Sunday, November 18, 2007

Triadic Continuum

One of the Vice Presidents that I work with sent me an email the other day with the subject line "Is this something we should be looking at?" He's no pointy-haired boss, but a subject line like that, followed by a cut and paste of an article from an industry magazine certainly does bring images from Dilbert to mind. As I read the article, those images only got stronger.

This particular article is about something called the triadic continuum - yes, sounds like something out of Star Trek, doesn't it? Still, it is interesting - especially if you have a PhD in cognitive science. There's a book about this invention that goes into more detail for those of you who are curious.

After a couple of back and forth comments in which I tried to look smarter than I am (and considering pitching the idea that if my boss wanted to send me back to school for my PhD that I'd be happy to go), this VP ended with: "But they said simple, scalable, universal." Yeah, right there on the package! ;)

My snide remark (being in a healthcare field) was going to be something like:

Right, and so is DNA!
Simple - only 5 compounds in the whole thing!!
Scalable - from a flee to a whale!!
Universal - it is a defining characteristic of life!!

I didn't send the response, yet.

DNA is simple, universal, and scalable, too.


Anonymous said...

Your analogy to DNA is quite right - I do expect future implementations of the triadic continuum (a.k.a. the interlocking trees data store or Knowkedge Store or simply K)to be very complex - but for now, we have implemented a very rudimentary version and prototyped a data analyzer to demo the capabilities - John Zuchero's book is an easy read (especially for some one with your background - you could skip over the info on the source of the theory) and describes the rudimentary structure and how it organizes a data set (usually a .csv file) into one structure that contains all the information you would have if you built a classic relational data base with every index and cube - the structure is dynamic - that is it can be queried while it is being built and for large data sets (multiple gigabytes) it is smaller than the original data - there's more but this all I have time for right now - Jane

Jane Mazzagatti

pb said...

Jane - Wow. Thanks for replying to my blog post. I think the work you're doing is fascinating. I really can't wait to get through the rest of John's book.

To expand on my thoughts about the relevance of the K-Store to the work I do on a day-to-day basis in data warehousing, there are two places that I'm curious to consider and explore: One is a modeling concept that Dan Linstedt created called the Data Vault. His concept includes the idea of breaking entities and relationships down in such a way so that both parts can be easily extended over time and grow as a business changes the way it looks at itself. The second related idea is that of Dynamic Data Warehousing. This includes the idea that a data warehouse can evolve itself over time based on the kinds of questions it is being asked and the data available to it. Seems to me that the model in the Triadic Continuum could have some power in relationship to these ideas, too.

I've already got a Google Alert configured to keep me in tune with what goes on with the Triadic Continuum. Inspiring work!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're reading John's book and would be interested in your response to it - as for the Data Vault technology, I have just begun to look into it - it is however still based on tables, the current paradigm for recording data, that need to be normalized and schema - in contrast the KStore technology is a new paradigm for formating the recording of data and even in its rundimentary form it reuses already recorded parts of the structure very efficiently - Jane

Dan L said...

Hi Jane,

I'd love to connect with you as well. John Z. has already sent me an email. By the way, if you look a little deeper at the Data Vault you begin to realize that it's really based on my interpretation of how I think the neurons, dendrites, and synapses are modeled within the brain. How they interact is what I equate to the functionality (and partially to the data) within the Link entities. By the way, I've gone on to discuss Nanohousing - where DNA computing takes place and something like the Data Vault architecture is used, and combined with DNA enzymes in order to accomplish localized tasks depending on the "chemical" input it receives in parallel.

But I've not written a whole lot about that yet....
Dan Linstedt

David said...

This stuff is waaay over my head (or at least, outside my domain). But I can glimpse a bit of it and see a possible connection to an emerging new technology (about which I also know zilch): Memristors are an electronic component that exhibits some properties rather similar to neurons, in some regards. Hewlett Packard are doing much of the work, and have recently proposed a computer memory architecture where the computation is done in the memory itself rather than in a separate CPU.

David Stonier-Gibson