Learning From What You Don't Observe

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The process of diagnosis involves learning about the state of a system from various observations of symptoms or findings about the system. Sophisticated Bayesian (and other) algorithms have been developed to revise and maintain beliefs about the system as observations are made. Nonetheless, diagnostic models have tended to ignore some common sense reasoning exploited by human diagnosticians; In particular, one can learn from which observations have not been made, in the spirit of conversational implicature. There are two concepts that we describe to extract information from the observations not made. First, some symptoms, if present, are more likely to be reported before others. Second, most human diagnosticians and expert systems are economical in their data-gathering, searching first where they are more likely to find symptoms present. Thus, there is a desirable bias toward reporting symptoms that are present. We develop a simple model for these concepts that can significantly improve diagnostic inference.


On the Difficulty of Achieving Equilibrium in Interactive POMDPs

AAAI Conferences

We analyze the asymptotic behavior of agents engaged in an infinite horizon partially observable stochastic game as formalized by the interactive POMDP framework. We show that when agents' initial beliefs satisfy a truth compatibility condition, their behavior converges to a subjective ɛ-equilibrium in a finite time, and subjective equilibrium in the limit. This result is a generalization of a similar result in repeated games, to partially observable stochastic games. However, it turns out that the equilibrating process is difficult to demonstrate computationally because of the difficulty in coming up with initial beliefs that are both natural and satisfy the truth compatibility condition. Our results, therefore, shed some negative light on using equilibria as a solution concept for decision making in partially observable stochastic games.


A Generalization of the Chow-Liu Algorithm and its Application to Statistical Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We extend the Chow-Liu algorithm for general random variables while the previous versions only considered finite cases. In particular, this paper applies the generalization to Suzuki's learning algorithm that generates from data forests rather than trees based on the minimum description length by balancing the fitness of the data to the forest and the simplicity of the forest. As a result, we successfully obtain an algorithm when both of the Gaussian and finite random variables are present.



Evidence Optimization Techniques for Estimating Stimulus-Response Functions

Neural Information Processing Systems

An essential step in understanding the function of sensory nervous systems isto characterize as accurately as possible the stimulus-response function (SRF) of the neurons that relay and process sensory information. Oneincreasingly common experimental approach is to present a rapidly varying complex stimulus to the animal while recording the responses ofone or more neurons, and then to directly estimate a functional transformation of the input that accounts for the neuronal firing. The estimation techniques usually employed, such as Wiener filtering or other correlation-based estimation of the Wiener or Volterra kernels, are equivalent to maximum likelihood estimation in a Gaussian-output-noise regression model. We explore the use of Bayesian evidence-optimization techniques to condition these estimates. We show that by learning hyperparameters thatcontrol the smoothness and sparsity of the transfer function it is possible to improve dramatically the quality of SRF estimates, as measured by their success in predicting responses to novel input.