Data science and machine learning have long been interests of mine, but now that I'm working on Fuzzy.ai and trying to make AI and machine learning accessible to all developers, I need to keep on top of all the news in both fields. My preferred way to do this is through listening to podcasts. I've listened to a bunch of machine learning and data science podcasts in the last few months, so I thought I'd share my favorites: Every other week, they release a 10–15 minute episode where hosts, Kyle and Linda Polich give a short primer on topics like k-means clustering, natural language processing and decision tree learning, often using analogies related to their pet parrot, Yoshi. This is the only place where you'll learn about k-means clustering via placement of parrot droppings. Hosted by Katie Malone and Ben Jaffe of online education startup Udacity, this weekly podcast covers diverse topics in data science and machine learning: teaching specific concepts like Hidden Markov Models and how they apply to real-world problems and datasets.
A standard introduction to online learning might place Online Gradient Descent at its center and then proceed to develop generalizations and extensions like Online Mirror Descent and second-order methods. Here we explore the alternative approach of putting exponential weights (EW) first. We show that many standard methods and their regret bounds then follow as a special case by plugging in suitable surrogate losses and playing the EW posterior mean. For instance, we easily recover Online Gradient Descent by using EW with a Gaussian prior on linearized losses, and, more generally, all instances of Online Mirror Descent based on regular Bregman divergences also correspond to EW with a prior that depends on the mirror map. Furthermore, appropriate quadratic surrogate losses naturally give rise to Online Gradient Descent for strongly convex losses and to Online Newton Step. We further interpret several recent adaptive methods (iProd, Squint, and a variation of Coin Betting for experts) as a series of closely related reductions to exp-concave surrogate losses that are then handled by Exponential Weights. Finally, a benefit of our EW interpretation is that it opens up the possibility of sampling from the EW posterior distribution instead of playing the mean. As already observed by Bubeck and Eldan, this recovers the best-known rate in Online Bandit Linear Optimization.
That's because, to paraphrase Amazon's Jeff Bezos, artificial intelligence (AI) is "not just in the first inning of a long baseball game, but at the stage where the very first batter comes up." Look around, and you will find AI everywhere--in self driving cars, Siri on your phone, online customer support, movie recommendations on Netflix, fraud detection for your credit cards, etc. To be sure, there's more to come. Featuring 30 lectures, MIT's course "introduces students to the basic knowledge representation, problem solving, and learning methods of artificial intelligence." It includes interactive demonstrations designed to "help students gain intuition about how artificial intelligence methods work under a variety of circumstances."
Despite the recent resurgence of interest in learning methods for planning, most such efforts are still focused exclusively on classical planning problems. In this work, we investigate the effectiveness of learning approaches for improving over-subscription planning, a problem that has received significant recent interest. Viewing over-subscription planning as a domain-independent optimization problem, we adapt the STAGE (Boyan and Moore 2000) approach to learn and improve the plan search. The key challenge in our study is how to automate the feature generation process. In our case, we developed and experimented with a relational feature set, based on Taxonomic syntax as well as a propositional feature set, based on ground-facts. The feature generation process and training data generation process are all automatic, making it a completely domain-independent optimization process that takes advantage of online learning. In empirical studies, our proposed approach improved upon the baseline planner for over-subscription planning on many of the benchmark problems.