Faculty of Mathematics, Physics
and Informatics
Comenius University Bratislava

Computer vision seminar - Oskar Elek (13.2.2023)

Monday 13.2.2023 at 9:50 hod., Lecture room I 23

08. 02. 2023 15.29 hod.
By: Zuzana Černeková

Oskar Elek (University of California):
Monte Carlo Physarum Machine: Using interactive simulation and visualization of 3D Physarum polycephalum for mapping the Cosmic web and beyond

Physarum polycephalum a.k.a. 'slime mold' is an ancient organism that evolved to form efficient transport networks between food sources, usually pockets of decaying forest debris. On the largest scales of the Universe, billions of galaxies form a network of filamentary structures known as the Cosmic web. Observing the apparent similarity between these two structures, we designed Monte Carlo Physarum Machine (MCPM): a stochastic agent-based simulation of Physarum polycephalum that generates 3D scalar density maps of the Cosmic web. Validated against independent observation data, such maps now allow us to study galaxies and the Cosmic web structure that envelops them in a completely new way.

Beyond astrophysics and cosmology, MCPM shows promise to help us reconstruct and visualize the latent structures in language embeddings and other high-dimensional abstract spaces. It also generates novel spatial forms with peculiar aesthetic qualities and potential applications in computational art and fabrication. In this talk I will detail the MCPM model itself, the Polyphorm software that implements it, share our scientific findings, and showcase various creative projects born out of this methodology. Find more details about this effort at tinyurl.com/RhizomeCosmology.

Dr. Oskar Elek is a computational researcher at University of California in Santa Cruz and an incubator fellow at the Open Source Program Office therein. Oskar explores algorithms that draw from complex multi-agent systems and explores their applications in astrophysics, data science, visualization, and computational art. He is the lead developer of the open-source projects Polyphorm and PolyPhy. His previous research appointments include Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbruecken and Charles University in Prague.

Web: http://elek.pub/index.html