Collaborating Authors


The Model Counting Competition 2020 Artificial Intelligence

Many computational problems in modern society account to probabilistic reasoning, statistics, and combinatorics. A variety of these real-world questions can be solved by representing the question in (Boolean) formulas and associating the number of models of the formula directly with the answer to the question. Since there has been an increasing interest in practical problem solving for model counting over the last years, the Model Counting (MC) Competition was conceived in fall 2019. The competition aims to foster applications, identify new challenging benchmarks, and to promote new solvers and improve established solvers for the model counting problem and versions thereof. We hope that the results can be a good indicator of the current feasibility of model counting and spark many new applications. In this paper, we report on details of the Model Counting Competition 2020, about carrying out the competition, and the results. The competition encompassed three versions of the model counting problem, which we evaluated in separate tracks. The first track featured the model counting problem (MC), which asks for the number of models of a given Boolean formula. On the second track, we challenged developers to submit programs that solve the weighted model counting problem (WMC). The last track was dedicated to projected model counting (PMC). In total, we received a surprising number of 9 solvers in 34 versions from 8 groups.

Machine Reasoning Explainability Artificial Intelligence

As a field of AI, Machine Reasoning (MR) uses largely symbolic means to formalize and emulate abstract reasoning. Studies in early MR have notably started inquiries into Explainable AI (XAI) -- arguably one of the biggest concerns today for the AI community. Work on explainable MR as well as on MR approaches to explainability in other areas of AI has continued ever since. It is especially potent in modern MR branches, such as argumentation, constraint and logic programming, planning. We hereby aim to provide a selective overview of MR explainability techniques and studies in hopes that insights from this long track of research will complement well the current XAI landscape. This document reports our work in-progress on MR explainability.

Bridging the Gap Between Probabilistic Model Checking and Probabilistic Planning: Survey, Compilations, and Empirical Comparison

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Markov decision processes are of major interest in the planning community as well as in the model checking community. But in spite of the similarity in the considered formal models, the development of new techniques and methods happened largely independently in both communities. This work is intended as a beginning to unite the two research branches. We consider goal-reachability analysis as a common basis between both communities. The core of this paper is the translation from Jani, an overarching input language for quantitative model checkers, into the probabilistic planning domain definition language (PPDDL), and vice versa from PPDDL into Jani. These translations allow the creation of an overarching benchmark collection, including existing case studies from the model checking community, as well as benchmarks from the international probabilistic planning competitions (IPPC). We use this benchmark set as a basis for an extensive empirical comparison of various approaches from the model checking community, variants of value iteration, and MDP heuristic search algorithms developed by the AI planning community. On a per benchmark domain basis, techniques from one community can achieve state-ofthe-art performance in benchmarks of the other community. Across all benchmark domains of one community, the performance comparison is however in favor of the solvers and algorithms of that particular community. Reasons are the design of the benchmarks, as well as tool-related limitations. Our translation methods and benchmark collection foster crossfertilization between both communities, pointing out specific opportunities for widening the scope of solvers to different kinds of models, as well as for exchanging and adopting algorithms across communities.

The Tensor Brain: Semantic Decoding for Perception and Memory Artificial Intelligence

We analyse perception and memory using mathematical models for knowledge graphs and tensors to gain insights in the corresponding functionalities of the human mind. Our discussion is based on the concept of propositional sentences consisting of \textit{subject-predicate-object} (SPO) triples for expressing elementary facts. SPO sentences are the basis for most natural languages but might also be important for explicit perception and declarative memories, as well as intra-brain communication and the ability to argue and reason. A set of SPO sentences can be described as a knowledge graph, which can be transformed into an adjacency tensor. We introduce tensor models, where concepts have dual representations as indices and associated embeddings, two constructs we believe are essential for the understanding of implicit and explicit perception and memory in the brain. We argue that a biological realization of perception and memory imposes constraints on information processing. In particular, we propose that explicit perception and declarative memories require a semantic decoder, which, in a simple realization, is based on four layers: First, a sensory memory layer, as a buffer for sensory input, second, an index layer representing concepts, third, a memoryless representation layer for the broadcasting of information and fourth, a working memory layer as a processing center and data buffer. In a Bayesian brain interpretation, semantic memory defines the prior for triple statements. We propose that, in evolution and during development, semantic memory, episodic memory and natural language evolved as emergent properties in the agents' process to gain deeper understanding of sensory information. We present a concrete model realization and validate some aspects of our proposed model on benchmark data where we demonstrate state-of-the-art performance.

From Shallow to Deep Interactions Between Knowledge Representation, Reasoning and Machine Learning (Kay R. Amel group) Artificial Intelligence

This paper proposes a tentative and original survey of meeting points between Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KRR) and Machine Learning (ML), two areas which have been developing quite separately in the last three decades. Some common concerns are identified and discussed such as the types of used representation, the roles of knowledge and data, the lack or the excess of information, or the need for explanations and causal understanding. Then some methodologies combining reasoning and learning are reviewed (such as inductive logic programming, neuro-symbolic reasoning, formal concept analysis, rule-based representations and ML, uncertainty in ML, or case-based reasoning and analogical reasoning), before discussing examples of synergies between KRR and ML (including topics such as belief functions on regression, EM algorithm versus revision, the semantic description of vector representations, the combination of deep learning with high level inference, knowledge graph completion, declarative frameworks for data mining, or preferences and recommendation). This paper is the first step of a work in progress aiming at a better mutual understanding of research in KRR and ML, and how they could cooperate.

