Model-based reinforcement learning (RL) methods can be broadly categorized as global model methods, which depend on learning models that provide sensible predictions in a wide range of states, or local model methods, which iteratively refit simple models that are used for policy improvement. While predicting future states that will result from the current actions is difficult, local model methods only attempt to understand system dynamics in the neighborhood of the current policy, making it possible to produce local improvements without ever learning to predict accurately far into the future. The main idea in this paper is that we can learn representations that make it easy to retrospectively infer simple dynamics given the data from the current policy, thus enabling local models to be used for policy learning in complex systems. To that end, we focus on learning representations with probabilistic graphical model (PGM) structure, which allows us to devise an efficient local model method that infers dynamics from real-world rollouts with the PGM as a global prior. We compare our method to other model-based and model-free RL methods on a suite of robotics tasks, including manipulation tasks on a real Sawyer robotic arm directly from camera images. Videos of our results are available at https://sites.google.com/view/solar-iclips
Ensemble models are a group of models that work collectively to get the prediction. The idea is simple: Train several models using different hyperparameters, and average the prediction from all these models. This technique gives a great boost in accuracy because it is not relying on a single model for prediction. Most winning entries in high profile Machine Learning competitions have used ensembles. Training N different models will require N times the time required to train a single model.
This work studies differential privacy in the context of the recently proposed shuffle model. Unlike in the local model, where the server collecting privatized data from users can track back an input to a specific user, in the shuffle model users submit their privatized inputs to a server anonymously. This setup yields a trust model which sits in between the classical curator and local models for differential privacy. The shuffle model is the core idea in the Encode, Shuffle, Analyze (ESA) model introduced by Bittau et al. (SOPS 2017). Recent work by Cheu et al. (Forthcoming, EUROCRYPT 2019) analyzes the differential privacy properties of the shuffle model and shows that in some cases shuffled protocols provide strictly better accuracy than local protocols. Additionally, Erlignsson et al. (SODA 2019) provide a privacy amplification bound quantifying the level of curator differential privacy achieved by the shuffle model in terms of the local differential privacy of the randomizer used by each user. In this context, we make three contributions. First, we provide an optimal single message protocol for summation of real numbers in the shuffle model. Our protocol is very simple and has better accuracy and communication than the protocols for this same problem proposed by Cheu et al. Optimality of this protocol follows from our second contribution, a new lower bound for the accuracy of private protocols for summation of real numbers in the shuffle model. The third contribution is a new amplification bound for analyzing the privacy of protocols in the shuffle model in terms of the privacy provided by the corresponding local randomizer. Our amplification bound generalizes the results by Erlingsson et al. to a wider range of parameters, and provides a whole family of methods to analyze privacy amplification in the shuffle model.
Model interpretability is an increasingly important component of practical machine learning. Some of the most common forms of interpretability systems are example-based, local, and global explanations. One of the main challenges in interpretability is designing explanation systems that can capture aspects of each of these explanation types, in order to develop a more thorough understanding of the model. We address this challenge in a novel model called MAPLE that uses local linear modeling techniques along with a dual interpretation of random forests (both as a supervised neighborhood approach and as a feature selection method). MAPLE has two fundamental advantages over existing interpretability systems. First, while it is effective as a black-box explanation system, MAPLE itself is a highly accurate predictive model that provides faithful self explanations, and thus sidesteps the typical accuracy-interpretability trade-off. Specifically, we demonstrate, on several UCI datasets, that MAPLE is at least as accurate as random forests and that it produces more faithful local explanations than LIME, a popular interpretability system. Second, MAPLE provides both example-based and local explanations and can detect global patterns, which allows it to diagnose limitations in its local explanations.
The n-gram model has been widely used to capture the local ordering of words, yet its exploding feature space often causes an estimation issue. This paper presents local context sparse coding (LCSC), a non-probabilistic topic model that effectively handles large feature spaces using sparse coding. In addition, it introduces a new concept of locality, local contexts, which provides a representation that can generate locally coherent topics and document representations. Our model efficiently finds topics and representations by applying greedy coordinate descent updates. The model is useful for discovering local topics and the semantic flow of a document, as well as constructing predictive models.