Inferring Different Types of Lindenmayer Systems Using Artificial Intelligence
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Lindenmayer systems (L-systems) are a formal grammar system which consist of a set of rewriting rules. Each rewriting rule is comprised of a symbol to replace (predecessor), a replacement string (successor), and an optional condition that is necessary for replacement. Starting with an initial string, every symbol in the string is replaced in parallel in accordance with the conditions on the rewriting rules, to produce a new string. The replacement process iterates as needed to produce a sequence of strings. There are different types of L-systems, which allow for different types of conditions, and methods of selecting the rules to apply. Some symbols of the alphabet can be interpreted as instructions for simulation software towards process modelling, where each string describes another step of the simulated process. Typically, creating an L-system for a specific process is done by experts by making meticulous measurements and using a priori knowledge about the process. It would be desirable to have a method to automatically learn the L-systems (the simulation program) from data, such as from a temporal sequence of images. This thesis presents a suite of tools, collectively called the Plant Model Inference Tools or PMIT (despite the name, the tools are domain agnostic), for inferring different types of L-systems using only a sequence of strings describing the process over some initial time period. Variants of PMIT are created for deterministic context-free L-systems, stochastic L-systems, and parametric L-systems. They are each evaluated using existing known deterministic and parametric L-systems from the literature, and procedurally generated stochastic L-systems. Accuracy can be detected in various ways, such as checking whether the inferred L-system is equal to the original one. PMIT is able to correctly infer deterministic L-systems with up to 31 symbols in the alphabet compared to the previous state-of-the-art algorithm's limit of 2 symbols. Stochastic L-systems allow symbols in the alphabet to have multiple rewriting rules each with an associated probability of being selected. Evaluating stochastic L-system inference with 960 procedurally generated L-systems with multiple sequences of strings as input found the following: 1) when 3 input sequences are used, the inferred successors always matched the original successors for systems with up to 9 rewriting rules, 2) when 6 sequences of strings are used, the difference between the associated probabilities of the inferred and the original L-system is approximately 1%. Parametric L-systems allow symbols to have multiple rewriting rules with parameters that get passed during rewriting. Rule selection is based on an associated Boolean condition over the parameters that gets evaluated to choose the rule to be applied. Inference is done in two steps. In the first step, the successors are inferred, and in the second step, appropriate Boolean conditions are found. Parametric L-system inference was evaluated on 20 known parametric L-systems. For 18 of the 20 L-systems where all successors were non-empty, the successors were correctly identified, but the time taken was up to 26 days on a single core CPU for the largest L-system. The second step, inferring the Boolean conditions, was successful for all 20 systems in the test set. No previous algorithm from the literature had implemented stochastic or parametric L-system inference. Inferring L-systems of greater complexity algorithmically can save considerable time and effort versus constructing them manually; however, perhaps more importantly rather than relying on existing knowledge, inferring a simulation of a process from data can help reveal the underlying scientific principles of the process.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeEramian, Mark; Stavness, Ian; Zhang, Chris; Kusalik, Tony
Copyright DateApril 2020
Lindermayer systems, plant modelling, inductive model inference,