results for au:Freitas_N in:cs

- We consider the setting of an agent with a fixed body interacting with an unknown and uncertain external world. We show that models trained to predict proprioceptive information about the agent's body come to represent objects in the external world. In spite of being trained with only internally available signals, these dynamic body models come to represent external objects through the necessity of predicting their effects on the agent's own body. That is, the model learns holistic persistent representations of objects in the world, even though the only training signals are body signals. Our dynamics model is able to successfully predict distributions over 132 sensor readings over 100 steps into the future and we demonstrate that even when the body is no longer in contact with an object, the latent variables of the dynamics model continue to represent its shape. We show that active data collection by maximizing the entropy of predictions about the body---touch sensors, proprioception and vestibular information---leads to learning of dynamic models that show superior performance when used for control. We also collect data from a real robotic hand and show that the same models can be used to answer questions about properties of objects in the real world. Videos with qualitative results of our models are available at https://goo.gl/mZuqAV.
- One of the distinguishing aspects of human language is its compositionality, which allows us to describe complex environments with limited vocabulary. Previously, it has been shown that neural network agents can learn to communicate in a highly structured, possibly compositional language based on disentangled input (e.g. hand- engineered features). Humans, however, do not learn to communicate based on well-summarized features. In this work, we train neural agents to simultaneously develop visual perception from raw image pixels, and learn to communicate with a sequence of discrete symbols. The agents play an image description game where the image contains factors such as colors and shapes. We train the agents using the obverter technique where an agent introspects to generate messages that maximize its own understanding. Through qualitative analysis, visualization and a zero-shot test, we show that the agents can develop, out of raw image pixels, a language with compositional properties, given a proper pressure from the environment.
- We propose a model-free deep reinforcement learning method that leverages a small amount of demonstration data to assist a reinforcement learning agent. We apply this approach to robotic manipulation tasks and train end-to-end visuomotor policies that map directly from RGB camera inputs to joint velocities. We demonstrate that our approach can solve a wide variety of visuomotor tasks, for which engineering a scripted controller would be laborious. Our experiments indicate that our reinforcement and imitation agent achieves significantly better performances than agents trained with reinforcement learning or imitation learning alone. We also illustrate that these policies, trained with large visual and dynamics variations, can achieve preliminary successes in zero-shot sim2real transfer. A brief visual description of this work can be viewed in https://youtu.be/EDl8SQUNjj0
- Nov 23 2017 cs.AI arXiv:1711.08378v1We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of key ingredients for building humanlike intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand-engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with humanlike abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.
- Cortical circuits exhibit intricate recurrent architectures that are remarkably similar across different brain areas. Such stereotyped structure suggests the existence of common computational principles. However, such principles have remained largely elusive. Inspired by gated-memory networks, namely long short-term memory networks (LSTMs), we introduce a recurrent neural network in which information is gated through inhibitory cells that are subtractive (subLSTM). We propose a natural mapping of subLSTMs onto known canonical excitatory-inhibitory cortical microcircuits. Our empirical evaluation across sequential image classification and language modelling tasks shows that subLSTM units can achieve similar performance to LSTM units. These results suggest that cortical circuits can be optimised to solve complex contextual problems and proposes a novel view on their computational function. Overall our work provides a step towards unifying recurrent networks as used in machine learning with their biological counterparts.
- Deep autoregressive models have shown state-of-the-art performance in density estimation for natural images on large-scale datasets such as ImageNet. However, such models require many thousands of gradient-based weight updates and unique image examples for training. Ideally, the models would rapidly learn visual concepts from only a handful of examples, similar to the manner in which humans learns across many vision tasks. In this paper, we show how 1) neural attention and 2) meta learning techniques can be used in combination with autoregressive models to enable effective few-shot density estimation. Our proposed modifications to PixelCNN result in state-of-the art few-shot density estimation on the Omniglot dataset. Furthermore, we visualize the learned attention policy and find that it learns intuitive algorithms for simple tasks such as image mirroring on ImageNet and handwriting on Omniglot without supervision. Finally, we extend the model to natural images and demonstrate few-shot image generation on the Stanford Online Products dataset.
- Jul 12 2017 cs.AI arXiv:1707.03300v1This paper introduces the Intentional Unintentional (IU) agent. This agent endows the deep deterministic policy gradients (DDPG) agent for continuous control with the ability to solve several tasks simultaneously. Learning to solve many tasks simultaneously has been a long-standing, core goal of artificial intelligence, inspired by infant development and motivated by the desire to build flexible robot manipulators capable of many diverse behaviours. We show that the IU agent not only learns to solve many tasks simultaneously but it also learns faster than agents that target a single task at-a-time. In some cases, where the single task DDPG method completely fails, the IU agent successfully solves the task. To demonstrate this, we build a playroom environment using the MuJoCo physics engine, and introduce a grounded formal language to automatically generate tasks.
