Janz, David, Paige, Brooks, Rainforth, Tom, van de Meent, Jan-Willem, Wood, Frank

Existing methods for structure discovery in time series data construct interpretable, compositional kernels for Gaussian process regression models. While the learned Gaussian process model provides posterior mean and variance estimates, typically the structure is learned via a greedy optimization procedure. This restricts the space of possible solutions and leads to over-confident uncertainty estimates. We introduce a fully Bayesian approach, inferring a full posterior over structures, which more reliably captures the uncertainty of the model.

We introduce a new principle for model selection in regression and classification. Many regression models are controlled by some smoothness or flexibility or complexity parameter c, e.g. the number of neighbors to be averaged over in k nearest neighbor (kNN) regression or the polynomial degree in regression with polynomials. Let f_D^c be the (best) regressor of complexity c on data D. A more flexible regressor can fit more data D' well than a more rigid one. If something (here small loss) is easy to achieve it's typically worth less. We define the loss rank of f_D^c as the number of other (fictitious) data D' that are fitted better by f_D'^c than D is fitted by f_D^c. We suggest selecting the model complexity c that has minimal loss rank (LoRP). Unlike most penalized maximum likelihood variants (AIC,BIC,MDL), LoRP only depends on the regression function and loss function. It works without a stochastic noise model, and is directly applicable to any non-parametric regressor, like kNN. In this paper we formalize, discuss, and motivate LoRP, study it for specific regression problems, in particular linear ones, and compare it to other model selection schemes.

Hall, Peter, Park, Byeong U., Samworth, Richard J.

The $k$th-nearest neighbor rule is arguably the simplest and most intuitively appealing nonparametric classification procedure. However, application of this method is inhibited by lack of knowledge about its properties, in particular, about the manner in which it is influenced by the value of $k$; and by the absence of techniques for empirical choice of $k$. In the present paper we detail the way in which the value of $k$ determines the misclassification error. We consider two models, Poisson and Binomial, for the training samples. Under the first model, data are recorded in a Poisson stream and are "assigned" to one or other of the two populations in accordance with the prior probabilities. In particular, the total number of data in both training samples is a Poisson-distributed random variable. Under the Binomial model, however, the total number of data in the training samples is fixed, although again each data value is assigned in a random way. Although the values of risk and regret associated with the Poisson and Binomial models are different, they are asymptotically equivalent to first order, and also to the risks associated with kernel-based classifiers that are tailored to the case of two derivatives. These properties motivate new methods for choosing the value of $k$.

Chaudhuri, Kamalika, Kakade, Sham, Netrapalli, Praneeth, Sanghavi, Sujay

An active learner is given a class of models, a large set of unlabeled examples, and the ability to interactively query labels of a subset of these examples; the goal of the learner is to learn a model in the class that fits the data well. Previous theoretical work has rigorously characterized label complexity of active learning, but most of this work has focused on the PAC or the agnostic PAC model. In this paper, we shift our attention to a more general setting -- maximum likelihood estimation. Provided certain conditions hold on the model class, we provide a two-stage active learning algorithm for this problem. The conditions we require are fairly general, and cover the widely popular class of Generalized Linear Models, which in turn, include models for binary and multi-class classification, regression, and conditional random fields. We provide an upper bound on the label requirement of our algorithm, and a lower bound that matches it up to lower order terms. Our analysis shows that unlike binary classification in the realizable case, just a single extra round of interaction is sufficient to achieve near-optimal performance in maximum likelihood estimation. On the empirical side, the recent work in ~\cite{Zhang12} and~\cite{Zhang14} (on active linear and logistic regression) shows the promise of this approach.

Chaudhuri, Kamalika, Kakade, Sham M., Netrapalli, Praneeth, Sanghavi, Sujay

An active learner is given a class of models, a large set of unlabeled examples, and the ability to interactively query labels of a subset of these examples; the goal of the learner is to learn a model in the class that fits the data well. Previous theoretical work has rigorously characterized label complexity of active learning, but most of this work has focused on the PAC or the agnostic PAC model. In this paper, we shift our attention to a more general setting -- maximum likelihood estimation. Provided certain conditions hold on the model class, we provide a two-stage active learning algorithm for this problem. The conditions we require are fairly general, and cover the widely popular class of Generalized Linear Models, which in turn, include models for binary and multi-class classification, regression, and conditional random fields. We provide an upper bound on the label requirement of our algorithm, and a lower bound that matches it up to lower order terms. Our analysis shows that unlike binary classification in the realizable case, just a single extraround of interaction is sufficient to achieve near-optimal performance in maximum likelihood estimation. On the empirical side, the recent work in (Gu et al. 2012) and (Gu et al. 2014) (on active linear and logistic regression) shows the promise of this approach.