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.

In an earlier paper, a new theory of measurefree "conditional" objects was presented. In this paper, emphasis is placed upon the motivation of the theory. The central part of this motivation is established through an example involving a knowledge-based system. In order to evaluate combination of evidence for this system, using observed data, auxiliary at tribute and diagnosis variables, and inference rules connecting them, one must first choose an appropriate algebraic logic description pair (ALDP): a formal language or syntax followed by a compatible logic or semantic evaluation (or model). Three common choices- for this highly non-unique choice - are briefly discussed, the logics being Classical Logic, Fuzzy Logic, and Probability Logic. In all three,the key operator representing implication for the inference rules is interpreted as the often-used disjunction of a negation (b => a) = (b'v a), for any events a,b. However, another reasonable interpretation of the implication operator is through the familiar form of probabilistic conditioning. But, it can be shown - quite surprisingly - that the ALDP corresponding to Probability Logic cannot be used as a rigorous basis for this interpretation! To fill this gap, a new ALDP is constructed consisting of "conditional objects", extending ordinary Probability Logic, and compatible with the desired conditional probability interpretation of inference rules. It is shown also that this choice of ALDP leads to feasible computations for the combination of evidence evaluation in the example. In addition, a number of basic properties of conditional objects and the resulting Conditional Probability Logic are given, including a characterization property and a developed calculus of relations.

This paper works through the optimization of a real world planning problem, with a combination of a generative planning tool and an influence diagram solver. The problem is taken from an existing application in the domain of oil spill emergency response. The planning agent manages constraints that order sets of feasible equipment employment actions. This is mapped at an intermediate level of abstraction onto an influence diagram. In addition, the planner can apply a surveillance operator that determines observability of the state---the unknown trajectory of the oil. The uncertain world state and the objective function properties are part of the influence diagram structure, but not represented in the planning agent domain. By exploiting this structure under the constraints generated by the planning agent, the influence diagram solution complexity simplifies considerably, and an optimum solution to the employment problem based on the objective function is found. Finding this optimum is equivalent to the simultaneous evaluation of a range of plans. This result is an example of bounded optimality, within the limitations of this hybrid generative planner and influence diagram architecture.

Park, James D., Darwiche, Adnan

MAP is the problem of finding a most probable instantiation of a set of variables in a Bayesian network given some evidence. Unlike computing posterior probabilities, or MPE (a special case of MAP), the time and space complexity of structural solutions for MAP are not only exponential in the network treewidth, but in a larger parameter known as the "constrained" treewidth. In practice, this means that computing MAP can be orders of magnitude more expensive than computing posterior probabilities or MPE. This paper introduces a new, simple upper bound on the probability of a MAP solution, which admits a tradeoff between the bound quality and the time needed to compute it. The bound is shown to be generally much tighter than those of other methods of comparable complexity. We use this proposed upper bound to develop a branch-and-bound search algorithm for solving MAP exactly. Experimental results demonstrate that the search algorithm is able to solve many problems that are far beyond the reach of any structure-based method for MAP. For example, we show that the proposed algorithm can compute MAP exactly and efficiently for some networks whose constrained treewidth is more than 40.

Eric B. Baum 1 NEC Research Institute, 4 Independence Way, Princeton NJ 08540 eric@research.NJ.NEC.COM Abstract The point of game tree search is to insulate oneself from errors in the evaluation function. The standard approach is to grow a full width tree as deep as time allows, and then value the tree as if the leaf evaluations were exact. This has been effective in many games because of the computational efficiency of the alpha-beta algorithm. A Bayesian would suggest instead to train a model of one's uncertainty. This model adds extra information in addition to the standard evaluation function. Within such a formal model, there is an optimal tree growth procedure and an optimal method of valueing the tree. We describe how to optimally value the tree, and how to approximate on line the optimal tree to search.