Artificial Intelligence

A new approach to forecast service parts demand by integrating user preferences into multi-objective optimization Artificial Intelligence

Service supply chain management is to prepare spare parts for failed products under warranty. Their goal is to reach agreed service level at the minimum cost. We convert this business problem into a preference based multi-objective optimization problem, where two quality criteria must be simultaneously optimized. One criterion is accuracy of demand forecast and the other is service level. Here we propose a general framework supporting solving preference-based multi-objective optimization problems (MOPs) by multi-gradient descent algorithm (MGDA), which is well suited for training deep neural network. The proposed framework treats agreed service level as a constrained criterion that must be met and generate a Pareto-optimal solution with highest forecasting accuracy. The neural networks used here are two Encoder-Decoder LSTM modes: one is used for pre-training phase to learn distributed representation of former generations' service parts consumption data, and the other is used for supervised learning phase to generate forecast quantities of current generations' service parts. Evaluated under the service parts consumption data in Lenovo Group Ltd, the proposed method clearly outperform baseline methods.

SEntNet: Source-aware Recurrent Entity Network for Dialogue Response Selection Artificial Intelligence

Dialogue response selection is an important part of Task-oriented Dialogue Systems (TDSs); it aims to predict an appropriate response given a dialogue context. Obtaining key information from a complex, long dialogue context is challenging, especially when different sources of information are available, e.g., the user's utterances, the system's responses, and results retrieved from a knowledge base (KB). Previous work ignores the type of information source and merges sources for response selection. However, accounting for the source type may lead to remarkable differences in the quality of response selection. We propose the Source-aware Recurrent Entity Network (SEntNet), which is aware of different information sources for the response selection process. SEntNet achieves this by employing source-specific memories to exploit differences in the usage of words and syntactic structure from different information sources (user, system, and KB). Experimental results show that SEntNet obtains 91.0% accuracy on the Dialog bAbI dataset, outperforming prior work by 4.7%. On the DSTC2 dataset, SEntNet obtains an accuracy of 41.2%, beating source unaware recurrent entity networks by 2.4%.

Adaptive Temporal-Difference Learning for Policy Evaluation with Per-State Uncertainty Estimates Artificial Intelligence

We consider the core reinforcement-learning problem of on-policy value function approximation from a batch of trajectory data, and focus on various issues of Temporal Difference (TD) learning and Monte Carlo (MC) policy evaluation. The two methods are known to achieve complementary bias-variance trade-off properties, with TD tending to achieve lower variance but potentially higher bias. In this paper, we argue that the larger bias of TD can be a result of the amplification of local approximation errors. We address this by proposing an algorithm that adaptively switches between TD and MC in each state, thus mitigating the propagation of errors. Our method is based on learned confidence intervals that detect biases of TD estimates. We demonstrate in a variety of policy evaluation tasks that this simple adaptive algorithm performs competitively with the best approach in hindsight, suggesting that learned confidence intervals are a powerful technique for adapting policy evaluation to use TD or MC returns in a data-driven way.

Control What You Can: Intrinsically Motivated Task-Planning Agent Artificial Intelligence

We present a novel intrinsically motivated agent that learns how to control the environment in the fastest possible manner by optimizing learning progress. It learns what can be controlled, how to allocate time and attention, and the relations between objects using surprise based motivation. The effectiveness of our method is demonstrated in a synthetic as well as a robotic manipulation environment yielding considerably improved performance and smaller sample complexity. In a nutshell, our work combines several task-level planning agent structures (backtracking search on task graph, probabilistic road-maps, allocation of search efforts) with intrinsic motivation to achieve learning from scratch.

Who is in Your Top Three? Optimizing Learning in Elections with Many Candidates Artificial Intelligence

Elections and opinion polls often have many candidates, with the aim to either rank the candidates or identify a small set of winners according to voters' preferences. In practice, voters do not provide a full ranking; instead, each voter provides their favorite K candidates, potentially in ranked order. The election organizer must choose K and an aggregation rule. We provide a theoretical framework to make these choices. Each K-Approval or K-partial ranking mechanism (with a corresponding positional scoring rule) induces a learning rate for the speed at which the election correctly recovers the asymptotic outcome. Given the voter choice distribution, the election planner can thus identify the rate optimal mechanism. Earlier work in this area provides coarse order-of-magnitude guaranties which are not sufficient to make such choices. Our framework further resolves questions of when randomizing between multiple mechanisms may improve learning, for arbitrary voter noise models. Finally, we use data from 5 large participatory budgeting elections that we organized across several US cities, along with other ranking data, to demonstrate the utility of our methods. In particular, we find that historically such elections have set K too low and that picking the right mechanism can be the difference between identifying the ultimate winner with only a 80% probability or a 99.9% probability after 400 voters.

