The purpose of our report is to discuss the notion of entropy and its relationship with statistics. Our goal is to provide a manner in which you can think about entropy, its central role within information theory and relationship with statistics. We review various relationships between information theory and statistics—nearly all are well-known but unfortunately are often not recognized. Entropy quantities the "average amount of surprise" in a random variable and lies at the heart of information theory, which studies the transmission, processing, extraction, and utilization of information. For us, data is information. What is the distinction between information theory and statistics? Information theorists work with probability distributions. Instead, statisticians work with samples. In so many words, information theory using samples is the practice of statistics. Acknowledgements. We thank Danny Dunlavy, Carlos Llosa, Oscar Lopez, Arvind Prasadan, Gary Saavedra, Jeremy Wendt for helpful discussions along the way. Our report was supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program at San- dia National Laboratories, a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technol- ogy and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell Inter- national, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Adminstration under contract DE-NA0003525.

Computational design-based optimization is a well-used tool in science and engineering. Our report documents the successful use of a particle sensitivity analysis for design-based optimization within Monte Carlo sampling-based particle simulation—a currently unavailable capability. Such a capability enables the particle simulation communities to go beyond forward simulation and promises to reduce the burden on overworked analysts by getting more done with less computation.

Neuromorphic computing, which aims to replicate the computational structure and architecture of the brain in synthetic hardware, has typically focused on artificial intelligence applications. What is less explored is whether such brain-inspired hardware can provide value beyond cognitive tasks. Here we show that the high degree of parallelism and configurability of spiking neuromorphic architectures makes them well suited to implement random walks via discrete-time Markov chains. These random walks are useful in Monte Carlo methods, which represent a fundamental computational tool for solving a wide range of numerical computing tasks. Using IBM’s TrueNorth and Intel’s Loihi neuromorphic computing platforms, we show that our neuromorphic computing algorithm for generating random walk approximations of diffusion offers advantages in energy-efficient computation compared with conventional approaches. We also show that our neuromorphic computing algorithm can be extended to more sophisticated jump-diffusion processes that are useful in a range of applications, including financial economics, particle physics and machine learning.

We propose a novel statistical inference paradigm for zero-inflated multiway count data that dispenses with the need to distinguish between true and false zero counts. Our approach ignores all zero entries and applies zero-truncated Poisson regression on the positive counts. Inference is accomplished via tensor completion that imposes low-rank structure on the Poisson parameter space. Our main result shows that an $\textit{N}$-way rank-R parametric tensor 𝓜 ϵ (0, ∞)^{$I$Χ∙∙∙Χ$I$} generating Poisson observations can be accurately estimated from approximately $IR^2 \text{log}^2_2(I)$ non-zero counts for a nonnegative canonical polyadic decomposition. Several numerical experiments are presented demonstrating that our zero-truncated paradigm is comparable to the ideal scenario where the locations of false zero counts are known $\textit{a priori}$.

Recent advances in neuromorphic algorithm development have shown that neural inspired architectures can efficiently solve scientific computing problems including graph decision problems and partial-integro differential equations (PIDEs). The latter requires the generation of a large number of samples from a stochastic process. While the Monte Carlo approximation of the solution of the PIDEs converges with an increasing number of sampled neuromorphic trajectories, the fidelity of samples from a given stochastic process using neuromorphic hardware requires verification. Such an exercise increases our trust in this emerging hardware and works toward unlocking its energy and scaling efficiency for scientific purposes such as synthetic data generation and stochastic simulation. In this paper, we focus our verification efforts on a one-dimensional Ornstein- Uhlenbeck stochastic differential equation. Using a discrete-time Markov chain approximation, we sample trajectories of the stochastic process across a variety of parameters on an Intel 8- Loihi chip Nahuku neuromorphic platform. Using relative entropy as a verification measure, we demonstrate that the random samples generated on Loihi are, in an average sense, acceptable. Finally, we demonstrate how Loihi's fidelity to the distribution changes as a function of the parameters of the Ornstein- Uhlenbeck equation, highlighting a trade-off between the lower-precision random number generation of the neuromorphic platform and our algorithm's ability to represent a discrete-time Markov chain.

