Boltzmann Machine Model Documents

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Main Document

Boltzmann Machine Model 

written by Larry Engelhardt and Marie Lopez Puerto

The Boltzmann Machine Model simulates a ping-pong ball moving around on two flat surfaces that are connected by a ramp. This ball is given occasional random "kicks" which cause the ball to move unpredictably.  Remarkably, this simple system is a macroscopic example of a two-level system* that obeys the Boltzmann distribution function. The Boltzmann distribution is typically associated with a microscopic system in contact with a heat bath; but in this case, the system is macroscopic and easy to visualize, and the random kicks serve the role of the heat bath. In Ref. 1, "Squiggle Balls" were used to produce the kicks for the Boltzmann Machine experiment, whereas in this simulation we use randomly generated velocities to produce the kicks. The advantage to using this simulation (as opposed to the experiment) is that parameters can be manipulated, and results can be obtained, much more quickly and easily.

The Boltzmann Machine Model was developed using the Easy Java/JavaScript Simulations (EjsS) modeling tool version 5.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.    Double clicking the ejs_fmu_BoltzmannMachine.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.  You can modify this simulation if you have EJS installed by right-clicking within the map and selecting "Open Ejs Model" from the pop-up menu item.

*This is a "two-level" system in the sense that there are two different values of potential energy: the value on the top surface and the value on the bottom surface.

1. J. J. Prentis, American Journal of Physics 68, 1073 (2000).

This work was supported in part by NSF-TUES grant DUE-1140034.

Published August 1, 2014
Last Modified March 22, 2015

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Source Code Documents

Boltzmann Machine Source Code 

The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Boltzmann Machine Model.   Unzip this archive in your EjsS workspace to compile and run this model using EjsS ver 5.

Last Modified November 18, 2014

This file has previous versions.