SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Monte Carlo

214

Ultrafast video recording of spatiotemporal light distribution in a scattering medium has a significant impact in biomedicine. Although many simulation tools have been implemented to model light propagation in scattering media, existing experimental instruments still lack sufficient imaging speed to record transient light-scattering events in real time. We report single-shot ultrafast video recording of a light-induced photonic Mach cone propagating in an engineered scattering plate assembly. This dynamic light-scattering event was captured in a single camera exposure by lossless-encoding compressed ultrafast photography at 100 billion frames per second. Our experimental results are in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions by time-resolved Monte Carlo simulation. This technology holds great promise for next-generation biomedical imaging instrumentation.

Concepts: Optics, Simulation, Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo method, Monte Carlo methods in finance, Camera, Video, NTSC

169

BACKGROUND: Most Bayesian models for the analysis of complex traits are not analytically tractable and inferences are based on computationally intensive techniques. This is true of Bayesian models for genome-enabled selection, which uses whole-genome molecular data to predict the genetic merit of candidate animals for breeding purposes. In this regard, parallel computing can overcome the bottlenecks that can arise from series computing. Hence, a major goal of the present study is to bridge the gap to high-performance Bayesian computation in the context of animal breeding and genetics. RESULTS: Parallel Monte Carlo Markov chain algorithms and strategies are described in the context of animal breeding and genetics. Parallel Monte Carlo algorithms are introduced as a starting point including their applications to computing single-parameter and certain multipleparameter models. Then, two basic approaches for parallel Markov chain Monte Carlo are described: one aims at parallelization within a single chain; the other is based on running multiple chains, yet some variants are discussed as well. Features and strategies of the parallel Markov chain Monte Carlo are illustrated using real data, including a large beef cattle dataset with 50K SNP genotypes. CONCLUSIONS: Parallel Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms are useful for computing complex Bayesian models, which does not only lead to a dramatic speedup in computing but can also be used to optimize model parameters in complex Bayesian models. Hence, we anticipate that use of parallel Markov chain Monte Carlo will have a profound impact on revolutionizing the computational tools for genomic selection programs.

Concepts: Genetics, Speedup, Parallel computing, Monte Carlo, Markov chain Monte Carlo, Parallel algorithm, Gustafson's law, Amdahl's law

168

Quantum annealing is a combinatorial optimization technique inspired by quantum mechanics. Here we show that a spin model for the k-coloring of large dense random graphs can be field tuned so that its acceptance ratio diverges during Monte Carlo quantum annealing, until a ground state is reached. We also find that simulations exhibiting such a diverging acceptance ratio are generally more effective than those tuned to the more conventional pattern of a declining and/or stagnating acceptance ratio. This observation facilitates the discovery of solutions to several well-known benchmark k-coloring instances, some of which have been open for almost two decades.

Concepts: Mathematics, Photon, Quantum mechanics, Physics, Quantum field theory, Quantum electrodynamics, Monte Carlo, Graph theory

160

A single cell can form a colony, and ionizing irradiation has long been known to reduce such a cellular clonogenic potential. Analysis of abortive colonies unable to continue to grow should provide important information on the reproductive cell death (RCD) following irradiation. Our previous analysis with a branching process model showed that the RCD in normal human fibroblasts can persist over 16 generations following irradiation with low linear energy transfer (LET) γ-rays. Here we further set out to evaluate the RCD persistency in abortive colonies arising from normal human fibroblasts exposed to high-LET carbon ions (18.3 MeV/u, 108 keV/µm). We found that the abortive colony size distribution determined by biological experiments follows a linear relationship on the log-log plot, and that the Monte Carlo simulation using the RCD probability estimated from such a linear relationship well simulates the experimentally determined surviving fraction and the relative biological effectiveness (RBE). We identified the short-term phase and long-term phase for the persistent RCD following carbon-ion irradiation, which were similar to those previously identified following γ-irradiation. Taken together, our results suggest that subsequent secondary or tertiary colony formation would be invaluable for understanding the long-lasting RCD. All together, our framework for analysis with a branching process model and a colony formation assay is applicable to determination of cellular responses to low- and high-LET radiation, and suggests that the long-lasting RCD is a pivotal determinant of the surviving fraction and the RBE.

Concepts: Cell, Human, Ion, Sievert, Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo method, Monte Carlo methods in finance, Monaco

93

Social scientists often seek to demonstrate that a construct has incremental validity over and above other related constructs. However, these claims are typically supported by measurement-level models that fail to consider the effects of measurement (un)reliability. We use intuitive examples, Monte Carlo simulations, and a novel analytical framework to demonstrate that common strategies for establishing incremental construct validity using multiple regression analysis exhibit extremely high Type I error rates under parameter regimes common in many psychological domains. Counterintuitively, we find that error rates are highest-in some cases approaching 100%-when sample sizes are large and reliability is moderate. Our findings suggest that a potentially large proportion of incremental validity claims made in the literature are spurious. We present a web application (http://jakewestfall.org/ivy/) that readers can use to explore the statistical properties of these and other incremental validity arguments. We conclude by reviewing SEM-based statistical approaches that appropriately control the Type I error rate when attempting to establish incremental validity.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, Statistics, Sociology, Psychometrics, Monte Carlo, Errors and residuals in statistics, Reliability engineering

82

How rare are magic squares? So far, the exact number of magic squares of order n is only known for n ≤ 5. For larger squares, we need statistical approaches for estimating the number. For this purpose, we formulated the problem as a combinatorial optimization problem and applied the Multicanonical Monte Carlo method (MMC), which has been developed in the field of computational statistical physics. Among all the possible arrangements of the numbers 1; 2, …, n2 in an n × n square, the probability of finding a magic square decreases faster than the exponential of n. We estimated the number of magic squares for n ≤ 30. The number of magic squares for n = 30 was estimated to be 6.56(29) × 102056 and the corresponding probability is as small as 10-212. Thus the MMC is effective for counting very rare configurations.

