Extrapolation -- the ability to make inferences that go beyond the scope of one's experiences -- is a hallmark of human intelligence. By contrast, the generalization exhibited by contemporary neural network algorithms is largely limited to interpolation between data points in their training corpora. In this paper, we consider the challenge of learning representations that support extrapolation. We introduce a novel visual analogy benchmark that allows the graded evaluation of extrapolation as a function of distance from the convex domain defined by the training data. We also introduce a simple technique, context normalization, that encourages representations that emphasize the relations between objects. We find that this technique enables a significant improvement in the ability to extrapolate, considerably outperforming a number of competitive techniques.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission has given us unprecedented access to high cadence particle and field data of magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause. MMS first passed very near an X-line on 16 October 2015, the Burch event, and has since observed multiple X-line crossings. Subsequent 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) modeling efforts of and comparison with the Burch event have revealed a host of novel physical insights concerning magnetic reconnection, turbulence induced particle mixing, and secondary instabilities. In this study, we employ the Gkeyll simulation framework to study the Burch event with different classes of extended, multi-fluid magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), including models that incorporate important kinetic effects, such as the electron pressure tensor, with physics-based closure relations designed to capture linear Landau damping. Such fluid modeling approaches are able to capture different levels of kinetic physics in global simulations and are generally less costly than fully kinetic PIC. We focus on the additional physics one can capture with increasing levels of fluid closure refinement via comparison with MMS data and existing PIC simulations. In particular, we find that the ten-moment model well captures the agyrotropic structure of the pressure tensor in the vicinity of the X-line and the magnitude of anisotropic electron heating observed in MMS and PIC simulations. However, the ten-moment model has difficulty resolving the lower hybrid drift instability, which has been observed to plays a fundamental role in heating and mixing electrons in the current layer.
Yang, Yuan; Pan, Ming; Beck, Hylke; Fisher, Colby; Beighley, R. Edward; Kao, Shih-Chieh; Hong, Yang; Wood, Eric
Conventional basin-by-basin approaches to calibrate hydrologic models are limited to gauged basins and typically result in spatially discontinuous parameter fields. Moreover, the consequent low calibration density in space falls seriously behind the need from present-day applications like high resolution river hydrodynamic modeling. In this study we calibrated three key parameters of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model at every 1/8° grid-cell using machine learning-based maps of four streamflow characteristics for the conterminous United States (CONUS), with a total of 52,663 grid-cells. This new calibration approach, as an alternative to parameter regionalization, applied to ungauged regions too. A key difference made here is that we tried to regionalize physical variables (streamflow characteristics) instead of model parameters whose behavior may often be less well understood. The resulting parameter fields no longer presented any spatial discontinuities and the patterns corresponded well with climate characteristics, such as aridity and runoff ratio. The calibrated parameters were evaluated against observed streamflow from 704/648 (calibration/validation period) small-to-medium-sized catchments used to derive the streamflow characteristics, 3941/3809 (calibration/validation period) small-to-medium-sized catchments not used to derive the streamflow characteristics) as well as five large basins. Comparisons indicated marked improvements in bias and Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. Model performance was still poor in arid and semiarid regions, which is mostly due to both model structural and forcing deficiencies. Although the performance gain was limited by the relative small number of parameters to calibrate, the study and results here served as a proof-of-concept for a new promising approach for fine-scale hydrologic model calibrations.
Explosive volcanic eruptions have large climate impacts, and can serve as observable tests of the climatic response to radiative forcing. Using a high resolution climate model, we contrast the climate responses to Pinatubo, with symmetric forcing, and those to Santa Maria and Agung, which had meridionally asymmetric forcing. Although Pinatubo had larger global-mean forcing, asymmetric forcing strongly shifts the latitude of tropical rainfall features, leading to larger local precipitation/TC changes. For example, North Atlantic TC activity over is enhanced/reduced by SH-forcing (Agung)/NH-forcing (Santa Maria), but changes little in response to the Pinatubo forcing. Moreover, the transient climate sensitivity estimated from the response to Santa Maria is 20% larger than that from Pinatubo or Agung. This spread in climatic impacts of volcanoes needs to be considered when evaluating the role of volcanoes in global and regional climate, and serves to contextualize the well-observed response to Pinatubo.
