Expected float entropy minimisation, relationships and consciousness
The question of whether there is a class of mathematical structures that have the property of consciousness may seem bizarre, daunting and yet perhaps on reflection important. It has received little attention from mathematicians probably because mathematics cannot be introduced in the absence of concrete definitions.
It is however of interest to biology, neuroscience, computer science, mathematics and theoretical physics, an example of the latter being Max Tegmark’s "Mathematical Universe Hypothesis" and its variations; see arXiv.org. Whilst it is sensible to approach such questions with caution and humility it is also reasonable for scientists to try to make progress in this area. In this respect I have writer articles proposing that relationships (isolated under expected float entropy minimisation) may play an important role in consciousness.
The theory stems from information theory and introduces a type of conditional entropy that includes relationships as parameters. It turns out that, for non-random systems, certain choices for the relationship parameters are isolated from the rest in the sense that they give much lower expected float entropy values and, hence, the system defines relationships. Since consciousness is awash with relationships and associations, the theory may be relevant to consciousness. The 2021 article Model Unity and the Unity of Consciousness: Developments in Expected Float Entropy Minimisation also introduced the following postulate, where in the mathematical domain the word interpretation means relational model.
(The fundamental postulate of EFE minimisation).If we suppose that consciousness is given by an interpretation or representation of system states then, notwithstanding the possibility that a system may need to satisfy a number of requirements to be conscious, among the infinitely many possible interpretations, consciousness is given by some form of minimum expected entropy interpretation of system states that yields an experience free of unnecessary discontinuities whilst exhibiting the intrinsic structural regularities of probable system states.
For those interested, below are various resources including a release of the GUI software (runnable .jar files) developed for researching the theory.
- Model Unity and the Unity of Consciousness: Developments in Expected Float Entropy Minimisation. Entropy article 2021. pdf
- From Learning to Consciousness: An Example Using Expected Float Entropy Minimisation. Entropy article 2019. pdf
- Quasi-Conscious Multivariate Systems. Complexity article 2015. pdf
- Quasi-Conscious Multivariate Systems. Preprint 2015. pdf
- Quasi-Conscious Multivariate Systems. ASSC conference poster 2015. pdf
- (Download URFinder3.73 - June 2020: >10x faster than version 3.72)
- (Download URFinder3.73 development source files)
- (Download RasterSampler1.0)
- (Download RasterSampler1.0 development source files)
- Mathematical theories of consciousness. News item and case study on www.maths.ox.ac.uk 2016. Web Page
URFinder is for finding relationship parameters that minimise expected float entropy in the case of small systems. It can also be used to implement Monte Carlo methods and produce expected float entropy histograms. RasterSampler is used for sampling pixels, in a chosen configuration, from digital photographs. When reading the published Complexity article “Quasi-Conscious Multivariate Systems” please note that the copy editing introduced an error on the 19th page (page number 143). The equation in question should say .