Concepts: Statistics, Mathematics, Probability theory, Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo method, Optimization, Applied mathematics, Combinatorial optimization

55

Heterogeneities in contact networks have a major effect in determining whether a pathogen can become epidemic or persist at endemic levels. Epidemic models that determine which interventions can successfully prevent an outbreak need to account for social structure and mixing patterns. Contact patterns vary across age and locations (e.g. home, work, and school), and including them as predictors in transmission dynamic models of pathogens that spread socially will improve the models' realism. Data from population-based contact diaries in eight European countries from the POLYMOD study were projected to 144 other countries using a Bayesian hierarchical model that estimated the proclivity of age-and-location-specific contact patterns for the countries, using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation. Household level data from the Demographic and Health Surveys for nine lower-income countries and socio-demographic factors from several on-line databases for 152 countries were used to quantify similarity of countries to estimate contact patterns in the home, work, school and other locations for countries for which no contact data are available, accounting for demographic structure, household structure where known, and a variety of metrics including workforce participation and school enrolment. Contacts are highly assortative with age across all countries considered, but pronounced regional differences in the age-specific contacts at home were noticeable, with more inter-generational contacts in Asian countries than in other settings. Moreover, there were variations in contact patterns by location, with work-place contacts being least assortative. These variations led to differences in the effect of social distancing measures in an age structured epidemic model. Contacts have an important role in transmission dynamic models that use contact rates to characterize the spread of contact-transmissible diseases. This study provides estimates of mixing patterns for societies for which contact data such as POLYMOD are not yet available.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Structure, Hierarchy, Sociology, Monte Carlo, Demographics, Markov chain Monte Carlo, Epidemic model

46

Poor sanitation remains a major public health concern linked to several important health outcomes; emerging evidence indicates a link to childhood stunting. In India over half of the population defecates in the open; the prevalence of stunting remains very high. Recently published data on levels of stunting in 112 districts of India provide an opportunity to explore the relationship between levels of open defecation and stunting within this population. We conducted an ecological regression analysis to assess the association between the prevalence of open defecation and stunting after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Data from the 2011 HUNGaMA survey was used for the outcome of interest, stunting; data from the 2011 Indian Census for the same districts was used for the exposure of interest, open defecation. After adjustment for various potential confounding factors - including socio-economic status, maternal education and calorie availability - a 10 percent increase in open defecation was associated with a 0.7 percentage point increase in both stunting and severe stunting. Differences in open defecation can statistically account for 35 to 55 percent of the average difference in stunting between districts identified as low-performing and high-performing in the HUNGaMA data. In addition, using a Monte Carlo simulation, we explored the effect on statistical power of the common practice of dichotomizing continuous height data into binary stunting indicators. Our simulation showed that dichotomization of height sacrifices statistical power, suggesting that our estimate of the association between open defecation and stunting may be a lower bound. Whilst our analysis is ecological and therefore vulnerable to residual confounding, these findings use the most recently collected large-scale data from India to add to a growing body of suggestive evidence for an effect of poor sanitation on human growth. New intervention studies, currently underway, may shed more light on this important issue.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Public health, Statistics, Statistical significance, Monte Carlo, Analysis of variance, Statistical terminology, Percentage point

44

To plan the syntheses of small organic molecules, chemists use retrosynthesis, a problem-solving technique in which target molecules are recursively transformed into increasingly simpler precursors. Computer-aided retrosynthesis would be a valuable tool but at present it is slow and provides results of unsatisfactory quality. Here we use Monte Carlo tree search and symbolic artificial intelligence (AI) to discover retrosynthetic routes. We combined Monte Carlo tree search with an expansion policy network that guides the search, and a filter network to pre-select the most promising retrosynthetic steps. These deep neural networks were trained on essentially all reactions ever published in organic chemistry. Our system solves for almost twice as many molecules, thirty times faster than the traditional computer-aided search method, which is based on extracted rules and hand-designed heuristics. In a double-blind AB test, chemists on average considered our computer-generated routes to be equivalent to reported literature routes.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Organic synthesis, Chemistry, Artificial intelligence, Organic chemistry, Monte Carlo, Neural network, Artificial neural network

30

The selective capture of carbon dioxide in porous materials has potential for the storage and purification of fuel and flue gases. However, adsorption capacities under dynamic conditions are often insufficient for practical applications, and strategies to enhance CO(2)-host selectivity are required. The unique partially interpenetrated metal-organic framework NOTT-202 represents a new class of dynamic material that undergoes pronounced framework phase transition on desolvation. We report temperature-dependent adsorption/desorption hysteresis in desolvated NOTT-202a that responds selectively to CO(2). The CO(2) isotherm shows three steps in the adsorption profile at 195 K, and stepwise filling of pores generated within the observed partially interpenetrated structure has been modelled by grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations. Adsorption of N(2), CH(4), O(2), Ar and H(2) exhibits reversible isotherms without hysteresis under the same conditions, and this allows capture of gases at high pressure, but selectively leaves CO(2) trapped in the nanopores at low pressure.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Fundamental physics concepts, Adsorption, Materials science, Monte Carlo, Gas, Ideal gas law