Statistics - Machine Learning Publications (50)

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Statistics - Machine Learning Publications

Many conventional statistical procedures are extremely sensitive to seemingly minor deviations from modeling assumptions. This problem is exacerbated in modern high-dimensional settings, where the problem dimension can grow with and possibly exceed the sample size. We consider the problem of robust estimation of sparse functionals, and provide a computationally and statistically efficient algorithm in the high-dimensional setting. Read More


We analyze the problem of learning a single user's preferences in an active learning setting, sequentially and adaptively querying the user over a finite time horizon. Learning is conducted via choice-based queries, where the user selects her preferred option among a small subset of offered alternatives. These queries have been shown to be a robust and efficient way to learn an individual's preferences. Read More


Word embedding models offer continuous vector representations that can capture rich contextual semantics based on their word co-occurrence patterns. While these word vectors can provide very effective features used in many NLP tasks such as clustering similar words and inferring learning relationships, many challenges and open research questions remain. In this paper, we propose a solution that aligns variations of the same model (or different models) in a joint low-dimensional latent space leveraging carefully generated synthetic data points. Read More


We build a collaborative filtering recommender system to restore images with impulse noise for which the noisy pixels have been previously identified. We define this recommender system in terms of a new color image representation using three matrices that depend on the noise-free pixels of the image to restore, and two parameters: $k$, the number of features; and $\lambda$, the regularization factor. We perform experiments on a well known image database to test our algorithm and we provide image quality statistics for the results obtained. Read More


This paper is concerned with the problem of stochastic control of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) observed indirectly through noisy measurements and with uncertainty in the intervention inputs. The partial observability of the gene states and uncertainty in the intervention process are accounted for by modeling GRNs using the partially-observed Boolean dynamical system (POBDS) signal model with noisy gene expression measurements. Obtaining the optimal infinite-horizon control strategy for this problem is not attainable in general, and we apply reinforcement learning and Gaussian process techniques to find a near-optimal solution. Read More


Blind source separation is a common processing tool to analyse the constitution of pixels of hyperspectral images. Such methods usually suppose that pure pixel spectra (endmembers) are the same in all the image for each class of materials. In the framework of remote sensing, such an assumption is no more valid in the presence of intra-class variabilities due to illumination conditions, weathering, slight variations of the pure materials, etc. Read More


Microwave-based breast cancer detection has been proposed as a complementary approach to compensate for some drawbacks of existing breast cancer detection techniques. Among the existing microwave breast cancer detection methods, machine learning-type algorithms have recently become more popular. These focus on detecting the existence of breast tumours rather than performing imaging to identify the exact tumour position. Read More


Conditional expectiles are becoming an increasingly important tool in finance as well as in other areas of applications. We analyse a support vector machine type approach for estimating conditional expectiles and establish learning rates that are minimax optimal modulo a logarithmic factor if Gaussian RBF kernels are used and the desired expectile is smooth in a Besov sense. As a special case, our learning rates improve the best known rates for kernel-based least squares regression in this scenario. Read More


Models can be simple for different reasons. In science, models are simple when they depend on few variables, they are meant to yield predictions that can be falsified. Parameters are often mutually constrained within scales. Read More


For robots to coexist with humans in a social world like ours, it is crucial that they possess human-like social interaction skills. Programming a robot to possess such skills is a challenging task. In this paper, we propose a Multimodal Deep Q-Network (MDQN) to enable a robot to learn human-like interaction skills through a trial and error method. Read More


In recent years, a branch of machine learning called Deep Learning has become incredibly popular thanks to the ability of a new class of algorithms to model and interpret a large quantity of data in a similar way to humans. Properly training deep learning models involves collecting a vast amount of users' private data, including habits, geographical positions, interests, and much more. Another major issue is that it is possible to extract from trained models useful information about the training set and this hinders collaboration among distrustful participants or parties that deal with sensitive information. Read More


Segmental structure is a common pattern in many types of sequences such as phrases in human languages. In this paper, we present a probabilistic model for sequences via their segmentations. The probability of a segmented sequence is calculated as the product of the probabilities of all its segments, where each segment is modeled using existing tools such as recurrent neural networks. Read More


We introduce a new paradigm that is important for community detection in the realm of network analysis. Networks contain a set of strong, dominant communities, which interfere with the detection of weak, natural community structure. When most of the members of the weak communities also belong to stronger communities, they are extremely hard to be uncovered. Read More


