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Mark Zangari speaks on Agency and Machine Learning: from data to actions

Once upon a time there were programmers, but not software engineers.  As businesses and other organizations learned the value of this new technology, software engineering emerged as a discipline to derive maximum business value from it.

There is a similar need emerging in data science today.  This means that machine learning is underutilized compared to its potential in solving business problems. So the question is, how to bridge from the business to data and machine learning to drive maximum value?

Quantellia co-founder Mark Zangari presented a talk on this topic, called “Agency”, in Seattle on May 1 at MLConf 2015.

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Announcing interactive web-based decision intelligence

At Quantellia, we’ve been delivering enterprise-scale, desktop- and PC-based decision intelligence models to our clients for a few years now, using our World Modeler™ software.  In the last few months, every single one of our clients has asked for our work to be delivered through a web interface, so we’ve been heads-down in delivery and development to meet their needs.  These are not available to be viewed by the general public, however, so I’ve spent the last few days building a demonstration to show you what we do, and as part of my answer to a recent Quora question on Agency theory as well as Mark’s upcoming talk on this topic at MLConf Seattle.

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Towards two-marshmallow government

There’s a well-known psychological experiment, where children are offered a marshmallow, and told that if they could wait a few minutes before eating it, they’d get two. The kids who could handle the delayed gratification were more successful in later life.

I visited a city on the east coast of the US recently, and was surprised to see deteriorated infrastructure—cracking sidewalks and broken walls—right next to brand-new construction. On the plane back, my seatmate—a long-term resident—expressed her frustration with city planners. “They seem to have a bit of tunnel vision,” she explained, going on to say that the lack of a light rail and a downtown sports center were also symptoms of short-term thinking. Fearful of the construction impact, local residents voted these initiatives down.

Like the one-marshmallow kids, these residents weren’t able to envision a future in which a short-term cost led to a much greater long-term benefit. Continue reading

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Decision models are the requirements language for DI apps

The software engineering revolution is happening again.

I was a coder before software engineering, and it wasn’t pretty.  When we needed to build a new program, we’d get together with the end customer, and ask a lot of questions, then go back to the office to write code.  It didn’t go very well.  It was like construction without blueprints, manufacturing without CAD. Continue reading

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What makes World Modeler different?

In anticipation of Mark Zangari’s upcoming talk on Agency Theory at MLConf Seattle, a question appeared on Quora yesterday asking  “What is the World Modeler platform and how does it compare to similar platforms?”  I thought I’d answer the question here.

(If you’re coming here from Quora, then skip to the bottom for the new stuff)

As explained in two kinds of software, some software systems have a “world model” at their core, which is a “cartoon” simplification of something in the real world.

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