Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What about Ji-Huan He's work?

A reader asked

What I've found nowhere is an analysis of Ji-Huan He's actual work. Is it entirely worthless or has he done something useful? How about his most cited article (bottom of this link), for instance?

I'll answer briefly here, or point to where the answers are given.

I would break his work into two categories.

First category: Homotopy Perturbation Method (HPM) and other differential equation stuff.

Examples:

He JH, "New interpretation of homotopy perturbation method," International Journal Of Modern Physics B 20(18): 2561-68, 2006.

He JH, "Some asymptotic methods for strongly nonlinear equations," International Journal Of Modern Physics B 20(10): 1141-99, 2006

He JH, “Variational iteration method—a kind on non-linear analytical technique: some examples,” Int. J. Non-Linear Mech. 34(4): 699-708, July 1999.

Xu-Hong (Benn) Wu and Ji-Huan He, Solitary solutions, periodic solutions and compacton-like solutions using the Exp-function method, Computers and Mathematics with Applications, Vol. 54, No. 7-8, pp. 966-986 (2007)

Second category: E-infinity theory and allometry.

Examples:

Ji-Huan He, Zhong-Fu Ren, Jie Fan, Lan Xu. Hierarchy of wool fibers and its interpretation using E-infinity theory. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, 41 (2009)1839 –1841

Fatalness of virus depends upon its cell fractal geometry (PDF)

Application of E-infinity theory to biology (PDF)


His work in category 1 has been described by Francisco M. Fernández as "useless", "wrong", "nonsensical", "worthless" and "the worst research papers ever written". Others have said the work isn't even original. It's like the joke with the two old ladies in the restaurant. One says "the food here is very bad" and the other says "yes, and the portions are too small". See this for both types of criticism.

His work in category 2 is much worse. When one thing is, or is approximated by, or is presumed to be, a constant times a power of another thing, Ji-Huan He insists on using the fancy word allometry in that regard. Then he jumps to paradigm-shifting conclusions you'd think are jokes if you didn't know better. These are invariably published in interdisciplinary journals because no specialist journal would accept such nonsense. They always cite El Naschie extravagantly.

Like El Naschie, Ji-Huan He began as a structural engineer. This is an example of Boyer's Law, which notes that engineers are overrepresented in the crackpot community.

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26 comments:

  1. Maybe Blogger was hungry tonight. In any case, I'm happy to repost. It is absolutely beautiful that this work is plastered all over the (Thomson Reuter) Science Watch interview. What are Essential Scientific Indicators worth??

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  2. I love the last question from sciencewatch:
    ==========================================
    Where do you see this field going in five to ten years?

    Combination of numerical methods, e.g. the finite element method, with the present method can solve some more complex problems, such as inverse problems, computer vision, and image processing.
    ==========================================

    Wow, what deep insight by J.-H. He. Combining analytical and numerical methods to solve complex problems? No one has ever thought of this. Truly this is a tremendous advance facilitated by the HPM. The world will never be the same.

    What a fraud. The answers to the interview question show such tremendous lack of insight and vision that it hurts.

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  3. One of He's papers was published in PRL.

    If his work was useless, why papers were accepted in many journals?

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  4. Fernández has looked at some of He's papers in the first category and found them useless. I have looked at some in the second category and found them useless. It could be that some of his papers are less useless than others. You mention he has published in PRL. Maybe that's a non-useless paper. But when someone publishes loads of nonsense, they stop getting the benefit of the doubt. It is reasonable to assume that the papers of theirs that you haven't read are not worth your time. I don't know about his PRL paper or papers. Sometimes even good journals let bad papers slip through.

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  5. On a related note, El Naschie has published two papers in applied mathematics letters (Elsevier), which is not PRL but nonetheless clearly a legitimate journal (for me at least). However, this does not prevent real scientists from mocking him when he claims that he unified the four forces of nature, resolved the mystery of the collapse of the wave function, and deserves a Nobel prize in physics.

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  6. Yes. And of course the fact that He says El Naschie deserves a Nobel Prize does not inspire confidence.

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  7. As I've commented on this blog before, He's PRL paper contained mistakes, hence his Erratum (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.199902) . Still, it was so useless a Comment follows (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.069401).

    About, APL: it is a very mediocre journal. The whole "Adomian method" scam in applied mathematics (you can refer to Fernandez' comments to learn about this) was started there and its sister journals at Elsevier. I would trust a publication in these journals only if the author had established, independently, a solid line of research.

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  8. Oops, I meant AML. APL is a legitimate high-quality journal, where crap like El Naschie and He's cannot be published.

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  9. I cannot understand why so many editors accept He's papers. You guys might say the editors were crapes, too?
    I can only see the non-professional talking about the professional.
    Suggest you upload your papers here to help us define what is not useless.

