Panella, Alessandro (University of Illinois at Chicago)

When operating in stochastic, partially observable, multiagent settings, it is crucial to accurately predict the actions of other agents. In my thesis work, I propose methodologies for learning the policy of external agents from their observed behavior, in the form of finite state controllers. To perform this task, I adopt Bayesian learning algorithms based on nonparametric prior distributions, that provide the flexibility required to infer models of unknown complexity. These methods are to be embedded in decision making frameworks for autonomous planning in partially observable multiagent systems.

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.

Usually, distance rejection options enable to deal with incomplete knowledge about classes. A new technique, which extends the possibilities of distance rejection, is presented in order to detect partially unknown classes. These techniques have been applied in this paper to a very important legislative problem: the monitoring of car catalytic converters. Introduction Pattern recognition aims at classifying patterns. It can be easily applied to the monitoring of dynamic systems where the goal is to detect and identify the current operating mode.

Holsclaw, Tracy, Greene, Arthur M., Robertson, Andrew W., Smyth, Padhraic

Discrete-time hidden Markov models are a broadly useful class of latent-variable models with applications in areas such as speech recognition, bioinformatics, and climate data analysis. It is common in practice to introduce temporal non-homogeneity into such models by making the transition probabilities dependent on time-varying exogenous input variables via a multinomial logistic parametrization. We extend such models to introduce additional non-homogeneity into the emission distribution using a generalized linear model (GLM), with data augmentation for sampling-based inference. However, the presence of the logistic function in the state transition model significantly complicates parameter inference for the overall model, particularly in a Bayesian context. To address this we extend the recently-proposed Polya-Gamma data augmentation approach to handle non-homogeneous hidden Markov models (NHMMs), allowing the development of an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling scheme. We apply our model and inference scheme to 30 years of daily rainfall in India, leading to a number of insights into rainfall-related phenomena in the region. Our proposed approach allows for fully Bayesian analysis of relatively complex NHMMs on a scale that was not possible with previous methods. Software implementing the methods described in the paper is available via the R package NHMM.

Everitt, Richard G., Rowińska, Paulina A.

Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is now an established technique for statistical inference used in cases where the likelihood function is computationally expensive or not available. It relies on the use of a model that is specified in the form of a simulator, and approximates the likelihood at a parameter $\theta$ by simulating auxiliary data sets $x$ and evaluating the distance of $x$ from the true data $y$. However, ABC is not computationally feasible in cases where using the simulator for each $\theta$ is very expensive. This paper investigates this situation in cases where a cheap, but approximate, simulator is available. The approach is to employ delayed acceptance Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) within an ABC sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) sampler in order to, in a first stage of the kernel, use the cheap simulator to rule out parts of the parameter space that are not worth exploring, so that the "true" simulator is only run (in the second stage of the kernel) where there is a reasonable chance of accepting proposed values of $\theta$. We show that this approach can be used quite automatically, with the only tuning parameter choice additional to ABC-SMC being the number of particles we wish to carry through to the second stage of the kernel. Applications to stochastic differential equation models and latent doubly intractable distributions are presented.