A/B testing is used everywhere. A/B testing is all about comparing things. If you're a data scientist, and you want to tell the rest of the company, "logo A is better than logo B", well you can't just say that without proving it using numbers and statistics. Traditional A/B testing has been around for a long time, and it's full of approximations and confusing definitions. In this course, while we will do traditional A/B testing in order to appreciate its complexity, what we will eventually get to is the Bayesian machine learning way of doing things. First, we'll see if we can improve on traditional A/B testing with adaptive methods.

Heikkilä, Mikko, Lagerspetz, Eemil, Kaski, Samuel, Shimizu, Kana, Tarkoma, Sasu, Honkela, Antti

Many applications of machine learning, for example in health care, would benefit from methods that can guarantee privacy of data subjects. Differential privacy (DP) has become established as a standard for protecting learning results. The standard DP algorithms require a single trusted party to have access to the entire data, which is a clear weakness, or add prohibitive amounts of noise. We consider DP Bayesian learning in a distributed setting, where each party only holds a single sample or a few samples of the data. We propose a learning strategy based on a secure multi-party sum function for aggregating summaries from data holders and the Gaussian mechanism for DP.

Non-stationary continuous time Bayesian networks are introduced. They allow the parents set of each node to change over continuous time. Three settings are developed for learning non-stationary continuous time Bayesian networks from data: known transition times, known number of epochs and unknown number of epochs. A score function for each setting is derived and the corresponding learning algorithm is developed. A set of numerical experiments on synthetic data is used to compare the effectiveness of non-stationary continuous time Bayesian networks to that of non-stationary dynamic Bayesian networks. Furthermore, the performance achieved by non-stationary continuous time Bayesian networks is compared to that achieved by state-of-the-art algorithms on four real-world datasets, namely drosophila, saccharomyces cerevisiae, songbird and macroeconomics.

Data scientist Stefano Cosentino observed in a post that the Bayesian approach leans more towards the distributions associated with each parameter. For instance, he writes that the two parameters depicted below, as shown by the Gaussian curves after a trained Bayesian network has converged. Hence the Bayesian approach, where the parameters are unknown quantities can be considered as random variables. University of Buffalo's paper defines the Bayesian approach to uncertainty, which treats all uncertain quantities as random variables and uses the laws of probability to manipulate those uncertain quantities. Hence, the right Bayesian approach integrates over all uncertain quantities rather than optimise them, states the paper.

A Bayesian network is a compact, expressive representation of uncertain relationships among parameters in a domain. In this article, I introduce basic methods for computing with Bayesian networks, starting with the simple idea of summing the probabilities of events of interest. The article introduces major current methods for exact computation, briefly surveys approximation methods, and closes with a brief discussion of open issues.