We consider the problem of estimating a regression function in the common situation where the number of features is small, where interpretability of the model is a high priority, and where simple linear or additive models fail to provide adequate performance. To address this problem, we present GapTV, an approach that is conceptually related both to CART and to the more recent CRISP algorithm, a state-of-the-art alternative method for interpretable nonlinear regression. GapTV divides the feature space into blocks of constant value and fits the value of all blocks jointly via a convex optimization routine. Read More


Feature subset selection arises in many high-dimensional applications in machine learning and statistics, such as compressed sensing and genomics. The $\ell_0$ penalty is ideal for this task, the caveat being it requires the NP-hard combinatorial evaluation of all models. A recent area of considerable interest is to develop efficient algorithms to fit models with a non-convex $\ell_\gamma$ penalty for $\gamma\in (0,1)$, which results in sparser models than the convex $\ell_1$ or lasso penalty, but is harder to fit. Read More


We present an approach to deep estimation of discrete conditional probability distributions. Such models have several applications, including generative modeling of audio, image, and video data. Our approach combines two main techniques: dyadic partitioning and graph-based smoothing of the discrete space. Read More


We describe stochastic Newton and stochastic quasi-Newton approaches to efficiently solve large linear least-squares problems where the very large data sets present a significant computational burden (e.g., the size may exceed computer memory or data are collected in real-time). Read More


In this paper we propose a synergistic melting of neural networks and decision trees into a deep hashing neural network (HNN) having a modeling capability exponential with respect to its number of neurons. We first derive a soft decision tree named neural decision tree allowing the optimization of arbitrary decision function at each split node. We then rewrite this soft space partitioning as a new kind of neural network layer, namely the hashing layer (HL), which can be seen as a generalization of the known soft-max layer. Read More


Banach's fixed point theorem for contraction maps has been widely used to analyze the convergence of iterative methods in non-convex problems. It is a common experience, however, that iterative maps fail to be globally contracting under the natural metric in their domain, making the applicability of Banach's theorem limited. We explore how generally we can apply Banach's fixed point theorem to establish the convergence of iterative methods when pairing it with carefully designed metrics. Read More


We address the problem of designing artificial agents capable of reproducing human behavior in a competitive game involving dynamic control. Given data consisting of multiple realizations of inputs generated by pairs of interacting players, we model each agent's actions as governed by a time-varying latent goal state coupled to a control model. These goals, in turn, are described as stochastic processes evolving according to player-specific value functions depending on the current state of the game. Read More


Discovering causal relations is fundamental to reasoning and intelligence. In particular, observational causal discovery algorithms estimate the cause-effect relation between two random entities $X$ and $Y$, given $n$ samples from $P(X,Y)$. In this paper, we develop a framework to estimate the cause-effect relation between two static entities $x$ and $y$: for instance, an art masterpiece $x$ and its fraudulent copy $y$. Read More


Recent work has extended the theoretical analysis of boosting algorithms to multiclass problems and online settings. However, the multiclass extension is in the batch setting and the online extensions only consider binary classification. To the best of our knowledge, there exists no framework to analyze online boosting algorithms for multiclass classification. Read More


The Multi-Armed Bandits (MAB) framework highlights the tension between acquiring new knowledge (Exploration) and leveraging available knowledge (Exploitation). In the classical MAB problem, a decision maker must choose an arm at each time step, upon which she receives a reward. The decision maker's objective is to maximize her cumulative expected reward over the time horizon. Read More


Learning rates for regularized least-squares algorithms are in most cases expressed with respect to the excess risk, or equivalently, the $L_2$-norm. For some applications, however, guarantees with respect to stronger norms such as the $L_\infty$-norm, are desirable. We address this problem by establishing learning rates for a continuous scale of norms between the $L_2$- and the RKHS norm. Read More


We propose the kl-UCB ++ algorithm for regret minimization in stochastic bandit models with exponential families of distributions. We prove that it is simultaneously asymptotically optimal (in the sense of Lai and Robbins' lower bound) and minimax optimal. This is the first algorithm proved to enjoy these two properties at the same time. Read More


In this paper, we propose PCKID, a novel, robust, kernel function for spectral clustering, specifically designed to handle incomplete data. By combining posterior distributions of Gaussian Mixture Models for incomplete data on different scales, we are able to learn a kernel for incomplete data that does not depend on any critical hyperparameters, unlike the commonly used RBF kernel. To evaluate our method, we perform experiments on two real datasets. Read More


