Computational Learning Theory

PAC Learning Guarantees Under Covariate Shift Machine Learning

We consider the Domain Adaptation problem, also known as the covariate shift problem, where the distributions that generate the training and test data differ while retaining the same labeling function. This problem occurs across a large range of practical applications, and is related to the more general challenge of transfer learning. Most recent work on the topic focuses on optimization techniques that are specific to an algorithm or practical use case rather than a more general approach. The sparse literature attempting to provide general bounds seems to suggest that efficient learning even under strong assumptions is not possible for covariate shift. Our main contribution is to recontextualize these results by showing that any Probably Approximately Correct (PAC) learnable concept class is still PAC learnable under covariate shift conditions with only a polynomial increase in the number of training samples. This approach essentially demonstrates that the Domain Adaptation learning problem is as hard as the underlying PAC learning problem, provided some conditions over the training and test distributions. We also present bounds for the rejection sampling algorithm, justifying it as a solution to the Domain Adaptation problem in certain scenarios.

A tutorial on MDL hypothesis testing for graph analysis Machine Learning

When analysing graph structure, it can be difficult to determine whether patterns found are due to chance, or due to structural aspects of the process that generated the data. Hypothesis tests are often used to support such analyses. These allow us to make statistical inferences about which null models are responsible for the data, and they can be used as a heuristic in searching for meaningful patterns. The minimum description length (MDL) principle [6, 4] allows us to build such hypothesis tests, based on efficient descriptions of the data. Broadly: we translate the regularity we are interested in into a code for the data, and if this code describes the data more efficiently than a code corresponding to the null model, by a sufficient margin, we may reject the null model. This is a frequentist approach to MDL, based on hypothesis testing. Bayesian approaches to MDL for model selection rather than model rejection are more common, but for the purposes of pattern analysis, a hypothesis testing approach provides a more natural fit with existing literature. 1 We provide a brief illustration of this principle based on the running example of analysing the size of the largest clique in a graph. We illustrate how a code can be constructed to efficiently represent graphs with large cliques, and how the description length of the data under this code can be compared to the description length under a code corresponding to a null model to show that the null model is highly unlikely to have generated the data.

Semi-supervised clustering for de-duplication Machine Learning

Data de-duplication is the task of detecting multiple records that correspond to the same real-world entity in a database. In this work, we view de-duplication as a clustering problem where the goal is to put records corresponding to the same physical entity in the same cluster and putting records corresponding to different physical entities into different clusters. We introduce a framework which we call promise correlation clustering. Given a complete graph $G$ with the edges labelled $0$ and $1$, the goal is to find a clustering that minimizes the number of $0$ edges within a cluster plus the number of $1$ edges across different clusters (or correlation loss). The optimal clustering can also be viewed as a complete graph $G^*$ with edges corresponding to points in the same cluster being labelled $0$ and other edges being labelled $1$. Under the promise that the edge difference between $G$ and $G^*$ is "small", we prove that finding the optimal clustering (or $G^*$) is still NP-Hard. [Ashtiani et. al, 2016] introduced the framework of semi-supervised clustering, where the learning algorithm has access to an oracle, which answers whether two points belong to the same or different clusters. We further prove that even with access to a same-cluster oracle, the promise version is NP-Hard as long as the number queries to the oracle is not too large ($o(n)$ where $n$ is the number of vertices). Given these negative results, we consider a restricted version of correlation clustering. As before, the goal is to find a clustering that minimizes the correlation loss. However, we restrict ourselves to a given class $\mathcal F$ of clusterings. We offer a semi-supervised algorithmic approach to solve the restricted variant with success guarantees.

r/MachineLearning - [Research] Help relating to a theorem in machine learning


This is related to a theorem that I have proved and its relation (or not) to an existing result. Essentially, I have shown that PAC-learning is undecidable in the Turing sense. The arxiv link to the paper is I am told that this is provable as a corollary of existing results. I was hinted that the fundamental theorem of statistical machine learning that relates the VC dimension and PAC-learning could be used to prove the undecidability of PAC-learning.

