Artificial intelligence has been applied in wildfire science and management since the 1990s, with early applications including neural networks and expert systems. Since then the field has rapidly progressed congruently with the wide adoption of machine learning (ML) in the environmental sciences. Here, we present a scoping review of ML in wildfire science and management. Our objective is to improve awareness of ML among wildfire scientists and managers, as well as illustrate the challenging range of problems in wildfire science available to data scientists. We first present an overview of popular ML approaches used in wildfire science to date, and then review their use in wildfire science within six problem domains: 1) fuels characterization, fire detection, and mapping; 2) fire weather and climate change; 3) fire occurrence, susceptibility, and risk; 4) fire behavior prediction; 5) fire effects; and 6) fire management. We also discuss the advantages and limitations of various ML approaches and identify opportunities for future advances in wildfire science and management within a data science context. We identified 298 relevant publications, where the most frequently used ML methods included random forests, MaxEnt, artificial neural networks, decision trees, support vector machines, and genetic algorithms. There exists opportunities to apply more current ML methods (e.g., deep learning and agent based learning) in wildfire science. However, despite the ability of ML models to learn on their own, expertise in wildfire science is necessary to ensure realistic modelling of fire processes across multiple scales, while the complexity of some ML methods requires sophisticated knowledge for their application. Finally, we stress that the wildfire research and management community plays an active role in providing relevant, high quality data for use by practitioners of ML methods.
How can we enable machines to make sense of the world, and become better at learning? To approach this goal, I believe viewing intelligence in terms of many integral aspects, and also a universal two-term tradeoff between task performance and complexity, provides two feasible perspectives. In this thesis, I address several key questions in some aspects of intelligence, and study the phase transitions in the two-term tradeoff, using strategies and tools from physics and information. Firstly, how can we make the learning models more flexible and efficient, so that agents can learn quickly with fewer examples? Inspired by how physicists model the world, we introduce a paradigm and an AI Physicist agent for simultaneously learning many small specialized models (theories) and the domain they are accurate, which can then be simplified, unified and stored, facilitating few-shot learning in a continual way. Secondly, for representation learning, when can we learn a good representation, and how does learning depend on the structure of the dataset? We approach this question by studying phase transitions when tuning the tradeoff hyperparameter. In the information bottleneck, we theoretically show that these phase transitions are predictable and reveal structure in the relationships between the data, the model, the learned representation and the loss landscape. Thirdly, how can agents discover causality from observations? We address part of this question by introducing an algorithm that combines prediction and minimizing information from the input, for exploratory causal discovery from observational time series. Fourthly, to make models more robust to label noise, we introduce Rank Pruning, a robust algorithm for classification with noisy labels. I believe that building on the work of my thesis we will be one step closer to enable more intelligent machines that can make sense of the world.
Language identification (“LI”) is the problem of determining the natural language that a document or part thereof is written in. Automatic LI has been extensively researched for over fifty years. Today, LI is a key part of many text processing pipelines, as text processing techniques generally assume that the language of the input text is known. Research in this area has recently been especially active. This article provides a brief history of LI research, and an extensive survey of the features and methods used in the LI literature. We describe the features and methods using a unified notation, to make the relationships between methods clearer. We discuss evaluation methods, applications of LI, as well as off-the-shelfLI systems that do not require training by the end user. Finally, we identify open issues, survey the work to date on each issue, and propose future directions for research in LI.
In recent years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of complex documents and texts that require a deeper understanding of machine learning methods to be able to accurately classify texts in many applications. Many machine learning approaches have achieved surpassing results in natural language processing. The success of these learning algorithms relies on their capacity to understand complex models and non-linear relationships within data. However, finding suitable structures, architectures, and techniques for text classification is a challenge for researchers. In this paper, a brief overview of text classification algorithms is discussed. This overview covers different text feature extractions, dimensionality reduction methods, existing algorithms and techniques, and evaluations methods. Finally, the limitations of each technique and their application in the real-world problem are discussed.
Combining Bayesian nonparametrics and a forward model selection strategy, we construct parsimonious Bayesian deep networks (PBDNs) that infer capacity-regularized network architectures from the data and require neither cross-validation nor fine-tuning when training the model. One of the two essential components of a PBDN is the development of a special infinite-wide single-hidden-layer neural network, whose number of active hidden units can be inferred from the data. The other one is the construction of a greedy layer-wise learning algorithm that uses a forward model selection criterion to determine when to stop adding another hidden layer. We develop both Gibbs sampling and stochastic gradient descent based maximum a posteriori inference for PBDNs, providing state-of-the-art classification accuracy and interpretable data subtypes near the decision boundaries, while maintaining low computational complexity for out-of-sample prediction.