sends word of the discovery of a new algorithm that dramatically reduces the computation time for complex processes
. Scientists from MIT say it conceptually resembles a shrinking bull's eye, incrementally narrowing down on its target. "With this method, the researchers were able to arrive at the same answer as a classic computational approaches, but 200 times faster." Their full academic paper is available at the arXiv
. "The algorithm can be applied to any complex model to quickly determine the probability distribution, or the most likely values, for an unknown parameter. Like the MCMC analysis
, the algorithm runs a given model with various inputs — though sparingly, as this process can be quite time-consuming. To speed the process up, the algorithm also uses relevant data to help narrow in on approximate values for unknown parameters."