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Systems & Languages

The Distributed Vehicle Monitoring Testbed: A Tool for Investigating Distributed Problem Solving Networks

AI Magazine

Cooperative distributed problem solving networks are distributed networks of semi-autonomous processing nodes that work together to solve a single problem. The Distributed Vehicle Monitoring Testbed is a flexible and fully-instrumented research tool for empirically evaluating alternative designs for these networks. The testbed simulates a class of a distributed knowledge-based problem solving systems operating on an abstracted version of a vehicle monitoring task. There are two important aspects to the testbed: (1.) it implements a novel generic architecture for distributed problems solving networks that exploits the use of sophisticated local node control and meta-level control to improve global coherence in network problem solving; (2.) it serves as an example of how a testbed can be engineered to permit the empirical exploration of design issues in knowledge AI systems. The testbed is capable of simulating different degrees of sophistication in problem solving knowledge and focus-of attention mechanisms, for varying the distribution and characteristics of error in its (simulated) input data, and for measuring the progress of problem solving.

Harnessing Cyc to Answer Clinical Researchers' Ad Hoc Queries

AI Magazine

By extending Cyc's ontology and KB approximately 2%, Cycorp and Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) have built a system to answer clinical researchers' ad hoc queries. The query may be long and complex, hence only partially understood at first, parsed into a set of CycL (higher-order logic) fragments with open variables. But, surprisingly often, after applying various constraints (medical domain knowledge, common sense, discourse pragmatics, syntax), there is only one single way to fit those fragments together, one semantically meaningful formal query P. The system, SRA (for Semantic Research Assistant), dispatches a series of database calls and then combines, logically and arithmetically, their results into answers to P. Seeing the first few answers stream back, the user may realize that they need to abort, modify, and re-ask their query. Even before they push ASK, just knowing approximately how many answers would be returned can spark such editing. Besides real-time ad hoc query-answering, queries can be bundled and persist over time.

New Research Shows How AI Can Act as Mediators


According to VentureBeat, AI researchers at Uber have recently posted a paper to Arxiv outlining a new platform intended to assist in the creation of distributed AI models. The platform is called Fiber, and it can be used to drive both reinforcement learning tasks and population-based learning. Fiber is designed to make large-scale parallel computation more accessible to non-experts, letting them take advantage of the power of distributed AI algorithms and models. Fiber has recently been made open-source on GitHub, and it's compatible with Python 3.6 or above, with Kubernetes running on a Linux system and running in a cloud environment. According to the team of researchers, the platform is capable of easily scaling up to hundreds or thousands of individual machines.

A Generic Graph-based Neural Architecture Encoding Scheme for Predictor-based NAS Machine Learning

This work proposes a novel Graph-based neural ArchiTecture Encoding Scheme, a.k.a. GATES, to improve the predictor-based neural architecture search. Specifically, different from existing graph-based schemes, GATES models the operations as the transformation of the propagating information, which mimics the actual data processing of neural architecture. GATES is a more reasonable modeling of the neural architectures, and can encode architectures from both the "operation on node" and "operation on edge" cell search spaces consistently. Experimental results on various search spaces confirm GATES's effectiveness in improving the performance predictor. Furthermore, equipped with the improved performance predictor, the sample efficiency of the predictor-based neural architecture search (NAS) flow is boosted.

Can AI Achieve Common Sense to Make Machines More Intelligent?


Today machines with artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming more prevalent in society. Across many fields, AI has taken over numerous tasks that humans used to do earlier. As the reference is to human intelligence, artificial intelligence is being modified into what humans can do. However, the technology has not yet matched the level of utmost wisdom possessed by humans and it seems like it is not going to achieve the milestone any time sooner. To replace human beings at most jobs, machines need to exhibit what we intuitively call "common sense".

Uber details Fiber, a framework for distributed AI model training


A preprint paper coauthored by Uber AI scientists and Jeff Clune, a research team leader at San Francisco startup OpenAI, describes Fiber, an AI development and distributed training platform for methods including reinforcement learning (which spurs AI agents to complete goals via rewards) and population-based learning. The team says that Fiber expands the accessibility of large-scale parallel computation without the need for specialized hardware or equipment, enabling non-experts to reap the benefits of genetic algorithms in which populations of agents evolve rather than individual members. Fiber -- which was developed to power large-scale parallel scientific computation projects like POET -- is available in open source as of this week, on Github. It supports Linux systems running Python 3.6 and up and Kubernetes running on public cloud environments like Google Cloud, and the research team says that it can scale to hundreds or even thousands of machines. As the researchers point out, increasing computation underlies many recent advances in machine learning, with more and more algorithms relying on distributed training for processing an enormous amount of data.

Coronavirus as an Opportunity to Evolve Security Architecture


Self-quarantined employees are forcing organizations to allow access to critical data remotely. Coronavirus is presenting organizations with a unique opportunity to adopt modern security protocols and enable an efficient remote workforce. Fear of Coronavirus infections has resulted in organizations ruling out large meetings. Healthy individuals are in home-quarantine for weeks at a time, even though they are not necessarily thought to carry the virus. This large number of individuals complying with house arrest is putting a strain on many organizations that have not shifted their working styles to accommodate large-scale remote workers.

r/MachineLearning - [R] Neuroevolution of Self-Interpretable Agents


Inattentional blindness is the psychological phenomenon that causes one to miss things in plain sight. It is a consequence of the selective attention in perception that lets us remain focused on important parts of our world without distraction from irrelevant details. Motivated by selective attention, we study the properties of artificial agents that perceive the world through the lens of a self-attention bottleneck. By constraining access to only a small fraction of the visual input, we show that their policies are directly interpretable in pixel space. We find neuroevolution ideal for training self-attention architectures for vision-based reinforcement learning (RL) tasks, allowing us to incorporate modules that can include discrete, non-differentiable operations which are useful for our agent.

Efficient Neural Architecture Transformation Search in Channel-Level for Object Detection

Neural Information Processing Systems

Recently, Neural Architecture Search has achieved great success in large-scale image classification. In contrast, there have been limited works focusing on architecture search for object detection, mainly because the costly ImageNet pretraining is always required for detectors. Training from scratch, as a substitute, demands more epochs to converge and brings no computation saving. To overcome this obstacle, we introduce a practical neural architecture transformation search(NATS) algorithm for object detection in this paper. Instead of searching and constructing an entire network, NATS explores the architecture space on the base of existing network and reusing its weights.

Bayesian Joint Estimation of Multiple Graphical Models

Neural Information Processing Systems

In this paper, we propose a novel Bayesian group regularization method based on the spike and slab Lasso priors for jointly estimating multiple graphical models. The proposed method can be used to estimate the common sparsity structure underlying the graphical models while capturing potential heterogeneity of the precision matrices corresponding to those models. Our theoretical results show that the proposed method enjoys the optimal rate of convergence in $\ell_\infty$ norm for estimation consistency and has a strong structure recovery guarantee even when the signal strengths over different graphs are heterogeneous. Through simulation studies and an application to the capital bike-sharing network data, we demonstrate the competitive performance of our method compared to existing alternatives. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.