Theory (conjecture) of Object Symmetry

Like NDPL, it is another incomplete work of Praba Siva. Being curious is a strength and also it is a weakness. Strength is, you will learn something new all the time and the weakness is, once you know the basics, you are not motivated to go to end of it. I belong to that category. Once up on a time, I used to spend 15 hours a day thinking about the Praba’s theory (conjecture) of object symmetry. I still remember, at Toronto airport, after having one or two molson, I had thought about how to mathematically prove it by writing numerous equation in a napkin. I believe that napkin is still hanging in my home office.

Let me state the theory (conjecture) . That is, what is Praba’s theory (conjecture) of object symmetry. Theory (conjecture) of object symmetry states that every objects (signals) has a perfect symmetry with respect to a finite set of line of axes.

It may not be clear & obvious what the theory states. To simplify the statement, look into the natural objects like stone, trees, flowers, insects, humans, you split them with respect to different set of line of axes, you would see a perfect symmetry. Most of the man made object obey this theory obviously and all of them should obey mathematically. In another simpler words, take a tree and break it into smaller pieces such way that each smaller piece has a perfect symmetry with respect to different line of axes. Image is a signal. It applies to the other types of signals like voice. What ever language you speak, English or Tamil, that is a signal which can be found a perfect symmetry by finding the smaller line of axes. The bigger (or major) line of axes more the application you could find. The smaller the line of axes, lesser practical applications since it is not worth it.

I spent almost 8-12 months proving this theory using Harmonic analysis. I could not do it. It must be because I do not fully understand the concept of harmonic analysis.

I assumed that the conjecture (theory with out proof) is true and took an empirical approach. I applied it for pose estimation problem. That is, for improving the car safety, identification of the driver position is very important. If the driver is sleeping nor paying full attention to driving, the safety system should warn them that they are not fully paying attention to avoid any potential accidents.

The national high way traffic safety administration (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov) concluded that the car/truck driver position can be classified into 6 different set of position. If the driver is not focusing on one position (ie. position 3, looking forward ) for more than significant time (15 seconds), then the system should alarm the driver. I applied the theory (conjecture) of object symmetry principle to this problem and compared it with other solutions. Other solutions available (like Eigen faces, Neural network, Gabor Jets) are not practical since it takes at least 30 seconds to classify each frame of the video. Where as, by applying the theory of object symmetry, it took only 1-2 seconds per image.

Empirically, the theory is proven and it works. I studied cognitive psychology for a brief time to see how the human mind does the discrimination naturally and simply. There are some theory in cognitive psychology believes that human brain does discrimination fast by identifying the symmetry and corresponding line of axes. I also understood, when a human being is considered as beautiful, they have a symmetry with major line of axes. ie. take a women who is considered as most beautiful. You could see her face (other parts) have a symmetry with major line of axes.

I believe this theory could be applied to credit risk management, signal processing, scene analysis, image analysis, astronomy, etc.

I lost interest since I know it works and now I’m interested in something I do not know. This could easily be an another Ph.d thesis in the field of computer engineering or applied mathematics. As I understand Princeton Mathematics department works on the symmetry problems.

If any one working on this subject and want to work together to mathematically prove this.. I’m all for it. I can provide all the work I have done so far.

How to make Enterprise Architecture work for you?

I have seen and experienced an ivory tower school of thoughts on Enterprise Architecture (EA). There were set of enterprise architects I have had interacted with (before I became an enterprise architect) who had the ivory tower approach. That is, they considered them selves as the law makers. It is up to the civilians (rest of the organization) to interpret and obey the law. They came up with patterns and told every one should use it. They came up with recommendation on frameworks and told every one should use it. They came up with set of standards and told every one should use it religiously. I think, there is nothing wrong in making recommendation and leading the organization to use those standard, reusable frameworks.

The real problem was, they just made recommendation and had less or no idea how to make those things work together. They lost creditability and respect since they do not know how those recommendation work and add value to a project. This approach gave the organization that the EA team throws rock and put road blocks to a project instead of adding value. Over the time, they became theoretical and easy chair thinkers.

The practical problem was, they just made recommendation and had no idea how those things work together. They had no measure to show the value proposition they brought to the organization ( they might did that on purpose since they might knew they added no value to the organization) They skipped any step which was challenging to them. Over the time, this ivory tower approach educated the whole organization, enterprise architecture is nothing but making recommendation and drawing boxes and connecting them. The boxes would be like web server running in AIX talking to app server running in Sun solaris over HTTP(s). There was no EA accountability for EA recommendation. If the project team could not implement the recommendation, then it was project team who lacked the implementation knowledge of EA recommendation. It is save approach for EA. It is like Gartner. They are never wrong and never precise.

It is better to learn from others mistakes.

Steps to make EA work for you.

