UCI researchers’ deep learning algorithm solves Rubik’s Cube faster than any human

Irvine, Calif., July 15, 2019 – Since its invention by a Hungarian architect in 1974, the Rubik’s Cube has furrowed the brows of many who have tried to solve it, but the 3D logic puzzle is no match for an artificial intelligence system created by researchers at the University of California, Irvine.

DeepCubeA, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm programmed by UCI computer scientists and mathematicians, can find the solution in a fraction of a second, without any specific domain knowledge or in-game coaching from humans. This is no simple task considering that the cube has completion paths numbering in the billions but only one goal state – each of six sides displaying a solid color – which apparently can’t be found through random moves.

For a study published today in Nature Machine Intelligence, the researchers demonstrated that DeepCubeA solved 100 percent of all test configurations, finding the shortest path to the goal state about 60 percent of the time. The algorithm also works on other combinatorial games such as the sliding tile puzzle, Lights Out and Sokoban.

“Artificial intelligence can defeat the world’s best human chess and Go players, but some of the more difficult puzzles, such as the Rubik’s Cube, had not been solved by computers, so we thought they were open for AI approaches,” said senior author Pierre Baldi, UCI Distinguished Professor of computer science. “The solution to the Rubik’s Cube involves more symbolic, mathematical and abstract thinking, so a deep learning machine that can crack such a puzzle is getting closer to becoming a system that can think, reason, plan and make decisions.”

The researchers were interested in understanding how and why the AI made its moves and how long it took to perfect its method. They started with a computer simulation of a completed puzzle and then scrambled the cube. Once the code was in place and running, DeepCubeA trained in isolation for two days, solving an increasingly difficult series of combinations.

“It learned on its own,” Baldi noted.

There are some people, particularly teenagers, who can solve the Rubik’s Cube in a hurry, but even they take about 50 moves.

“Our AI takes about 20 moves, most of the time solving it in the minimum number of steps,” Baldi said. “Right there, you can see the strategy is different, so my best guess is that the AI’s form of reasoning is completely different from a human’s.”

The veteran computer scientist said the ultimate goal of projects such as this one is to build the next generation of AI systems. Whether they know it or not, people are touched by artificial intelligence every day through apps such as Siri and Alexa and recommendation engines working behind the scenes of their favorite online services.

“But these systems are not really intelligent; they’re brittle, and you can easily break or fool them,” Baldi said. “How do we create advanced AI that is smarter, more robust and capable of reasoning, understanding and planning? This work is a step toward this hefty goal.”

Co-authors of the study were Forest Agostinelli, a UCI Ph.D. candidate in computer science; Stephen McAleer, a Ph.D. student in computer science; and Alexander Shmakov, a senior in mathematics.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

UCI team pioneers cancer treatment that targets bone metastases while sparing bone

Irvine, Calif., July 8, 2019 — University of The golden state, Irvine scientists have actually developed and examined on computer mice a healing treatment that makes use of crafted stem cells to target as well as eliminate cancer bone metastases while maintaining the bone.This new approach

, reported in the journal EBioMedicine, gears up crafted mesenchymal stem cells with targeting representatives that drive them to bone metastatic sites, where they unload rehabs. Link to research study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352396419304281?via%3Dihub”What’s powerful regarding this method is that we provide a mix

of both anti-tumor and also anti-bone resorption representatives so we can efficiently obstruct the vicious cycle in between cancers as well as their bone niche,”said the research study’s lead author, Weian Zhao, associate teacher of pharmaceutical scientific researches and biomedical design.”This is a safe as well as virtually safe treatment contrasted to radiation treatment, which frequently leaves clients with long-lasting problems.”Sandra Spivey, an Orange Area person advocate that has actually been coping with metastatic bust cancer cells because 1997, has experienced firsthand the ravages of typical treatment.”Chemotherapy can eliminate both cancer cells and typical cells as well as produce radical adverse effects,”she claimed.”I have actually lost my hair; I have lost experience in my hands and feet. Many of all, radiation treatment actually robs you of your time. This new targeted approach might enhance lifestyle both during as well as after treatment.”The strategy might additionally be applied with other bone conditions that are generally tough to manage, such as numerous myeloma and weakening of bones.” This research study will certainly lead the way to a scientific test in the short term, as this sort of stem cell has already been checked as well as regarded safe in the facility,”Zhao stated.” UCI’s Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sue & Bill

