Collaborating Authors


Improving Test Case Generation for REST APIs Through Hierarchical Clustering Artificial Intelligence

With the ever-increasing use of web APIs in modern-day applications, it is becoming more important to test the system as a whole. In the last decade, tools and approaches have been proposed to automate the creation of system-level test cases for these APIs using evolutionary algorithms (EAs). One of the limiting factors of EAs is that the genetic operators (crossover and mutation) are fully randomized, potentially breaking promising patterns in the sequences of API requests discovered during the search. Breaking these patterns has a negative impact on the effectiveness of the test case generation process. To address this limitation, this paper proposes a new approach that uses agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) to infer a linkage tree model, which captures, replicates, and preserves these patterns in new test cases. We evaluate our approach, called LT-MOSA, by performing an empirical study on 7 real-world benchmark applications w.r.t. branch coverage and real-fault detection capability. We also compare LT-MOSA with the two existing state-of-the-art white-box techniques (MIO, MOSA) for REST API testing. Our results show that LT-MOSA achieves a statistically significant increase in test target coverage (i.e., lines and branches) compared to MIO and MOSA in 4 and 5 out of 7 applications, respectively. Furthermore, LT-MOSA discovers 27 and 18 unique real-faults that are left undetected by MIO and MOSA, respectively.

Towards Personalized and Human-in-the-Loop Document Summarization Artificial Intelligence

The ubiquitous availability of computing devices and the widespread use of the internet have generated a large amount of data continuously. Therefore, the amount of available information on any given topic is far beyond humans' processing capacity to properly process, causing what is known as information overload. To efficiently cope with large amounts of information and generate content with significant value to users, we require identifying, merging and summarising information. Data summaries can help gather related information and collect it into a shorter format that enables answering complicated questions, gaining new insight and discovering conceptual boundaries. This thesis focuses on three main challenges to alleviate information overload using novel summarisation techniques. It further intends to facilitate the analysis of documents to support personalised information extraction. This thesis separates the research issues into four areas, covering (i) feature engineering in document summarisation, (ii) traditional static and inflexible summaries, (iii) traditional generic summarisation approaches, and (iv) the need for reference summaries. We propose novel approaches to tackle these challenges, by: i)enabling automatic intelligent feature engineering, ii) enabling flexible and interactive summarisation, iii) utilising intelligent and personalised summarisation approaches. The experimental results prove the efficiency of the proposed approaches compared to other state-of-the-art models. We further propose solutions to the information overload problem in different domains through summarisation, covering network traffic data, health data and business process data.

AI in Finance: Challenges, Techniques and Opportunities Artificial Intelligence

AI in finance broadly refers to the applications of AI techniques in financial businesses. This area has been lasting for decades with both classic and modern AI techniques applied to increasingly broader areas of finance, economy and society. In contrast to either discussing the problems, aspects and opportunities of finance that have benefited from specific AI techniques and in particular some new-generation AI and data science (AIDS) areas or reviewing the progress of applying specific techniques to resolving certain financial problems, this review offers a comprehensive and dense roadmap of the overwhelming challenges, techniques and opportunities of AI research in finance over the past decades. The landscapes and challenges of financial businesses and data are firstly outlined, followed by a comprehensive categorization and a dense overview of the decades of AI research in finance. We then structure and illustrate the data-driven analytics and learning of financial businesses and data. The comparison, criticism and discussion of classic vs. modern AI techniques for finance are followed. Lastly, open issues and opportunities address future AI-empowered finance and finance-motivated AI research.

The Effects of Learning in Morphologically Evolving Robot Systems Artificial Intelligence

When controllers (brains) and morphologies (bodies) of robots simultaneously evolve, this can lead to a problem, namely the brain & body mismatch problem. In this research, we propose a solution of lifetime learning. We set up a system where modular robots can create offspring that inherit the bodies of parents by recombination and mutation. With regards to the brains of the offspring, we use two methods to create them. The first one entails solely evolution which means the brain of a robot child is inherited from its parents. The second approach is evolution plus learning which means the brain of a child is inherited as well, but additionally is developed by a learning algorithm - RevDEknn. We compare these two methods by running experiments in a simulator called Revolve and use efficiency, efficacy, and the morphology intelligence of the robots for the comparison. The experiments show that the evolution plus learning method does not only lead to a higher fitness level, but also to more morphologically evolving robots. This constitutes a quantitative demonstration that changes in the brain can induce changes in the body, leading to the concept of morphological intelligence, which is quantified by the learning delta, meaning the ability of a morphology to facilitate learning.