- Jul 11 2017 cs.LG arXiv:1707.02747v2Deep generative models have recently shown great promise in imitation learning for motor control. Given enough data, even supervised approaches can do one-shot imitation learning; however, they are vulnerable to cascading failures when the agent trajectory diverges from the demonstrations. Compared to purely supervised methods, Generative Adversarial Imitation Learning (GAIL) can learn more robust controllers from fewer demonstrations, but is inherently mode-seeking and more difficult to train. In this paper, we show how to combine the favourable aspects of these two approaches. The base of our model is a new type of variational autoencoder on demonstration trajectories that learns semantic policy embeddings. We show that these embeddings can be learned on a 9 DoF Jaco robot arm in reaching tasks, and then smoothly interpolated with a resulting smooth interpolation of reaching behavior. Leveraging these policy representations, we develop a new version of GAIL that (1) is much more robust than the purely-supervised controller, especially with few demonstrations, and (2) avoids mode collapse, capturing many diverse behaviors when GAIL on its own does not. We demonstrate our approach on learning diverse gaits from demonstration on a 2D biped and a 62 DoF 3D humanoid in the MuJoCo physics environment.
- We build deep RL agents that execute declarative programs expressed in formal language. The agents learn to ground the terms in this language in their environment, and can generalize their behavior at test time to execute new programs that refer to objects that were not referenced during training. The agents develop disentangled interpretable representations that allow them to generalize to a wide variety of zero-shot semantic tasks.
- Learning to learn has emerged as an important direction for achieving artificial intelligence. Two of the primary barriers to its adoption are an inability to scale to larger problems and a limited ability to generalize to new tasks. We introduce a learned gradient descent optimizer that generalizes well to new tasks, and which has significantly reduced memory and computation overhead. We achieve this by introducing a novel hierarchical RNN architecture, with minimal per-parameter overhead, augmented with additional architectural features that mirror the known structure of optimization tasks. We also develop a meta-training ensemble of small, diverse optimization tasks capturing common properties of loss landscapes. The optimizer learns to outperform RMSProp/ADAM on problems in this corpus. More importantly, it performs comparably or better when applied to small convolutional neural networks, despite seeing no neural networks in its meta-training set. Finally, it generalizes to train Inception V3 and ResNet V2 architectures on the ImageNet dataset for thousands of steps, optimization problems that are of a vastly different scale than those it was trained on. We release an open source implementation of the meta-training algorithm.
- PixelCNN achieves state-of-the-art results in density estimation for natural images. Although training is fast, inference is costly, requiring one network evaluation per pixel; O(N) for N pixels. This can be sped up by caching activations, but still involves generating each pixel sequentially. In this work, we propose a parallelized PixelCNN that allows more efficient inference by modeling certain pixel groups as conditionally independent. Our new PixelCNN model achieves competitive density estimation and orders of magnitude speedup - O(log N) sampling instead of O(N) - enabling the practical generation of 512x512 images. We evaluate the model on class-conditional image generation, text-to-image synthesis, and action-conditional video generation, showing that our model achieves the best results among non-pixel-autoregressive density models that allow efficient sampling.
- We learn recurrent neural network optimizers trained on simple synthetic functions by gradient descent. We show that these learned optimizers exhibit a remarkable degree of transfer in that they can be used to efficiently optimize a broad range of derivative-free black-box functions, including Gaussian process bandits, simple control objectives, global optimization benchmarks and hyper-parameter tuning tasks. Up to the training horizon, the learned optimizers learn to trade-off exploration and exploitation, and compare favourably with heavily engineered Bayesian optimization packages for hyper-parameter tuning.
- When encountering novel objects, humans are able to infer a wide range of physical properties such as mass, friction and deformability by interacting with them in a goal driven way. This process of active interaction is in the same spirit as a scientist performing experiments to discover hidden facts. Recent advances in artificial intelligence have yielded machines that can achieve superhuman performance in Go, Atari, natural language processing, and complex control problems; however, it is not clear that these systems can rival the scientific intuition of even a young child. In this work we introduce a basic set of tasks that require agents to estimate properties such as mass and cohesion of objects in an interactive simulated environment where they can manipulate the objects and observe the consequences. We found that state of art deep reinforcement learning methods can learn to perform the experiments necessary to discover such hidden properties. By systematically manipulating the problem difficulty and the cost incurred by the agent for performing experiments, we found that agents learn different strategies that balance the cost of gathering information against the cost of making mistakes in different situations.