Gross Stem Cell Proving Ground and also Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Cells Facility are totally equipped to conduct this kind of medical trial. We will certainly want to target people with bone metastases.”Additionally contributing to the study were Aude Segaliny, Jason Cheng, Henry Farhoodi, Michael Toledano, Chih Chun Yu, Leanne Hildebrand, Linan Liu, Michael Liao, Jaedu Cho, Dongxu Liu, Lizhi Sunlight, Gultekin Gulsen and Min-Ying Su of UCI; as well as Beatrice Tierra and Dr. Robert Sah of UC San Diego. Assistance was supplied by the National Cancer Cells Institute(P30CA062203), the National Institutes of Health, the National Scientific Research Structure, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Irvine-based Baylx Inc. as well as France’s ARC Structure for Cancer Research. About the University of The golden state

, Irvine: Established in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prominent Organization of American Universities. The school has generated 3 Nobel laureates and also is known for its scholastic success, leading study, advancement and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman

, UCI has even more than 36,000 pupils as well as uses 222 level programs. It lies in among the world’s most safe and most economically dynamic communities as well as is Orange Area’s second-largest employer, contributing$5 billion yearly to the regional economy. For much more on UCI, browse through www.uci.edu. Media accessibility: Radio programs/stations might, for a charge, utilize an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI professors and experts, subject to accessibility and also university authorization. For even more UCI news, browse through news.uci.edu. Extra resources for reporters may be located at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

UCI’s first Ono Pharma Breakthrough Science Initiative Award is won by associate professor

Robert Spitale, associate teacher of pharmaceutical sciences, is among 5 victors of 2019 Ono Pharma Innovation Scientific Research Initiative Awards, intended to increase risky as well as high-reward science study tasks that could lead to explorations, remedies and prospective advancement therapies for clients. This is the very first time a UCI scientist has actually won the honor, which is for 3 years and also gives $900,000 in direct funds for picked projects. Spitale’s is labelled “Imaging and Genetically Characterizing Tumors With PET-Seq.” He will certainly work to better comprehend the technicians of positron emission tomography imaging. “ANIMAL imaging is regularly utilized by radiologists, oncologists and also specialists to overview treatment programs or medical resection,” Spitale claimed. “Regardless of the widespread use of PET DOG imaging, it deals with a number of drawbacks that, if boosted, would certainly have a significant result on execution, interpretation as well as use of these signals and guide individual therapy. About 2,500 PET scanners carry out regarding 2 million scans each year; thus, the effect of our suggested researches can be really significant.”

International airline alliances benefit connecting passengers, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., July 9, 2019— Allowing airlines to form international partnerships brings about decrease prices for travelers that incorporate two aligned carriers in making an overseas journey, according to a new research led by the University of The Golden State, Irvine. But those taking a trip continuously in between global centers might face greater expenses as a result of lost competitors from partnerships, researchers found.

“On the pricing side, partnerships have both an advantage and a disadvantage,” stated the research study’s lead writer, Jan Brueckner, UCI Distinguished Teacher of business economics.

The record, appointed by the UNITED STATE Department of Transport, analyzed international fare patterns between 1997 and also 2016. During much of this duration, 3 major international airline company partnerships gave service: Star (United and Lufthansa), SkyTeam (Delta-Air France and also KLM) and also Oneworld (American and also British Airways).

Some UNITED STATE guests taking a trip to particular international destinations– from Memphis, Tennessee, to Toulouse, France, for instance– require to fly on 2 airlines because no one service provider offers both cities. For these passengers, tickets acquired from alliance companions were 7 percent more affordable than those supplied by two non-allied airlines.

“Participation by the partnership partners minimizes the fare about the one billed by 2 nonaligned carriers, that run at arm’s size,” Brueckner said.

The drawback, however, is felt by passengers who fly nonstop on a solitary airline company on some paths between international portal flight terminals– such as from Denver to Munich or from Atlanta to Paris. Alliance companions on these routes fly side-by-side but do not take on each other, according to the research. This lack of competition elevates ticket rates by concerning 7 percent compared to those in a competitive setting.

With worldwide partnerships having both favorable and unfavorable impacts, should regulators enforce limitations on them, reversing decades of decisions in their favor? Brueckner as well as research study co-author Ethan Singer of Compass Lexecon ran a simulation to identify what would certainly take place to fares if alliances were dissolved. They located that, while even more competition would aid drive down costs for nonstop travelers, the decrease would not exceed the higher costs linking guests would certainly have to pay.

