Peot, Mark Alan, Shachter, Ross D.

The process of diagnosis involves learning about the state of a system from various observations of symptoms or findings about the system. Sophisticated Bayesian (and other) algorithms have been developed to revise and maintain beliefs about the system as observations are made. Nonetheless, diagnostic models have tended to ignore some common sense reasoning exploited by human diagnosticians; In particular, one can learn from which observations have not been made, in the spirit of conversational implicature. There are two concepts that we describe to extract information from the observations not made. First, some symptoms, if present, are more likely to be reported before others. Second, most human diagnosticians and expert systems are economical in their data-gathering, searching first where they are more likely to find symptoms present. Thus, there is a desirable bias toward reporting symptoms that are present. We develop a simple model for these concepts that can significantly improve diagnostic inference.

We discuss the representation of knowledge and of belief from the viewpoint of decision theory. While the Bayesian approach enjoys general-purpose applicability and axiomatic foundations, it suffers from several drawbacks. In particular, it does not model the belief formation process, and does not relate beliefs to evidence. We survey alternative approaches, and focus on formal model of casebased prediction and case-based decisions. A formal model of belief and knowledge representation needs to address several questions. The most basic ones are: (i) how do we represent knowledge?

We propose an abductive diagnosis theory that integrates probabilistic, causal and taxonomic knowledge. Probabilistic knowledge allows us to select the most likely explanation; causal knowledge allows us to make reasonable independence assumptions; taxonomic knowledge allows causation to be modeled at different levels of detail, and allows observations be described in different levels of precision. Unlike most other approaches where a causal explanation is a hypothesis that one or more causative events occurred, we define an explanation of a set of observations to be an occurrence of a chain of causation events. These causation events constitute a scenario where all the observations are true. We show that the probabilities of the scenarios can be computed from the conditional probabilities of the causation events. Abductive reasoning is inherently complex even if only modest expressive power is allowed. However, our abduction algorithm is exponential only in the number of observations to be explained, and is polynomial in the size of the knowledge base. This contrasts with many other abduction procedures that are exponential in the size of the knowledge base.

Sample size determination for a data set is an important statistical process for analyzing the data to an optimum level of accuracy and using minimum computational work. The applications of this process are credible in every domain which deals with large data sets and high computational work. This study uses Bayesian analysis for determination of minimum sample size of vibration signals to be considered for fault diagnosis of a bearing using pre-defined parameters such as the inverse standard probability and the acceptable margin of error. Thus an analytical formula for sample size determination is introduced. The fault diagnosis of the bearing is done using a machine learning approach using an entropy-based J48 algorithm. The following method will help researchers involved in fault diagnosis to determine minimum sample size of data for analysis for a good statistical stability and precision.

Nedić, Angelia, Olshevsky, Alex, Uribe, César A.

We present a distributed (non-Bayesian) learning algorithm for the problem of parameter estimation with Gaussian noise. The algorithm is expressed as explicit updates on the parameters of the Gaussian beliefs (i.e. means and precision). We show a convergence rate of $O(1/k)$ with the constant term depending on the number of agents and the topology of the network. Moreover, we show almost sure convergence to the optimal solution of the estimation problem for the general case of time-varying directed graphs.