Collaborating Authors


Computer Vision - Richard Szeliski


As humans, we perceive the three-dimensional structure of the world around us with apparent ease. Think of how vivid the three-dimensional percept is when you look at a vase of flowers sitting on the table next to you. You can tell the shape and translucency of each petal through the subtle patterns of light and shading that play across its surface and effortlessly segment each flower from the background of the scene (Figure 1.1). Looking at a framed group por- trait, you can easily count (and name) all of the people in the picture and even guess at their emotions from their facial appearance. Perceptual psychologists have spent decades trying to understand how the visual system works and, even though they can devise optical illusions1 to tease apart some of its principles (Figure 1.3), a complete solution to this puzzle remains elusive (Marr 1982; Palmer 1999; Livingstone 2008).

A survey of unsupervised learning methods for high-dimensional uncertainty quantification in black-box-type problems Machine Learning

Constructing surrogate models for uncertainty quantification (UQ) on complex partial differential equations (PDEs) having inherently high-dimensional $\mathcal{O}(10^{\ge 2})$ stochastic inputs (e.g., forcing terms, boundary conditions, initial conditions) poses tremendous challenges. The curse of dimensionality can be addressed with suitable unsupervised learning techniques used as a pre-processing tool to encode inputs onto lower-dimensional subspaces while retaining its structural information and meaningful properties. In this work, we review and investigate thirteen dimension reduction methods including linear and nonlinear, spectral, blind source separation, convex and non-convex methods and utilize the resulting embeddings to construct a mapping to quantities of interest via polynomial chaos expansions (PCE). We refer to the general proposed approach as manifold PCE (m-PCE), where manifold corresponds to the latent space resulting from any of the studied dimension reduction methods. To investigate the capabilities and limitations of these methods we conduct numerical tests for three physics-based systems (treated as black-boxes) having high-dimensional stochastic inputs of varying complexity modeled as both Gaussian and non-Gaussian random fields to investigate the effect of the intrinsic dimensionality of input data. We demonstrate both the advantages and limitations of the unsupervised learning methods and we conclude that a suitable m-PCE model provides a cost-effective approach compared to alternative algorithms proposed in the literature, including recently proposed expensive deep neural network-based surrogates and can be readily applied for high-dimensional UQ in stochastic PDEs.

A Neural Phillips Curve and a Deep Output Gap Machine Learning

Many problems plague the estimation of Phillips curves. Among them is the hurdle that the two key components, inflation expectations and the output gap, are both unobserved. Traditional remedies include creating reasonable proxies for the notable absentees or extracting them via some form of assumptions-heavy filtering procedure. I propose an alternative route: a Hemisphere Neural Network (HNN) whose peculiar architecture yields a final layer where components can be interpreted as latent states within a Neural Phillips Curve. There are benefits. First, HNN conducts the supervised estimation of nonlinearities that arise when translating a high-dimensional set of observed regressors into latent states. Second, computations are fast. Third, forecasts are economically interpretable. Fourth, inflation volatility can also be predicted by merely adding a hemisphere to the model. Among other findings, the contribution of real activity to inflation appears severely underestimated in traditional econometric specifications. Also, HNN captures out-of-sample the 2021 upswing in inflation and attributes it first to an abrupt and sizable disanchoring of the expectations component, followed by a wildly positive gap starting from late 2020. HNN's gap unique path comes from dispensing with unemployment and GDP in favor of an amalgam of nonlinearly processed alternative tightness indicators -- some of which are skyrocketing as of early 2022.

TaxoCom: Topic Taxonomy Completion with Hierarchical Discovery of Novel Topic Clusters Artificial Intelligence

Topic taxonomies, which represent the latent topic (or category) structure of document collections, provide valuable knowledge of contents in many applications such as web search and information filtering. Recently, several unsupervised methods have been developed to automatically construct the topic taxonomy from a text corpus, but it is challenging to generate the desired taxonomy without any prior knowledge. In this paper, we study how to leverage the partial (or incomplete) information about the topic structure as guidance to find out the complete topic taxonomy. We propose a novel framework for topic taxonomy completion, named TaxoCom, which recursively expands the topic taxonomy by discovering novel sub-topic clusters of terms and documents. To effectively identify novel topics within a hierarchical topic structure, TaxoCom devises its embedding and clustering techniques to be closely-linked with each other: (i) locally discriminative embedding optimizes the text embedding space to be discriminative among known (i.e., given) sub-topics, and (ii) novelty adaptive clustering assigns terms into either one of the known sub-topics or novel sub-topics. Our comprehensive experiments on two real-world datasets demonstrate that TaxoCom not only generates the high-quality topic taxonomy in terms of term coherency and topic coverage but also outperforms all other baselines for a downstream task.

Inferential Theory for Granular Instrumental Variables in High Dimensions Machine Learning

The Granular Instrumental Variables (GIV) methodology exploits panels with factor error structures to construct instruments to estimate structural time series models with endogeneity even after controlling for latent factors. We extend the GIV methodology in several dimensions. First, we extend the identification procedure to a large $N$ and large $T$ framework, which depends on the asymptotic Herfindahl index of the size distribution of $N$ cross-sectional units. Second, we treat both the factors and loadings as unknown and show that the sampling error in the estimated instrument and factors is negligible when considering the limiting distribution of the structural parameters. Third, we show that the sampling error in the high-dimensional precision matrix is negligible in our estimation algorithm. Fourth, we overidentify the structural parameters with additional constructed instruments, which leads to efficiency gains. Monte Carlo evidence is presented to support our asymptotic theory and application to the global crude oil market leads to new results.

