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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.


Representation Learning for Words and Entities

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This thesis presents new methods for unsupervised learning of distributed representations of words and entities from text and knowledge bases. The first algorithm presented in the thesis is a multi-view algorithm for learning representations of words called Multiview Latent Semantic Analysis (MVLSA). By incorporating up to 46 different types of co-occurrence statistics for the same vocabulary of english words, I show that MVLSA outperforms other state-of-the-art word embedding models. Next, I focus on learning entity representations for search and recommendation and present the second method of this thesis, Neural Variational Set Expansion (NVSE). NVSE is also an unsupervised learning method, but it is based on the Variational Autoencoder framework. Evaluations with human annotators show that NVSE can facilitate better search and recommendation of information gathered from noisy, automatic annotation of unstructured natural language corpora. Finally, I move from unstructured data and focus on structured knowledge graphs. I present novel approaches for learning embeddings of vertices and edges in a knowledge graph that obey logical constraints.


Health State Estimation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Life's most valuable asset is health. Continuously understanding the state of our health and modeling how it evolves is essential if we wish to improve it. Given the opportunity that people live with more data about their life today than any other time in history, the challenge rests in interweaving this data with the growing body of knowledge to compute and model the health state of an individual continually. This dissertation presents an approach to build a personal model and dynamically estimate the health state of an individual by fusing multi-modal data and domain knowledge. The system is stitched together from four essential abstraction elements: 1. the events in our life, 2. the layers of our biological systems (from molecular to an organism), 3. the functional utilities that arise from biological underpinnings, and 4. how we interact with these utilities in the reality of daily life. Connecting these four elements via graph network blocks forms the backbone by which we instantiate a digital twin of an individual. Edges and nodes in this graph structure are then regularly updated with learning techniques as data is continuously digested. Experiments demonstrate the use of dense and heterogeneous real-world data from a variety of personal and environmental sensors to monitor individual cardiovascular health state. State estimation and individual modeling is the fundamental basis to depart from disease-oriented approaches to a total health continuum paradigm. Precision in predicting health requires understanding state trajectory. By encasing this estimation within a navigational approach, a systematic guidance framework can plan actions to transition a current state towards a desired one. This work concludes by presenting this framework of combining the health state and personal graph model to perpetually plan and assist us in living life towards our goals.


Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and we, as machine learning experts, may wonder how we can help. Here we describe how machine learning can be a powerful tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping society adapt to a changing climate. From smart grids to disaster management, we identify high impact problems where existing gaps can be filled by machine learning, in collaboration with other fields. Our recommendations encompass exciting research questions as well as promising business opportunities. We call on the machine learning community to join the global effort against climate change.


Explanation in Human-AI Systems: A Literature Meta-Review, Synopsis of Key Ideas and Publications, and Bibliography for Explainable AI

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This is an integrative review that address the question, "What makes for a good explanation?" with reference to AI systems. Pertinent literatures are vast. Thus, this review is necessarily selective. That said, most of the key concepts and issues are expressed in this Report. The Report encapsulates the history of computer science efforts to create systems that explain and instruct (intelligent tutoring systems and expert systems). The Report expresses the explainability issues and challenges in modern AI, and presents capsule views of the leading psychological theories of explanation. Certain articles stand out by virtue of their particular relevance to XAI, and their methods, results, and key points are highlighted. It is recommended that AI/XAI researchers be encouraged to include in their research reports fuller details on their empirical or experimental methods, in the fashion of experimental psychology research reports: details on Participants, Instructions, Procedures, Tasks, Dependent Variables (operational definitions of the measures and metrics), Independent Variables (conditions), and Control Conditions.