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Liu, Huan


Evaluation Methods and Measures for Causal Learning Algorithms

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The convenient access to copious multi-faceted data has encouraged machine learning researchers to reconsider correlation-based learning and embrace the opportunity of causality-based learning, i.e., causal machine learning (causal learning). Recent years have therefore witnessed great effort in developing causal learning algorithms aiming to help AI achieve human-level intelligence. Due to the lack-of ground-truth data, one of the biggest challenges in current causal learning research is algorithm evaluations. This largely impedes the cross-pollination of AI and causal inference, and hinders the two fields to benefit from the advances of the other. To bridge from conventional causal inference (i.e., based on statistical methods) to causal learning with big data (i.e., the intersection of causal inference and machine learning), in this survey, we review commonly-used datasets, evaluation methods, and measures for causal learning using an evaluation pipeline similar to conventional machine learning. We focus on the two fundamental causal-inference tasks and causality-aware machine learning tasks. Limitations of current evaluation procedures are also discussed. We then examine popular causal inference tools/packages and conclude with primary challenges and opportunities for benchmarking causal learning algorithms in the era of big data. The survey seeks to bring to the forefront the urgency of developing publicly available benchmarks and consensus-building standards for causal learning evaluation with observational data. In doing so, we hope to broaden the discussions and facilitate collaboration to advance the innovation and application of causal learning.


Estimating Causal Effects of Multi-Aspect Online Reviews with Multi-Modal Proxies

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Online reviews enable consumers to engage with companies and provide important feedback. Due to the complexity of the high-dimensional text, these reviews are often simplified as a single numerical score, e.g., ratings or sentiment scores. This work empirically examines the causal effects of user-generated online reviews on a granular level: we consider multiple aspects, e.g., the Food and Service of a restaurant. Understanding consumers' opinions toward different aspects can help evaluate business performance in detail and strategize business operations effectively. Specifically, we aim to answer interventional questions such as What will the restaurant popularity be if the quality w.r.t. its aspect Service is increased by 10%? The defining challenge of causal inference with observational data is the presence of "confounder", which might not be observed or measured, e.g., consumers' preference to food type, rendering the estimated effects biased and high-variance. To address this challenge, we have recourse to the multi-modal proxies such as the consumer profile information and interactions between consumers and businesses. We show how to effectively leverage the rich information to identify and estimate causal effects of multiple aspects embedded in online reviews. Empirical evaluations on synthetic and real-world data corroborate the efficacy and shed light on the actionable insight of the proposed approach.


A Novel Sequence Tagging Framework for Consumer Event-Cause Extraction

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Consumer Event-Cause Extraction, the task aimed at extracting the potential causes behind certain events in the text, has gained much attention in recent years due to its wide applications. The ICDM 2020 conference sets up an evaluation competition that aims to extract events and the causes of the extracted events with a specified subject (a brand or product). In this task, we mainly focus on how to construct an end-to-end model, and extract multiple event types and event-causes simultaneously. To this end, we introduce a fresh perspective to revisit the relational event-cause extraction task and propose a novel sequence tagging framework, instead of extracting event types and events-causes separately. Experiments show our framework outperforms baseline methods even when its encoder module uses an initialized pre-trained BERT encoder, showing the power of the new tagging framework. In this competition, our team achieved 1st place in the first stage leaderboard, and 3rd place in the final stage leaderboard.


Socially Responsible AI Algorithms: Issues, Purposes, and Challenges

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

In the current era, people and society have grown increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. AI has the potential to drive us towards a future in which all of humanity flourishes. It also comes with substantial risks for oppression and calamity. Discussions about whether we should (re)trust AI have repeatedly emerged in recent years and in many quarters, including industry, academia, healthcare, services, and so on. Technologists and AI researchers have a responsibility to develop trustworthy AI systems. They have responded with great effort to design more responsible AI algorithms. However, existing technical solutions are narrow in scope and have been primarily directed towards algorithms for scoring or classification tasks, with an emphasis on fairness and unwanted bias. To build long-lasting trust between AI and human beings, we argue that the key is to think beyond algorithmic fairness and connect major aspects of AI that potentially cause AI’s indifferent behavior. In this survey, we provide a systematic framework of Socially Responsible AI Algorithms that aims to examine the subjects of AI indifference and the need for socially responsible AI algorithms, define the objectives, and introduce the means by which we may achieve these objectives. We further discuss how to leverage this framework to improve societal well-being through protection, information, and prevention/mitigation. This article appears in the special track on AI & Society.


