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Jim Kennedy
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  • Rockville, MD
  • United States
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Social psychologist, originator of particle swarm optimization, I am the Director of a federal office for analysis and research services; also a kick-ass guitar player

Jim Kennedy's Blog

The Bare Bones Particle Swarm

Posted on March 16, 2017 at 3:00am 0 Comments

Many numerical problems can be posed in terms of minimizing something. For instance, you can take a problem like x=2+3 and turn it around to find the value of x that minimizes abs((2+3) - x) (squaring or using absolute value to make the minimum function result zero rather than negative infinity). Lots of times you really are trying to minimize a cost, or in the case of neural networks and other statistical models you might be trying to minimize error. Many kinds of…


Identifying Causality in Line Graphs

Posted on March 5, 2017 at 4:30pm 0 Comments

Let me share a little bit of data-analysis wisdom I picked up in graduate school, in the Psych Department*. Social psychology relies on experimental research designs -- our interest is in identifying cause and effect. In an experiment you randomly assign subjects to groups, and administer a particular level of an independent variable to each group. Then you measure a dependent variable to see if the groups differ. Since you, the experimenter, have controlled the group treatments,…


Leaping to a New Optimum in the Office Workspace

Posted on February 26, 2017 at 6:30am 0 Comments

I listened once to an old professor talking about working out factorial ANOVA and multiple regression on paper, back in the day. He described a whole room full of papers, all in a particular order, every sum contributing to the next sum and if you got one number wrong the whole thing would be wrong and you'd have to start over. Adding machines made it go quicker, and when punch-card mainframes came they were, well, frustrating at times -- lots of graphic and emotional stories there! -- but…


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