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Evolutionary Systems: Overviews


The Weights can be Harmful: Pareto Search versus Weighted Search in Multi-Objective Search-Based Software Engineering

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In presence of multiple objectives to be optimized in Search-Based Software Engineering (SBSE), Pareto search has been commonly adopted. It searches for a good approximation of the problem's Pareto optimal solutions, from which the stakeholders choose the most preferred solution according to their preferences. However, when clear preferences of the stakeholders (e.g., a set of weights which reflect relative importance between objectives) are available prior to the search, weighted search is believed to be the first choice since it simplifies the search via converting the original multi-objective problem into a single-objective one and enable the search to focus on what only the stakeholders are interested in. This paper questions such a "weighted search first" belief. We show that the weights can, in fact, be harmful to the search process even in the presence of clear preferences. Specifically, we conduct a large scale empirical study which consists of 38 systems/projects from three representative SBSE problems, together with two types of search budget and nine sets of weights, leading to 604 cases of comparisons. Our key finding is that weighted search reaches a certain level of solution quality by consuming relatively less resources at the early stage of the search; however, Pareto search is at the majority of the time (up to 77% of the cases) significantly better than its weighted counterpart, as long as we allow a sufficient, but not unrealistic search budget. This, together with other findings and actionable suggestions in the paper, allows us to codify pragmatic and comprehensive guidance on choosing weighted and Pareto search for SBSE under the circumstance that clear preferences are available. All code and data can be accessed at: https://github.com/ideas-labo/pareto-vs-weight-for-sbse.


Stop Oversampling for Class Imbalance Learning: A Critical Review

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

For the last two decades, oversampling has been employed to overcome the challenge of learning from imbalanced datasets. Many approaches to solving this challenge have been offered in the literature. Oversampling, on the other hand, is a concern. That is, models trained on fictitious data may fail spectacularly when put to real-world problems. The fundamental difficulty with oversampling approaches is that, given a real-life population, the synthesized samples may not truly belong to the minority class. As a result, training a classifier on these samples while pretending they represent minority may result in incorrect predictions when the model is used in the real world. We analyzed a large number of oversampling methods in this paper and devised a new oversampling evaluation system based on hiding a number of majority examples and comparing them to those generated by the oversampling process. Based on our evaluation system, we ranked all these methods based on their incorrectly generated examples for comparison. Our experiments using more than 70 oversampling methods and three imbalanced real-world datasets reveal that all oversampling methods studied generate minority samples that are most likely to be majority. Given data and methods in hand, we argue that oversampling in its current forms and methodologies is unreliable for learning from class imbalanced data and should be avoided in real-world applications.


A Survey of Methods for Automated Algorithm Configuration

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Algorithm configuration (AC) is concerned with the automated search of the most suitable parameter configuration of a parametrized algorithm. There is currently a wide variety of AC problem variants and methods proposed in the literature. Existing reviews do not take into account all derivatives of the AC problem, nor do they offer a complete classification scheme. To this end, we introduce taxonomies to describe the AC problem and features of configuration methods, respectively. We review existing AC literature within the lens of our taxonomies, outline relevant design choices of configuration approaches, contrast methods and problem variants against each other, and describe the state of AC in industry. Finally, our review provides researchers and practitioners with a look at future research directions in the field of AC.


A Brief Overview of Physics-inspired Metaheuristic Optimization Techniques

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Metaheuristic algorithms are methods devised to efficiently solve computationally challenging optimization problems. Researchers have taken inspiration from various natural and physical processes alike to formulate meta-heuristics that have successfully provided near-optimal or optimal solutions to several engineering tasks. This chapter focuses on meta-heuristic algorithms modelled upon non-linear physical phenomena having a concrete optimization paradigm, having shown formidable exploration and exploitation abilities for such optimization problems. Specifically, this chapter focuses on several popular physics-based metaheuristics as well as describing the underlying unique physical processes associated with each algorithm.


Surrogate-assisted distributed swarm optimisation for computationally expensive models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Advances in parallel and distributed computing have enabled efficient implementation of the distributed swarm and evolutionary algorithms for complex and computationally expensive models. Evolutionary algorithms provide gradient-free optimisation which is beneficial for models that do not have such information available, for instance, geoscientific landscape evolution models. However, such models are so computationally expensive that even distributed swarm and evolutionary algorithms with the power of parallel computing struggle. We need to incorporate efficient strategies such as surrogate assisted optimisation that further improves their performance; however, this becomes a challenge given parallel processing and inter-process communication for implementing surrogate training and prediction. In this paper, we implement surrogate-based estimation of fitness evaluation in distributed swarm optimisation over a parallel computing architecture. Our results demonstrate very promising results for benchmark functions and geoscientific landscape evolution models. We obtain a reduction in computationally time while retaining optimisation solution accuracy through the use of surrogates in a parallel computing environment.