- Lipreading is the task of decoding text from the movement of a speaker's mouth. Traditional approaches separated the problem into two stages: designing or learning visual features, and prediction. More recent deep lipreading approaches are end-to-end trainable (Wand et al., 2016; Chung & Zisserman, 2016a). However, existing work on models trained end-to-end perform only word classification, rather than sentence-level sequence prediction. Studies have shown that human lipreading performance increases for longer words (Easton & Basala, 1982), indicating the importance of features capturing temporal context in an ambiguous communication channel. Motivated by this observation, we present LipNet, a model that maps a variable-length sequence of video frames to text, making use of spatiotemporal convolutions, a recurrent network, and the connectionist temporal classification loss, trained entirely end-to-end. To the best of our knowledge, LipNet is the first end-to-end sentence-level lipreading model that simultaneously learns spatiotemporal visual features and a sequence model. On the GRID corpus, LipNet achieves 95.2% accuracy in sentence-level, overlapped speaker split task, outperforming experienced human lipreaders and the previous 86.4% word-level state-of-the-art accuracy (Gergen et al., 2016).
- Nov 07 2016 cs.LG arXiv:1611.01224v2This paper presents an actor-critic deep reinforcement learning agent with experience replay that is stable, sample efficient, and performs remarkably well on challenging environments, including the discrete 57-game Atari domain and several continuous control problems. To achieve this, the paper introduces several innovations, including truncated importance sampling with bias correction, stochastic dueling network architectures, and a new trust region policy optimization method.
- The move from hand-designed features to learned features in machine learning has been wildly successful. In spite of this, optimization algorithms are still designed by hand. In this paper we show how the design of an optimization algorithm can be cast as a learning problem, allowing the algorithm to learn to exploit structure in the problems of interest in an automatic way. Our learned algorithms, implemented by LSTMs, outperform generic, hand-designed competitors on the tasks for which they are trained, and also generalize well to new tasks with similar structure. We demonstrate this on a number of tasks, including simple convex problems, training neural networks, and styling images with neural art.
- We consider the problem of multiple agents sensing and acting in environments with the goal of maximising their shared utility. In these environments, agents must learn communication protocols in order to share information that is needed to solve the tasks. By embracing deep neural networks, we are able to demonstrate end-to-end learning of protocols in complex environments inspired by communication riddles and multi-agent computer vision problems with partial observability. We propose two approaches for learning in these domains: Reinforced Inter-Agent Learning (RIAL) and Differentiable Inter-Agent Learning (DIAL). The former uses deep Q-learning, while the latter exploits the fact that, during learning, agents can backpropagate error derivatives through (noisy) communication channels. Hence, this approach uses centralised learning but decentralised execution. Our experiments introduce new environments for studying the learning of communication protocols and present a set of engineering innovations that are essential for success in these domains.
- We propose deep distributed recurrent Q-networks (DDRQN), which enable teams of agents to learn to solve communication-based coordination tasks. In these tasks, the agents are not given any pre-designed communication protocol. Therefore, in order to successfully communicate, they must first automatically develop and agree upon their own communication protocol. We present empirical results on two multi-agent learning problems based on well-known riddles, demonstrating that DDRQN can successfully solve such tasks and discover elegant communication protocols to do so. To our knowledge, this is the first time deep reinforcement learning has succeeded in learning communication protocols. In addition, we present ablation experiments that confirm that each of the main components of the DDRQN architecture are critical to its success.
- Nov 23 2015 cs.LG arXiv:1511.06581v3In recent years there have been many successes of using deep representations in reinforcement learning. Still, many of these applications use conventional architectures, such as convolutional networks, LSTMs, or auto-encoders. In this paper, we present a new neural network architecture for model-free reinforcement learning. Our dueling network represents two separate estimators: one for the state value function and one for the state-dependent action advantage function. The main benefit of this factoring is to generalize learning across actions without imposing any change to the underlying reinforcement learning algorithm. Our results show that this architecture leads to better policy evaluation in the presence of many similar-valued actions. Moreover, the dueling architecture enables our RL agent to outperform the state-of-the-art on the Atari 2600 domain.
- We propose the neural programmer-interpreter (NPI): a recurrent and compositional neural network that learns to represent and execute programs. NPI has three learnable components: a task-agnostic recurrent core, a persistent key-value program memory, and domain-specific encoders that enable a single NPI to operate in multiple perceptually diverse environments with distinct affordances. By learning to compose lower-level programs to express higher-level programs, NPI reduces sample complexity and increases generalization ability compared to sequence-to-sequence LSTMs. The program memory allows efficient learning of additional tasks by building on existing programs. NPI can also harness the environment (e.g. a scratch pad with read-write pointers) to cache intermediate results of computation, lessening the long-term memory burden on recurrent hidden units. In this work we train the NPI with fully-supervised execution traces; each program has example sequences of calls to the immediate subprograms conditioned on the input. Rather than training on a huge number of relatively weak labels, NPI learns from a small number of rich examples. We demonstrate the capability of our model to learn several types of compositional programs: addition, sorting, and canonicalizing 3D models. Furthermore, a single NPI learns to execute these programs and all 21 associated subprograms.
