Collaborating Authors


Feature Selection for Learning to Predict Outcomes of Compute Cluster Jobs with Application to Decision Support Artificial Intelligence

We present a machine learning framework and a new test bed for data mining from the Slurm Workload Manager for high-performance computing (HPC) clusters. The focus was to find a method for selecting features to support decisions: helping users decide whether to resubmit failed jobs with boosted CPU and memory allocations or migrate them to a computing cloud. This task was cast as both supervised classification and regression learning, specifically, sequential problem solving suitable for reinforcement learning. Selecting relevant features can improve training accuracy, reduce training time, and produce a more comprehensible model, with an intelligent system that can explain predictions and inferences. We present a supervised learning model trained on a Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management (Slurm) data set of HPC jobs using three different techniques for selecting features: linear regression, lasso, and ridge regression. Our data set represented both HPC jobs that failed and those that succeeded, so our model was reliable, less likely to overfit, and generalizable. Our model achieved an R^2 of 95\% with 99\% accuracy. We identified five predictors for both CPU and memory properties.

Emergent Complexity and Zero-shot Transfer via Unsupervised Environment Design Artificial Intelligence

A wide range of reinforcement learning (RL) problems -- including robustness, transfer learning, unsupervised RL, and emergent complexity -- require specifying a distribution of tasks or environments in which a policy will be trained. However, creating a useful distribution of environments is error prone, and takes a significant amount of developer time and effort. We propose Unsupervised Environment Design (UED) as an alternative paradigm, where developers provide environments with unknown parameters, and these parameters are used to automatically produce a distribution over valid, solvable environments. Existing approaches to automatically generating environments suffer from common failure modes: domain randomization cannot generate structure or adapt the difficulty of the environment to the agent's learning progress, and minimax adversarial training leads to worst-case environments that are often unsolvable. To generate structured, solvable environments for our protagonist agent, we introduce a second, antagonist agent that is allied with the environment-generating adversary. The adversary is motivated to generate environments which maximize regret, defined as the difference between the protagonist and antagonist agent's return. We call our technique Protagonist Antagonist Induced Regret Environment Design (PAIRED). Our experiments demonstrate that PAIRED produces a natural curriculum of increasingly complex environments, and PAIRED agents achieve higher zero-shot transfer performance when tested in highly novel environments.

Applied Machine Learning for Games: A Graduate School Course Artificial Intelligence

The game industry is moving into an era where old-style game engines are being replaced by re-engineered systems with embedded machine learning technologies for the operation, analysis and understanding of game play. In this paper, we describe our machine learning course designed for graduate students interested in applying recent advances of deep learning and reinforcement learning towards gaming. This course serves as a bridge to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among graduate schools and does not require prior experience designing or building games. Graduate students enrolled in this course apply different fields of machine learning techniques such as computer vision, natural language processing, computer graphics, human computer interaction, robotics and data analysis to solve open challenges in gaming. Student projects cover use-cases such as training AI-bots in gaming benchmark environments and competitions, understanding human decision patterns in gaming, and creating intelligent non-playable characters or environments to foster engaging gameplay. Projects demos can help students open doors for an industry career, aim for publications, or lay the foundations of a future product. Our students gained hands-on experience in applying state of the art machine learning techniques to solve real-life problems in gaming.

Empowering Things with Intelligence: A Survey of the Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities in Artificial Intelligence of Things Artificial Intelligence

In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, billions of sensors and devices collect and process data from the environment, transmit them to cloud centers, and receive feedback via the internet for connectivity and perception. However, transmitting massive amounts of heterogeneous data, perceiving complex environments from these data, and then making smart decisions in a timely manner are difficult. Artificial intelligence (AI), especially deep learning, is now a proven success in various areas including computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. AI introduced into the IoT heralds the era of artificial intelligence of things (AIoT). This paper presents a comprehensive survey on AIoT to show how AI can empower the IoT to make it faster, smarter, greener, and safer. Specifically, we briefly present the AIoT architecture in the context of cloud computing, fog computing, and edge computing. Then, we present progress in AI research for IoT from four perspectives: perceiving, learning, reasoning, and behaving. Next, we summarize some promising applications of AIoT that are likely to profoundly reshape our world. Finally, we highlight the challenges facing AIoT and some potential research opportunities.

Dialog Simulation with Realistic Variations for Training Goal-Oriented Conversational Systems Artificial Intelligence

Goal-oriented dialog systems enable users to complete specific goals like requesting information about a movie or booking a ticket. Typically the dialog system pipeline contains multiple ML models, including natural language understanding, state tracking and action prediction (policy learning). These models are trained through a combination of supervised or reinforcement learning methods and therefore require collection of labeled domain specific datasets. However, collecting annotated datasets with language and dialog-flow variations is expensive, time-consuming and scales poorly due to human involvement. In this paper, we propose an approach for automatically creating a large corpus of annotated dialogs from a few thoroughly annotated sample dialogs and the dialog schema. Our approach includes a novel goal-sampling technique for sampling plausible user goals and a dialog simulation technique that uses heuristic interplay between the user and the system (Alexa), where the user tries to achieve the sampled goal. We validate our approach by generating data and training three different downstream conversational ML models. We achieve 18 ? 50% relative accuracy improvements on a held-out test set compared to a baseline dialog generation approach that only samples natural language and entity value variations from existing catalogs but does not generate any novel dialog flow variations. We also qualitatively establish that the proposed approach is better than the baseline. Moreover, several different conversational experiences have been built using this method, which enables customers to have a wide variety of conversations with Alexa.

