söndag 12 januari 2020

On Real Simulation

The painter, the painting and the nude physical origin.
Icarus Digital Math will be launched under the banner:
  • automated real simulation. 
Here "real" signifies that the simulation can serve as true prediction of reality and "automated" that the key elements of the simulation
  1. mathematical modeling in terms of differential equations
  2. discretisation in terms of algebraic equations
  3. computational solution of algebraic equations, 
are carried out in the form of computational software, such as FEniCS. 

The term "real simulation" may seem like an oxymoron with an apparent contradiction between reality as ”what is” and simulation as ”what is computed/imagined”. But the relation between reality as god-given physical origin and simulation as man-made mathematical model or picture, is in fact very complex and as such an important aspect of both science and arts. 

The postmodernist philosopher Baudrillard coined the concept of ”hyperreality” with the image filling the empty place of a non-existing origin, as true reality with Disneyland as example. 

The computer scientist Dijkstra similarly elevated the model as the "abstract machine" more true than the "physical machine": 
  • Originally I viewed it as the function of the abstract machine to provide a truthful picture of the physical reality. Later, however, I learned to consider the abstract machine as the true one, because that is the only one we can think ; it is the physical machine's purpose to supply a working model, a (hopefully) sufficiently accurate physical simulation of the true, abstract machine.
It also comes to full expression in the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics with the observer intimately coupled with the observed reality, in particular deciding the fate of Schrödinger's cat in the process of observation. 

In arts, the relation between the painter, the picture and the model is also filled with deep meaning, connecting to Plato's allegory of the cave with shadows forming the reality. 

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