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Is there a role for statistics in artificial intelligence?

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The research on and application of artificial intelligence (AI) has triggered a comprehensive scientific, economic, social and political discussion. Here we argue that statistics, as an interdisciplinary scientific field, plays a substantial role both for the theoretical and practical understanding of AI and for its future development. Statistics might even be considered a core element of AI. With its specialist knowledge of data evaluation, starting with the precise formulation of the research question and passing through a study design stage on to analysis and interpretation of the results, statistics is a natural partner for other disciplines in teaching, research and practice. This paper aims at contributing to the current discussion by highlighting the relevance of statistical methodology in the context of AI development. In particular, we discuss contributions of statistics to the field of artificial intelligence concerning methodological development, planning and design of studies, assessment of data quality and data collection, differentiation of causality and associations and assessment of uncertainty in results. Moreover, the paper also deals with the equally necessary and meaningful extension of curricula in schools and universities.


Explainable Artificial Intelligence: a Systematic Review

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This has led to the development of a plethora of domain-dependent and context-specific methods for dealing with the interpretation of machine learning (ML) models and the formation of explanations for humans. Unfortunately, this trend is far from being over, with an abundance of knowledge in the field which is scattered and needs organisation. The goal of this article is to systematically review research works in the field of XAI and to try to define some boundaries in the field. From several hundreds of research articles focused on the concept of explainability, about 350 have been considered for review by using the following search methodology. In a first phase, Google Scholar was queried to find papers related to "explainable artificial intelligence", "explainable machine learning" and "interpretable machine learning". Subsequently, the bibliographic section of these articles was thoroughly examined to retrieve further relevant scientific studies. The first noticeable thing, as shown in figure 2 (a), is the distribution of the publication dates of selected research articles: sporadic in the 70s and 80s, receiving preliminary attention in the 90s, showing raising interest in 2000 and becoming a recognised body of knowledge after 2010. The first research concerned the development of an explanation-based system and its integration in a computer program designed to help doctors make diagnoses [3]. Some of the more recent papers focus on work devoted to the clustering of methods for explainability, motivating the need for organising the XAI literature [4, 5, 6].


A Survey of Adversarial Learning on Graphs

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Deep learning models on graphs have achieved remarkable performance in various graph analysis tasks, e.g., node classification, link prediction and graph clustering. However, they expose uncertainty and unreliability against the well-designed inputs, i.e., adversarial examples. Accordingly, various studies have emerged for both attack and defense addressed in different graph analysis tasks, leading to the arms race in graph adversarial learning. For instance, the attacker has poisoning and evasion attack, and the defense group correspondingly has preprocessing- and adversarial- based methods. Despite the booming works, there still lacks a unified problem definition and a comprehensive review. To bridge this gap, we investigate and summarize the existing works on graph adversarial learning tasks systemically. Specifically, we survey and unify the existing works w.r.t. attack and defense in graph analysis tasks, and give proper definitions and taxonomies at the same time. Besides, we emphasize the importance of related evaluation metrics, and investigate and summarize them comprehensively. Hopefully, our works can serve as a reference for the relevant researchers, thus providing assistance for their studies. More details of our works are available at https://github.com/gitgiter/Graph-Adversarial-Learning.


A review of machine learning applications in wildfire science and management

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence has been applied in wildfire science and management since the 1990s, with early applications including neural networks and expert systems. Since then the field has rapidly progressed congruently with the wide adoption of machine learning (ML) in the environmental sciences. Here, we present a scoping review of ML in wildfire science and management. Our objective is to improve awareness of ML among wildfire scientists and managers, as well as illustrate the challenging range of problems in wildfire science available to data scientists. We first present an overview of popular ML approaches used in wildfire science to date, and then review their use in wildfire science within six problem domains: 1) fuels characterization, fire detection, and mapping; 2) fire weather and climate change; 3) fire occurrence, susceptibility, and risk; 4) fire behavior prediction; 5) fire effects; and 6) fire management. We also discuss the advantages and limitations of various ML approaches and identify opportunities for future advances in wildfire science and management within a data science context. We identified 298 relevant publications, where the most frequently used ML methods included random forests, MaxEnt, artificial neural networks, decision trees, support vector machines, and genetic algorithms. There exists opportunities to apply more current ML methods (e.g., deep learning and agent based learning) in wildfire science. However, despite the ability of ML models to learn on their own, expertise in wildfire science is necessary to ensure realistic modelling of fire processes across multiple scales, while the complexity of some ML methods requires sophisticated knowledge for their application. Finally, we stress that the wildfire research and management community plays an active role in providing relevant, high quality data for use by practitioners of ML methods.


