Enterprise Applications


Online Learning for Multivariate Hawkes Processes

Neural Information Processing Systems

We develop a nonparametric and online learning algorithm that estimates the triggering functions of a multivariate Hawkes process (MHP). Theoretically, our algorithm achieves an $\calO(\log T)$ regret bound. Numerical results show that our algorithm offers a competing performance to that of the nonparametric batch learning algorithm, with a run time comparable to the parametric online learning algorithm. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Online Learning of Optimal Bidding Strategy in Repeated Multi-Commodity Auctions

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study the online learning problem of a bidder who participates in repeated auctions. With the goal of maximizing his T-period payoff, the bidder determines the optimal allocation of his budget among his bids for $K$ goods at each period. As a bidding strategy, we propose a polynomial-time algorithm, inspired by the dynamic programming approach to the knapsack problem. The proposed algorithm, referred to as dynamic programming on discrete set (DPDS), achieves a regret order of $O(\sqrt{T\log{T}})$. By showing that the regret is lower bounded by $\Omega(\sqrt{T})$ for any strategy, we conclude that DPDS is order optimal up to a $\sqrt{\log{T}}$ term.


Robust Classification Under Sample Selection Bias

Neural Information Processing Systems

In many important machine learning applications, the source distribution used to estimate a probabilistic classifier differs from the target distribution on which the classifier will be used to make predictions. Due to its asymptotic properties, sample-reweighted loss minimization is a commonly employed technique to deal with this difference. However, given finite amounts of labeled source data, this technique suffers from significant estimation errors in settings with large sample selection bias. We develop a framework for robustly learning a probabilistic classifier that adapts to different sample selection biases using a minimax estimation formulation. Our approach requires only accurate estimates of statistics under the source distribution and is otherwise as robust as possible to unknown properties of the conditional label distribution, except when explicit generalization assumptions are incorporated.


MetaGrad: Multiple Learning Rates in Online Learning

Neural Information Processing Systems

In online convex optimization it is well known that certain subclasses of objective functions are much easier than arbitrary convex functions. We are interested in designing adaptive methods that can automatically get fast rates in as many such subclasses as possible, without any manual tuning. Previous adaptive methods are able to interpolate between strongly convex and general convex functions. We present a new method, MetaGrad, that adapts to a much broader class of functions, including exp-concave and strongly convex functions, but also various types of stochastic and non-stochastic functions without any curvature. For instance, MetaGrad can achieve logarithmic regret on the unregularized hinge loss, even though it has no curvature, if the data come from a favourable probability distribution.


Adaptive Online Learning

Neural Information Processing Systems

We propose a general framework for studying adaptive regret bounds in the online learning setting, subsuming model selection and data-dependent bounds. Given a data- or model-dependent bound we ask, "Does there exist some algorithm achieving this bound?" We show that modifications to recently introduced sequential complexity measures can be used to answer this question by providing sufficient conditions under which adaptive rates can be achieved. In particular each adaptive rate induces a set of so-called offset complexity measures, and obtaining small upper bounds on these quantities is sufficient to demonstrate achievability. A cornerstone of our analysis technique is the use of one-sided tail inequalities to bound suprema of offset random processes.Our framework recovers and improves a wide variety of adaptive bounds including quantile bounds, second order data-dependent bounds, and small loss bounds.


Faster Online Learning of Optimal Threshold for Consistent F-measure Optimization

Neural Information Processing Systems

In this paper, we consider online F-measure optimization (OFO). Unlike traditional performance metrics (e.g., classification error rate), F-measure is non-decomposable over training examples and is a non-convex function of model parameters, making it much more difficult to be optimized in an online fashion. Most existing results of OFO usually suffer from high memory/computational costs and/or lack statistical consistency guarantee for optimizing F-measure at the population level. To advance OFO, we propose an efficient online algorithm based on simultaneously learning a posterior probability of class and learning an optimal threshold by minimizing a stochastic strongly convex function with unknown strong convexity parameter. A key component of the proposed method is a novel stochastic algorithm with low memory and computational costs, which can enjoy a convergence rate of $\widetilde O(1/\sqrt{n})$ for learning the optimal threshold under a mild condition on the convergence of the posterior probability, where $n$ is the number of processed examples.


Online Learning with an Unknown Fairness Metric

Neural Information Processing Systems

We consider the problem of online learning in the linear contextual bandits setting, but in which there are also strong individual fairness constraints governed by an unknown similarity metric. These constraints demand that we select similar actions or individuals with approximately equal probability DHPRZ12, which may be at odds with optimizing reward, thus modeling settings where profit and social policy are in tension. We assume we learn about an unknown Mahalanobis similarity metric from only weak feedback that identifies fairness violations, but does not quantify their extent. This is intended to represent the interventions of a regulator who "knows unfairness when he sees it" but nevertheless cannot enunciate a quantitative fairness metric over individuals. Our main result is an algorithm in the adversarial context setting that has a number of fairness violations that depends only logarithmically on T, while obtaining an optimal O(sqrt(T)) regret bound to the best fair policy.


Online Learning with Gaussian Payoffs and Side Observations

Neural Information Processing Systems

We consider a sequential learning problem with Gaussian payoffs and side information: after selecting an action $i$, the learner receives information about the payoff of every action $j$ in the form of Gaussian observations whose mean is the same as the mean payoff, but the variance depends on the pair $(i,j)$ (and may be infinite). The setup allows a more refined information transfer from one action to another than previous partial monitoring setups, including the recently introduced graph-structured feedback case. For the first time in the literature, we provide non-asymptotic problem-dependent lower bounds on the regret of any algorithm, which recover existing asymptotic problem-dependent lower bounds and finite-time minimax lower bounds available in the literature. We also provide algorithms that achieve the problem-dependent lower bound (up to some universal constant factor) or the minimax lower bounds (up to logarithmic factors). Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Online Learning with Adversarial Delays

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study the performance of standard online learning algorithms when the feedback is delayed by an adversary. This bound collapses to an optimal $O(\sqrt{T})$ bound in the usual setting of no delays (where $D T$). Our main contribution is to show that standard algorithms for online learning already have simple regret bounds in the most general setting of delayed feedback, making adjustments to the analysis and not to the algorithms themselves. Our results help affirm and clarify the success of recent algorithms in optimization and machine learning that operate in a delayed feedback model. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Adaptive Online Learning in Dynamic Environments

Neural Information Processing Systems

In this paper, we study online convex optimization in dynamic environments, and aim to bound the dynamic regret with respect to any sequence of comparators. The basic idea is to maintain a set of experts, each attaining an optimal dynamic regret for a specific path-length, and combines them with an expert-tracking algorithm. Furthermore, we propose an improved Ader based on the surrogate loss, and in this way the number of gradient evaluations per round is reduced from $O(\log T)$ to $1$. Finally, we extend Ader to the setting that a sequence of dynamical models is available to characterize the comparators. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.