Hyperparameter Optimization: Foundations, Algorithms, Best Practices and Open Challenges Machine Learning

Most machine learning algorithms are configured by one or several hyperparameters that must be carefully chosen and often considerably impact performance. To avoid a time consuming and unreproducible manual trial-and-error process to find well-performing hyperparameter configurations, various automatic hyperparameter optimization (HPO) methods, e.g., based on resampling error estimation for supervised machine learning, can be employed. After introducing HPO from a general perspective, this paper reviews important HPO methods such as grid or random search, evolutionary algorithms, Bayesian optimization, Hyperband and racing. It gives practical recommendations regarding important choices to be made when conducting HPO, including the HPO algorithms themselves, performance evaluation, how to combine HPO with ML pipelines, runtime improvements, and parallelization.

Out of Distribution Generalization in Machine Learning Machine Learning

Machine learning has achieved tremendous success in a variety of domains in recent years. However, a lot of these success stories have been in places where the training and the testing distributions are extremely similar to each other. In everyday situations when models are tested in slightly different data than they were trained on, ML algorithms can fail spectacularly. This research attempts to formally define this problem, what sets of assumptions are reasonable to make in our data and what kind of guarantees we hope to obtain from them. Then, we focus on a certain class of out of distribution problems, their assumptions, and introduce simple algorithms that follow from these assumptions that are able to provide more reliable generalization. A central topic in the thesis is the strong link between discovering the causal structure of the data, finding features that are reliable (when using them to predict) regardless of their context, and out of distribution generalization.

Neurocognitive Informatics Manifesto Artificial Intelligence

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.

A Survey on the Explainability of Supervised Machine Learning

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Predictions obtained by, e.g., artificial neural networks have a high accuracy but humans often perceive the models as black boxes. Insights about the decision making are mostly opaque for humans. Particularly understanding the decision making in highly sensitive areas such as healthcare or finance, is of paramount importance. The decision-making behind the black boxes requires it to be more transparent, accountable, and understandable for humans. This survey paper provides essential definitions, an overview of the different principles and methodologies of explainable Supervised Machine Learning (SML). We conduct a state-of-the-art survey that reviews past and recent explainable SML approaches and classifies them according to the introduced definitions. Finally, we illustrate principles by means of an explanatory case study and discuss important future directions.

AutonoML: Towards an Integrated Framework for Autonomous Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence

Over the last decade, the long-running endeavour to automate high-level processes in machine learning (ML) has risen to mainstream prominence, stimulated by advances in optimisation techniques and their impact on selecting ML models/algorithms. Central to this drive is the appeal of engineering a computational system that both discovers and deploys high-performance solutions to arbitrary ML problems with minimal human interaction. Beyond this, an even loftier goal is the pursuit of autonomy, which describes the capability of the system to independently adjust an ML solution over a lifetime of changing contexts. However, these ambitions are unlikely to be achieved in a robust manner without the broader synthesis of various mechanisms and theoretical frameworks, which, at the present time, remain scattered across numerous research threads. Accordingly, this review seeks to motivate a more expansive perspective on what constitutes an automated/autonomous ML system, alongside consideration of how best to consolidate those elements. In doing so, we survey developments in the following research areas: hyperparameter optimisation, multi-component models, neural architecture search, automated feature engineering, meta-learning, multi-level ensembling, dynamic adaptation, multi-objective evaluation, resource constraints, flexible user involvement, and the principles of generalisation. We also develop a conceptual framework throughout the review, augmented by each topic, to illustrate one possible way of fusing high-level mechanisms into an autonomous ML system. Ultimately, we conclude that the notion of architectural integration deserves more discussion, without which the field of automated ML risks stifling both its technical advantages and general uptake.

Are we Forgetting about Compositional Optimisers in Bayesian Optimisation? Machine Learning

Bayesian optimisation presents a sample-efficient methodology for global optimisation. Within this framework, a crucial performance-determining subroutine is the maximisation of the acquisition function, a task complicated by the fact that acquisition functions tend to be non-convex and thus nontrivial to optimise. In this paper, we undertake a comprehensive empirical study of approaches to maximise the acquisition function. Additionally, by deriving novel, yet mathematically equivalent, compositional forms for popular acquisition functions, we recast the maximisation task as a compositional optimisation problem, allowing us to benefit from the extensive literature in this field. We highlight the empirical advantages of the compositional approach to acquisition function maximisation across 3958 individual experiments comprising synthetic optimisation tasks as well as tasks from Bayesmark. Given the generality of the acquisition function maximisation subroutine, we posit that the adoption of compositional optimisers has the potential to yield performance improvements across all domains in which Bayesian optimisation is currently being applied.