Reinforced Deep Markov Models With Applications in Automatic Trading Machine Learning

Inspired by the developments in deep generative models, we propose a model-based RL approach, coined Reinforced Deep Markov Model (RDMM), designed to integrate desirable properties of a reinforcement learning algorithm acting as an automatic trading system. The network architecture allows for the possibility that market dynamics are partially visible and are potentially modified by the agent's actions. The RDMM filters incomplete and noisy data, to create better-behaved input data for RL planning. The policy search optimisation also properly accounts for state uncertainty. Due to the complexity of the RKDF model architecture, we performed ablation studies to understand the contributions of individual components of the approach better. To test the financial performance of the RDMM we implement policies using variants of Q-Learning, DynaQ-ARIMA and DynaQ-LSTM algorithms. The experiments show that the RDMM is data-efficient and provides financial gains compared to the benchmarks in the optimal execution problem. The performance improvement becomes more pronounced when price dynamics are more complex, and this has been demonstrated using real data sets from the limit order book of Facebook, Intel, Vodafone and Microsoft.

A Few Shot Adaptation of Visual Navigation Skills to New Observations using Meta-Learning Artificial Intelligence

Target-driven visual navigation is a challenging problem that requires a robot to find the goal using only visual inputs. Many researchers have demonstrated promising results using deep reinforcement learning (deep RL) on various robotic platforms, but typical end-to-end learning is known for its poor extrapolation capability to new scenarios. Therefore, learning a navigation policy for a new robot with a new sensor configuration or a new target still remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we introduce a learning algorithm that enables rapid adaptation to new sensor configurations or target objects with a few shots. We design a policy architecture with latent features between perception and inference networks and quickly adapt the perception network via meta-learning while freezing the inference network. Our experiments show that our algorithm adapts the learned navigation policy with only three shots for unseen situations with different sensor configurations or different target colors. We also analyze the proposed algorithm by investigating various hyperparameters.

Observation Space Matters: Benchmark and Optimization Algorithm Artificial Intelligence

Recent advances in deep reinforcement learning (deep RL) enable researchers to solve challenging control problems, from simulated environments to real-world robotic tasks. However, deep RL algorithms are known to be sensitive to the problem formulation, including observation spaces, action spaces, and reward functions. There exist numerous choices for observation spaces but they are often designed solely based on prior knowledge due to the lack of established principles. In this work, we conduct benchmark experiments to verify common design choices for observation spaces, such as Cartesian transformation, binary contact flags, a short history, or global positions. Then we propose a search algorithm to find the optimal observation spaces, which examines various candidate observation spaces and removes unnecessary observation channels with a Dropout-Permutation test. We demonstrate that our algorithm significantly improves learning speed compared to manually designed observation spaces. We also analyze the proposed algorithm by evaluating different hyperparameters.

Reinforcement Learning with Efficient Active Feature Acquisition Artificial Intelligence

Solving real-life sequential decision making problems under partial observability involves an exploration-exploitation problem. To be successful, an agent needs to efficiently gather valuable information about the state of the world for making rewarding decisions. However, in real-life, acquiring valuable information is often highly costly, e.g., in the medical domain, information acquisition might correspond to performing a medical test on a patient. This poses a significant challenge for the agent to perform optimally for the task while reducing the cost for information acquisition. In this paper, we propose a model-based reinforcement learning framework that learns an active feature acquisition policy to solve the exploration-exploitation problem during its execution. Key to the success is a novel sequential variational auto-encoder that learns high-quality representations from partially observed states, which are then used by the policy to maximize the task reward in a cost efficient manner. We demonstrate the efficacy of our proposed framework in a control domain as well as using a medical simulator. In both tasks, our proposed method outperforms conventional baselines and results in policies with greater cost efficiency.

Instance based Generalization in Reinforcement Learning Machine Learning

Agents trained via deep reinforcement learning (RL) routinely fail to generalize to unseen environments, even when these share the same underlying dynamics as the training levels. Understanding the generalization properties of RL is one of the challenges of modern machine learning. Towards this goal, we analyze policy learning in the context of Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs) and formalize the dynamics of training levels as instances. We prove that, independently of the exploration strategy, reusing instances introduces significant changes on the effective Markov dynamics the agent observes during training. Maximizing expected rewards impacts the learned belief state of the agent by inducing undesired instance-specific speed-running policies instead of generalizable ones, which are sub-optimal on the training set. We provide generalization bounds to the value gap in train and test environments based on the number of training instances, and use insights based on these to improve performance on unseen levels. We propose training a shared belief representation over an ensemble of specialized policies, from which we compute a consensus policy that is used for data collection, disallowing instance-specific exploitation. We experimentally validate our theory, observations, and the proposed computational solution over the CoinRun benchmark.