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Decision maker based on atomic switches

1 WPI Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, National Institute for Materials Science, 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan
2 Department of Applied Physics, Waseda University, 3-4-1 Ookubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
3 Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152–8550, Japan

Special Issue: Nanomaterials for Cognitive Technology

We propose a simple model for an atomic switch-based decision maker (ASDM), and show that, as long as its total number of metal atoms is conserved when coupled with suitable operations, an atomic switch system provides a sophisticated ``decision-making'' capability that is known to be one of the most important intellectual abilities in human beings. We considered a popular decision-making problem studied in the context of reinforcement learning, the multi-armed bandit problem (MAB); the problem of finding, as accurately and quickly as possible, the most profitable option from a set of options that gives stochastic rewards. These decisions are made as dictated by each volume of precipitated metal atoms, which is moved in a manner similar to the fluctuations of a rigid body in a tug-of-war game. The ``tug-of-war (TOW) dynamics'' of the ASDM exhibits higher efficiency than conventional reinforcement-learning algorithms. We show analytical calculations that validate the statistical reasons for the ASDM to produce such high performance, despite its simplicity. Efficient MAB solvers are useful for many practical applications, because MAB abstracts a variety of decision-making problems in real-world situations where an efficient trial-and-error is required. The proposed scheme will open up a new direction in physics-based analog-computing paradigms, which will include such things as ``intelligent nanodevices'' based on self-judgment.
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Keywords natural computing; atomic switch; tug-of-war dynamics; amoeba-inspired computing; multi-armed bandit problem; reinforcement learning

Citation: Song-Ju Kim, Tohru Tsuruoka, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Masashi Aono, Kazuya Terabe, Masakazu Aono. Decision maker based on atomic switches. AIMS Materials Science, 2016, 3(1): 245-259. doi: 10.3934/matersci.2016.1.245


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