THE SP THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE
COMPUTING AS COMPRESSION
Too blue for logic
My axioms were so clean-hewn,
The joins of 'thus' and 'therefore' neat
But, I admit
Life would not fit
Between straight lines
And all the cornflowers said was 'blue,'
All summer long, so blue.
So when the sea came in and with one wave
Threatened to wash my edifice away -
I let it.
SP GROUP: If you would like to receive occasional news about progress in the SP programme of research, please contact me, Gerry Wolff, via email, phone or Skype. There is more information about the SP group here: SP GROUP.
NOTE: It may seem odd that, amongst the publications detailed below, there is a relatively big gap between the publication of the book Unifying Computing and Cognition in 2006 and later publications beginning with The SP theory of intelligence: an overview (PDF, Information, 4 (3), 283-341, 2013, bit.ly/1NOMJ6l) in 2013. This is because, from early 2006 to late 2012, I was working full time on campaigns related to climate change (mainly Desertec-UK, The Kyoto2 Support Group (K2S), Energy Fair, Food Plus, and Shellfish Sequestration). Because of the large carbon footprint from flying, I'm trying to avoid it as much as possible. Online conferences also have a carbon footprint but that is easier to fix than the carbon footprint from flying.
Published documents are marked 'PB'.
- The SP system:
- Distinctive features and advantages: PB The SP theory of intelligence: distinctive features and advantages (PDF, IEEE Access, 4, 216-246, 2016, bit.ly/2qgq5QF). See also Awards for IEEE Access, and IEEE Access received an impact factor of 3.244 in the 2016 JCR release.
- SP-neural: PB Information compression, multiple alignment, and the representation and processing of knowledge in the brain (PDF, Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1584, 2016, bit.ly/2esmYyt).
- Benefits and applications:
- Big data:
- Autonomous robots: PB Autonomous robots and the SP theory of intelligence (PDF, IEEE Access, 2, 1629-1651, 2014, bit.ly/18DxU5K). See also Awards for IEEE Access, and IEEE Access received an impact factor of 3.244 in the 2016 JCR release.
- Vision: PB Application of the SP theory of intelligence to the understanding of natural vision and the development of computer vision (PDF, SpringerPlus, 3, 552, 2014, bit.ly/2oIpZB6).
- Intelligent databases: PB Towards an intelligent database system founded on the SP theory of computing and cognition (PDF, Data & Knowledge Engineering, 60, 596-624, 2007, bit.ly/1CUldR6).
- Software engineering: Software engineering and the SP theory of intelligence (PDF, bit.ly/2w99Wzq).
- Medical diagnosis: PB Medical diagnosis as pattern recognition in a framework of information compression by multiple alignment, unification and search (PDF, Decision Support Systems, 42, 608-625, 2006, bit.ly/1F366o7).
- Transmission of information: In the transmission of information, the great potential of model-based coding with the SP theory of artificial intelligence (PDF, bit.ly/2n5o7OB).
- Crime prevention and detection: The SP system as an aid to crime prevention and detection (CPD) (slide show):
- Defence: The SP system and its potential applications in defence (slide show):
- Reducing complexity: The curse of variety in computing, and what can be done about it (PDF, bit.ly/2jsXaEG).
- Mathematics and science:
- Development of the SP machine:
- Conference paper:
The SP theory of intelligence is a unique attempt to integrate and simplify observations and concepts across artificial intelligence, mainstream computing, mathematics, and human perception and cognition, with information compression as a unifying theme.
The name "SP" is short for simplicity and power, because compression of any given body of information, I, may be seen as a process of reducing informational “redundancy” in I and thus increasing its “simplicity”, whilst retaining as much as possible of its non-redundant expressive “power”.
Central in the theory is the powerful concept of multiple alignment, with versatility in the representation of knowledge and in AI functions.
The SP theory is realised in the form of a computer model, SP71. This model may be seen as a first version of the SP machine, an expression of the SP theory and a means for it to be applied. Source code for the model, with associated files, may be downloaded via links under the heading 'SOURCE CODE', below.
The SP theory combines conceptual simplicity with descriptive and explanatory power in several areas, including concepts of 'computing', the representation of knowledge, natural language processing, pattern recognition, several kinds of reasoning, the storage and retrieval of information, planning and problem solving, unsupervised learning, information compression, and human perception and cognition.
An introduction to the ideas is in the slide show The SP theory of intelligence (PDF)—see below. A much fuller account is in the book Unifying Computing and Cognition.
The background and motivation for the research is described in Computing, cognition and information compression (PDF).
- Information compression, intelligence, computing, and mathematics (slides) (PDF). This is about background observations and ideas that provide the foundations of the SP theory.