Topic models can provide us with an insight into the underlying latent structure of a large corpus of documents. A range of methods have been proposed in the literature, including probabilistic topic models and techniques based on matrix factorization. However, in both cases, standard implementations rely on stochastic elements in their initialization phase, which can potentially lead to different results being generated on the same corpus when using the same parameter values. Read More


Many modern commercial sites employ recommender systems to propose relevant content to users. While most systems are focused on maximizing the immediate gain (clicks, purchases or ratings), a better notion of success would be the lifetime value (LTV) of the user-system interaction. The LTV approach considers the future implications of the item recommendation, and seeks to maximize the cumulative gain over time. Read More


The problem of on-line off-policy evaluation (OPE) has been actively studied in the last decade due to its importance both as a stand-alone problem and as a module in a policy improvement scheme. However, most Temporal Difference (TD) based solutions ignore the discrepancy between the stationary distribution of the behavior and target policies and its effect on the convergence limit when function approximation is applied. In this paper we propose the Consistent Off-Policy Temporal Difference (COP-TD($\lambda$, $\beta$)) algorithm that addresses this issue and reduces this bias at some computational expense. Read More


Nested Chinese Restaurant Process (nCRP) topic models are powerful nonparametric Bayesian methods to extract a topic hierarchy from a given text corpus, where the hierarchical structure is automatically determined by the data. Hierarchical Latent Dirichlet Allocation (hLDA) is a popular instance of nCRP topic models. However, hLDA has only been evaluated at small scale, because the existing collapsed Gibbs sampling and instantiated weight variational inference algorithms either are not scalable or sacrifice inference quality with mean-field assumptions. Read More


Partial Least Squares (PLS) methods have been heavily exploited to analyse the association between two blocs of data. These powerful approaches can be applied to data sets where the number of variables is greater than the number of observations and in presence of high collinearity between variables. Different sparse versions of PLS have been developed to integrate multiple data sets while simultaneously selecting the contributing variables. Read More


Much recent machine learning research has been directed towards leveraging shared statistics among labels, instances and data views, commonly referred to as multi-label, multi-instance and multi-view learning. The underlying premises are that there exist correlations among input parts and among output targets, and the predictive performance would increase when the correlations are incorporated. In this paper, we propose Column Bundle (CLB), a novel deep neural network for capturing the shared statistics in data. Read More


Many real-world applications require robust algorithms to learn point process models based on a type of incomplete data --- the so-called short doubly-censored (SDC) event sequences. In this paper, we study this critical problem of quantitative asynchronous event sequence analysis under the framework of Hawkes processes by leveraging the general idea of data synthesis. In particular, given SDC event sequences observed in a variety of time intervals, we propose a sampling-stitching data synthesis method --- sampling predecessor and successor for each SDC event sequence from potential candidates and stitching them together to synthesize long training sequences. Read More


In this paper, we investigate the sample size requirement for exact recovery of a high order tensor of low rank from a subset of its entries. We show that a gradient descent algorithm with initial value obtained from a spectral method can, in particular, reconstruct a ${d\times d\times d}$ tensor of multilinear ranks $(r,r,r)$ with high probability from as few as $O(r^{7/2}d^{3/2}\log^{7/2}d+r^7d\log^6d)$ entries. In the case when the ranks $r=O(1)$, our sample size requirement matches those for nuclear norm minimization (Yuan and Zhang, 2016a), or alternating least squares assuming orthogonal decomposability (Jain and Oh, 2014). Read More


Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is the problem of learning a square matrix $A$, given samples of $X=AS$, where $S$ is a random vector with independent coordinates. Most existing algorithms are provably efficient only when each $S_i$ has finite and moderately valued fourth moment. However, there are practical applications where this assumption need not be true, such as speech and finance. Read More


The multi-armed restless bandit problem is studied in the case where the pay-offs are not necessarily independent over time nor across the arms. Even though this version of the problem provides a more realistic model for most real-world applications, it cannot be optimally solved in practice since it is known to be PSPACE-hard. The objective of this paper is to characterize special sub-classes of the problem where good approximate solutions can be found using tractable approaches. Read More


In this paper we study the use of coding techniques to accelerate machine learning (ML). Coding techniques, such as prefix codes, have been extensively studied and used to accelerate low-level data processing primitives such as scans in a relational database system. However, there is little work on how to exploit them to accelerate ML algorithms. Read More


