Collaborating Authors

ISM Manufacturing index increased to 56.0 in January


The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in January. The PMI was at 56.0% in January, up from 54.5% in December. The employment index was at 56.1%, up from 52.8% last month, and the new orders index was at 60.4%, up from 60.3%. The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee; "The January PMI registered 56 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 54.5 percent. The New Orders Index registered 60.4 percent, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 60.3 percent.

Key economic index takes first dip in three months

The Japan Times

The coincident index of economic indicators fell for the first time in three months in August, the government said in a preliminary report Friday. The coincident index, which reflects the current state of the economy based on industrial output, retail sales, new job offers and other factors, fell 0.1 point from the previous month to 112.0, against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said. The leading index, which predicts developments in the coming few months, rose 1.2 points to 101.2, while the lagging index, which measures economic performance in the recent past, rose 0.3 point to 113.4. The government maintained its basic assessment of the coincident index as "pausing."

Optimistic Gittins Indices

Neural Information Processing Systems

Starting with the Thomspon sampling algorithm, recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in Bayesian algorithms for the Multi-armed Bandit (MAB) problem. These algorithms seek to exploit prior information on arm biases and while several have been shown to be regret optimal, their design has not emerged from a principled approach. In contrast, if one cared about Bayesian regret discounted over an infinite horizon at a fixed, pre-specified rate, the celebrated Gittins index theorem offers an optimal algorithm. Unfortunately, the Gittins analysis does not appear to carry over to minimizing Bayesian regret over all sufficiently large horizons and computing a Gittins index is onerous relative to essentially any incumbent index scheme for the Bayesian MAB problem. The present paper proposes a sequence of'optimistic' approximations to the Gittins index.

Australia going backwards in UN innovation index


Australia's global innovation score moved down two places in 2016, but still remained in the top 25, according to the United Nations Global Innovation Index (GII). The index reported Australia ranked 19 out 128 countries with a score of 53.1 points. This is in comparison to last year's results where the 2015 Global Innovation Index showed Australia ranked 17 out of 141 countries with 55.2 points. Replacing Australia in 17th spot this year was New Zealand. In the innovation output sub-index category, Australia ranked 27th, but from an innovation input sub-index point of view, Australia came in at 11th.