- The linear layer is one of the most pervasive modules in deep learning representations. However, it requires $O(N^2)$ parameters and $O(N^2)$ operations. These costs can be prohibitive in mobile applications or prevent scaling in many domains. Here, we introduce a deep, differentiable, fully-connected neural network module composed of diagonal matrices of parameters, $\mathbf{A}$ and $\mathbf{D}$, and the discrete cosine transform $\mathbf{C}$. The core module, structured as $\mathbf{ACDC^{-1}}$, has $O(N)$ parameters and incurs $O(N log N )$ operations. We present theoretical results showing how deep cascades of ACDC layers approximate linear layers. ACDC is, however, a stand-alone module and can be used in combination with any other types of module. In our experiments, we show that it can indeed be successfully interleaved with ReLU modules in convolutional neural networks for image recognition. Our experiments also study critical factors in the training of these structured modules, including initialization and depth. Finally, this paper also provides a connection between structured linear transforms used in deep learning and the field of Fourier optics, illustrating how ACDC could in principle be implemented with lenses and diffractive elements.
- The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
- We present a hierarchical convolutional document model with an architecture designed to support introspection of the document structure. Using this model, we show how to use visualisation techniques from the computer vision literature to identify and extract topic-relevant sentences. We also introduce a new scalable evaluation technique for automatic sentence extraction systems that avoids the need for time consuming human annotation of validation data.
- We present a new approach for transferring knowledge from groups to individuals that comprise them. We evaluate our method in text, by inferring the ratings of individual sentences using full-review ratings. This approach, which combines ideas from transfer learning, deep learning and multi-instance learning, reduces the need for laborious human labelling of fine-grained data when abundant labels are available at the group level.
- Optimising black-box functions is important in many disciplines, such as tuning machine learning models, robotics, finance and mining exploration. Bayesian optimisation is a state-of-the-art technique for the global optimisation of black-box functions which are expensive to evaluate. At the core of this approach is a Gaussian process prior that captures our belief about the distribution over functions. However, in many cases a single Gaussian process is not flexible enough to capture non-stationarity in the objective function. Consequently, heteroscedasticity negatively affects performance of traditional Bayesian methods. In this paper, we propose a novel prior model with hierarchical parameter learning that tackles the problem of non-stationarity in Bayesian optimisation. Our results demonstrate substantial improvements in a wide range of applications, including automatic machine learning and mining exploration.
- Bayesian optimisation has gained great popularity as a tool for optimising the parameters of machine learning algorithms and models. Somewhat ironically, setting up the hyper-parameters of Bayesian optimisation methods is notoriously hard. While reasonable practical solutions have been advanced, they can often fail to find the best optima. Surprisingly, there is little theoretical analysis of this crucial problem in the literature. To address this, we derive a cumulative regret bound for Bayesian optimisation with Gaussian processes and unknown kernel hyper-parameters in the stochastic setting. The bound, which applies to the expected improvement acquisition function and sub-Gaussian observation noise, provides us with guidelines on how to design hyper-parameter estimation methods. A simple simulation demonstrates the importance of following these guidelines.
- Bayesian optimization is a sample-efficient method for black-box global optimization. How- ever, the performance of a Bayesian optimization method very much depends on its exploration strategy, i.e. the choice of acquisition function, and it is not clear a priori which choice will result in superior performance. While portfolio methods provide an effective, principled way of combining a collection of acquisition functions, they are often based on measures of past performance which can be misleading. To address this issue, we introduce the Entropy Search Portfolio (ESP): a novel approach to portfolio construction which is motivated by information theoretic considerations. We show that ESP outperforms existing portfolio methods on several real and synthetic problems, including geostatistical datasets and simulated control tasks. We not only show that ESP is able to offer performance as good as the best, but unknown, acquisition function, but surprisingly it often gives better performance. Finally, over a wide range of conditions we find that ESP is robust to the inclusion of poor acquisition functions.
- Capturing the compositional process which maps the meaning of words to that of documents is a central challenge for researchers in Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval. We introduce a model that is able to represent the meaning of documents by embedding them in a low dimensional vector space, while preserving distinctions of word and sentence order crucial for capturing nuanced semantics. Our model is based on an extended Dynamic Convolution Neural Network, which learns convolution filters at both the sentence and document level, hierarchically learning to capture and compose low level lexical features into high level semantic concepts. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this model on a range of document modelling tasks, achieving strong results with no feature engineering and with a more compact model. Inspired by recent advances in visualising deep convolution networks for computer vision, we present a novel visualisation technique for our document networks which not only provides insight into their learning process, but also can be interpreted to produce a compelling automatic summarisation system for texts.