Network embeddings have become very popular in learning effective feature representations of networks. Motivated by the recent successes of embeddings in natural language processing, researchers have tried to find network embeddings in order to exploit machine learning algorithms for mining tasks like node classification and edge prediction. However, most of the work focuses on finding distributed representations of nodes, which are inherently ill-suited to tasks such as community detection which are intuitively dependent on subgraphs. Read More


We consider the problem of bandit optimization, inspired by stochastic optimization and online learning problems with bandit feedback. In this problem, the objective is to minimize a global loss function of all the actions, not necessarily a cumulative loss. This framework allows us to study a very general class of problems, with applications in statistics, machine learning, and other fields. Read More


liquidSVM is a package written in C++ that provides SVM-type solvers for various classification and regression tasks. Because of a fully integrated hyper-parameter selection, very carefully implemented solvers, multi-threading and GPU support, and several built-in data decomposition strategies it provides unprecedented speed for small training sizes as well as for data sets of tens of millions of samples. Besides the C++ API and a command line interface, bindings to R, MATLAB, Java, Python, and Spark are available. Read More


Person recognition aims at recognizing the same identity across time and space with complicated scenes and similar appearance. In this paper, we propose a novel method to address this task by training a network to obtain robust and representative features. A key observation is that traditional cross entropy loss only enforces the inter-class variation among samples and ignores to narrow down the similarity within each category. Read More


In statistical relational learning, knowledge graph completion deals with automatically understanding the structure of large knowledge graphs---labeled directed graphs---and predicting missing relationships---labeled edges. State-of-the-art embedding models propose different trade-offs between modeling expressiveness, and time and space complexity. We reconcile both expressiveness and complexity through the use of complex-valued embeddings and explore the link between such complex-valued embeddings and unitary diagonalization. Read More


We show that given an estimate $\widehat{A}$ that is close to a general high-rank positive semi-definite (PSD) matrix $A$ in spectral norm (i.e., $\|\widehat{A}-A\|_2 \leq \delta$), the simple truncated SVD of $\widehat{A}$ produces a multiplicative approximation of $A$ in Frobenius norm. Read More


This paper concerns a fundamental class of convex matrix optimization problems. It presents the first algorithm that uses optimal storage and provably computes a low-rank approximation of a solution. In particular, when all solutions have low rank, the algorithm converges to a solution. Read More


We explore methods of producing adversarial examples on deep generative models such as the variational autoencoder (VAE) and the VAE-GAN. Deep learning architectures are known to be vulnerable to adversarial examples, but previous work has focused on the application of adversarial examples to classification tasks. Deep generative models have recently become popular due to their ability to model input data distributions and generate realistic examples from those distributions. Read More


Recent successes in word embedding and document embedding have motivated researchers to explore similar representations for networks and to use such representations for tasks such as edge prediction, node label prediction, and community detection. Existing methods are largely focused on finding distributed representations for unsigned networks and are unable to discover embeddings that respect polarities inherent in edges. We propose SIGNet, a fast scalable embedding method suitable for signed networks. Read More


We study canonical correlation analysis (CCA) as a stochastic optimization problem. We show that regularized CCA is efficiently PAC-learnable. We give stochastic approximation (SA) algorithms that are instances of stochastic mirror descent, which achieve $\epsilon$-suboptimality in the population objective in time $\operatorname{poly}(\frac{1}{\epsilon},\frac{1}{\delta},d)$ with probability $1-\delta$, where $d$ is the input dimensionality. Read More


When analyzing the genome, researchers have discovered that proteins bind to DNA based on certain patterns of the DNA sequence known as "motifs". However, it is difficult to manually construct motifs due to their complexity. Recently, externally learned memory models have proven to be effective methods for reasoning over inputs and supporting sets. Read More


We introduce a method by which a generative model learning the joint distribution between actions and future states can be used to automatically infer a control scheme for any desired reward function, which may be altered on the fly without retraining the model. In this method, the problem of action selection is reduced to one of gradient descent on the latent space of the generative model, with the model itself providing the means of evaluating outcomes and finding the gradient, much like how the reward network in Deep Q-Networks (DQN) provides gradient information for the action generator. Unlike DQN or Actor-Critic, which are conditional models for a specific reward, using a generative model of the full joint distribution permits the reward to be changed on the fly. Read More


In this study, the authors develop a structural model that combines a macro diffusion model with a micro choice model to control for the effect of social influence on the mobile app choices of customers over app stores. Social influence refers to the density of adopters within the proximity of other customers. Using a large data set from an African app store and Bayesian estimation methods, the authors quantify the effect of social influence and investigate the impact of ignoring this process in estimating customer choices. Read More