All Things Techie With Huge, Unstructured, Intuitive Leaps


I love ACID.  In the database sense. To remind you what ACID means, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) is a set of properties that guarantee that database transactions are processed reliably.


Main article: Atomicity (database systems)
Atomicity requires that each transaction be "all or nothing": if one part of the transaction fails, the entire transaction fails, and the database state is left unchanged. An atomic system must guarantee atomicity in each and every situation, including power failures, errors, and crashes. To the outside world, a committed transaction appears (by its effects on the database) to be indivisible ("atomic"), and an aborted transaction does not happen.


The consistency property ensures that any transaction will bring the database from one valid state to another. Any data written to the database must be valid according to all defined rules, including constraints, cascades, triggers, and any combination thereof. This does not guarantee correctness of the transaction in all ways the application programmer might have wanted (that is the responsibility of application-level code) but merely that any programming errors cannot result in the violation of any defined rules.


The isolation property ensures that the concurrent execution of transactions result in a system state that would be obtained if transactions were executed serially, i.e. one after the other. Providing isolation is the main goal of concurrency control. Depending on concurrency control method, the effects of an incomplete transaction might not even be visible to another transaction.


Durability means that once a transaction has been committed, it will remain so, even in the event of power loss, crashes, or errors. In a relational database, for instance, once a group of SQL statements execute, the results need to be stored permanently (even if the database crashes immediately thereafter). To defend against power loss, transactions (or their effects) must be recorded in a non-volatile memory.

Why bring this up?  Recently I was playing with some feed-forward, backwards propagating Multi-Layer Perceptrons.  I love them because they allow machines to make decisions.  However the decision-making process is not ACID in the context above, if your artificial neural network composed of multi-layer perceptrons is in the continuous learn mode (each successive new bit of information is back propagated with a learning rate).

This may be good or bad, depending on the state of the fuzziness of what had to be decided by the machine, but wouldn't it be nice to have ACID in an artificial neural network?

Get your thinking caps on, and leave me some comments to inspire my imagination and perhaps create a whole new breed of technology.

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