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Constraint-Based Reasoning

DeepFaceDrawing Generates Photorealistic Portraits from Freehand Sketches - Synced


A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the City University of Hong Kong has introduced a local-to-global approach that can generate lifelike human portraits from relatively rudimentary sketches. Recent deep image-to-image translation techniques have enabled the prompt generation of human face images from sketches, but these methods tend to suffer from overfitting to their inputs. They thus achieve the most realistic results only when the source drawings have high-quality artistry or are accompanied by edge maps. Unlike most deep learning based solutions for sketch-to-image translation that take input sketches as fixed, 'hard' constraints and then attempt to reconstruct the missing texture or shading information between strokes, the key idea behind the new approach is to implicitly learn a space of plausible face sketches from real face sketch images and find the point in this space that best approximates the input sketch. Because this approach treats input sketches more as'soft' constraints that will guide image synthesis, it is able to produce high-quality face images with increased plausibility even from rough and/or incomplete inputs.

A New Basis for Spreadsheet Computing: Interval Solver for Microsoft Excel

AI Magazine

There is a fundamental mismatch between the computational basis of spreadsheets and our knowledge of the real world. In spreadsheets, numeric data are represented as exact numbers and their mutual relations as functions, whose values (output) are computed from given argument values (input). However, in the real world, data are often inexact and uncertain in many ways, and the relationships, that is, constraints, between input and output are far more complicated. This article shows that interval constraint solving, an emerging AI-based technology, provides a more versatile and useful foundation for spreadsheets. The new computational basis is 100-percent downward compatible with the traditional spreadsheet paradigm.

Optimizing Limousine Service with AI

AI Magazine

A common problem for companies with strong business growth is that it is hard to find enough experienced staff to support expansion needs. This problem is particular pronounced for operations planners and controllers who must be very highly knowledgeable and experienced with the business domain. This article is a case study of how one of the largest travel agencies in Hong Kong alleviated this problem by using AI to support decision-making and problem-solving so that their planners and controllers can work more effectively and efficiently to sustain business growth while maintaining consistent quality of service. AI is used in a mission critical fleet management system (FMS) that supports the scheduling and management of a fleet of luxury limousines for business travelers. The AI problem was modeled as a constraint satisfaction problem (CSP).

Using Global Constraints to Automate Regression Testing

AI Magazine

Nowadays, any communicating or autonomous systems rely on high-quality software-based components. To ensure a sufficient level of quality, these components must be thoroughly verified before being released and being deployed in operational settings. Regression testing is a crucial verification process that executes any new release of a software-based component against previous versions of the component, with existing test cases. However, the selection of test cases in regression testing is challenging as the time available for testing is limited and some selection criteria must be respected. This problem, coined as Test Suite Reduction (TSR), is usually addressed by validation engineers through manual analysis or by using approximation techniques.

Using Self-Organizing Maps to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem


The Traveling Salesman Problem is a well known challenge in Computer Science: it consists on finding the shortest route possible that traverses all cities in a given map only once. Although its simple explanation, this problem is, indeed, NP-Complete. This implies that the difficulty to solve it increases rapidly with the number of cities, and we do not know in fact a general solution that solves the problem. For that reason, we currently consider that any method able to find a sub-optimal solution is generally good enough (we cannot verify if the solution returned is the optimal one most of the times). To solve it, we can try to apply a modification of the Self-Organizing Map (SOM) technique.

Hierarchical Adaptive Contextual Bandits for Resource Constraint based Recommendation Machine Learning

Contextual multi-armed bandit (MAB) achieves cutting-edge performance on a variety of problems. When it comes to real-world scenarios such as recommendation system and online advertising, however, it is essential to consider the resource consumption of exploration. In practice, there is typically non-zero cost associated with executing a recommendation (arm) in the environment, and hence, the policy should be learned with a fixed exploration cost constraint. It is challenging to learn a global optimal policy directly, since it is a NP-hard problem and significantly complicates the exploration and exploitation trade-off of bandit algorithms. Existing approaches focus on solving the problems by adopting the greedy policy which estimates the expected rewards and costs and uses a greedy selection based on each arm's expected reward/cost ratio using historical observation until the exploration resource is exhausted. However, existing methods are hard to extend to infinite time horizon, since the learning process will be terminated when there is no more resource. In this paper, we propose a hierarchical adaptive contextual bandit method (HATCH) to conduct the policy learning of contextual bandits with a budget constraint. HATCH adopts an adaptive method to allocate the exploration resource based on the remaining resource/time and the estimation of reward distribution among different user contexts. In addition, we utilize full of contextual feature information to find the best personalized recommendation. Finally, in order to prove the theoretical guarantee, we present a regret bound analysis and prove that HATCH achieves a regret bound as low as $O(\sqrt{T})$. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed method on both synthetic data sets and the real-world applications.

Where you should drop Deep Learning in favor of Constraint Solvers


Machine Learning and Deep Learning are ongoing buzzwords in the industry. Branding ahead of functionalities led to Deep Learning being overused in many artificial intelligence applications. This post will provide a quick grasp at constraint satisfaction, a powerful yet underused approach which can tackle a large number of problems in AI and other areas of computer science, from logistics and scheduling to temporal reasoning and graph problems. Let's consider a factual and highly topical problem. Hospitals must organize quickly to treat ill people.

Hybrid Classification and Reasoning for Image-based Constraint Solving Artificial Intelligence

There is an increased interest in solving complex constrained problems where part of the input is not given as facts but received as raw sensor data such as images or speech. We will use "visual sudoku" as a prototype problem, where the given cell digits are handwritten and provided as an image thereof. In this case, one first has to train and use a classifier to label the images, so that the labels can be used for solving the problem. In this paper, we explore the hybridization of classifying the images with the reasoning of a constraint solver. We show that pure constraint reasoning on predictions does not give satisfactory results. Instead, we explore the possibilities of a tighter integration, by exposing the probabilistic estimates of the classifier to the constraint solver. This allows joint inference on these probabilistic estimates, where we use the solver to find the maximum likelihood solution. We explore the trade-off between the power of the classifier and the power of the constraint reasoning, as well as further integration through the additional use of structural knowledge. Furthermore, we investigate the effect of calibration of the probabilistic estimates on the reasoning. Our results show that such hybrid approaches vastly outperform a separate approach, which encourages a further integration of prediction (probabilities) and constraint solving.