- Apr 30 2014 cs.CL arXiv:1404.7296v1Many successful approaches to semantic parsing build on top of the syntactic analysis of text, and make use of distributional representations or statistical models to match parses to ontology-specific queries. This paper presents a novel deep learning architecture which provides a semantic parsing system through the union of two neural models of language semantics. It allows for the generation of ontology-specific queries from natural language statements and questions without the need for parsing, which makes it especially suitable to grammatically malformed or syntactically atypical text, such as tweets, as well as permitting the development of semantic parsers for resource-poor languages.
- Bayesian optimization is a powerful global optimization technique for expensive black-box functions. One of its shortcomings is that it requires auxiliary optimization of an acquisition function at each iteration. This auxiliary optimization can be costly and very hard to carry out in practice. Moreover, it creates serious theoretical concerns, as most of the convergence results assume that the exact optimum of the acquisition function can be found. In this paper, we introduce a new technique for efficient global optimization that combines Gaussian process confidence bounds and treed simultaneous optimistic optimization to eliminate the need for auxiliary optimization of acquisition functions. The experiments with global optimization benchmarks and a novel application to automatic information extraction demonstrate that the resulting technique is more efficient than the two approaches from which it draws inspiration. Unlike most theoretical analyses of Bayesian optimization with Gaussian processes, our finite-time convergence rate proofs do not require exact optimization of an acquisition function. That is, our approach eliminates the unsatisfactory assumption that a difficult, potentially NP-hard, problem has to be solved in order to obtain vanishing regret rates.
- Despite widespread interest and practical use, the theoretical properties of random forests are still not well understood. In this paper we contribute to this understanding in two ways. We present a new theoretically tractable variant of random regression forests and prove that our algorithm is consistent. We also provide an empirical evaluation, comparing our algorithm and other theoretically tractable random forest models to the random forest algorithm used in practice. Our experiments provide insight into the relative importance of different simplifications that theoreticians have made to obtain tractable models for analysis.
- We introduce a new embarrassingly parallel parameter learning algorithm for Markov random fields with untied parameters which is efficient for a large class of practical models. Our algorithm parallelizes naturally over cliques and, for graphs of bounded degree, its complexity is linear in the number of cliques. Unlike its competitors, our algorithm is fully parallel and for log-linear models it is also data efficient, requiring only the local sufficient statistics of the data to estimate parameters.
- We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
- We address the problem of finding the maximizer of a nonlinear smooth function, that can only be evaluated point-wise, subject to constraints on the number of permitted function evaluations. This problem is also known as fixed-budget best arm identification in the multi-armed bandit literature. We introduce a Bayesian approach for this problem and show that it empirically outperforms both the existing frequentist counterpart and other Bayesian optimization methods. The Bayesian approach places emphasis on detailed modelling, including the modelling of correlations among the arms. As a result, it can perform well in situations where the number of arms is much larger than the number of allowed function evaluation, whereas the frequentist counterpart is inapplicable. This feature enables us to develop and deploy practical applications, such as automatic machine learning toolboxes. The paper presents comprehensive comparisons of the proposed approach, Thompson sampling, classical Bayesian optimization techniques, more recent Bayesian bandit approaches, and state-of-the-art best arm identification methods. This is the first comparison of many of these methods in the literature and allows us to examine the relative merits of their different features.
- Jan 22 2013 cs.AI arXiv:1301.4604v2This is the Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, which was held on Catalina Island, CA August 14-18 2012.
- The Gibbs sampler is one of the most popular algorithms for inference in statistical models. In this paper, we introduce a herding variant of this algorithm, called herded Gibbs, that is entirely deterministic. We prove that herded Gibbs has an $O(1/T)$ convergence rate for models with independent variables and for fully connected probabilistic graphical models. Herded Gibbs is shown to outperform Gibbs in the tasks of image denoising with MRFs and named entity recognition with CRFs. However, the convergence for herded Gibbs for sparsely connected probabilistic graphical models is still an open problem.
- We propose a novel reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulated annealing algorithm to optimize radial basis function (RBF) networks. This algorithm enables us to maximize the joint posterior distribution of the network parameters and the number of basis functions. It performs a global search in the joint space of the parameters and number of parameters, thereby surmounting the problem of local minima. We also show that by calibrating a Bayesian model, we can obtain the classical AIC, BIC and MDL model selection criteria within a penalized likelihood framework. Finally, we show theoretically and empirically that the algorithm converges to the modes of the full posterior distribution in an efficient way.
