Results


Machine Learning Towards Intelligent Systems: Applications, Challenges, and Opportunities

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The emergence and continued reliance on the Internet and related technologies has resulted in the generation of large amounts of data that can be made available for analyses. However, humans do not possess the cognitive capabilities to understand such large amounts of data. Machine learning (ML) provides a mechanism for humans to process large amounts of data, gain insights about the behavior of the data, and make more informed decision based on the resulting analysis. ML has applications in various fields. This review focuses on some of the fields and applications such as education, healthcare, network security, banking and finance, and social media. Within these fields, there are multiple unique challenges that exist. However, ML can provide solutions to these challenges, as well as create further research opportunities. Accordingly, this work surveys some of the challenges facing the aforementioned fields and presents some of the previous literature works that tackled them. Moreover, it suggests several research opportunities that benefit from the use of ML to address these challenges.


Adjusted chi-square test for degree-corrected block models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We propose a goodness-of-fit test for degree-corrected stochastic block models (DCSBM). The test is based on an adjusted chi-square statistic for measuring equality of means among groups of $n$ multinomial distributions with $d_1,\dots,d_n$ observations. In the context of network models, the number of multinomials, $n$, grows much faster than the number of observations, $d_i$, hence the setting deviates from classical asymptotics. We show that a simple adjustment allows the statistic to converge in distribution, under null, as long as the harmonic mean of $\{d_i\}$ grows to infinity. This result applies to large sparse networks where the role of $d_i$ is played by the degree of node $i$. Our distributional results are nonasymptotic, with explicit constants, providing finite-sample bounds on the Kolmogorov-Smirnov distance to the target distribution. When applied sequentially, the test can also be used to determine the number of communities. The test operates on a (row) compressed version of the adjacency matrix, conditional on the degrees, and as a result is highly scalable to large sparse networks. We incorporate a novel idea of compressing the columns based on a $(K+1)$-community assignment when testing for $K$ communities. This approach increases the power in sequential applications without sacrificing computational efficiency, and we prove its consistency in recovering the number of communities. Since the test statistic does not rely on a specific alternative, its utility goes beyond sequential testing and can be used to simultaneously test against a wide range of alternatives outside the DCSBM family. We show the effectiveness of the approach by extensive numerical experiments with simulated and real data. In particular, applying the test to the Facebook-100 dataset, we find that a DCSBM with a small number of communities is far from a good fit in almost all cases.


Challenges in Benchmarking Stream Learning Algorithms with Real-world Data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Streaming data are increasingly present in real-world applications such as sensor measurements, satellite data feed, stock market, and financial data. The main characteristics of these applications are the online arrival of data observations at high speed and the susceptibility to changes in the data distributions due to the dynamic nature of real environments. The data stream mining community still faces some primary challenges and difficulties related to the comparison and evaluation of new proposals, mainly due to the lack of publicly available non-stationary real-world datasets. The comparison of stream algorithms proposed in the literature is not an easy task, as authors do not always follow the same recommendations, experimental evaluation procedures, datasets, and assumptions. In this paper, we mitigate problems related to the choice of datasets in the experimental evaluation of stream classifiers and drift detectors. To that end, we propose a new public data repository for benchmarking stream algorithms with real-world data. This repository contains the most popular datasets from literature and new datasets related to a highly relevant public health problem that involves the recognition of disease vector insects using optical sensors. The main advantage of these new datasets is the prior knowledge of their characteristics and patterns of changes to evaluate new adaptive algorithm proposals adequately. We also present an in-depth discussion about the characteristics, reasons, and issues that lead to different types of changes in data distribution, as well as a critical review of common problems concerning the current benchmark datasets available in the literature.


User Profiling Using Hinge-loss Markov Random Fields

arXiv.org Machine Learning

A variety of approaches have been proposed to automatically infer the profiles of users from their digital footprint in social media. Most of the proposed approaches focus on mining a single type of information, while ignoring other sources of available user-generated content (UGC). In this paper, we propose a mechanism to infer a variety of user characteristics, such as, age, gender and personality traits, which can then be compiled into a user profile. To this end, we model social media users by incorporating and reasoning over multiple sources of UGC as well as social relations. Our model is based on a statistical relational learning framework using Hinge-loss Markov Random Fields (HL-MRFs), a class of probabilistic graphical models that can be defined using a set of first-order logical rules. We validate our approach on data from Facebook with more than 5k users and almost 725k relations. We show how HL-MRFs can be used to develop a generic and extensible user profiling framework by leveraging textual, visual, and relational content in the form of status updates, profile pictures and Facebook page likes. Our experimental results demonstrate that our proposed model successfully incorporates multiple sources of information and outperforms competing methods that use only one source of information or an ensemble method across the different sources for modeling of users in social media.


