Collaborating Authors


Bayesian Algorithms for Decentralized Stochastic Bandits Machine Learning

We study a decentralized cooperative multi-agent multi-armed bandit problem with $K$ arms and $N$ agents connected over a network. In our model, each arm's reward distribution is same for all agents, and rewards are drawn independently across agents and over time steps. In each round, agents choose an arm to play and subsequently send a message to their neighbors. The goal is to minimize cumulative regret averaged over the entire network. We propose a decentralized Bayesian multi-armed bandit framework that extends single-agent Bayesian bandit algorithms to the decentralized setting. Specifically, we study an information assimilation algorithm that can be combined with existing Bayesian algorithms, and using this, we propose a decentralized Thompson Sampling algorithm and decentralized Bayes-UCB algorithm. We analyze the decentralized Thompson Sampling algorithm under Bernoulli rewards and establish a problem-dependent upper bound on the cumulative regret. We show that regret incurred scales logarithmically over the time horizon with constants that match those of an optimal centralized agent with access to all observations across the network. Our analysis also characterizes the cumulative regret in terms of the network structure. Through extensive numerical studies, we show that our extensions of Thompson Sampling and Bayes-UCB incur lesser cumulative regret than the state-of-art algorithms inspired by the Upper Confidence Bound algorithm. We implement our proposed decentralized Thompson Sampling under gossip protocol, and over time-varying networks, where each communication link has a fixed probability of failure.

Artificial Intelligence for Social Good: A Survey Artificial Intelligence

Its impact is drastic and real: Youtube's AIdriven recommendation system would present sports videos for days if one happens to watch a live baseball game on the platform [1]; email writing becomes much faster with machine learning (ML) based auto-completion [2]; many businesses have adopted natural language processing based chatbots as part of their customer services [3]. AI has also greatly advanced human capabilities in complex decision-making processes ranging from determining how to allocate security resources to protect airports [4] to games such as poker [5] and Go [6]. All such tangible and stunning progress suggests that an "AI summer" is happening. As some put it, "AI is the new electricity" [7]. Meanwhile, in the past decade, an emerging theme in the AI research community is the so-called "AI for social good" (AI4SG): researchers aim at developing AI methods and tools to address problems at the societal level and improve the wellbeing of the society.

Using Social Network Information in Bayesian Truth Discovery Machine Learning

We investigate the problem of truth discovery based on opinions from multiple agents who may be unreliable or biased. We consider the case where agents' reliabilities or biases are correlated if they belong to the same community, which defines a group of agents with similar opinions regarding a particular event. An agent can belong to different communities for different events, and these communities are unknown \emph{a priori}. We incorporate knowledge of the agents' social network in our truth discovery framework and develop Laplace variational inference methods to estimate agents' reliabilities, communities, and the event states. We also develop a stochastic variational inference method to scale our model to large social networks. Simulations and experiments on real data suggest that when observations are sparse, our proposed methods perform better than several other inference methods, including majority voting, the popular Bayesian Classifier Combination (BCC) method, and the Community BCC method.

"I can assure you [$\ldots$] that it's going to be all right" -- A definition, case for, and survey of algorithmic assurances in human-autonomy trust relationships Machine Learning

As technology become more advanced, those who design, use and are otherwise affected by it want to know that it will perform correctly, and understand why it does what it does, and how to use it appropriately. In essence they want to be able to trust the systems that are being designed. In this survey we present assurances that are the method by which users can understand how to trust this technology. Trust between humans and autonomy is reviewed, and the implications for the design of assurances are highlighted. A survey of research that has been performed with respect to assurances is presented, and several key ideas are extracted in order to refine the definition of assurances. Several directions for future research are identified and discussed.

Distributed Learning for Cooperative Inference Machine Learning

We study the problem of cooperative inference where a group of agents interact over a network and seek to estimate a joint parameter that best explains a set of observations. Agents do not know the network topology or the observations of other agents. We explore a variational interpretation of the Bayesian posterior density, and its relation to the stochastic mirror descent algorithm, to propose a new distributed learning algorithm. We show that, under appropriate assumptions, the beliefs generated by the proposed algorithm concentrate around the true parameter exponentially fast. We provide explicit non-asymptotic bounds for the convergence rate. Moreover, we develop explicit and computationally efficient algorithms for observation models belonging to exponential families.