The widely parallel, spiking neural networks of neuromorphic processors can enable computationally powerful formulations. While recent interest has focused on primarily machine learning tasks, the space of appropriate applications is wide and continually expanding. Here, we leverage the parallel and event-driven structure to solve a steady state heat equation using a random walk method. The random walk can be executed fully within a spiking neural network using stochastic neuron behavior, and we provide results from both IBM TrueNorth and Intel Loihi implementations. Additionally, we position this algorithm as a potential scalable benchmark for neuromorphic systems.

A mechanical model is introduced for predicting the initiation and evolution of complex fracture patterns without the need for a damage variable or law. The model, a continuum variant of Newton’s second law, uses integral rather than partial differential operators where the region of integration is over finite domain. The force interaction is derived from a novel nonconvex strain energy density function, resulting in a nonmonotonic material model. The resulting equation of motion is proved to be mathematically well-posed. The model has the capacity to simulate nucleation and growth of multiple, mutually interacting dynamic fractures. In the limit of zero region of integration, the model reproduces the classic Griffith model of brittle fracture. As a result, the simplicity of the formulation avoids the need for supplemental kinetic relations that dictate crack growth or the need for an explicit damage evolution law.

The random walk is a fundamental stochastic process that underlies many numerical tasks in scientific computing applications. We consider here two neural algorithms that can be used to efficiently implement random walks on spiking neuromorphic hardware. The first method tracks the positions of individual walkers independently by using a modular code inspired by the grid cell spatial representation in the brain. The second method tracks the densities of random walkers at each spatial location directly. We analyze the scaling complexity of each of these methods and illustrate their ability to model random walkers under different probabilistic conditions.

The rise of low-power neuromorphic hardware has the potential to change high-performance computing; however much of the focus on brain-inspired hardware has been on machine learning applications. A low-power solution for solving partial differential equations could radically change how we approach large-scale computing in the future. The random walk is a fundamental stochastic process that underlies many numerical tasks in scientific computing applications. We consider here two neural algorithms that can be used to efficiently implement random walks on spiking neuromorphic hardware. The first method tracks the positions of individual walkers independently by using a modular code inspired by grid cells in the brain. The second method tracks the densities of random walkers at each spatial location directly. We present the scaling complexity of each of these methods and illustrate their ability to model random walkers under different probabilistic conditions. Finally, we present implementations of these algorithms on neuromorphic hardware.

Traditionally, material identification is performed using global load and displacement data from simple boundary-value problems such as uni-axial tensile and simple shear tests. More recently, however, inverse techniques such as the Virtual Fields Method (VFM) that capitalize on heterogeneous, full-field deformation data have gained popularity. In this work, we have written a VFM code in a finite-deformation framework for calibration of a viscoplastic (i.e. strain-rate dependent) material model for 304L stainless steel. Using simulated experimental data generated via finite-element analysis (FEA), we verified our VFM code and compared the identified parameters with the reference parameters input into the FEA. The identified material model parameters had surprisingly large error compared to the reference parameters, which was traced to parameter covariance and the existence of many essentially equivalent parameter sets. This parameter non-uniqueness and its implications for FEA predictions is discussed in detail. Finally, we present two strategies to reduce parameter covariance – reduced parametrization of the material model and increased richness of the calibration data – which allow for the recovery of a unique solution.

Modeling material and component behavior using finite element analysis (FEA) is critical for modern engineering. One key to a credible model is having an accurate material model, with calibrated model parameters, which describes the constitutive relationship between the deformation and the resulting stress in the material. As such, identifying material model parameters is critical to accurate and predictive FEA. Traditional calibration approaches use only global data (e.g. extensometers and resultant force) and simplified geometries to find the parameters. However, the utilization of rapidly maturing full-field characterization tech- niques (e.g. Digital Image Correlation (DIC)) with inverse techniques (e.g. the Virtual Feilds Method (VFM)) provide a new, novel and improved method for parameter identification. This LDRD tested that idea: in particular, whether more parameters could be identified per test when using full-field data. The research described in this report successfully proves this hypothesis by comparing the VFM results with traditional calibration methods. Important products of the research include: verified VFM codes for identifying model parameters, a new look at parameter covariance in material model parameter estimation, new validation tech- niques to better utilize full-field measurements, and an exploration of optimized specimen design for improved data richness.