Forecasting: theory and practice Machine Learning

Forecasting has always been at the forefront of decision making and planning. The uncertainty that surrounds the future is both exciting and challenging, with individuals and organisations seeking to minimise risks and maximise utilities. The large number of forecasting applications calls for a diverse set of forecasting methods to tackle real-life challenges. This article provides a non-systematic review of the theory and the practice of forecasting. We provide an overview of a wide range of theoretical, state-of-the-art models, methods, principles, and approaches to prepare, produce, organise, and evaluate forecasts. We then demonstrate how such theoretical concepts are applied in a variety of real-life contexts. We do not claim that this review is an exhaustive list of methods and applications. However, we wish that our encyclopedic presentation will offer a point of reference for the rich work that has been undertaken over the last decades, with some key insights for the future of forecasting theory and practice. Given its encyclopedic nature, the intended mode of reading is non-linear. We offer cross-references to allow the readers to navigate through the various topics. We complement the theoretical concepts and applications covered by large lists of free or open-source software implementations and publicly-available databases.

Learning Operators with Coupled Attention Artificial Intelligence

Supervised operator learning is an emerging machine learning paradigm with applications to modeling the evolution of spatio-temporal dynamical systems and approximating general black-box relationships between functional data. We propose a novel operator learning method, LOCA (Learning Operators with Coupled Attention), motivated from the recent success of the attention mechanism. In our architecture, the input functions are mapped to a finite set of features which are then averaged with attention weights that depend on the output query locations. By coupling these attention weights together with an integral transform, LOCA is able to explicitly learn correlations in the target output functions, enabling us to approximate nonlinear operators even when the number of output function in the training set measurements is very small. Our formulation is accompanied by rigorous approximation theoretic guarantees on the universal expressiveness of the proposed model. Empirically, we evaluate the performance of LOCA on several operator learning scenarios involving systems governed by ordinary and partial differential equations, as well as a black-box climate prediction problem. Through these scenarios we demonstrate state of the art accuracy, robustness with respect to noisy input data, and a consistently small spread of errors over testing data sets, even for out-of-distribution prediction tasks.

Application of Machine Learning Methods in Inferring Surface Water Groundwater Exchanges using High Temporal Resolution Temperature Measurements Machine Learning

We examine the ability of machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) algorithms to infer surface/ground exchange flux based on subsurface temperature observations. The observations and fluxes are produced from a high-resolution numerical model representing conditions in the Columbia River near the Department of Energy Hanford site located in southeastern Washington State. Random measurement error, of varying magnitude, is added to the synthetic temperature observations. The results indicate that both ML and DL methods can be used to infer the surface/ground exchange flux. DL methods, especially convolutional neural networks, outperform the ML methods when used to interpret noisy temperature data with a smoothing filter applied. However, the ML methods also performed well and they are can better identify a reduced number of important observations, which could be useful for measurement network optimization. Surprisingly, the ML and DL methods better inferred upward flux than downward flux. This is in direct contrast to previous findings using numerical models to infer flux from temperature observations and it may suggest that combined use of ML or DL inference with numerical inference could improve flux estimation beneath river systems.

Uniform-in-Phase-Space Data Selection with Iterative Normalizing Flows Artificial Intelligence

Improvements in computational and experimental capabilities are rapidly increasing the amount of scientific data that is routinely generated. In applications that are constrained by memory and computational intensity, excessively large datasets may hinder scientific discovery, making data reduction a critical component of data-driven methods. Datasets are growing in two directions: the number of data points and their dimensionality. Whereas data compression techniques are concerned with reducing dimensionality, the focus here is on reducing the number of data points. A strategy is proposed to select data points such that they uniformly span the phase-space of the data. The algorithm proposed relies on estimating the probability map of the data and using it to construct an acceptance probability. An iterative method is used to accurately estimate the probability of the rare data points when only a small subset of the dataset is used to construct the probability map. Instead of binning the phase-space to estimate the probability map, its functional form is approximated with a normalizing flow. Therefore, the method naturally extends to high-dimensional datasets. The proposed framework is demonstrated as a viable pathway to enable data-efficient machine learning when abundant data is available. An implementation of the method is available in a companion repository (

Artificial Intellgence -- Application in Life Sciences and Beyond. The Upper Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium UR-AI 2021 Artificial Intelligence

The TriRhenaTech alliance presents the accepted papers of the 'Upper-Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium' held on October 27th 2021 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Topics of the conference are applications of Artificial Intellgence in life sciences, intelligent systems, industry 4.0, mobility and others. The TriRhenaTech alliance is a network of universities in the Upper-Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region comprising of the German universities of applied sciences in Furtwangen, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Offenburg and Trier, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Loerrach, the French university network Alsace Tech (comprised of 14 'grandes \'ecoles' in the fields of engineering, architecture and management) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The alliance's common goal is to reinforce the transfer of knowledge, research, and technology, as well as the cross-border mobility of students.