Advances and Open Problems in Federated Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Federated learning (FL) is a machine learning setting where many clients (e.g. mobile devices or whole organizations) collaboratively train a model under the orchestration of a central server (e.g. service provider), while keeping the training data decentralized. FL embodies the principles of focused data collection and minimization, and can mitigate many of the systemic privacy risks and costs resulting from traditional, centralized machine learning and data science approaches. Motivated by the explosive growth in FL research, this paper discusses recent advances and presents an extensive collection of open problems and challenges.


Computational Register Analysis and Synthesis

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The study of register in computational language research has historically been divided into register analysis, seeking to determine the registerial character of a text or corpus, and register synthesis, seeking to generate a text in a desired register. This article surveys the different approaches to these disparate tasks. Register synthesis has tended to use more theoretically articulated notions of register and genre than analysis work, which often seeks to categorize on the basis of intuitive and somewhat incoherent notions of prelabeled 'text types'. I argue that an integration of computational register analysis and synthesis will benefit register studies as a whole, by enabling a new large-scale research program in register studies. It will enable comprehensive global mapping of functional language varieties in multiple languages, including the relationships between them. Furthermore, computational methods together with high coverage systematically collected and analyzed data will thus enable rigorous empirical validation and refinement of different theories of register, which will have also implications for our understanding of linguistic variation in general.


Effective Learning of Probabilistic Models for Clinical Predictions from Longitudinal Data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Such information includes: the database in modern hospital systems, usually known as Electronic Health Records (EHR), which store the patients' diagnosis, medication, laboratory test results, medical image data, etc.; information on various health behaviors tracked and stored by wearable devices, ubiquitous sensors and mobile applications, such as the smoking status, alcoholism history, exercise level, sleeping conditions, etc.; information collected by census or various surveys regarding sociodemographic factors of the target cohort; and information on people's mental health inferred from their social media activities or social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. These health-related data come from heterogeneous sources, describe assorted aspects of the individual's health conditions. Such data is rich in structure and information which has great research potentials for revealing unknown medical knowledge about genomic epidemiology, disease developments and correlations, drug discoveries, medical diagnosis, mental illness prevention, health behavior adaption, etc. In real-world problems, the number of features relating to a certain health condition could grow exponentially with the development of new information techniques for collecting and measuring data. To reveal the causal influence between various factors and a certain disease or to discover the correlations among diseases from data at such a tremendous scale, requires the assistance of advanced information technology such as data mining, machine learning, text mining, etc. Machine learning technology not only provides a way for learning qualitative relationships among features and patients, but also the quantitative parameters regarding the strength of such correlations.


Mobile Sound Recognition for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Human perception of surrounding events is strongly dependent on audio cues. Thus, acoustic insulation can seriously impact situational awareness. We present an exploratory study in the domain of assistive computing, eliciting requirements and presenting solutions to problems found in the development of an environmental sound recognition system, which aims to assist deaf and hard of hearing people in the perception of sounds. To take advantage of smartphones computational ubiquity, we propose a system that executes all processing on the device itself, from audio features extraction to recognition and visual presentation of results. Our application also presents the confidence level of the classification to the user. A test of the system conducted with deaf users provided important and inspiring feedback from participants.


Statistical Estimation of Malware Detection Metrics in the Absence of Ground Truth

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The accurate measurement of security metrics is a critical research problem because an improper or inaccurate measurement process can ruin the usefulness of the metrics, no matter how well they are defined. This is a highly challenging problem particularly when the ground truth is unknown or noisy. In contrast to the well perceived importance of defining security metrics, the measurement of security metrics has been little understood in the literature. In this paper, we measure five malware detection metrics in the {\em absence} of ground truth, which is a realistic setting that imposes many technical challenges. The ultimate goal is to develop principled, automated methods for measuring these metrics at the maximum accuracy possible. The problem naturally calls for investigations into statistical estimators by casting the measurement problem as a {\em statistical estimation} problem. We propose statistical estimators for these five malware detection metrics. By investigating the statistical properties of these estimators, we are able to characterize when the estimators are accurate, and what adjustments can be made to improve them under what circumstances. We use synthetic data with known ground truth to validate these statistical estimators. Then, we employ these estimators to measure five metrics with respect to a large dataset collected from VirusTotal. We believe our study touches upon a vital problem that has not been paid due attention and will inspire many future investigations.


Reconstructing networks with unknown and heterogeneous errors

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The vast majority of network datasets contains errors and omissions, although this is rarely incorporated in traditional network analysis. Recently, an increasing effort has been made to fill this methodological gap by developing network reconstruction approaches based on Bayesian inference. These approaches, however, rely on assumptions of uniform error rates and on direct estimations of the existence of each edge via repeated measurements, something that is currently unavailable for the majority of network data. Here we develop a Bayesian reconstruction approach that lifts these limitations by not only allowing for heterogeneous errors, but also for individual edge measurements without direct error estimates. Our approach works by coupling the inference approach with structured generative network models, which enable the correlations between edges to be used as reliable error estimates. Although our approach is general, we focus on the stochastic block model as the basic generative process, from which efficient nonparametric inference can be performed, and yields a principled method to infer hierarchical community structure from noisy data. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach with a variety of empirical and artificial networks.