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  10. "Well let's see your papers then" is not an argument. If you think it is, try it on a referee who rejects your paper.

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  11. Dear Anonymous-after-me,

    Rest assured that when I do express my opinion in the professional setting, e.g., to the editors that publish He's papers (and I do do this regularly), I provide to them my name and affiliation. Hence, they can easily find (assuming they know of Google) my publications and research record.

    However, this is a blog and on the public world wide interwebs I would prefer to remain anonymous. Though, Jason surely has my IP and its geolocation by now...

    Best,
    Anonymous

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  12. Through their IP addresses I know the geographical locations of all the regulars here, but I wouldn't publish them.

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  13. Dear Anonymous (November 25, 2010 7:00 PM)

    There is enough data in this blog for any objective observer to discredit Prof. He. Beginning from the "El Naschie is the best scientist after Newton and Einstein", to gaming of the IF between IJNSNS and CSF, and so forth.

    But in fairness though, and as a fluid dynamicist, this paper published by Prof. He (link given below) gave me more reasons to discredit him more than any thing I found here (sorry Jason !)

    The paper is entitled "Application of E-infinity theory to Turbulence". Here are few extractions that I found most amusing for anyone who can't access the paper.

    "It is also shown that the Navier–Stokes equations are invalid for an exact model of turbulent flow"

    Here prof. He. is defying more than 150 years of scientific consensus about the governing equations of fluid dynamics. I have no problem with that, but you need to support this huge claim with some evidences. Of course non was given except for some El Naschie E-infinity crap !!


    "Turbulence is one of the most difficult problems in this century. Werner Heinsenberg [Sic. Heisenberg] failed to solve it and found it more difficult than quantum mechanics."

    well, Heisenberg did his Ph.D in turbulence, but I wonder if he found it more difficult than quantum mechanics.


    "Generally speaking, the well-known Navier–Stokes equations are invalid for modelling turbulent flows, because in an arbitrary small elemental area, there might exist a small eddy in the elementary area, so that the basic assumption τxy = τyx, which is used in the derivation of the Navier–Stokes equations, becomes invalid."

    Prof. He doesn't seem to know that even the smallest scales in turbulence are known to be orders of magnitudes larger than molecular scales, which makes turbulence satisfying the continuum assumption in the derivation of Navier-Stokes.

    link for the paper:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TJ4-4HSY4M2-6&_user=167669&_coverDate=10%2F31%2F2006&_alid=1556706484&_rdoc=2&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_zone=rslt_list_item&_cdi=5300&_sort=r&_st=13&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=11&_acct=C000013278&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=167669&md5=7962e39edea006a9016fa747d890a88b&searchtype=a

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  14. Dear Anonymous (November 25, 2010 7:00 PM)

    There is enough data in this blog for any objective observer to discredit Prof. He. Beginning from the "El Naschie is the best scientist after Newton and Einstein", to gaming of the IF between IJNSNS and CSF, and so forth.

    But in fairness though, and as a fluid dynamicist, one paper published by Prof. He entitled "Application of E-infinity theory to Turbulence" (in CSF, of course) gave me more reasons to discredit him more than any thing I found here (sorry Jason !)

    Here are few extractions that I found most amusing for anyone who can't access the paper.

    "It is also shown that the Navier–Stokes equations are invalid for an exact model of turbulent flow"

    Here prof. He. is defying more than 150 years of scientific consensus about the governing equations of fluid dynamics. I have no problem with that, but you need to support this huge claim with some evidences. Of course non was given except for some El Naschie E-infinity crap !!


    "Turbulence is one of the most difficult problems in this century. Werner Heinsenberg [Sic. Heisenberg] failed to solve it and found it more difficult than quantum mechanics."

    well, Heisenberg did his Ph.D in turbulence, but I wonder if he found it more difficult than quantum mechanics.


    "Generally speaking, the well-known Navier–Stokes equations are invalid for modelling turbulent flows, because in an arbitrary small elemental area, there might exist a small eddy in the elementary area, so that the basic assumption τxy = τyx, which is used in the derivation of the Navier–Stokes equations, becomes invalid."

    Prof. He doesn't seem to know that even the smallest scales in turbulence are known to be orders of magnitudes larger than molecular scales, which makes turbulence satisfying the continuum assumption in the derivation of Navier-Stokes.

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  15. Dear Anonymous (November 25, 2010 7:00 PM)
    You convince yourself by reading Huan's work about applying E-infinity theory on
    1-Fiber wool
    2- Liver
    3- Virus flatness
    4- particle physics.

    Huans's work is not just of a poor quality but it is nonsense. It is not an excuse that you have published a good paper, which is not the case for Huan, then you publish junks after that.

    It might be possible that some bad paper can slip into a good journal like PRL. That is why even in PRL, they are trying to revise their standard for accepting PRL papers.

