Ionic decision-maker created as novel, solid-state devices

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Science Advances  07 Sep 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 9, eaau2057
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau2057


Decision-making is being performed frequently in areas of computation to obtain better performance in a wide variety of current intelligent activities. In practical terms, this decision-making must adapt to dynamic changes in environmental conditions. However, because of limited computational resources, adaptive decision-making is generally difficult to achieve using conventional computers. The ionic decision-maker reported here, which uses electrochemical phenomena, has excellent dynamic adaptabilities, as demonstrated by its ability to solve multiarmed bandit problems (MBPs) in which a gambler given a choice of slot machines must select the appropriate machines to play so as to maximize the total reward in a series of trials. Furthermore, our ionic decision-maker successfully solves dynamic competitive MBPs, which cause serious loss due to the collision of selfish users in communication networks. The technique used in our devices offers a shift toward decision-making using the motion of ions, an approach that could find myriad applications in computer science and technology, including artificial intelligence.

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