Quantum Bayesian Networks

January 28, 2015

25th birthday of Ergo (Bayesian Network Software)

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:37 am

“Ergo” of course is Latin for “therefore”. The philosopher René Descartes famously said “Cogito ergo sum”, which means “I think therefore I am” .

For a long time, I’ve been advising people who are learning classical Bayesian networks (CB nets) for the first time to try a CB net computer program. Such programs are really captivating, at least to me, and they are very helpful for learning about CB nets. Nowadays, there are many CB net computer programs available. For many years, Kevin Murphy, a Prof. at the Uni. of BC, Canada, has kept a list of them here.

One of the first, if not the first, CB net computer program with a GUI was written circa 1990, 25 years ago, by “Noetic Systems Inc.”. It was called Ergo. Recently, the authors of Ergo posted on arXiv one of the original white papers describing their software: http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.1095

If you are going to try your first CB net computer program, I think Ergo is a great place to start. Ergo was the first CB net program I ever tried, and it was love at first sight for me. The nice thing about Ergo vis-à-vis other, more recent CB net computer programs is that it’s much simpler. The latest CB net programs have a gazillion more features so it’s easy to get lost in their complexity. That’s why I advise you to start off with Ergo, and then, once you develop an appetite for more features, you can try the newer programs.

It’s amazing and a good testament to the very far backward compatibility of MS Windows software, that Ergo still works 25 years later on Windows XP and later versions of Windows too(?)

The trial version of Ergo for Windows (It’s a crippled version that doesn’t allow you to save files) was available on the internet until maybe 5(?) years ago, but I can no longer find a link to it. In tribute to CB net history, I am making it available here at my website. I’m doing this without the permission of the Ergo authors. If they come forward and ask me to remove it, I will immediately comply with their request.

4 Comments »

  1. Hello Dr. Tucci: Long time no hear!. Anyway, here is an off-topic bit of news about D-Wave! They are STILL hiring! I hope you are well. Thanks.

    Comment by Sol Warda — January 29, 2015 @ 7:09 pm

  2. SORRY! I forgot to give you the link! Getting senile!:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2015/01/29/quantum-computing-company-d-wave-raises-29-million/

    Comment by Sol Warda — January 29, 2015 @ 7:11 pm

  3. Thanks Sol. Ever since Google and everyone else stopped providing blogs-only search results, I’ve been having a hard time learning about the latest QC news, So I appreciate the link, which I had not seen yet.

    Comment by rrtucci — January 29, 2015 @ 7:25 pm

  4. Check out:
    A list of companies that make a living by offering Bayesian Networks software and services, 25 years after Ergo

    Comment by rrtucci — January 30, 2015 @ 3:54 pm


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