Dust and starlight have been modeled for the KINGFISH project galaxies. For each pixel in each galaxy, we estimate: (1) dust surface density; (2) q_PAH, the dust mass fraction in PAHs; (3) distribution of starlight intensities heating the dust; (4) luminosity emitted by the dust; and (5) dust luminosity from regions with high starlight intensity. The modeling is as described in the paper "Modeling Dust and Starlight in Galaxies Observed by Spitzer and Herschel: The KINGFISH Sample", by G. Aniano, B.T. Draine, L.K. Hunt, K. Sandstrom, D. Calzetti, R.C. Kennicutt, D.A, Dale, and 26 other authors, accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
Force-driven parallel shear flow in a spatially periodic domain is shown to be linearly unstable
with respect to both the Reynolds number and the domain aspect ratio. This finding is confirmed
by computer simulations, and a simple expression is derived to determine stable flow conditions.
Periodic extensions of Couette and Poiseuille flows are unstable at Reynolds numbers two orders
of magnitude smaller than their aperiodic equivalents because the periodic boundaries impose
fundamentally different constraints. This instability has important implications for designing computational models of nonlinear dynamic processes with periodicity.
The data are 4554 light curves derived from images taken of the globular cluster M4 by the Kepler space telescope during the K2 portion of its mission, specifically during Campaign 2 of that mission, which occurred in 2014. A total of 3856 images were taken over approximately three months at a cadence of approximately half an hour. The purpose of these observations was to find stars and other objects that vary in brightness over time --- variable stars. Also included is a table with associated information for each of the 4554 objects and their light curves.
Since 1850 the concentration of atmospheric methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas, has more than doubled. Recent studies suggest that emission inventories may be missing sources and underestimating emissions. To investigate whether offshore oil and gas platforms leak CH4 during normal operation, we measured CH4 mole fractions around eight oil and gas production platforms in the North Sea which were neither flaring gas nor off-loading oil. We use the measurements from summer 2017, along with meteorological data, in a Gaussian plume model to estimate CH4 emissions from each platform. We find CH4 mole fractions of between 11 and 370 ppb above background concentrations downwind of the platforms measured, corresponding to a median CH4 emission of 6.8 g CH4 s-1 for each platform, with a range of 2.9 to 22.3 g CH4 s-1. When matched to production records, during our measurements individual platforms lost between 0.04% and 1.4% of gas produced with a median loss of 0.23%. When the measured platforms are considered collectively, (i.e. the sum of platforms’ emission fluxes weighted by the sum of the platforms’ production), we estimate the CH4 loss to be 0.19% of gas production. These estimates are substantially higher than the emissions most recently reported to the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory (NAEI) for total CH4 loss from United Kingdom platforms in the North Sea. The NAEI reports CH4 losses from the offshore oil and gas platforms we measured to be 0.13% of gas production, with most of their emissions coming from gas flaring and offshore oil loading, neither of which were taking place at the time of our measurements. All oil and gas platforms we observed were found to leak CH4 during normal operation and much of this leakage has not been included in UK emission inventories. Further research is required to accurately determine total CH4 leakage from all offshore oil and gas operations and to properly include the leakage in national and international emission inventories.
Berryman, Eleanor J.; Winey, J. M.; Gupta, Yogendra M.; Duffy, Thomas S.