- Particle filters (PFs) are powerful sampling-based inference/learning algorithms for dynamic Bayesian networks (DBNs). They allow us to treat, in a principled way, any type of probability distribution, nonlinearity and non-stationarity. They have appeared in several fields under such names as "condensation", "sequential Monte Carlo" and "survival of the fittest". In this paper, we show how we can exploit the structure of the DBN to increase the efficiency of particle filtering, using a technique known as Rao-Blackwellisation. Essentially, this samples some of the variables, and marginalizes out the rest exactly, using the Kalman filter, HMM filter, junction tree algorithm, or any other finite dimensional optimal filter. We show that Rao-Blackwellised particle filters (RBPFs) lead to more accurate estimates than standard PFs. We demonstrate RBPFs on two problems, namely non-stationary online regression with radial basis function networks and robot localization and map building. We also discuss other potential application areas and provide references to some finite dimensional optimal filters.
- We propose a new class of learning algorithms that combines variational approximation and Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation. Naive algorithms that use the variational approximation as proposal distribution can perform poorly because this approximation tends to underestimate the true variance and other features of the data. We solve this problem by introducing more sophisticated MCMC algorithms. One of these algorithms is a mixture of two MCMC kernels: a random walk Metropolis kernel and a blockMetropolis-Hastings (MH) kernel with a variational approximation as proposaldistribution. The MH kernel allows one to locate regions of high probability efficiently. The Metropolis kernel allows us to explore the vicinity of these regions. This algorithm outperforms variationalapproximations because it yields slightly better estimates of the mean and considerably better estimates of higher moments, such as covariances. It also outperforms standard MCMC algorithms because it locates theregions of high probability quickly, thus speeding up convergence. We demonstrate this algorithm on the problem of Bayesian parameter estimation for logistic (sigmoid) belief networks.
- Bayesian optimization techniques have been successfully applied to robotics, planning, sensor placement, recommendation, advertising, intelligent user interfaces and automatic algorithm configuration. Despite these successes, the approach is restricted to problems of moderate dimension, and several workshops on Bayesian optimization have identified its scaling to high-dimensions as one of the holy grails of the field. In this paper, we introduce a novel random embedding idea to attack this problem. The resulting Random EMbedding Bayesian Optimization (REMBO) algorithm is very simple, has important invariance properties, and applies to domains with both categorical and continuous variables. We present a thorough theoretical analysis of REMBO. Empirical results confirm that REMBO can effectively solve problems with billions of dimensions, provided the intrinsic dimensionality is low. They also show that REMBO achieves state-of-the-art performance in optimizing the 47 discrete parameters of a popular mixed integer linear programming solver.
- It has recently been observed that certain extremely simple feature encoding techniques are able to achieve state of the art performance on several standard image classification benchmarks including deep belief networks, convolutional nets, factored RBMs, mcRBMs, convolutional RBMs, sparse autoencoders and several others. Moreover, these "triangle" or "soft threshold" encodings are ex- tremely efficient to compute. Several intuitive arguments have been put forward to explain this remarkable performance, yet no mathematical justification has been offered. The main result of this report is to show that these features are realized as an approximate solution to the a non-negative sparse coding problem. Using this connection we describe several variants of the soft threshold features and demonstrate their effectiveness on two image classification benchmark tasks.
- We present new MCMC algorithms for computing the posterior distributions and expectations of the unknown variables in undirected graphical models with regular structure. For demonstration purposes, we focus on Markov Random Fields (MRFs). By partitioning the MRFs into non-overlapping trees, it is possible to compute the posterior distribution of a particular tree exactly by conditioning on the remaining tree. These exact solutions allow us to construct efficient blocked and Rao-Blackwellised MCMC algorithms. We show empirically that tree sampling is considerably more efficient than other partitioned sampling schemes and the naive Gibbs sampler, even in cases where loopy belief propagation fails to converge. We prove that tree sampling exhibits lower variance than the naive Gibbs sampler and other naive partitioning schemes using the theoretical measure of maximal correlation. We also construct new information theory tools for comparing different MCMC schemes and show that, under these, tree sampling is more efficient.
- Sequential Monte Carlo techniques are useful for state estimation in non-linear, non-Gaussian dynamic models. These methods allow us to approximate the joint posterior distribution using sequential importance sampling. In this framework, the dimension of the target distribution grows with each time step, thus it is necessary to introduce some resampling steps to ensure that the estimates provided by the algorithm have a reasonable variance. In many applications, we are only interested in the marginal filtering distribution which is defined on a space of fixed dimension. We present a Sequential Monte Carlo algorithm called the Marginal Particle Filter which operates directly on the marginal distribution, hence avoiding having to perform importance sampling on a space of growing dimension. Using this idea, we also derive an improved version of the auxiliary particle filter. We show theoretic and empirical results which demonstrate a reduction in variance over conventional particle filtering, and present techniques for reducing the cost of the marginal particle filter with N particles from O(N2) to O(N logN).
