Texas hospital struggles to make IBM's Watson cure cancer


If IBM is looking for a new application for its Watson machine learning tools, it might consider putting health care providers' procurement and systems integration woes ahead of curing cancer. The fall-out from that project has now prompted the resignation of the cancer center's president, Ronald DePinho, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The university recently published an internal audit report into the procurement processes that led it to hand almost $40 million to IBM and over $21 million to PwC for work on the project, almost all of it without board approval. It noted that the scope of its review was limited to contracting and procurement practices and compliance issues, and did not cover project management and system development activities. The audit "should not be interpreted as an opinion on the scientific basis or functional capabilities of the system in its current state," because a separate review of those aspects of the project is being conducted by an external consultant, it said.

Predicting Diabetes Using a Machine Learning Approach - DZone Big Data


Diabetes is one of deadliest diseases in the world. It is not only a disease but also a creator of different kinds of diseases like heart attack, blindness, kidney diseases, etc. The normal identifying process is that patients need to visit a diagnostic center, consult their doctor, and sit tight for a day or more to get their reports. Moreover, every time they want to get their diagnosis report, they have to waste their money in vain. But with the rise of Machine Learning approaches we have the ability to find a solution to this issue, we have developed a system using data mining which has the ability to predict whether the patient has diabetes or not.

Thompson Sampling for Noncompliant Bandits

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Thompson sampling, a Bayesian method for balancing exploration and exploitation in bandit problems, has theoretical guarantees and exhibits strong empirical performance in many domains. Traditional Thompson sampling, however, assumes perfect compliance, where an agent's chosen action is treated as the implemented action. This article introduces a stochastic noncompliance model that relaxes this assumption. We prove that any noncompliance in a 2-armed Bernoulli bandit increases existing regret bounds. With our noncompliance model, we derive Thompson sampling variants that explicitly handle both observed and latent noncompliance. With extensive empirical analysis, we demonstrate that our algorithms either match or outperform traditional Thompson sampling in both compliant and noncompliant environments.

Regret Analysis of the Finite-Horizon Gittins Index Strategy for Multi-Armed Bandits

arXiv.org Machine Learning

I analyse the frequentist regret of the famous Gittins index strategy for multi-armed bandits with Gaussian noise and a finite horizon. Remarkably it turns out that this approach leads to finite-time regret guarantees comparable to those available for the popular UCB algorithm. Along the way I derive finite-time bounds on the Gittins index that are asymptotically exact and may be of independent interest. I also discuss some computational issues and present experimental results suggesting that a particular version of the Gittins index strategy is a modest improvement on existing algorithms with finite-time regret guarantees such as UCB and Thompson sampling.

A Primer on Causality in Data Science

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Many questions in Data Science are fundamentally causal in that our objective is to learn the effect of some exposure (randomized or not) on an outcome interest. Even studies that are seemingly non-causal (e.g. prediction or prevalence estimation) have causal elements, such as differential censoring or measurement. As a result, we, as Data Scientists, need to consider the underlying causal mechanisms that gave rise to the data, rather than simply the pattern or association observed in the data. In this work, we review the "Causal Roadmap", a formal framework to augment our traditional statistical analyses in an effort to answer the causal questions driving our research. Specific steps of the Roadmap include clearly stating the scientific question, defining of the causal model, translating the scientific question into a causal parameter, assessing the assumptions needed to translate the causal parameter into a statistical estimand, implementation of statistical estimators including parametric and semi-parametric methods, and interpretation of our findings. Throughout we focus on the effect of an exposure occurring at a single time point and provide extensions to more advanced settings.