“On equilibrium, partnerships are favorable for international guests, a conclusion that validates decades of U.S. governing plan,” Brueckner stated. “The comfort advantages of alliances, such as one-stop check-in and connecting gateway distance, which the research study did rule out, reinforce this verdict.”

About the College of California, Irvine:Established in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the distinguished Association of American Universities. The university has created 3 Nobel laureates and is known for its scholastic accomplishment, leading research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has greater than 36,000 pupils as well as offers 222 level programs. It’s located in among the world’s most safe as well as most economically dynamic areas as well as is Orange Region’s second-largest company, contributing $5 billion yearly to the regional economy. For a lot more on UCI, go to www.uci.edu.

Media access:Radio programs/stations may, for a charge, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and professionals, subject to schedule as well as college authorization. For even more UCI information, browse through news.uci.edu. Additional resources for reporters might be located at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

UCI child neurologist Dr. Tallie Z. Baram is awarded $15 million Conte Center grant

Irvine, Calif., July 10, 2019 — The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded Dr. Tallie Z. Baram of the University of California, Irvine a five-year, $15 million Silvio O. Conte Center grant. The funding will allow her interdisciplinary team to continue studying how unpredictable parental and environmental signals influence an infant’s vulnerability later in life to cognitive and emotional problems, such as risky behaviors, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2013, Baram, an internationally renowned child neurologist and neuroscientist, received $10 million from the NIMH – which is part of the National Institutes of Health – to create the Conte Center on Brain Programming in Mental Disorders at UCI. Conte Center grants are bestowed on the most promising multidisciplinary and often cross-species approaches to improving the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues.

“We appreciate that the National Institute of Mental Health strategic plan recognizes that most neuropsychiatric disorders originate early in life and are influenced by early-life environments in addition to important genetic factors,” said Baram, UCI’s Danette Shepard Chair in Neurological Studies.

“The complexity of teasing out the relative contribution of genetics and environment and identifying new parameters of an infant’s or child’s experience requires a multidisciplinary approach that involves both animal and human research,” she said. “Investigators at UCI have identified novel and surprising contributors to vulnerability to mental illness. The Conte Center funding will enable us to test the contribution of these early-life factors to vulnerability to mental illness – for example, the vulnerability of Marines who’ve experienced combat to developing post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Her team is capitalizing on a large body of work suggesting that early in life, the environment affects a baby’s cognitive and emotional functioning primarily through signals, or care behaviors, from the mother. The researchers suspect that the pattern of maternal signals – their consistency and predictability, in addition to their general quantity and quality – is key.

In neurobiology, it’s well known that the brain is organized as circuits of interconnected cells and that specific circuits execute functions such as hearing and seeing. In early life, sensory signals and their patterns influence the development of these brain circuits.

Baram, a professor of pediatrics, neurology, and anatomy & neurobiology at UCI, and her investigators propose that the same principles also apply to brain circuits that execute cognitive and emotional functions. Specifically, their animal studies have shown that consistent and predictable maternal signals enhance cognitive and emotional maturation in offspring, while fragmented and unpredictable maternal care constrains it.

During the first phase of the Conte Center grant, the group tracked cohorts of pregnant women and their fetuses and, postpartum, assessed maternal care patterns and infant and child mental outcomes. They found that, as with animals, unpredictable patterns of maternal signals presaged worse memory and emotional functioning in human babies and children.

So the team has shown that, in addition to known factors – such as genetics, parental mental health and socioeconomic levels – the predictability of signals from parents and the environment in early life contributes to emotional and cognitive health in children and adolescents. These discoveries have been replicated by scientists in Europe and are being embraced by many throughout the U.S.

Over the coming five years, UCI’s Conte Center – which now includes researchers from UC San Diego, Chapman University and the University of Denver – will employ cutting-edge technologies combining neurobiological and molecular research with animals, behavioral research with children, and neuroimaging and computational and statistical analyses across species to gain an understanding of how these novel factors affect brain circuit development and vulnerability to mental illness in both typical populations and high-risk populations, such as troops who’ve seen combat.

“During Conte Center 1.0, we uncovered new principles of how environmental and maternal signals influence brain wiring,” Baram said. “With Conte Center 2.0, we need to understand how these early-life factors impact the brain to contribute to risk-taking behaviors, drug use, and problems including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. We need to share these discoveries and test them around the world. Importantly, we need to figure out how to predict who is at risk and devise precise, mechanism-based interventions.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.