- We propose a new problem formulation which is similar to, but more informative than, the binary multiple-instance learning problem. In this setting, we are given groups of instances (described by feature vectors) along with estimates of the fraction of positively-labeled instances per group. The task is to learn an instance level classifier from this information. That is, we are trying to estimate the unknown binary labels of individuals from knowledge of group statistics. We propose a principled probabilistic model to solve this problem that accounts for uncertainty in the parameters and in the unknown individual labels. This model is trained with an efficient MCMC algorithm. Its performance is demonstrated on both synthetic and real-world data arising in general object recognition.
- Jul 05 2012 cs.AI arXiv:1207.1375v1The Bayesian Logic (BLOG) language was recently developed for defining first-order probability models over worlds with unknown numbers of objects. It handles important problems in AI, including data association and population estimation. This paper extends BLOG by adopting generative processes over function spaces - known as nonparametrics in the Bayesian literature. We introduce syntax for reasoning about arbitrary collections of objects, and their properties, in an intuitive manner. By exploiting exchangeability, distributions over unknown objects and their attributes are cast as Dirichlet processes, which resolve difficulties in model selection and inference caused by varying numbers of objects. We demonstrate these concepts with application to citation matching.
- This paper analyzes the problem of Gaussian process (GP) bandits with deterministic observations. The analysis uses a branch and bound algorithm that is related to the UCB algorithm of (Srinivas et al, 2010). For GPs with Gaussian observation noise, with variance strictly greater than zero, Srinivas et al proved that the regret vanishes at the approximate rate of $O(1/\sqrt{t})$, where t is the number of observations. To complement their result, we attack the deterministic case and attain a much faster exponential convergence rate. Under some regularity assumptions, we show that the regret decreases asymptotically according to $O(e^{-\frac{\tau t}{(\ln t)^{d/4}}})$ with high probability. Here, d is the dimension of the search space and tau is a constant that depends on the behaviour of the objective function near its global maximum.
- We propose a new Monte Carlo algorithm for complex discrete distributions. The algorithm is motivated by the N-Fold Way, which is an ingenious event-driven MCMC sampler that avoids rejection moves at any specific state. The N-Fold Way can however get "trapped" in cycles. We surmount this problem by modifying the sampling process. This correction does introduce bias, but the bias is subsequently corrected with a carefully engineered importance sampler.
- In this paper we build on previous work which uses inferences techniques, in particular Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods, to solve parameterized control problems. We propose a number of modifications in order to make this approach more practical in general, higher-dimensional spaces. We first introduce a new target distribution which is able to incorporate more reward information from sampled trajectories. We also show how to break strong correlations between the policy parameters and sampled trajectories in order to sample more freely. Finally, we show how to incorporate these techniques in a principled manner to obtain estimates of the optimal policy.
- This paper addresses the problem of sampling from binary distributions with constraints. In particular, it proposes an MCMC method to draw samples from a distribution of the set of all states at a specified distance from some reference state. For example, when the reference state is the vector of zeros, the algorithm can draw samples from a binary distribution with a constraint on the number of active variables, say the number of 1's. We motivate the need for this algorithm with examples from statistical physics and probabilistic inference. Unlike previous algorithms proposed to sample from binary distributions with these constraints, the new algorithm allows for large moves in state space and tends to propose them such that they are energetically favourable. The algorithm is demonstrated on three Boltzmann machines of varying difficulty: A ferromagnetic Ising model (with positive potentials), a restricted Boltzmann machine with learned Gabor-like filters as potentials, and a challenging three-dimensional spin-glass (with positive and negative potentials).
- The decentralized particle filter (DPF) was proposed recently to increase the level of parallelism of particle filtering. Given a decomposition of the state space into two nested sets of variables, the DPF uses a particle filter to sample the first set and then conditions on this sample to generate a set of samples for the second set of variables. The DPF can be understood as a variant of the popular Rao-Blackwellized particle filter (RBPF), where the second step is carried out using Monte Carlo approximations instead of analytical inference. As a result, the range of applications of the DPF is broader than the one for the RBPF. In this paper, we improve the DPF in two ways. First, we derive a Monte Carlo approximation of the optimal proposal distribution and, consequently, design and implement a more efficient look-ahead DPF. Although the decentralized filters were initially designed to capitalize on parallel implementation, we show that the look-ahead DPF can outperform the standard particle filter even on a single machine. Second, we propose the use of bandit algorithms to automatically configure the state space decomposition of the DPF.