Learning without Interaction Requires Separation Machine Learning

One of the key resources in large-scale learning systems is the number of rounds of communication between the server and the clients holding the data points. We study this resource for systems with two types of constraints on the communication from each of the clients: local differential privacy and limited number of bits communicated. For both models the number of rounds of communications is captured by the number of rounds of interaction when solving the learning problem in the statistical query (SQ) model. For many learning problems known efficient algorithms require many rounds of interaction. Yet little is known on whether this is actually necessary. In the context of classification in the PAC learning model, Kasiviswanathan et al. (2008) constructed an artificial class of functions that is PAC learnable with respect to a fixed distribution but cannot be learned by an efficient non-interactive (or one-round) SQ algorithm. Here we show that a similar separation holds for learning linear separators and decision lists without assumptions on the distribution. To prove this separation we show that non-interactive SQ algorithms can only learn function classes of low margin complexity, that is classes of functions that can be represented as large-margin linear separators.

PAC-learning is Undecidable Machine Learning

The problem of attempting to learn the mapping between data and labels is the crux of any machine learning task. It is, therefore, of interest to the machine learning community on practical as well as theoretical counts to consider the existence of a test or criterion for deciding the feasibility of attempting to learn. We investigate the existence of such a criterion in the setting of PAC-learning, basing the feasibility solely on whether the mapping to be learnt lends itself to approximation by a given class of hypothesis functions. We show that no such criterion exists, exposing a fundamental limitation in the decidability of learning. In other words, we prove that testing for PAC-learnability is undecidable in the Turing sense. We also briefly discuss some of the probable implications of this result to the current practice of machine learning.

Kolmogorov Complexity and Our Search for Meaning - Issue 63: Horizons


Was it a chance encounter when you met that special someone or was there some deeper reason for it? What about that strange dream last night--was that just the random ramblings of the synapses of your brain or did it reveal something deep about your unconscious? Perhaps the dream was trying to tell you something about your future. Did the fact that a close relative developed a virulent form of cancer have profound meaning or was it simply a consequence of a random mutation of his DNA? We live our lives thinking about the patterns of events that happen around us.

Model selection by minimum description length: Lower-bound sample sizes for the Fisher information approximation Machine Learning

The Fisher information approximation (FIA) is an implementation of the minimum description length principle for model selection. Unlike information criteria such as AIC or BIC, it has the advantage of taking the functional form of a model into account. Unfortunately, FIA can be misleading in finite samples, resulting in an inversion of the correct rank order of complexity terms for competing models in the worst case. As a remedy, we propose a lower-bound $N'$ for the sample size that suffices to preclude such errors. We illustrate the approach using three examples from the family of multinomial processing tree models.

Clause Vivification by Unit Propagation in CDCL SAT Solvers Artificial Intelligence

Original and learnt clauses in Conflict-Driven Clause Learning (CDCL) SAT solvers often contain redundant literals. This may have a negative impact on performance because redundant literals may deteriorate both the effectiveness of Boolean constraint propagation and the quality of subsequent learnt clauses. To overcome this drawback, we propose a clause vivification approach that eliminates redundant literals by applying unit propagation. The proposed clause vivification is activated before the SAT solver triggers some selected restarts, and only affects a subset of original and learnt clauses, which are considered to be more relevant according to metrics like the literal block distance (LBD). Moreover, we conducted an empirical investigation with instances coming from the hard combinatorial and application categories of recent SAT competitions. The results show that a remarkable number of additional instances are solved when the proposed approach is incorporated into five of the best performing CDCL SAT solvers (Glucose, TC_Glucose, COMiniSatPS, MapleCOMSPS and MapleCOMSPS_LRB). More importantly, the empirical investigation includes an in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of clause vivification. It is worth mentioning that one of the SAT solvers described here was ranked first in the main track of SAT Competition 2017 thanks to the incorporation of the proposed clause vivification. That solver was further improved in this paper and won the bronze medal in the main track of SAT Competition 2018.

Optimal Bounds on the VC-dimension Machine Learning

The VC-dimension of a set system is a way to capture its complexity and has been a key parameter studied extensively in machine learning and geometry communities. In this paper, we resolve two longstanding open problems on bounding the VC-dimension of two fundamental set systems: $k$-fold unions/intersections of half-spaces, and the simplices set system. Among other implications, it settles an open question in machine learning that was first studied in the 1989 foundational paper of Blumer, Ehrenfeucht, Haussler and Warmuth as well as by Eisenstat and Angluin and Johnson.