Data Fusion with Latent Map Gaussian Processes

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Multi-fidelity modeling and calibration are data fusion tasks that ubiquitously arise in engineering design. In this paper, we introduce a novel approach based on latent-map Gaussian processes (LMGPs) that enables efficient and accurate data fusion. In our approach, we convert data fusion into a latent space learning problem where the relations among different data sources are automatically learned. This conversion endows our approach with attractive advantages such as increased accuracy, reduced costs, flexibility to jointly fuse any number of data sources, and ability to visualize correlations between data sources. This visualization allows the user to detect model form errors or determine the optimum strategy for high-fidelity emulation by fitting LMGP only to the subset of the data sources that are well-correlated. We also develop a new kernel function that enables LMGPs to not only build a probabilistic multi-fidelity surrogate but also estimate calibration parameters with high accuracy and consistency. The implementation and use of our approach are considerably simpler and less prone to numerical issues compared to existing technologies. We demonstrate the benefits of LMGP-based data fusion by comparing its performance against competing methods on a wide range of examples.


Time Series Forecasting Using Fuzzy Cognitive Maps: A Survey

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Increasing complexity comes from some factors including uncertainty, ambiguity, inconsistency, multiple dimensionalities, increasing the number of effective factors and relation between them. Some of these features are common among most real-world problems which are considered complex and dynamic problems. In other words, since the data and relations in real world applications are usually highly complex and inaccurate, modeling real complex systems based on observed data is a challenging task especially for large scale, inaccurate and non stationary datasets. Therefore, to cover and address these difficulties, the existence of a computational system with the capability of extracting knowledge from the complex system with the ability to simulate its behavior is essential. In other words, it is needed to find a robust approach and solution to handle real complex problems in an easy and meaningful way [1]. Hard computing methods depend on quantitative values with expensive solutions and lack of ability to represent the problem in real life due to some uncertainties. In contrast, soft computing approaches act as alternative tools to deal with the reasoning of complex problems [2]. Using soft computing methods such as fuzzy logic, neural network, genetic algorithms or a combination of these allows achieving robustness, tractable and more practical solutions. Generally, two types of methods are used for analyzing and modeling dynamic systems including quantitative and qualitative approaches.


Forecasting: theory and practice

arXiv.org 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.


Automated Graph Machine Learning: Approaches, Libraries and Directions

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Graph machine learning has been extensively studied in both academic and industry. However, as the literature on graph learning booms with a vast number of emerging methods and techniques, it becomes increasingly difficult to manually design the optimal machine learning algorithm for different graph-related tasks. To tackle the challenge, automated graph machine learning, which aims at discovering the best hyper-parameter and neural architecture configuration for different graph tasks/data without manual design, is gaining an increasing number of attentions from the research community. In this paper, we extensively discuss automated graph machine approaches, covering hyper-parameter optimization (HPO) and neural architecture search (NAS) for graph machine learning. We briefly overview existing libraries designed for either graph machine learning or automated machine learning respectively, and further in depth introduce AutoGL, our dedicated and the world's first open-source library for automated graph machine learning. Last but not least, we share our insights on future research directions for automated graph machine learning. This paper is the first systematic and comprehensive discussion of approaches, libraries as well as directions for automated graph machine learning.


Robust Natural Language Processing: Recent Advances, Challenges, and Future Directions

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent natural language processing (NLP) techniques have accomplished high performance on benchmark datasets, primarily due to the significant improvement in the performance of deep learning. The advances in the research community have led to great enhancements in state-of-the-art production systems for NLP tasks, such as virtual assistants, speech recognition, and sentiment analysis. However, such NLP systems still often fail when tested with adversarial attacks. The initial lack of robustness exposed troubling gaps in current models' language understanding capabilities, creating problems when NLP systems are deployed in real life. In this paper, we present a structured overview of NLP robustness research by summarizing the literature in a systemic way across various dimensions. We then take a deep-dive into the various dimensions of robustness, across techniques, metrics, embeddings, and benchmarks. Finally, we argue that robustness should be multi-dimensional, provide insights into current research, identify gaps in the literature to suggest directions worth pursuing to address these gaps.