Bart Selman was featured in the December 5, 2005, issue of ComputerWorld. The article, "Getting Real: Analyzing Dynamics That Can Choke Supercomputers," leads with an example that illustrates a point the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is trying to make: "computers will never be able to exhaustively examine the possible outcomes of complex activities, any more than a roomful of monkeys with typewriters would ever be able to re-create the works of Shakespeare."
The article highlights work done by Selman, Robert Constable, Carla Gomes, Mark Bickford, and Christoph Kreitz. The team has developed chess-playing software that extends the concept of single-agent reasoning to multiagent scenarios that include one or more opposing forces.
In the article, Selman explained that the Cornell chess program emulates a grandmaster. "It might exploit certain strategies, then find they are not successful. It learns from that and adds that to its knowledge base. It gets better the more games it plays, even during a single game," Selman explains. It develops a conceptual view of the board and seeks out overall positions that will give it strength.
By applying these learning techniques and other improvements over traditional reasoning tools, Selman indicated that his team has so far achieved a 109 speed improvement over those tools.
For the complete article, visit http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2005/0,4814,106722,00.html.
Jon Kleinberg was the subject of an interview in the October 24, 2005, issue of ComputerWorld. The article, "Shrinking Degrees of Separation," explored Kleinberg's work in improving search engine performance by considering not only a site's content, but also the number and quality of links to it.
The article explains that Kleinberg developed the concept of authorities and hubs, a network search principle used by major public search engines. "His algorithms can also be used to define and explain social groups and their connections."
The article concludes with a Q&A, illustrating Kleinberg's predictions for how some of his ideas can impact the future.
For the complete interview, visit http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2005/0,4814,105595,00.html.
An interview with Kleinberg also appeared in the December 5, 2005, issue of Technology Research News. The interview shared Kleinberg's perspectives on trends in the industry, the importance of research that studies network data, network growth, and network evolution, and the technological, social, and economic implications of the structure of the Web.
Kleinberg also shared insights into the important social questions related to today's cutting-edge technologies.
"The information we process every day will become increasingly varied, complicated, and voluminous; and since it's already at the limit of our cognitive abilities, something has to give: we will either develop tools that can manage this information for us more effectively, or we will develop new styles of dealing with it.
"As a consequence of these developments, we are accumulating incredibly detailed datasets of human activity on-line -- the way people author content on the Web, the way they browse and read information, and the way they communicate with one another. This is inevitable; personal information streams create enormous archives, and significant aspects of people's lives are encoded in these archives.
"We face two challenges here: how to make sense of data at this resolution, and how to ensure people's privacy in a world where this kind of data exists. But if we can overcome these challenges, we'll have much better insight into how to make on-line tools better conform to the ways in which people read, write, search, and communicate --- and more generally how to design on-line tools for a world in which people are increasingly dependent on them."
For the complete interview, visit http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2005/120505/View_Jon_Kleinberg_120505.html.