Mathematics for Artificial Reasoning in Science

Developing a new methodology for building interpretable science-based AI systems that will accelerate discoveries and understanding through machine reasoning.

MARS initiative at PNNL

Advances in machine and deep learning, including artificial intelligence (AI), are quickly changing how the world uses machine learning to solve important scientific problems and national security challenges. Despite these advances, significant effort is still required to refine and explain how machine learning algorithms make decisions and how scientists can derive new insight using these methods.

The Mathematics for Artificial Reasoning in Science (MARS) initiative seeks to complement machine learning and deep learning to advance science. MARS studies scientifically interpretable mathematical models capable of reasoning through numerous complex challenges, as defined by partial information and partial model understanding. 

Specifically, MARS aims to address three high-level challenges that lie at the intersection of AI and scientific research:

  • Explainability. Many powerful present-day AI systems are essentially black boxes that do not provide explanation or reasoning behind their predictions and estimates. How might we build AI systems that provide interpretable, defensible explanations that are rooted in the language and concepts of science models?
  • Autonomy. Numerous science domains have simulated conditions that do not match real-word environments. How might we design AI systems that provide trusted autonomy and strategic reasoning under unanticipated conditions so that such systems can still maximize their chance of achieving their scientific objectives?
  • Domain awareness. Many contemporary machine learning approaches are not grounded by the physical laws and understanding that form the bedrock of domain sciences. How might we design AI systems to become more aware of the domain science that underlies the phenomena so that predictions and reasoning are informed by physical laws and limitations?