Stishovite (rutile-type SiO2) is the archetype of dense silicates and may occur in post-garnet eclogitic rocks at lower-mantle conditions. Sound velocities in stishovite are fundamental to understanding its mechanical and thermodynamic behavior at high pressure and temperature. Here, we use plate-impact experiments combined with velocity interferometry to determine the stress, density, and longitudinal sound speed in stishovite formed during shock compression of fused silica at 44 GPa and above. The measured sound speeds range from 12.3(8) km/s at 43.8(8) GPa to 9.8(4) km/s at 72.7(11) GPa. The decrease observed at 64 GPa reacts a decrease in the shear modulus of stishovite, likely due to the onset of melting. By 72 GPa, the measured sound speed agrees with the theoretical bulk sound speed indicating loss of all shear stiffness due to complete melting. Our sound velocity results provide direct evidence for shock-induced melting, in agreement with previous pyrometry data.
In 2017, seven members of the Archive-It Mid-Atlantic Users Group (AITMA) conducted a study of 14 subjects representative of their stakeholder populations to assess the usability of Archive-It, a web archiving subscription service of the Internet Archive. While Archive-It is the most widely-used tool for web archiving, little is known about how users interact with the service. This study intended to teach us what users expect from web archives, which exist as another form of archival material. End-user subjects executed four search tasks using the public Archive-It interface and the Wayback Machine to access archived information on websites from the facilitators’ own harvested collections and provide feedback about their experiences. The tasks were designed to have straightforward pass or fail outcomes, and the facilitators took notes on the subjects’ behavior and commentary during the sessions. Overall, participants reported mildly positive impressions of Archive-It public user interface based on their session. The study identified several key areas of improvement for the Archive-It service pertaining to metadata options, terminology display, indexing of dates, and the site’s search box.
Geochemical and geomechanical perturbations of the subsurface caused by the injection of fluids present the risk of leakage and seismicity. This study investigated how flow of acidic fluids affects hydraulic and frictional properties of fractures using experiments with 3.8 cm-long specimens of Eagle Ford shale, a laminated shale with carbonate-rich strata. In low-pressure flow cells, one set of samples was exposed to an acidic brine and another set was exposed to a neutral brine. X-ray computed tomography and x-ray fluorescence analysis revealed that samples exposed to the acidic brine were calcite-depleted and had developed a porous altered layer, while the other set showed little evidence of alteration. After reaction, samples were compacted and sheared in a triaxial cell that supplied normal stress and differential pore pressure at prescribed sliding velocities, independently measuring friction and permeability. During the initial compaction, the porous altered layer collapsed into fine particles that filled the fracture aperture. This effectively impeded flow and sealed the fracture, resulting in a decrease in fracture permeability by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude relative to the compressed unaltered fractures. During shear, the collapsed layer of fine-grained particles prevented the formation of interlocking micro-asperities resulting in lower frictional strength. With regard to subsurface risks, this study showcases how coupled geochemical and geomechanical processes could favorably seal fractures to inhibit leakage, but also could increase the likelihood of induced seismicity. These findings have important implications for geological carbon sequestration, pressurized fluid energy storage, geothermal energy, and other subsurface technologies.
Pereira, Talmo D.; Aldarondo, Diego E.; Willmore, Lindsay; Kislin, Mikhail; Wang, Samuel S.-H.; Murthy, Mala; Shaevitz, Joshua W.
Recent work quantifying postural dynamics has attempted to define the repertoire of behaviors performed by an animal. However, a major drawback to these techniques has been their reliance on dimensionality reduction of images which destroys information about which parts of the body are used in each behavior. To address this issue, we introduce a deep learning-based method for pose estimation, LEAP (LEAP Estimates Animal Pose). LEAP automatically predicts the positions of animal body parts using a deep convolutional neural network with as little as 10 frames of labeled data for training. This framework consists of a graphical interface for interactive labeling of body parts and software for training the network and fast prediction on new data (1 hr to train, 185 Hz predictions). We validate LEAP using videos of freely behaving fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and track 32 distinct points on the body to fully describe the pose of the head, body, wings, and legs with an error rate of <3% of the animal's body length. We recapitulate a number of reported findings on insect gait dynamics and show LEAP's applicability as the first step in unsupervised behavioral classification. Finally, we extend the method to more challenging imaging situations (pairs of flies moving on a mesh-like background) and movies from freely moving mice (Mus musculus) where we track the full conformation of the head, body, and limbs.