- The SP theory of intelligence (slides) (PDF). This talk describes the SP theory, the multiple alignment concept, and the SP machine, and potential benefits and applications. As a supplement to this talk, there are additional examples of multiple alignments (PDF), with notes.
- Big data and the SP theory of intelligence (slides) (PDF). These slides are based on Big data and the SP theory of intelligence (PDF, J G Wolff, IEEE Access, 2, 301-315, 2014).
Unless it is self-explanatory, each slide has one or more notes, each one shown with a 'speech bubble' icon, normally in the top left-hand corner. To see a note, position the cursor over the icon. If the whole note is not visible, right-click on the icon and choose "Open pop-up note".
To view a presentation, it is probably best to download the file and open it in the Adobe Reader. Other systems may not show the notes properly. Controls: Full screen: CTRL-L; Escape from full screen: ESC; Zoom in: CTRL-plus; Zoom out: CTRL-minus; Next slide: left-click; Previous slide: right-click; Scrolling left or right, up or down: use the 'hand'.
An article, giving an overview of the SP system and its expected benefits and applications is here: The SP theory of intelligence: benefits and applications (PDF).
Most of the publications from this section may be obtained as a PDF, Postscript or MS Word file. The articles that give the best overall view of the research programme and the SP framework are marked with .
For readers who are not previously acquainted with this field,
these are the articles to start with. For convenience, they are listed here
in a suggested order for reading:
|UNIFYING COMPUTING AND COGNITION
The SP Theory and its Applications
J Gerard Wolff
2006, ISBN 0-9550726-0-3 (ebook edition),
ISBN 0-9550726-1-1 (print edition)
| Ebook cover
|| Print edition cover
Description of the book
Ordering the book
PROPOSAL FOR THE CREATION OF A HIGH-PARALLEL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SP MACHINE
A good step forward in the development of these ideas would be the creation of a new version of the SP machine. It would be:
- Based on the SP71 computer model.
- Built as a software virtual machine, using high-parallel search mechanisms, and with a good user interface. The high-parallel search mechanisms in an existing search engine would provide a good foundation for this version of the SP machine.
- An open-source model, available, via the web, to the research community everywhere.
- A vehicle for experimentation and research with two main aims:
- To explore the range of applications of the SP machine.
- To refine the SP theory itself.
If you wish to see the exact workings of the SP71 computer model or experiment with
it, the source code and a Windows executable is available in the file SP71.zip, and via "Ancillary files" under www.arxiv.org/abs/1306.3888. A slightly earlier version, SP70, referenced in published papers and in Unifying Computing and Cognition, may be downloaded via SP70.zip.
Before looking at the detailed workings of SP71, it is probably best to understand the thinking behind it, described in Unifying Computing and Cognition and The SP theory of intelligence: an overview (PDF, J G Wolff, Information, 4 (3), 283-341, 2013, bit.ly/1NOMJ6l). Also, there is a relatively high level description of the workings of the program in Sections 3.9, 3.10, and 9.2 in Unifying Computing and Cognition.
It is probably best to start by looking at SP62, a subset of SP71 that lacks any ability for learning. The source code and a Windows executable is available in the file SP62.zip.
Please note: these programs are for
research, they are not shrink-wrapped software packages that you might buy from
a shop. I have released them mainly for people who want to dig around inside
them and see what is going on. We aim to develop a high-parallel version of the "SP machine" with a user-friendly interface. This should make things easier for anyone who wants to try out the system or improve it.
This software is released to the public domain without any restrictions, but
please read the notice on the source files.
Most of the papers from this programme of research, both those which have not yet been published and those that have been published, are archived in https://arxiv.org/. To find these papers, search for author: Wolff_J_G in that archive.
The moderators of arxiv.org would not accept some papers, saying that they did not fit any of the arxiv categories, or that there was too much overlap with my other papers. These papers are:
These papers are now archived with http://vixra.org/ (search under "Authors" for "J Gerard Wolff") and https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ (Search for "J Gerard Wolff").
The SP71 computer model is archived here:
- As "ancillary files" with "The SP theory of intelligence: an overview" in https://arxiv.org/abs/1306.3888. Some but not all of the notes associated with this project are archived here.
A much fuller record of the research, including all versions of the software, all the associated notes, and all the publications, has been sent for digital archiving, with agreement of relevant people in each organisation, to:
- The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, UK. With the agreement of the archivist, Brian Aldous, a memory stick with a covering letter was sent to him on 24th of May 2016.
- Bangor University Library, Bangor University, North Wales, UK:
- Files were deposited with the librarian about 2005.