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Computational Neuro-Genetic Modelling (CNGM)
From my 2006 draft paper listed below:
"Abstract – Computational Neuro-Genetic Modeling (CNGM) is discussed from the perspective of building Artificial Neural Network architectures starting with substantially pre-defined modules and processes (DNAANNs). This is equivalent to assuming that DNA code in a neuron can ultimately specify function, process and some level of data abstraction beyond the immediate role of genes to produce proteins or to regulate processes, and using that basis as a metaphor for DNA-ANNs. A robust and diverse set of ensembles or modules of DNA-ANNs is sought that is sufficient for a given problem domain, and that generalizes well. The potential advantages that might be derived from highly evolved, fine-grained hybrid genetic/connectionist systems, and some of the implementation challenges that they could present are discussed." Bill Howell, 2006
While my thrust is from the mathematics/ computer science perspective, the concept has obvious parallels to the brain and mind, which is definitely of interest. However, biological substantiation, if this ever occurs, is only appearing very indirectly, so don't take that side of it too seriously. On the other hand, work by Michael Meany's group in Montreal, John Mattick's group at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, and possibly Sandra Pen˜a de Ortiz in Puerto Rico, shows that work in genetics is proceeding along many fronts that may provide eventual substantiation for a biological basis to CNGM. Furthermore, work by Gary Marcus at New York University deals with modelling the growth of the brain, and this is even more of a challenge than the CNGM described here, and indeed is a necessary basis for it.
My concepts and thinking are explained in the following documents, only one of which has been submitted in quality format:
William Neil Howell "Genetic specification of recurrent neural networks: Initial thoughts", Proceedings of WCCI 2006, World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Vancouver, paper#2074, IEEE Press, pp 9370-9379, 16-21 July 2006 This must be obtained through the publisher. Because of space constaints it is more limited in scope than the draft below, but it is also a proper, clean, paper.
Genetic Specification of Recurrent Neural Networks - This is my PowerPoint presentation from the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks in Vancouver, August 2006. The "March of the Penguins" film fits in beautifully with one sub-class of consequences of CNGM.
Genetic specification of neural networks - Draft concepts and implications of CNGM are discussed in this early version of the paper that is in the proceedings of the IJCNN 2006 Vancouver conference. Note that this is a very rough, intermediate draft that I probably won't get around to cleaning up. However, this does wander into IMPLICATIONS, from the perspective both of the mind/brain, and of sort of a "philosophical" perspective on the analysis of complex systems. Not that it's terribly well described here.
Junk DNA and Neural Networks - My conjecture on directions for, and implications of, the direct involvement of non-protein-coding DNA, RNA, and epigenetics for more advanced Artificial Neural Network designs.
my electronic documents from the formative 1997-1999 period, and
earlier overview of material circa 1994-965 regarding hierarchical/
structured neural networks are no longer readable. However, there is
a huge amount of research into highly structured systems of
Artificial Neural Networks and the benefits that are being sought.