Learning Probabilistic Models of Word Sense Disambiguation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This dissertation presents several new methods of supervised and unsupervised learning of word sense disambiguation models. The supervised methods focus on performing model searches through a space of probabilistic models, and the unsupervised methods rely on the use of Gibbs Sampling and the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm. In both the supervised and unsupervised case, the Naive Bayesian model is found to perform well. An explanation for this success is presented in terms of learning rates and bias-variance decompositions.

WhiteBear: An Empirical Study of Design Tradeoffs for Autonomous Trading Agents

AAAI Conferences

This paper presents WhiteBear, one of the top-scoring agents in the 2 "'i International Trading Agent Competition (TAC). TAC was designed as a realistic complex test-bed for designing agents trading in e-marketplaces. Our architecture is an adaptive, robust agent architecture combining principled methods and empirical knowledge. The agent faced several technical challenges. Deciding the optimal quantities to buy and sell, the desired prices and the time of bid placement was only part of its design. Other important issues that we resolved were balancing the aggressiveness of the agent's bids againsthe cost of obtaining increased flexibility and the integration of domain specific knowledge with general agent design techniques. Introduction The Trading Agent Competition (TAC) was designed and organized by a group of researchers at the University of Michigan, led by Michael Wellman (Wellman et al. 2001). Time was spent on the design and implementation of the market, but there was no common market scenario that researchers could focus on and use to compare strategies. TAC provides such a common framework. It is a challenging benchmark domain which incorporates several elements found in real marketplaces in the realistic setup of travel agents that organize trips for their clients.

Efficient Statistical Methods for Evaluating Trading Agent Performance

AAAI Conferences

Market simulations, like their real-world counterparts, are typically domains of high complexity, high variability, and incomplete information. The performance of autonomous agents in these markets depends both upon the strategies of their opponents and on various market conditions, such as supply and demand. Because the space for possible strategies and market conditions is very large, empirical analysis in these domains becomes exceedingly difficult. Researchers who wish to evaluate their agents must run many test games across multiple opponent sets and market conditions to verify that agent performance has actually improved. Our approach is to improve the statistical power of market simulation experiments by controlling their complexity, thereby creating an environment more conducive to structured agent testing and analysis. We develop a tool that controls variability across games in one such market environment, the Trading Agent Competition for Supply Chain Management (TAC SCM), and demonstrate how it provides an efficient, systematic method for TAC SCM researchers to analyze agent performance.

The Role of Prompting and Feedback in Facilitating Students’ Learning about Science with MetaTutor

AAAI Conferences

An experiment was conducted to test the efficacy of a new intelligent hypermedia system, MetaTutor, which is intended to prompt and scaffold the use of self-regulated learning (SRL) processes during learning about a human body system. Sixty-eight (N=68) undergraduate students learned about the human circulatory system under one of three conditions: prompt and feedback (PF), prompt-only (PO), and control (C) condition. The PF condition received timely prompts from animated pedagogical agents to engage in planning processes, monitoring processes, and learning strategies and also received immediate directive feedback from the agents concerning the deployment of the processes. The PO condition received the same timely prompts, but did not receive any feedback following the deployment of the processes. Finally, the control condition learned without any assistance from the agents during the learning session. All participants had two hours to learn using a 41-page hypermedia environment which included texts describing and static diagrams depicting various topics concerning the human circulatory system. Results indicate that the PF condition had significantly higher learning efficiency scores, when compared to the control condition. There were no significant differences between the PF and PO conditions. These results are discussed in the context of development of a fully-adaptive hypermedia learning system intended to scaffold self-regulated learning.

Most Relevant Explanation in Bayesian Networks

AAAI Conferences

A major inference task in Bayesian networks is explaining why some variables are observed in their particular states using a set of target variables. Existing methods for solving this problem often generate explanations that are either too simple (underspecified) or too complex (overspecified). In this paper, we introduce a method called Most Relevant Explanation (MRE) which finds a partial instantiation of the target variables that maximizes the generalized Bayes factor (GBF) as the best explanation for the given evidence. Our study shows that GBF has several theoretical properties that enable MRE to automatically identify the most relevant target variables in forming its explanation. In particular, conditional Bayes factor (CBF), defined as the GBF of a new explanation conditioned on an existing explanation, provides a soft measure on the degree of relevance of the variables in the new explanation in explaining the evidence given the existing explanation. As a result, MRE is able to automatically prune less relevant variables from its explanation. We also show that CBF is able to capture well the explaining-away phenomenon that is often represented in Bayesian networks. Moreover, we define two dominance relations between the candidate solutions and use the relations to generalize MRE to find a set of top explanations that is both diverse and representative. Case studies on several benchmark diagnostic Bayesian networks show that MRE is often able to find explanatory hypotheses that are not only precise but also concise.