As transparency becomes key for robotics and AI, it will be necessary to evaluate the methods through which transparency is provided, including automatically generated natural language (NL) explanations. Here, we explore parallels between the generation of such explanations and the much-studied field of evaluation of Natural Language Generation (NLG). Specifically, we investigate which of the NLG evaluation measures map well to explanations. We present the ExBAN corpus: a crowd-sourced corpus of NL explanations for Bayesian Networks. We run correlations comparing human subjective ratings with NLG automatic measures. We find that embedding-based automatic NLG evaluation methods, such as BERTScore and BLEURT, have a higher correlation with human ratings, compared to word-overlap metrics, such as BLEU and ROUGE. This work has implications for Explainable AI and transparent robotic and autonomous systems.
In this work, we propose a Bayesian statistical model to simultaneously characterize two or more social networks defined over a common set of actors. The key feature of the model is a hierarchical prior distribution that allows us to represent the entire system jointly, achieving a compromise between dependent and independent networks. Among others things, such a specification easily allows us to visualize multilayer network data in a low-dimensional Euclidean space, generate a weighted network that reflects the consensus affinity between actors, establish a measure of correlation between networks, assess cognitive judgements that subjects form about the relationships among actors, and perform clustering tasks at different social instances. Our model's capabilities are illustrated using several real-world data sets, taking into account different types of actors, sizes, and relations.
Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) now serves as one of the major strategies to perform model choice and parameter inference on models with intractable likelihoods. An essential component of ABC involves comparing a large amount of simulated data with the observed data through summary statistics. To avoid the curse of dimensionality, summary statistic selection is of prime importance, and becomes even more critical when applying ABC to mechanistic network models. Indeed, while many summary statistics can be used to encode network structures, their computational complexity can be highly variable. For large networks, computation of summary statistics can quickly create a bottleneck, making the use of ABC difficult. To reduce this computational burden and make the analysis of mechanistic network models more practical, we investigated two questions in a model choice framework. First, we studied the utility of cost-based filter selection methods to account for different summary costs during the selection process. Second, we performed selection using networks generated with a smaller number of nodes to reduce the time required for the selection step. Our findings show that computationally inexpensive summary statistics can be efficiently selected with minimal impact on classification accuracy. Furthermore, we found that networks with a smaller number of nodes can only be employed to eliminate a moderate number of summaries. While this latter finding is network specific, the former is general and can be adapted to any ABC application.
Theoretical and abstract approaches to information have made great advances, but human information processing is still unmatched in many areas, including information management, representation and understanding. Neurocognitive informatics is a new, emerging field that should help to improve the matching of artificial and natural systems, and inspire better computational algorithms to solve problems that are still beyond the reach of machines. In this position paper examples of neurocognitive inspirations and promising directions in this area are given.
The rise in popularity and ubiquity of Twitter has made sentiment analysis of tweets an important and well-covered area of research. However, the 140 character limit imposed on tweets makes it hard to use standard linguistic methods for sentiment classification. On the other hand, what tweets lack in structure they make up with sheer volume and rich metadata. This metadata includes geolocation, temporal and author information. We hypothesize that sentiment is dependent on all these contextual factors. Different locations, times and authors have different emotional valences. In this paper, we explored this hypothesis by utilizing distant supervision to collect millions of labelled tweets from different locations, times and authors. We used this data to analyse the variation of tweet sentiments across different authors, times and locations. Once we explored and understood the relationship between these variables and sentiment, we used a Bayesian approach to combine these variables with more standard linguistic features such as n-grams to create a Twitter sentiment classifier. This combined classifier outperforms the purely linguistic classifier, showing that integrating the rich contextual information available on Twitter into sentiment classification is a promising direction of research.
Abstract--Crowdsourcing has emerged as a powerful paradigm for efficiently labeling large datasets and performing various learning tasks, by leveraging crowds of human annotators. When additional information is available about the data, semi-supervised crowdsourcing approaches that enhance the aggregation of labels from human annotators are well motivated. This work deals with semi-supervised crowdsourced classification, under two regimes of semi-supervision: a) label constraints, that provide ground-truth labels for a subset of data; and b) potentially easier to obtain instance-level constraints, that indicate relationships between pairs of data. Bayesian algorithms based on variational inference are developed for each regime, and their quantifiably improved performance, compared to unsupervised crowdsourcing, is analytically and empirically validated on several crowdsourcing datasets. To Amazon's Mechanical Turk , to perform various learning quantify the performance of our proposed algorithms, a tasks such as labeling, image tagging and natural language novel performance analysis of both Bayesian unsupervised annotations among others .
This work focuses on the development of a new family of decision-making algorithms for adaptation and learning, which are specifically tailored to decision problems and are constructed by building up on first principles from decision theory. A key observation is that estimation and decision problems are structurally different and, therefore, algorithms that have proven successful for the former need not perform well when adjusted for decision problems. We propose a new scheme, referred to as BLLR (barrier log-likelihood ratio algorithm) and demonstrate its applicability to real-data from the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. The results illustrate the ability of the design tool to track the different phases of the outbreak.
The number of emergencies have increased over the years with the growth in urbanization. This pattern has overwhelmed the emergency services with limited resources and demands the optimization of response processes. It is partly due to traditional `reactive' approach of emergency services to collect data about incidents, where a source initiates a call to the emergency number (e.g., 911 in U.S.), delaying and limiting the potentially optimal response. Crowdsourcing platforms such as Waze provides an opportunity to develop a rapid, `proactive' approach to collect data about incidents through crowd-generated observational reports. However, the reliability of reporting sources and spatio-temporal uncertainty of the reported incidents challenge the design of such a proactive approach. Thus, this paper presents a novel method for emergency incident detection using noisy crowdsourced Waze data. We propose a principled computational framework based on Bayesian theory to model the uncertainty in the reliability of crowd-generated reports and their integration across space and time to detect incidents. Extensive experiments using data collected from Waze and the official reported incidents in Nashville, Tenessee in the U.S. show our method can outperform strong baselines for both F1-score and AUC. The application of this work provides an extensible framework to incorporate different noisy data sources for proactive incident detection to improve and optimize emergency response operations in our communities.
This paper studies the source (event) localization problem in decentralized wireless sensor networks (WSNs) under the fault model without knowing the sensor parameters. Event localizations have many applications such as localizing intruders, Wifi hotspots and users, and faults in power systems. Previous studies assume the true knowledge (or good estimates) of sensor parameters (e.g., fault model probability or Region of Influence (ROI) of the source) for source localization. However, we propose two methods to estimate the source location in this paper under the fault model: hitting set approach and feature selection method, which only utilize the noisy data set at the fusion center for estimation of the source location without knowing the sensor parameters. The proposed methods have been shown to localize the source effectively. We also study the lower bound on the sample complexity requirement for hitting set method. These methods have also been extended for multiple sources localizations. In addition, we modify the proposed feature selection approach to use maximum likelihood. Finally, extensive simulations are carried out for different settings (i.e., the number of sensor nodes and sample complexity) to validate our proposed methods in comparison to centroid, maximum likelihood, FTML, SNAP estimators.
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.