Amazonian deforestation causes systematic changes in regional dry season precipitation. Some of these changes at contemporary large scales (a few hundreds of kilometers) of deforestation have been associated with a ‘dynamical mesoscale circulation’, induced by the replacement of rough forest with smooth pasture. In terms of decadal averages, this dynamical mechanism yields increased precipitation in downwind regions and decreased precipitation in upwind regions of deforested areas. Daily, seasonal, and interannual variations in this phenomenon may exist, but have not yet been identified or explained. This study uses observations and numerical simulations to develop relationships between the dynamical mechanism and the local- and continental-scale atmospheric conditions across a range of time scales. It is found that the strength of the dynamical mechanism is primarily controlled by the regional-scale thermal and dynamical conditions of the boundary layer, and not by the continental- and global-scale atmospheric state. Lifting condensation level and wind speed within the boundary layer have large and positive correlations with the strength of the dynamical mechanism. The strength of these relationships depends on time scale and is strongest over the seasonal cycle. Overall, the dynamical mechanism is found to be strongest during times when the atmosphere is relatively stable. Hence, for contemporary large scales of deforestation this phenomenon is found to be the prevalent convective triggering mechanism during the dry and parts of transition seasons (especially during the dry-to-wet transition), significantly affecting the hydroclimate during this period.
Ant colonies regulate activity in response to changing conditions without using centralized control. Harvester ant colonies forage in the desert for seeds, and their regulation of foraging manages a tradeoff between spending and obtaining water. Foragers lose water while outside in the dry air, but the colony obtains water by metabolizing the fats in the seeds they eat. Previous work shows that the rate at which an outgoing forager leaves the nest depends on its recent experience of brief antennal contact with returning foragers that carry a seed. We examine how this process can yield foraging rates that are robust to uncertainty and responsive to temperature and humidity across minutes to hour-long timescales. To explore possible mechanisms, we develop a low-dimensional analytical model with a small number of parameters that captures observed foraging behavior. The model uses excitability dynamics to represent response to interactions inside the nest and a random delay distribution to represent foraging time outside the nest. We show how feedback of outgoing foragers returning to the nest stabilizes the incoming and outgoing foraging rates to a common value determined by the ``volatility’’ of available foragers. The model exhibits a critical volatility above which there is sustained foraging at a constant rate and below which there is cessation of foraging. To explain how the foraging rates of colonies adjust to temperature and humidity, we propose a mechanism that relies on foragers modifying their volatility after they leave the nest and get exposed to the environment. Our study highlights the importance of feedback in the regulation of foraging activity and points to modulation of volatility as a key to explaining differences in foraging activity in response to conditions and across colonies. Our results present opportunities for generalization to other contexts and systems with excitability and feedback across multiple timescales.
Small changes in word choice can lead to dramatically different interpretations of narratives. How does the brain accumulate and integrate such local changes to construct unique neural representations for different stories? In this study we created two distinct narratives by changing only a few words in each sentence (e.g. “he” to “she” or “sobbing” to “laughing”) while preserving the grammatical structure across stories. We then measured changes in neural responses between the two stories. We found that the differences in neural responses between the two stories gradually increased along the hierarchy of processing timescales. For areas with short integration windows, such as early auditory cortex, the differences in neural responses between the two stories were relatively small. In contrast, in areas with the longest integration windows at the top of the hierarchy, such as the precuneus, temporal parietal junction, and medial frontal cortices, there were large differences in neural responses between stories. Furthermore, this gradual increase in neural difference between the stories was highly correlated with an area’s ability to integrate information over time. Amplification of neural differences did not occur when changes in words did not alter the interpretation of the story (e.g. “sobbing” to “crying”). Our results demonstrate how subtle differences in words are gradually accumulated and amplified along the cortical hierarchy as the brain constructs a narrative over time.