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  16. Here is a paper of Ji-Huan He and Juan Zhang, Fifth dimension of life and the 4/5 allometric scaling law for human brain, according to which humans are uniquely endowed with a 5th dimension. His very words. The abstract is enough to disqualify this paper from publication, but somehow it was accepted.

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  17. If Blogger throws your comment down a black hole, keep trying. Eventually it will post but it may take a dozen tries.

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  18. > The abstract is enough to disqualify this paper from publication

    Actually, your comment is incorrect. While the article is nonsense, that's not the reason. Effective dimensions have been used to explain allometric scaling laws for over a decade, and the fifth dimension in this case is not meant to be a physical dimension but rather a scaling dimension (there's a slight problem with the phrasing, but it's not as bad as you infer).

    For one of the earlier articles on this subject, see West, Brown, Enquist
    "The Fourth Dimension of Life: Fractal Geometry and Allometric Scaling of Organisms" (1999)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/284/5420/1677.abstract

    So the abstract could have been associated to a legitimate research article, and the properties of human brains could have been explained by an effective scaling dimension of 5, but in this article they both misunderstand the experimental data, and make a number of elementary logical errors which a competent referee should have spotted.

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  19. West, Brown, Enquist looks worthless to me too, so I'd better not referee any biology papers.

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  20. > West, Brown, Enquist looks worthless to me too, so I'd better not referee any biology papers

    Good idea, this is not sphere/polytope packing in high dimension.
    The use of fractal scaling laws to explain allometric scaling in biology is not only legitimate work, but high quality work, and appears in a series of articles by the original authors and others in Science, Nature, etc.

    The point is that your criticisms of El N and He's work are compromised if you stray too far from expertise and slam legitimate work as well. J-H. He in particular jumps on bandwagons, and it's far too easy to go after him and smear an entire field of legitimate research with too coarse a brush.

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  21. I just browsed the articles, note that while West et al. only refer to a 4th dimension out of convenience in the analysis of 3D fractal shapes, they do not make any claims of the 4th dimension existing beside it being a compelling theoretical/explanatory tool. Indeed, the last sentence of the paper is "On the other hand, it is testimony to the severe geometric and physical constraints on metabolic processes, which have dictated that all of these organisms obey a common set of quarter-power scaling laws. Fractal geometry has literally given life an added dimension."

    Meanwhile, J.-H. He goes off the deep end, and concludes that "Human brain cells have a similar construc- tion to a snowflake, so they can receive as much information as possible from the environment. [...] We might call the 4th dimension of life the life-dimension, and the 5th dimension of the brain as the thought-dimension; it originates from the fractal structures of brain cells."

    I think it is not a stretch to say that He is also not an expert on allometric scalings in biology and therefore as unqualified to comment on "thought dimensions," whatever this might be, as any of us.

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  22. Thank you for reviewing He's paper.

    There is one more fact about He that I should have mentioned in this post, so obvious it slipped my mind, but for those who have joined us recently it is this: Our campaign to get He removed from editorial boards succeeded better than we had any right to hope. When journals follow our advice to do their own investigations into him, he usually gets booted, unless he is Editor-in-Chief (as for #11 on the master list) or has close connections (as in the case of #19, whose Editor-in-Chief enjoyed He's hospitality at the Shanghai bash for El Naschie's 65th).

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  23. I was interested in the discussion of the PRL paper by He (I couldn't find the prior mention). The original paper itself is entitled: "Determination of limit cycles for strongly nonlinear oscillators". However, the subsequent comment by S. Rajendran, S.N. Pandey, and M. Lakshmanan concludes that:

    "...unfortunately, the calculations regarding the limit cycle solution of the van der Pol oscillator contain several errors which once rectified make the method inapplicable to it and restrict the applicability of the method to systems which do not
    possess limit cycles." Ouch. So He's method doesn't do what the title said and is only applicable to trivial problems. Clearly PRL have a quality issue.

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  24. Read the papers on how viruses kill because their surfaces are ruffled and on how the liver is two-dimensional like a leaf and can therefore be transplanted. To say its not even wrong is wrong. What he's saying is so thoroughly gibberish / uninformed, I can only raise my eyebrows. WOW. I don't care what else he published, this absolute DRECK disqualified everything else by association. I can only assume this is part of a giant sokal-affair like practical joke.

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  25. You're right, of course. It's so obvious. And yet he continues on with his nonsense publications and his world's-highest-Impact-Factor trash journal IJNSNS as if he were a real scientist. We have very few Chinese readers, and those are mostly his supporters. And with El Naschie. You'd think after the Introduction and the Photoshopping exposé his career would be over, but he's just got an emeritus professorship at Alexandria University. Discouraging.

    As to his theories about virus fatalness and liver transplants. It makes me suspect there's a broader problem with interdisciplinary journals. Are they repositories for nonsense that specialist journals would laugh out the door?

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