Understanding the Information Domain
Our next generation of autonomous functionality will exploit leading edge technologies and techniques to offer accessible and open solutions to many complex environments. Our focus is shifting from sword to ploughshare, drawing upon the insights gained to simplify without sacrificing performance. We aim to make such technologies truly useful at a sensible price in challenging agricultural environments.
Information – an Abstract Construct
An underlying feature of autonomous operation on ‘unregulated’ infrastructure – typically off-road and complex wild terrain – is the need for concise and accurate representation of an abstract notion called the Information Domain. Critically this includes representation of the environment and all those things in it. But it also includes many other kinds of relevant, connected or derived information. A truly useful representation of the information domain must be able to deal with all of this consistently and accessibly.
We have watched with interest the efforts to bring order to multi-faceted views on what information is or should be. If you can’t describe this abstract idea then you most certainly can’t use it effectively. The problem is that, ‘the Information Domain’ is multi-dimensional, dynamic and increasingly unconstrained by richness and reach. In short it’s complex … not just complicated.
In order to grasp the nature of the complexity beast it is necessary to achieve some sort of valid simplification. More often, however the simplification is invalid, based upon opinion, prior practice or an excessively narrow viewpoint. Group think compounds the issue, usually resulting in confuddle.
Our objective is to represent entities and ideas in a way that is consistent to both human and machine.
We have neither the time nor resource to mess around with a corporate wild goose chase. However we do have considerable background with complexity and complex systems. So we are taking a leaf out of our own book. We are approaching the information domain as a mathematically complex concept, without the distraction of technology, protocols and associated preconceptions. The key to cracking this is a Valid Simplification if the information domain, as a first step.