- This paper analyses the problem of Gaussian process (GP) bandits with deterministic observations. The analysis uses a branch and bound algorithm that is related to the UCB algorithm of (Srinivas et al., 2010). For GPs with Gaussian observation noise, with variance strictly greater than zero, (Srinivas et al., 2010) proved that the regret vanishes at the approximate rate of $O(\frac{1}{\sqrt{t}})$, where t is the number of observations. To complement their result, we attack the deterministic case and attain a much faster exponential convergence rate. Under some regularity assumptions, we show that the regret decreases asymptotically according to $O(e^{-\frac{\tau t}{(\ln t)^{d/4}}})$ with high probability. Here, d is the dimension of the search space and $\tau$ is a constant that depends on the behaviour of the objective function near its global maximum.
- Standard maximum likelihood estimation cannot be applied to discrete energy-based models in the general case because the computation of exact model probabilities is intractable. Recent research has seen the proposal of several new estimators designed specifically to overcome this intractability, but virtually nothing is known about their theoretical properties. In this paper, we present a generalized estimator that unifies many of the classical and recently proposed estimators. We use results from the standard asymptotic theory for M-estimators to derive a generic expression for the asymptotic covariance matrix of our generalized estimator. We apply these results to study the relative statistical efficiency of classical pseudolikelihood and the recently-proposed ratio matching estimator.
- Sep 20 2011 cs.AI arXiv:1109.3737v1We discuss an attentional model for simultaneous object tracking and recognition that is driven by gaze data. Motivated by theories of perception, the model consists of two interacting pathways: identity and control, intended to mirror the what and where pathways in neuroscience models. The identity pathway models object appearance and performs classification using deep (factored)-Restricted Boltzmann Machines. At each point in time the observations consist of foveated images, with decaying resolution toward the periphery of the gaze. The control pathway models the location, orientation, scale and speed of the attended object. The posterior distribution of these states is estimated with particle filtering. Deeper in the control pathway, we encounter an attentional mechanism that learns to select gazes so as to minimize tracking uncertainty. Unlike in our previous work, we introduce gaze selection strategies which operate in the presence of partial information and on a continuous action space. We show that a straightforward extension of the existing approach to the partial information setting results in poor performance, and we propose an alternative method based on modeling the reward surface as a Gaussian Process. This approach gives good performance in the presence of partial information and allows us to expand the action space from a small, discrete set of fixation points to a continuous domain.
- PAQ8 is an open source lossless data compression algorithm that currently achieves the best compression rates on many benchmarks. This report presents a detailed description of PAQ8 from a statistical machine learning perspective. It shows that it is possible to understand some of the modules of PAQ8 and use this understanding to improve the method. However, intuitive statistical explanations of the behavior of other modules remain elusive. We hope the description in this report will be a starting point for discussions that will increase our understanding, lead to improvements to PAQ8, and facilitate a transfer of knowledge from PAQ8 to other machine learning methods, such a recurrent neural networks and stochastic memoizers. Finally, the report presents a broad range of new applications of PAQ to machine learning tasks including language modeling and adaptive text prediction, adaptive game playing, classification, and compression using features from the field of deep learning.
- Dec 14 2010 cs.LG arXiv:1012.2599v1We present a tutorial on Bayesian optimization, a method of finding the maximum of expensive cost functions. Bayesian optimization employs the Bayesian technique of setting a prior over the objective function and combining it with evidence to get a posterior function. This permits a utility-based selection of the next observation to make on the objective function, which must take into account both exploration (sampling from areas of high uncertainty) and exploitation (sampling areas likely to offer improvement over the current best observation). We also present two detailed extensions of Bayesian optimization, with experiments---active user modelling with preferences, and hierarchical reinforcement learning---and a discussion of the pros and cons of Bayesian optimization based on our experiences.
- Sep 29 2010 cs.LG arXiv:1009.5419v2Bayesian optimization with Gaussian processes has become an increasingly popular tool in the machine learning community. It is efficient and can be used when very little is known about the objective function, making it popular in expensive black-box optimization scenarios. It uses Bayesian methods to sample the objective efficiently using an acquisition function which incorporates the model's estimate of the objective and the uncertainty at any given point. However, there are several different parameterized acquisition functions in the literature, and it is often unclear which one to use. Instead of using a single acquisition function, we adopt a portfolio of acquisition functions governed by an online multi-armed bandit strategy. We propose several portfolio strategies, the best of which we call GP-Hedge, and show that this method outperforms the best individual acquisition function. We also provide a theoretical bound on the algorithm's performance.