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Visions of a generalized probability theory

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this Book we argue that the fruitful interaction of computer vision and belief calculus is capable of stimulating significant advances in both fields. From a methodological point of view, novel theoretical results concerning the geometric and algebraic properties of belief functions as mathematical objects are illustrated and discussed in Part II, with a focus on both a perspective 'geometric approach' to uncertainty and an algebraic solution to the issue of conflicting evidence. In Part III we show how these theoretical developments arise from important computer vision problems (such as articulated object tracking, data association and object pose estimation) to which, in turn, the evidential formalism is able to provide interesting new solutions. Finally, some initial steps towards a generalization of the notion of total probability to belief functions are taken, in the perspective of endowing the theory of evidence with a complete battery of estimation and inference tools to the benefit of all scientists and practitioners.


A review of machine learning applications in wildfire science and management

arXiv.org Machine Learning

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.


New Polynomial Classes for Logic-Based Abduction

AAAI Conferences

We address the problem of propositional logic-based abduction, i.e., the problem of searching for a best explanation for a given propositional observation according to a given propositional knowledge base. We give a general algorithm, based on the notion of projection; then we study restrictions over the representations of the knowledge base and of the query, and find new polynomial classes of abduction problems.


Beyond DAGs: Modeling Causal Feedback with Fuzzy Cognitive Maps

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs) model feedback causal relations in interwoven webs of causality and policy variables. FCMs are fuzzy signed directed graphs that allow degrees of causal influence and event occurrence. Such causal models can simulate a wide range of policy scenarios and decision processes. Their directed loops or cycles directly model causal feedback. Their nonlinear dynamics permit forward-chaining inference from input causes and policy options to output effects. Users can add detailed dynamics and feedback links directly to the causal model or infer them with statistical learning laws. Users can fuse or combine FCMs from multiple experts by weighting and adding the underlying fuzzy edge matrices and do so recursively if needed. The combined FCM tends to better represent domain knowledge as the expert sample size increases if the expert sample approximates a random sample. Many causal models use more restrictive directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and Bayesian probabilities. DAGs do not model causal feedback because they do not contain closed loops. Combining DAGs also tends to produce cycles and thus tends not to produce a new DAG. Combining DAGs tends to produce a FCM. FCM causal influence is also transitive whereas probabilistic causal influence is not transitive in general. Overall: FCMs trade the numerical precision of probabilistic DAGs for pattern prediction, faster and scalable computation, ease of combination, and richer feedback representation. We show how FCMs can apply to problems of public support for insurgency and terrorism and to US-China conflict relations in Graham Allison's Thucydides-trap framework. The appendix gives the textual justification of the Thucydides-trap FCM. It also extends our earlier theorem [Osoba-Kosko2017] to a more general result that shows the transitive and total causal influence that upstream concept nodes exert on downstream nodes.