The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime

Hi! This is Richie again after a long time, precisely after 1 year, 1 month and 27 days. During the last one year I had very less free time compare to the previous years. Weekends, I was watching so many movies and occasionally, reading novels and stories. So never felt like writing a blog. This blog is mainly about a book I read few weeks ago. The book’s name is the same as the title of the blog, written by Mark Haddon that won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year.

Last Wednesday morning my bro called me and gave the idea of writing a blog about the book. At first I wondered, because I had given this book to him one month before and he said he had not found it interesting.

The hero of the novel is Christopher, a 15-year-old autistic boy living in Swindon (somewhere in UK). The story is written in the first-person narrative of the boy. So I give all credit to the boy. I am not going to explain the story because it will be boring if you read the novel without suspense. Why I liked this book is because of a mathematical touch in the storyline and remarkable funny stuffs. When I read this novel I actually thought about my boyhood days and I found a minor similarity in my thinking and that of Christopher’s.

I will list out some of the interesting stuff i liked in the book

Prime Numbers. He likes prime number( me too) and in this book the chapter are given in this order 2,3,5,7,11 and so on. He considers that prime numbers are like life “ even though they are logical, it’s impossible to work out the rules”.

Monty Hall Problem. This is a famous puzzle problem. And he has used this example to shows that intuition can sometimes get things wrong.

The problem is

Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?

I heard this problem 1.5 years back. One of the professor in IISc asked me this question. I didn’t know it was a famous question till I read this book.

Sherlock homes. He likes sherlock homes stories(me too). This could be the reason for the title of the book( Because sherlock homes mentioned this sentence, “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Book: “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” Story: Silver Blaze). This may be the reason he is pursing the mystery of the dead dog. He has mentioned that his favorite story is “The hound of Baskervilles”. And he has explained the clues and red herrings of this sherlock holmes book.

Map. He draws map whenever he goto new places. I also do the similar thing. When I was in Kolkata, I had a big map of the city in the wall. And the same habit I continued in Hyd, Chennai and Bangalore.

White lie. A white lie is not a lie at all. It is where you tell the truth but you do not tell all of the truth. He used this lie to his father many time in the book. Because his father don’t like his detective attempt on dead dog.

* * **

There are a couple of new stories I wanted to tell you. Once I finish all clint eastwood’s movies, I will start writing those. Till that time. Bye bye

External links

Monty Hall problem
Mathematical Association of America book review

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it

Hey! I am back, writing a new blog after a long time. 

This time I have something to share. It is about mining in the data and a new  modelling tool, motivated from natural phenomena, like Neural Networks (Human Neural System) and Genetic Algorithm (Natural evolution). Don’t worry, I am not going for a boring theoretical stuff. Den wat? I am writing a science fiction. It is not inspired from crazy English movies. May be “The Calcutta Chromosome” (Amitav Ghosh , 1995) can be the source of inspiration of this venture.

First we have a look at a bit of data mining , the critical tool in the future business. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Penzias remarks (1999) “Data mining will become much more important, and companies will throw away nothing about their customers because it will be so valuable. If you’re not doing this, you’re out of business.” He believed Data Mining would become the killer applications in the corporation. Dr. Penzias is correct, now there are many companies made tremendous competitive advantages in the market using data mining. Now the nature of competition is shifting away from the classic struggle between companies, the new competition is Data Mining v/s Data Mining.

Increase response rates on direct mail campaigns, decrease fraudulent claims and predict the likely fluctuations in the market are the main business side applications of Data Mining. Other than this DM is used in Biology, preventing crime, security and Artificial intelligence applications.

Data mining investigation in ‘security and criminal detection’ is going to be a one of the critical implementation. The essence of this part you may find in Tom Cruise’s movie ‘Minority report’ (2002). Pre-crime is not science fiction; it is the objective of data mining techniques based on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. “It’s not going to be a cruise missile or a bomber that will be the determining factor, It’s going to be a scrap of information” defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said over and over in the days following September 11. After the 9/11 rapid growth is going on this area. Link analysis, intelligent agents, text mining, neural networks and machine network algorithms are the main areas of the development

Let us think about few DM tools. Artificial Neural Network is inspired by the structure of the brain. Brain contains about 1 x 1010basic units called neurons. Each neuron in turn is connected to about 1 x 104 other neurons. A neuron is a cell that receives electro chemical signals from its various sources and in turn responds by transmitting electrical impulses to other neurons. The brain learns from experience, this will form a network between neurons. Another tool is Genetic Algorithm. GAs are inspired by Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest. Algorithm starts with a set of solutions for a population are taken and used to form another population. This is motivated by a hope that new population will be better than the old one.

I will tell you about a story in the next blog.