In standard Python, you can do this to cache the return value of an expensive function:

@lru_cache()
def function(n):
...

This works well, but it does not work very well for class methods:

class MyClass:
@lru_cache()
def function(self):
...

All instances of MyClass will share the same cache. Often, especially for immutable instances, a per-instance cache of size 1 is desired. Python 3.8 adds a useful cached_property decorator, but that does not provide a cache_clear method like lru_cache does.

In a previous post, I described a system for scheduling shifts to workers that was state of the art. It still is for large problems (small problems can be solved exactly with integer programming). The fixing rule to obtain integer solutions is sometimes called the Ryan-Foster rule [1] and this post will explore how this rule can be visualized.

Nothing in this post is new research; this is all relatively basic machine learning. But it is fun.

This is the first day of my vacation. Time for some machine learning! Today, I will create embeddings. I will use the relatively big dataset from the Netflix Prize competition to create embeddings for movies.

I recently submitted results to the Employee Shift Scheduling public benchmark. My optimizer computed the best known result for all medium-sized and large instances. I currently do not have time to write and publish an article, but a blog could perhaps be a good substitute.

An open problem (as far as I know) in three-dimensional Game of Life is to construct a “glider gun” for a reasonable three-dimensional ruleset.

One natural set of rules are 5,6,7/6, in which cells stay alive with 5–7 neighbors and are created with 6 neighbors. In this set of rules, some two-dimensional patterns from the original game of life still work if they are copied into two adjacent layers.

Another feature is the “time-space barrier.” No new cells can be created close to its surface. To make it stable, we can wrap it into a cube.

Unfortunately, the “Gosper Glider Gun” from standard Game of Life does not work directly in 3D. It interacts into the third dimension. But if we wedge it between two barrier cubes it works for a while.

Everything unravels when the glider reaches the edge of the cubes. I don’t know whether one can construct something that prevents this from happening.

See also: Bays, Carter (1987), “Candidates for the Game of Life in Three Dimensions”, Complex Systems 3 (1): 373–400.

Today, the news in Sweden reported on a study that shows the advantages of delayed cord clamping after 4 years. I thought the results sounded remarkably good, so I looked up the article. Here is a table (from which I have removed most columns):

I am not saying this study is wrong, but look at those p-values! If you measure enough variables, some of them are bound to turn out “significant”!

Sameer Agarwal and I just uploaded a paper to arχiv.org: Continuous Optimization for Fields of Experts Denoising Works. We show that simple non-linear least-squares is better than sophisticated discrete optimization methods for certain image denoising problems.

I have used these denoising problems as a bechmark and motivation when developing generalized roof duality. But as it turns out, continuous optimization is much better. 🙂