Local learning methods are a popular class of machine learning algorithms. The basic idea for the entire cadre is to choose some non-local model family, to train many of them on small sections of neighboring data, and then to `stitch' the resulting models together in some way. Due to the limits of constraining a training dataset to a small neighborhood, research on locally-learned models has largely been restricted to simple model families. Also, since simple model families have no complex structure by design, this has limited use of the individual local models to predictive tasks. We hypothesize that, using a sufficiently complex local model family, various properties of the individual local models, such as their learned parameters, can be used as features for further learning. This dissertation improves upon the current state of research and works toward establishing this hypothesis by investigating algorithms for localization of more complex model families and by studying their applications beyond predictions as a feature extraction mechanism. We summarize this generic technique of using local models as a feature extraction step with the term ``local model feature transformations.'' In this document, we extend the local modeling paradigm to Gaussian processes, orthogonal quadric models and word embedding models, and extend the existing theory for localized linear classifiers. We then demonstrate applications of local model feature transformations to epileptic event classification from EEG readings, activity monitoring via chest accelerometry, 3D surface reconstruction, 3D point cloud segmentation, handwritten digit classification and event detection from Twitter feeds.
One of the major hurdles preventing the full exploitation of information from online communities is the widespread concern regarding the quality and credibility of user-contributed content. Prior works in this domain operate on a static snapshot of the community, making strong assumptions about the structure of the data (e.g., relational tables), or consider only shallow features for text classification. To address the above limitations, we propose probabilistic graphical models that can leverage the joint interplay between multiple factors in online communities --- like user interactions, community dynamics, and textual content --- to automatically assess the credibility of user-contributed online content, and the expertise of users and their evolution with user-interpretable explanation. To this end, we devise new models based on Conditional Random Fields for different settings like incorporating partial expert knowledge for semi-supervised learning, and handling discrete labels as well as numeric ratings for fine-grained analysis. This enables applications such as extracting reliable side-effects of drugs from user-contributed posts in healthforums, and identifying credible content in news communities. Online communities are dynamic, as users join and leave, adapt to evolving trends, and mature over time. To capture this dynamics, we propose generative models based on Hidden Markov Model, Latent Dirichlet Allocation, and Brownian Motion to trace the continuous evolution of user expertise and their language model over time. This allows us to identify expert users and credible content jointly over time, improving state-of-the-art recommender systems by explicitly considering the maturity of users. This also enables applications such as identifying helpful product reviews, and detecting fake and anomalous reviews with limited information.
Machine learning [https://gum.co/pGjwd] is changing the world. Google uses machine learning to suggest search results to users. Netflix uses it to recommend movies for you to watch. Facebook uses machine learning to suggest people you may know. Machine learning has never been more important. At the same time, understanding machine learning is hard. The field is full of jargon. And the number of different ML algorithms grows each year. This article will introduce you to the fundamental concepts
Feature extraction has gained increasing attention in the field of machine learning, as in order to detect patterns, extract information, or predict future observations from big data, the urge of informative features is crucial. The process of extracting features is highly linked to dimensionality reduction as it implies the transformation of the data from a sparse high-dimensional space, to higher level meaningful abstractions. This dissertation employs Neural Networks for distributed paragraph representations, and Latent Dirichlet Allocation to capture higher level features of paragraph vectors. Although Neural Networks for distributed paragraph representations are considered the state of the art for extracting paragraph vectors, we show that a quick topic analysis model such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation can provide meaningful features too. We evaluate the two methods on the CMU Movie Summary Corpus, a collection of 25,203 movie plot summaries extracted from Wikipedia. Finally, for both approaches, we use K-Nearest Neighbors to discover similar movies, and plot the projected representations using T-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding to depict the context similarities. These similarities, expressed as movie distances, can be used for movies recommendation. The recommended movies of this approach are compared with the recommended movies from IMDB, which use a collaborative filtering recommendation approach, to show that our two models could constitute either an alternative or a supplementary recommendation approach.