Solving Multiagent Planning Problems with Concurrent Conditional Effects Artificial Intelligence

In this work we present a novel approach to solving concurrent multiagent planning problems in which several agents act in parallel. Our approach relies on a compilation from concurrent multiagent planning to classical planning, allowing us to use an off-the-shelf classical planner to solve the original multiagent problem. The solution can be directly interpreted as a concurrent plan that satisfies a given set of concurrency constraints, while avoiding the exponential blowup associated with concurrent actions. Our planner is the first to handle action effects that are conditional on what other agents are doing. Theoretically, we show that the compilation is sound and complete. Empirically, we show that our compilation can solve challenging multiagent planning problems that require concurrent actions.

The Linked Open Data cloud is more abstract, flatter and less linked than you may think! Artificial Intelligence

This paper presents an empirical study aiming at understanding the modeling style and the overall semantic structure of Linked Open Data. We observe how classes, properties and individuals are used in practice. We also investigate how hierarchies of concepts are structured, and how much they are linked. In addition to discussing the results, this paper contributes (i) a conceptual framework, including a set of metrics, which generalises over the observable constructs; (ii) an open source implementation that facilitates its application to other Linked Data knowledge graphs.

When to Trust Your Model: Model-Based Policy Optimization Artificial Intelligence

Designing effective model-based reinforcement learning algorithms is difficult because the ease of data generation must be weighed against the bias of model-generated data. In this paper, we study the role of model usage in policy optimization both theoretically and empirically. We first formulate and analyze a model-based reinforcement learning algorithm with a guarantee of monotonic improvement at each step. In practice, this analysis is overly pessimistic and suggests that real off-policy data is always preferable to model-generated on-policy data, but we show that an empirical estimate of model generalization can be incorporated into such analysis to justify model usage. Motivated by this analysis, we then demonstrate that a simple procedure of using short model-generated rollouts branched from real data has the benefits of more complicated model-based algorithms without the usual pitfalls. In particular, this approach surpasses the sample efficiency of prior model-based methods, matches the asymptotic performance of the best model-free algorithms, and scales to horizons that cause other model-based methods to fail entirely.

PyRobot: An Open-source Robotics Framework for Research and Benchmarking Artificial Intelligence

This paper introduces PyRobot, an open-source robotics framework for research and benchmarking. PyRobot is a light-weight, high-level interface on top of ROS that provides a consistent set of hardware independent mid-level APIs to control different robots. PyRobot abstracts away details about low-level controllers and inter-process communication, and allows non-robotics researchers (ML, CV researchers) to focus on building high-level AI applications. PyRobot aims to provide a research ecosystem with convenient access to robotics datasets, algorithm implementations and models that can be used to quickly create a state-of-the-art baseline. We believe PyRobot, when paired up with low-cost robot platforms such as LoCoBot, will reduce the entry barrier into robotics, and democratize robotics. PyRobot is open-source, and can be accessed via

Evaluating Ising Processing Units with Integer Programming Artificial Intelligence

The recent emergence of novel computational devices, such as adiabatic quantum computers, CMOS annealers, and optical parametric oscillators, present new opportunities for hybrid-optimization algorithms that are hardware accelerated by these devices. In this work, we propose the idea of an Ising processing unit as a computational abstraction for reasoning about these emerging devices. The challenges involved in using and benchmarking these devices are presented and commercial mixed integer programming solvers are proposed as a valuable tool for the validation of these disparate hardware platforms. The proposed validation methodology is demonstrated on a D-Wave 2X adiabatic quantum computer, one example of an Ising processing unit. The computational results demonstrate that the D-Wave hardware consistently produces high-quality solutions and suggests that as IPU technology matures it could become a valuable co-processor in hybrid-optimization algorithms.