  • Think long term and work short term
  • Create road maps to meet the IT strategy
  • Assist the organization to do better IT investment using EA
  • Make recommendation using the road map. Assign system architects from the architecture team (EA & SA are in the same team) to the project team to ensure the EA recommendation works and adds value to the project.
  • Collaborate with the operation team or project teams to understand the difficulties in implementing the recommendation and adjust/fine tune the recommendation accordingly for the future projects
  • Rotate the system architect and enterprise architect periodically within the team
  • Integrate the enterprise architecture (EA) with the SDLC processes to keep the EA information up to date all the time
  • Be an internal consultant to the IT organization (operational, project, portfolio, governance teams and CIO office)
  • Be practical and make it happen..

Roadmaps for IT organization

Road maps for IT organization:

Like application portfolio assessment, formation and maintenance of set of road maps for IT organization is a key function for enterprise architects and IT strategist. Let me explain the following. What is a road map? Why do we need it? Different types of road map for IT organization? Who creates it? How it can be created to add value to the IT organization? How to use them effectively?

What is a road map in general?

Road maps are supporting tools to simplify and better communicate the strategy execution. Road map is a high level guide to reach the vision. Road map communicates in high level the path organization chosen to reach the vision

IT organization vision statements are generally very high level. It is suppose to be like that. IT organization vision statements are like “IT provides the best in class service to business”, “IT adds business value to bottom line by delivering technological solutions”, “IT be the effective business enabler”, etc and etc. To reach the organization vision, IT organization should have a strategy (strategy map) that is, alignment of various components of the organization (like people, process, technology, finance and customer) and use it effectively to march towards the vision.

For each components of the organization, there is road map which guides the organization to reach the vision. .

Why do we need road maps?

People in the organizations always have these questions in mind. What is that vision statement means to me? What I am supposed to do in my daily function? How the technologies people support will be impacted by the organization vision? What will happen to the applications being supported by organization people? What is that means to my job? These kinds of questions are normal and road maps helps to answer these questions and provide a clear understanding of what is the path organization chosen to reach the vision. It assists the organization people to ensure they understand how they are aligned with their career ambitions and the path organization chosen to take to reach the vision.

What are different types of road maps applicable in an IT organization?

  • Technology road map
  • Process road map
  • People road map
  • Application (or system) road map

Technology road map: For any IT organization, the technologies play a vital role. In some (or most) cases, there are redundant technologies serving the same purpose. The classic example would be, ETL (Extract transform & load). Organization tend to have multiple ETL tools due to various technical and non technical reasons. Other most occurring example would be to SAP. SAP has lots of packages like procurement and due to lack of full understanding of all modules in the SAP, the organization tend to procure other off the shelf products where the same functionality is available in the SAP. The technology road map is to support the organization strategy. If the organization marching towards cost effective, secure, innovative IT organization, then the redundant technologies should be eliminated, bring the latest security tools and provide a platform for the innovation like web 2.0, second life etc.

Process road map:
With increased regulatory requirements like FSA (Financial statement audit) and SOX, internal process to perform IT functions have been increasingly challenging. These regulatory requirements mandates the IT organization to have a best managed IT controls. At the same time, the organizations can not be confined with stringent process and limit the agility and adaptability. With the increased market demand and to drive innovation across the IT organization, IT internal processes should be balanced between these competing requirements. Based on the core business the IT organization supports, the IT organization should balances the requirements and devise a plan to accomplish the balanced process. Process road map is to illustrated the path the organization will take to strike the balance. In the past, I worked in a project team to develop internet imaging product (flashpix) to display the flash pix images in the web sites to support the online catalog. The team management do not want to follow any SDLC process to do the product development. The project requirement was to have 100% agility. It was a product development and the goal was to launch a product in the next release of web servers (like netscape, apache) for all HP servers in 60 days. At the same time there was no SOX requirement at that time. 🙂 The point is, the process road map must meet both the IT organization direction and also the core business it supports.

People road map:

Sourcing strategy is a sub set of IT strategy. The people road map is a sub set of sourcing strategy. Sourcing strategy addresses how the organization will be aligned to support the IT strategy. Sourcing strategy includes kind of employees, right sourcing partners, consultants, temporary consultants are required, the structure of the organization, operating model, service delivery model and etc to drive the IT organization to support the IT strategy. People road map, is the competency framework for the organization. What are the competency, skills and roles required in the future and how the organization is planning to acquire those in the near future.

Application road map:

Bruce Henderson (the founder of Boston consulting group) introduced growth share matrix to assist corporation in deciding how to allocate their investment among their business units. The same concept for the application (or system) road map. The application road map is an outcome of the application portfolio assessment. Decide the applications belongs to the cash cows area and invest on those application to improve the flexibility, availability, etc. The application belong to dogs, do not invest and find a retirement plan for those dogs. Simply put, it can be categorized into three. Invest, Retain and retire. The application which are in the retain category, do the minimum to do run the applications.

Who creates these road maps and how it is created in the an IT organization?

The creation of these road maps are lead and managed by the enterprise architects & IT strategist. Major stakeholders involved in the creation process are the CIO office, executive management and senior management of the IT organization. It SHOULD NOT be developed just by the enterprise architects and IT strategist teams. It is a collaboration efforts lead by the EA.

How to use them effectively?

Once the road maps are created and maintained, for any investment made by the IT organization, it should be used as the guide. It emphasis the organization direction is aligned to the IT strategy.