Sicun Gao, Assistant Professor, UC San Diego
Abstract: Highly-nonlinear continuous functions have become a pervasive model of computation. Despite newsworthy progress, the practical success of “intelligent” computing is still restricted by our ability to answer questions regarding their quality and dependability: How do we rigorously know that a system will do exactly what we want it to do and nothing else? For traditional software and hardware systems that primarily use digital and rule-based designs, automated reasoning has provided the fundamental principles and widely-used tools for ensuring their quality in all stages of design and engineering. However, the rigid symbolic formulations of typical automated reasoning methods often make them unsuitable for dealing with computation units that are driven by numerical and data-driven approaches. I will overview some of our attempts in bridging this gap. I will highlight how the core challenge of NP-hardness is shared across discrete and continuous domains, and how it motivates us to seek the unification of symbolic, numerical, and statistical perspectives towards better understanding and handling of the curse of dimensionality.