Niu, Sufeng (Clemson University) | Chen, Siheng (Uber Advanced Technologies Group ) | Guo, Hanyu (Clemson University) | Targonski, Colin (Clemson University) | Smith, Melissa C. (Clemson University) | Kovačević, Jelena (Carnegie Mellon University)

In this paper, we introduce a generalized value iteration network (GVIN), which is an end-to-end neural network planning module. GVIN emulates the value iteration algorithm by using a novel graph convolution operator, which enables GVIN to learn and plan on irregular spatial graphs. We propose three novel differentiable kernels as graph convolution operators and show that the embedding-based kernel achieves the best performance. Furthermore, we present episodic Q-learning, an improvement upon traditional n-step Q-learning that stabilizes training for VIN and GVIN. Lastly, we evaluate GVIN on planning problems in 2D mazes, irregular graphs, and real-world street networks, showing that GVIN generalizes well for both arbitrary graphs and unseen graphs of larger scaleand outperforms a naive generalization of VIN (discretizing a spatial graph into a 2D image).

Lindgren, Erik, Kocaoglu, Murat, Dimakis, Alexandros G., Vishwanath, Sriram

We consider the minimum cost intervention design problem: Given the essential graph of a causal graph and a cost to intervene on a variable, identify the set of interventions with minimum total cost that can learn any causal graph with the given essential graph. We first show that this problem is NP-hard. We then prove that we can achieve a constant factor approximation to this problem with a greedy algorithm. We then constrain the sparsity of each intervention. We develop an algorithm that returns an intervention design that is nearly optimal in terms of size for sparse graphs with sparse interventions and we discuss how to use it when there are costs on the vertices.

We study learning curves for Gaussian process regression which characterise performance in terms of the Bayes error averaged over datasets of a given size. Whilst learning curves are in general very difficult to calculate we show that for discrete input domains, where similarity between input points is characterised in terms of a graph, accurate predictions can be obtained. These should in fact become exact for large graphs drawn from a broad range of random graph ensembles with arbitrary degree distributions where each input (node) is connected only to a finite number of others. The method is based on translating the appropriate belief propagation equations to the graph ensemble. We demonstrate the accuracy of the predictions for Poisson (Erdos-Renyi) and regular random graphs, and discuss when and why previous approximations to the learning curve fail.

Schaarschmidt, Michael, Mika, Sven, Fricke, Kai, Yoneki, Eiko

Reinforcement learning (RL) tasks are challenging to implement, execute and test due to algorithmic instability, hyper-parameter sensitivity, and heterogeneous distributed communication patterns. We argue for the separation of logical component composition, backend graph definition, and distributed execution. To this end, we introduce RLgraph, a library for designing and executing high performance RL computation graphs in both static graph and define-by-run paradigms. The resulting implementations yield high performance across different deep learning frameworks and distributed backends.

Zhang, Tongtao (Columbia University) | Ji, Rongrong (Xiamen University) | Liu, Wei (IBM Research) | Tao, Dacheng (University of Technology, Sydney) | Hua, Gang (Stevens Institute of Technology)

In this paper, we propose a locality-constrained and sparsity-encouraged manifold fitting approach, aiming at capturing the locally sparse manifold structure into neighborhood graph construction by exploiting a principled optimization model. The proposed model formulates neighborhood graph construction as a sparse coding problem with the locality constraint, therefore achieving simultaneous neighbor selection and edge weight optimization. The core idea underlying our model is to perform a sparse manifold fitting task for each data point so that close-by points lying on the same local manifold are automatically chosen to connect and meanwhile the connection weights are acquired by simple geometric reconstruction. We term the novel neighborhood graph generated by our proposed optimization model M-Fitted Graph since such a graph stems from sparse manifold fitting. To evaluate the robustness and effectiveness ofM -fitted graphs, we leverage graph-based semisupervised learning as the testbed. Extensive experiments carried out on six benchmark datasets validate that the proposed M -fitted graph is superior to state-of-the-art neighborhood graphs in terms of classification accuracy using popular graph-based semi-supervised learning methods.