Day: June 30, 2008

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..