Older blog entries for cerquide (starting at number 43)


I have spent all Saturday morning cleaning. What a stupid way to start holidays!


Lots of work, as usual.

I have to prepare my UML course at f2i.

The course at Sony was really a nice experience.

I am trying to stablish a reasonable research framework with Oryzon genomics. I think the software we are developing could be interesting both from a research and from a commercial point of view.

I have been asked by Geoff Webb to coauthor a paper about TBMATAN, AODE and other classifiers based on improving TAN. I have accepted

I have been asked to review papers for IEEE SMC and IEEE Intelligent Systems.


In a few days I will have my nieces here sharing the holidays with us.

16 Mar 2004 (updated 16 Mar 2004 at 18:59 UTC) »

Today I have been learning C with Alfonso Maestre. We have been trying to understand pointers to functions. It is funny that

int x(int z) {return 0;};

int main() {

if (x == ****************x) {

printf ("I am a pointer to myself\n");



compiles and says a function is a pointer to itself!!! Isn't it surprising?

15 Mar 2004 (updated 15 Mar 2004 at 17:47 UTC) »

I have offered myself to Dr. Samek, to translate "PSSiCC" to spanish. He has forwarded the request to the publisher, CMP books, to see if there is a market. I think the book is good and deserves a spanish translation. If you look at amazon.com it is approx. 11.000 and "Design Patterns" is approx 6.000. Obviously "Design Patterns" has been translated (late).


I am on the program committee of the Workshop on Game Theoretic and Decision Theoretic Agents GTDT04. And I am quite happy to be. :o)


What happened in Madrid was awful. There is no point. Today Spain elects its government. I think they should have delayed the voting, because there is too much noise and unknowns floating around. The government is being criticized for hiding information. People is out in front of the government offices asking them to reveal the truth. In Pamplona, a civilian has been killed for dissenting. I do not feel like we are prepared to vote calmly. I hope that whoever wins asks for a second voting once all the unknowns have been sorted out. Anyhow, today I voted.

UML Statecharts

I have discovered UML statecharts. I have always been atracted by mathematical models of computation. Harel's Hierarchical State Machines, that support the concept of "Behavioural Inheritance" look like a very interesting approach. They provide the theory on the basis of UML statecharts. When the time gets tough, that is in real time systems, they are the most useful technique to formalize systems. I am teaching a UML course to the digital TV group in Sony. Obviously, they work on embedded real time systems (a.k.a. digital TVs). This has made me look into parts of the UML standard I disregarded before for being "too detailed". Nothing is "too detailed" if the system is complex enough. I have read "Doing Hard Time" by Douglas and I am reading "Practical Statecharts in C/C++" by Samek. I recommend both. I think "Doing Hard Time" is nice introduction to UML modelling, not just in real time systems. On the other hand, Samek's book introduces C+ as a simple way of translating object oriented constructs into C. It also introduces "Quantum Programming" (quite a hyped name IMHO), that is a way to translate statecharts to C/C++.

I was annoyed because my connections to remote machines through ssh were stopped by inactivity until I found spinner. What a nice, small and useful piece of software!

25 Jan 2004 (updated 25 Jan 2004 at 21:04 UTC) »

Congratulations chalst!

Research Programming

This weekend I have been recoding my framework to obtain experimental results for machine learning algorithms.

I have added an additional option to BNGenerator to allow the generation of networks with attributes with a fixed number of variables. I hope that Jaime merges it into the software.

I have made the framework able to benefit from a cluster. Now it distributes the work and feeds the different machines whenever they get idle.

I have learned to use several Perl modules in the process.

It was fun... and now I can have results in hours where formerly I had to wait for one week.

I think that in terms of running experiments the framework is quite robust now.

Teaching and programming

Preparing my Network Programming course I have found the following article by Jack Herrington:

Back End Code Generation Techniques for Java

It's worth a read. I have been looking at OptimalJ, ArcStyler and AndroMDA myself. I think I have to read some more on MDA. I am planning to build my homepage with AndroMDA. It is quite amazing how fast technologies mature. This MDA stuff looks ready for a try.


I am having problems with the experimental results of my learning algorithms. This week I have lost a lot of time with that with no success in understanding what was happening. Sigh!

Finally it happened. On December 15th, 2003, I successfully defended my PhD thesis. I am very happy that it is over. Now it is time to raise my head, look forward and think.

Finally it happened!!! After 8 3/4 months of waiting, my nephew was born on December 16th, 2003. I am anxiously waiting to see her.

So quite good news for Xmas, aren't they?

Almost there

I am just missing the Conclusions and Future work. Most of the PhD presentation is done!

Reinforcement learning, game theory and multiagent systems

I have been skimming over Michael Bowling PhD thesis. Quite a nice piece of job. Now I also have to study Markov Decision Processes.

Lost in research

My reading list is growing day after day. The more I read the bigger the holes I find in my background. I do not know whether I will find myself able to attack a real research problem outside my thesis area. On one hand, I moved from business to academia to be able to do research, to search for excellence and to try to do something really good. Now I feel the pressure for quick publication and I do not like it. I did not made the change to spend my time writing nonsense only to get lines in my CV. Struggle for quality. Struggle for quality. Struggle for quality.


I have seen some images posted here in advogato. How do you do it?

27 Nov 2003 (updated 27 Nov 2003 at 23:50 UTC) »
Thinking loud

How do you tackle the problem of learning to play in Tic-Tac-Toe like games? From the point of view of machine learning this is tipically seen as a "reinforcement learning" task. I have never studied that area in detail, since during the development of my thesis I was centered in supervised learning. During ICML 2003 I noticed a strong interest in the community towards reinforcement learning problems (5 sessions were dedicated to the topic).

Today I have been trying to order my ideas and tackle some small toy problems about learning in games. I have noticed that in order to perform research in the area I do not only need to read about Game Theory but also about reinforcement learning. I have found two valuable resources that are now addequately added to my reading list (and both are online).


I like a lot Zoubin Ghahramani's short but simple explanation on what is Bayesian machine learning.

An also interesting page is David J.C. MacKay's homepage that contains a full version of his recently published book on Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms

Personal sensation

This is one of this days in life when you feel absolutely unproductive. I think that I have been reading too much and now my brain is busy processing. I have been in front of the computer for more than 10 hours today with an astonishing result of 5 slides.

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