Reasoning-Driven Question-Answering for Natural Language Understanding Artificial Intelligence

Natural language understanding (NLU) of text is a fundamental challenge in AI, and it has received significant attention throughout the history of NLP research. This primary goal has been studied under different tasks, such as Question Answering (QA) and Textual Entailment (TE). In this thesis, we investigate the NLU problem through the QA task and focus on the aspects that make it a challenge for the current state-of-the-art technology. This thesis is organized into three main parts: In the first part, we explore multiple formalisms to improve existing machine comprehension systems. We propose a formulation for abductive reasoning in natural language and show its effectiveness, especially in domains with limited training data. Additionally, to help reasoning systems cope with irrelevant or redundant information, we create a supervised approach to learn and detect the essential terms in questions. In the second part, we propose two new challenge datasets. In particular, we create two datasets of natural language questions where (i) the first one requires reasoning over multiple sentences; (ii) the second one requires temporal common sense reasoning. We hope that the two proposed datasets will motivate the field to address more complex problems. In the final part, we present the first formal framework for multi-step reasoning algorithms, in the presence of a few important properties of language use, such as incompleteness, ambiguity, etc. We apply this framework to prove fundamental limitations for reasoning algorithms. These theoretical results provide extra intuition into the existing empirical evidence in the field.

Visions of a generalized probability theory Artificial Intelligence

In this Book we argue that the fruitful interaction of computer vision and belief calculus is capable of stimulating significant advances in both fields. From a methodological point of view, novel theoretical results concerning the geometric and algebraic properties of belief functions as mathematical objects are illustrated and discussed in Part II, with a focus on both a perspective 'geometric approach' to uncertainty and an algebraic solution to the issue of conflicting evidence. In Part III we show how these theoretical developments arise from important computer vision problems (such as articulated object tracking, data association and object pose estimation) to which, in turn, the evidential formalism is able to provide interesting new solutions. Finally, some initial steps towards a generalization of the notion of total probability to belief functions are taken, in the perspective of endowing the theory of evidence with a complete battery of estimation and inference tools to the benefit of all scientists and practitioners.

An Introduction to Probabilistic Programming Artificial Intelligence

This document is designed to be a first-year graduate-level introduction to probabilistic programming. It not only provides a thorough background for anyone wishing to use a probabilistic programming system, but also introduces the techniques needed to design and build these systems. It is aimed at people who have an undergraduate-level understanding of either or, ideally, both probabilistic machine learning and programming languages. We start with a discussion of model-based reasoning and explain why conditioning as a foundational computation is central to the fields of probabilistic machine learning and artificial intelligence. We then introduce a simple first-order probabilistic programming language (PPL) whose programs define static-computation-graph, finite-variable-cardinality models. In the context of this restricted PPL we introduce fundamental inference algorithms and describe how they can be implemented in the context of models denoted by probabilistic programs. In the second part of this document, we introduce a higher-order probabilistic programming language, with a functionality analogous to that of established programming languages. This affords the opportunity to define models with dynamic computation graphs, at the cost of requiring inference methods that generate samples by repeatedly executing the program. Foundational inference algorithms for this kind of probabilistic programming language are explained in the context of an interface between program executions and an inference controller. This document closes with a chapter on advanced topics which we believe to be, at the time of writing, interesting directions for probabilistic programming research; directions that point towards a tight integration with deep neural network research and the development of systems for next-generation artificial intelligence applications.

Exploiting Treewidth for Projected Model Counting and its Limits Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we introduce a novel algorithm to solve projected model counting (PMC). PMC asks to count solutions of a Boolean formula with respect to a given set of projected variables, where multiple solutions that are identical when restricted to the projected variables count as only one solution. Our algorithm exploits small treewidth of the primal graph of the input instance. It runs in time $O({2^{2^{k+4}} n^2})$ where k is the treewidth and n is the input size of the instance. In other words, we obtain that the problem PMC is fixed-parameter tractable when parameterized by treewidth. Further, we take the exponential time hypothesis (ETH) into consideration and establish lower bounds of bounded treewidth algorithms for PMC, yielding asymptotically tight runtime bounds of our algorithm.

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Artificial Intelligence

The recent successes of AI have captured the wildest imagination of both the scientific communities and the general public. Robotics and AI amplify human potentials, increase productivity and are moving from simple reasoning towards human-like cognitive abilities. Current AI technologies are used in a set area of applications, ranging from healthcare, manufacturing, transport, energy, to financial services, banking, advertising, management consulting and government agencies. The global AI market is around 260 billion USD in 2016 and it is estimated to exceed 3 trillion by 2024. To understand the impact of AI, it is important to draw lessons from it's past successes and failures and this white paper provides a comprehensive explanation of the evolution of AI, its current status and future directions.