Discussion about the use of self-organisation for automatically "programming" networks of processing nodes.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Information processing researchers don't like quantum field theory? (update)

It has now been officially confirmed. Information processing researchers don't like quantum field theory. My paper Discrete network dynamics. Part 1: Operator theory (which can be found in arXiv at cs.NE/0511027) has been rejected by the Journal of Machine Learning Research. I presume that I should not quote verbatim from the rejection letter. However, the gist of the reasons for rejection were based on reports from two reviewers:
  1. The need to include more citations to related work. [This is entirely reasonable. I had overlooked some prior work that didn't use the right key words to be caught by my literature search.]
  2. The need to include a proof of the convergence to the correct joint PDF when multiple iterations of the update operator were used. [I had already proved that a single iteration of the update operator was exactly equivalent to a standard MCMC update, and we already know the convergence properties after multiple iterations of a standard MCMC update, so I don't actually need to provide any proof. There is nothing new to prove!]
  3. The need to supply explicit examples of MCMC algorithms generated by use of this approach. [The whole section on ACEnet is such an example. I could supply more examples, but the paper is already quite long, and I intend to publish these in future papers in the series.]

The paper was also sent to a third reviewer who gave an "informal" report which included the statement that my creation and annihilation operators were curious because they anti-commuted. This is news to me, so I invite anyone to point out where I use anti-commuting operators in my paper.

I am disappointed that my paper should be unconditionally rejected. However, it was not a complete surprise to me (see the title of this posting), so I am not even angry about it. The net effect is that there is now a blockage in the way of all subsequent papers in the DND series, where I investigate various consequences of this approach. Never mind, what I do in this sort of circumstance is to dump a highly abbreviated (and thus incomprehensible) version of the paper on an unsuspecting conference somewhere, where it can languish in their proceedings to be read only by the most inquisitive researchers.


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