Intelligence, physics and information -- the tradeoff between accuracy and simplicity in machine learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

How can we enable machines to make sense of the world, and become better at learning? To approach this goal, I believe viewing intelligence in terms of many integral aspects, and also a universal two-term tradeoff between task performance and complexity, provides two feasible perspectives. In this thesis, I address several key questions in some aspects of intelligence, and study the phase transitions in the two-term tradeoff, using strategies and tools from physics and information. Firstly, how can we make the learning models more flexible and efficient, so that agents can learn quickly with fewer examples? Inspired by how physicists model the world, we introduce a paradigm and an AI Physicist agent for simultaneously learning many small specialized models (theories) and the domain they are accurate, which can then be simplified, unified and stored, facilitating few-shot learning in a continual way. Secondly, for representation learning, when can we learn a good representation, and how does learning depend on the structure of the dataset? We approach this question by studying phase transitions when tuning the tradeoff hyperparameter. In the information bottleneck, we theoretically show that these phase transitions are predictable and reveal structure in the relationships between the data, the model, the learned representation and the loss landscape. Thirdly, how can agents discover causality from observations? We address part of this question by introducing an algorithm that combines prediction and minimizing information from the input, for exploratory causal discovery from observational time series. Fourthly, to make models more robust to label noise, we introduce Rank Pruning, a robust algorithm for classification with noisy labels. I believe that building on the work of my thesis we will be one step closer to enable more intelligent machines that can make sense of the world.


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.


Differentially Private Mixed-Type Data Generation For Unsupervised Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In this work we introduce the DP-auto-GAN framework for synthetic data generation, which combines the low dimensional representation of autoencoders with the flexibility of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). This framework can be used to take in raw sensitive data, and privately train a model for generating synthetic data that will satisfy the same statistical properties as the original data. This learned model can be used to generate arbitrary amounts of publicly available synthetic data, which can then be freely shared due to the post-processing guarantees of differential privacy. Our framework is applicable to unlabeled mixed-type data, that may include binary, categorical, and real-valued data. We implement this framework on both unlabeled binary data (MIMIC-III) and unlabeled mixed-type data (ADULT). We also introduce new metrics for evaluating the quality of synthetic mixed-type data, particularly in unsupervised settings.


Adversarial Examples in Modern Machine Learning: A Review

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent research has found that many families of machine learning models are vulnerable to adversarial examples: inputs that are specifically designed to cause the target model to produce erroneous outputs. In this survey, we focus on machine learning models in the visual domain, where methods for generating and detecting such examples have been most extensively studied. We explore a variety of adversarial attack methods that apply to image-space content, real world adversarial attacks, adversarial defenses, and the transferability property of adversarial examples. We also discuss strengths and weaknesses of various methods of adversarial attack and defense. Our aim is to provide an extensive coverage of the field, furnishing the reader with an intuitive understanding of the mechanics of adversarial attack and defense mechanisms and enlarging the community of researchers studying this fundamental set of problems.


AMPL: A Data-Driven Modeling Pipeline for Drug Discovery

arXiv.org Machine Learning

One of the key requirements for incorporating machine learning into the drug discovery process is complete reproducibility and traceabil-ity of the model building and evaluation process. With this in mind, we have developed an end-to-end modular and extensible software pipeline for building and sharing machine learning models that predict key pharma-relevant parameters. The ATOM Modeling PipeLine, or AMPL, extends the functionality of the open source library DeepChem and supports an array of machine learning and molecular featurization tools. We have benchmarked AMPL on a large collection of pharmaceutical datasets covering a wide range of parameters. Our key findings include: - Physicochemical descriptors and deep learning-based graph representations significantly outperform traditional fingerprints in the characterization of molecular features. Likewise, dataset size has a direct impact on model predictivity, independent of comprehensive hyperparameter model tuning. Our findings point to the need for public dataset integration or multi-task/transfer learning approaches. AMPL is open source and available for download at http://github.com/ATOMconsortium/ AMPL. Introduction Discovery of new compounds to treat human disease is a multifaceted process involving the selection of chemicals with favorable pharmacological properties: a high potency to the desired target, elimination or minimization of safety liabilities, and a favorable pharmacokinetic (PK) profile. To address this challenge, the drug discoverer has a wealth of choices, with total "drug-like" chemical matter estimated between 10 22 -10 60 unique molecules. Many of these molecules require de novo synthesis, which is a rate-limiting step.


Cataloging Accreted Stars within Gaia DR2 using Deep Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The goal of this paper is to develop a machine learning based approach that utilizes phase space alone to separate the Gaia DR2 stars into two categories: those accreted onto the Milky Way from in situ stars that were born within the Galaxy. Traditional selection methods that have been used to identify accreted stars typically rely on full 3D velocity and/or metallicity information, which significantly reduces the number of classifiable stars. The approach advocated here is applicable to a much larger fraction of Gaia DR2. A method known as transfer learning is shown to be effective through extensive testing on a set of mock Gaia catalogs that are based on the FIRE cosmological zoom-in hydrodynamic simulations of Milky Way-mass galaxies. The machine is first trained on simulated data using only 5D kinematics as inputs, and is then further trained on a cross-matched Gaia/RAVE data set, which improves sensitivity to properties of the real Milky Way. The result is a catalog that identifies ~650,000 accreted stars within Gaia DR2. This catalog can yield empirical insights into the merger history of the Milky Way, and could be used to infer properties of the dark matter distribution.