A Survey of Available Corpora for Building Data-Driven Dialogue Systems Artificial Intelligence

During the past decade, several areas of speech and language understanding have witnessed substantial breakthroughs from the use of data-driven models. In the area of dialogue systems, the trend is less obvious, and most practical systems are still built through significant engineering and expert knowledge. Nevertheless, several recent results suggest that data-driven approaches are feasible and quite promising. To facilitate research in this area, we have carried out a wide survey of publicly available datasets suitable for data-driven learning of dialogue systems. We discuss important characteristics of these datasets, how they can be used to learn diverse dialogue strategies, and their other potential uses. We also examine methods for transfer learning between datasets and the use of external knowledge. Finally, we discuss appropriate choice of evaluation metrics for the learning objective.

Efficient Bayesian Learning in Social Networks with Gaussian Estimators Machine Learning

We consider a group of Bayesian agents who try to estimate a state of the world $\theta$ through interaction on a social network. Each agent $v$ initially receives a private measurement of $\theta$: a number $S_v$ picked from a Gaussian distribution with mean $\theta$ and standard deviation one. Then, in each discrete time iteration, each reveals its estimate of $\theta$ to its neighbors, and, observing its neighbors' actions, updates its belief using Bayes' Law. This process aggregates information efficiently, in the sense that all the agents converge to the belief that they would have, had they access to all the private measurements. We show that this process is computationally efficient, so that each agent's calculation can be easily carried out. We also show that on any graph the process converges after at most $2N \cdot D$ steps, where $N$ is the number of agents and $D$ is the diameter of the network. Finally, we show that on trees and on distance transitive-graphs the process converges after $D$ steps, and that it preserves privacy, so that agents learn very little about the private signal of most other agents, despite the efficient aggregation of information. Our results extend those in an unpublished manuscript of the first and last authors.

Time-Sensitive Bayesian Information Aggregation for Crowdsourcing Systems

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Many aspects of the design of efficient crowdsourcing processes, such as defining worker’s bonuses, fair prices and time limits of the tasks, involve knowledge of the likely duration of the task at hand. In this work we introduce a new time–sensitive Bayesian aggregation method that simultaneously estimates a task’s duration and obtains reliable aggregations of crowdsourced judgments. Our method, called BCCTime, uses latent variables to represent the uncertainty about the workers’ completion time, the tasks’ duration and the workers’ accuracy. To relate the quality of a judgment to the time a worker spends on a task, our model assumes that each task is completed within a latent time window within which all workers with a propensity to genuinely attempt the labelling task (i.e., no spammers) are expected to submit their judgments. In contrast, workers with a lower propensity to valid labelling, such as spammers, bots or lazy labellers, are assumed to perform tasks considerably faster or slower than the time required by normal workers. Specifically, we use efficient message-passing Bayesian inference to learn approximate posterior probabilities of (i) the confusion matrix of each worker, (ii) the propensity to valid labelling of each worker, (iii) the unbiased duration of each task and (iv) the true label of each task. Using two real- world public datasets for entity linking tasks, we show that BCCTime produces up to 11% more accurate classifications and up to 100% more informative estimates of a task’s duration compared to state–of–the–art methods.

Switching to Learn Machine Learning

A network of agents attempt to learn some unknown state of the world drawn by nature from a finite set. Agents observe private signals conditioned on the true state, and form beliefs about the unknown state accordingly. Each agent may face an identification problem in the sense that she cannot distinguish the truth in isolation. However, by communicating with each other, agents are able to benefit from side observations to learn the truth collectively. Unlike many distributed algorithms which rely on all-time communication protocols, we propose an efficient method by switching between Bayesian and non-Bayesian regimes. In this model, agents exchange information only when their private signals are not informative enough; thence, by switching between the two regimes, agents efficiently learn the truth using only a few rounds of communications. The proposed algorithm preserves learnability while incurring a lower communication cost. We also verify our theoretical findings by simulation examples.