NI-UDA: Graph Adversarial Domain Adaptation from Non-shared-and-Imbalanced Big Data to Small Imbalanced Applications

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We propose a new general Graph Adversarial Domain Adaptation (GADA) based on semantic knowledge reasoning of class structure for solving the problem of unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) from the big data with non-shared and imbalanced classes to specified small and imbalanced applications (NI-UDA), where non-shared classes mean the label space out of the target domain. Our goal is to leverage priori hierarchy knowledge to enhance domain adversarial aligned feature representation with graph reasoning. In this paper, to address two challenges in NI-UDA, we equip adversarial domain adaptation with Hierarchy Graph Reasoning (HGR) layer and the Source Classifier Filter (SCF). For sparse classes transfer challenge, our HGR layer can aggregate local feature to hierarchy graph nodes by node prediction and enhance domain adversarial aligned feature with hierarchy graph reasoning for sparse classes. Our HGR contributes to learn direct semantic patterns for sparse classes by hierarchy attention in self-attention, non-linear mapping and graph normalization. our SCF is proposed for the challenge of knowledge sharing from non-shared data without negative transfer effect by filtering low-confidence non-shared data in HGR layer. Experiments on two benchmark datasets show our GADA methods consistently improve the state-of-the-art adversarial UDA algorithms, e.g. GADA(HGR) can greatly improve f1 of the MDD by \textbf{7.19\%} and GVB-GD by \textbf{7.89\%} respectively on imbalanced source task in Meal300 dataset. The code is available at https://gadatransfer.wixsite.com/gada.


Graph Learning: A Survey

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Graphs are widely used as a popular representation of the network structure of connected data. Graph data can be found in a broad spectrum of application domains such as social systems, ecosystems, biological networks, knowledge graphs, and information systems. With the continuous penetration of artificial intelligence technologies, graph learning (i.e., machine learning on graphs) is gaining attention from both researchers and practitioners. Graph learning proves effective for many tasks, such as classification, link prediction, and matching. Generally, graph learning methods extract relevant features of graphs by taking advantage of machine learning algorithms. In this survey, we present a comprehensive overview on the state-of-the-art of graph learning. Special attention is paid to four categories of existing graph learning methods, including graph signal processing, matrix factorization, random walk, and deep learning. Major models and algorithms under these categories are reviewed respectively. We examine graph learning applications in areas such as text, images, science, knowledge graphs, and combinatorial optimization. In addition, we discuss several promising research directions in this field.


Causal Learning for Socially Responsible AI

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

There have been increasing concerns about Artificial Causal inference is the key to uncovering the real-world Intelligence (AI) due to its unfathomable DGPs [Pearl, 2009]. In the era of big data, especially, it is potential power. To make AI address ethical possible to learn causality by leveraging both causal knowledge challenges and shun undesirable outcomes, researchers and the copious real-world data, i.e., causal learning proposed to develop socially responsible (CL) [Guo et al., 2020a]. There have been growing interests AI (SRAI). One of these approaches is causal learning seeking to improve AI's social responsibility from a CL perspective, (CL).


Causal Mediation Analysis with Hidden Confounders

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

An important problem in causal inference is to break down the total effect of treatment into different causal pathways and quantify the causal effect in each pathway. Causal mediation analysis (CMA) is a formal statistical approach for identifying and estimating these causal effects. Central to CMA is the sequential ignorability assumption that implies all pre-treatment confounders are measured and they can capture different types of confounding, e.g., post-treatment confounders and hidden confounders. Typically unverifiable in observational studies, this assumption restrains both the coverage and practicality of conventional methods. This work, therefore, aims to circumvent the stringent assumption by following a causal graph with a unified confounder and its proxy variables. Our core contribution is an algorithm that combines deep latent-variable models and proxy strategy to jointly infer a unified surrogate confounder and estimate different causal effects in CMA from observed variables. Empirical evaluations using both synthetic and semi-synthetic datasets validate the effectiveness of the proposed method.


Causal Inference for Time series Analysis: Problems, Methods and Evaluation

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Time series data is a collection of chronological observations which is generated by several domains such as medical and financial fields. Over the years, different tasks such as classification, forecasting, and clustering have been proposed to analyze this type of data. Time series data has been also used to study the effect of interventions over time. Moreover, in many fields of science, learning the causal structure of dynamic systems and time series data is considered an interesting task which plays an important role in scientific discoveries. Estimating the effect of an intervention and identifying the causal relations from the data can be performed via causal inference. Existing surveys on time series discuss traditional tasks such as classification and forecasting or explain the details of the approaches proposed to solve a specific task. In this paper, we focus on two causal inference tasks, i.e., treatment effect estimation and causal discovery for time series data, and provide a comprehensive review of the approaches in each task. Furthermore, we curate a list of commonly used evaluation metrics and datasets for each task and provide in-depth insight. These metrics and datasets can serve as benchmarks for research in the field.


Socially Responsible AI Algorithms: Issues, Purposes, and Challenges

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In the current era, people and society have grown increasingly reliant on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. AI has the potential to drive us towards a future in which all of humanity flourishes. It also comes with substantial risks for oppression and calamity. Discussions about whether we should (re)trust AI have repeatedly emerged in recent years and in many quarters, including industry, academia, health care, services, and so on. Technologists and AI researchers have a responsibility to develop trustworthy AI systems. They have responded with great efforts of designing more responsible AI algorithms. However, existing technical solutions are narrow in scope and have been primarily directed towards algorithms for scoring or classification tasks, with an emphasis on fairness and unwanted bias. To build long-lasting trust between AI and human beings, we argue that the key is to think beyond algorithmic fairness and connect major aspects of AI that potentially cause AI's indifferent behavior. In this survey, we provide a systematic framework of Socially Responsible AI Algorithms that aims to examine the subjects of AI indifference and the need for socially responsible AI algorithms, define the objectives, and introduce the means by which we may achieve these objectives. We further discuss how to leverage this framework to improve societal well-being through protection, information, and prevention/mitigation.