excellent strategy for testing and advancing our understanding of how geostrophic ocean eddies impact the large-scale circulation. A new mathematical framework for parameterising ocean eddy fluxes is developed that is consistent with conservation of energy and momentum while retaining the symmetries of the original eddy fluxes. The framework involves rewriting the residual-mean eddy force, or equivalently the eddy potential vorticity flux, as the divergence of an eddy stress tensor. A norm of this tensor is bounded by the eddy energy, allowing the components of the stress tensor to be rewritten in terms of the eddy energy and non-dimensional parameters describing the mean "shape" of the eddies. If a prognostic equation is solved for the eddy energy, the remaining unknowns are non-dimensional and bounded in magnitude by unity. Moreover, these non-dimensional geometric parameters have strong connections with classical stability theory. For example, it is shown that the new framework preserves the functional form of the Eady growth rate for linear instability, as well as an analogue of Arnold's first stability theorem. Future work to develop a full parameterisation of ocean eddies will be discussed.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar

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