Collaborating Authors


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.

Quality-Diversity Optimization: a novel branch of stochastic optimization Machine Learning

Traditional optimization algorithms search for a single global optimum that maximizes (or minimizes) the objective function. Multimodal optimization algorithms search for the highest peaks in the search space that can be more than one. Quality-Diversity algorithms are a recent addition to the evolutionary computation toolbox that do not only search for a single set of local optima, but instead try to illuminate the search space. In effect, they provide a holistic view of how high-performing solutions are distributed throughout a search space. The main differences with multimodal optimization algorithms are that (1) Quality-Diversity typically works in the behavioral space (or feature space), and not in the genotypic (or parameter) space, and (2) Quality-Diversity attempts to fill the whole behavior space, even if the niche is not a peak in the fitness landscape. In this chapter, we provide a gentle introduction to Quality-Diversity optimization, discuss the main representative algorithms, and the main current topics under consideration in the community. Throughout the chapter, we also discuss several successful applications of Quality-Diversity algorithms, including deep learning, robotics, and reinforcement learning.

Beyond I.I.D.: Three Levels of Generalization for Question Answering on Knowledge Bases Artificial Intelligence

Existing studies on question answering on knowledge bases (KBQA) mainly operate with the standard i.i.d assumption, i.e., training distribution over questions is the same as the test distribution. However, i.i.d may be neither reasonably achievable nor desirable on large-scale KBs because 1) true user distribution is hard to capture and 2) randomly sample training examples from the enormous space would be highly data-inefficient. Instead, we suggest that KBQA models should have three levels of built-in generalization: i.i.d, compositional, and zero-shot. To facilitate the development of KBQA models with stronger generalization, we construct and release a new large-scale, high-quality dataset with 64,331 questions, GrailQA, and provide evaluation settings for all three levels of generalization. In addition, we propose a novel BERT-based KBQA model. The combination of our dataset and model enables us to thoroughly examine and demonstrate, for the first time, the key role of pre-trained contextual embeddings like BERT in the generalization of KBQA.

Visual Perception Generalization for Vision-and-Language Navigation via Meta-Learning Artificial Intelligence

Vision-and-language navigation (VLN) is a challenging task that requires an agent to navigate in real-world environments by understanding natural language instructions and visual information received in real-time. Prior works have implemented VLN tasks on continuous environments or physical robots, all of which use a fixed camera configuration due to the limitations of datasets, such as 1.5 meters height, 90 degrees horizontal field of view (HFOV), etc. However, real-life robots with different purposes have multiple camera configurations, and the huge gap in visual information makes it difficult to directly transfer the learned navigation model between various robots. In this paper, we propose a visual perception generalization strategy based on meta-learning, which enables the agent to fast adapt to a new camera configuration with a few shots. In the training phase, we first locate the generalization problem to the visual perception module, and then compare two meta-learning algorithms for better generalization in seen and unseen environments. One of them uses the Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning (MAML) algorithm that requires a few shot adaptation, and the other refers to a metric-based meta-learning method with a feature-wise affine transformation layer. The experiment results show that our strategy successfully adapts the learned navigation model to a new camera configuration, and the two algorithms show their advantages in seen and unseen environments respectively.

Revisiting Iterative Back-Translation from the Perspective of Compositional Generalization Artificial Intelligence

Human intelligence exhibits compositional generalization (i.e., the capacity to understand and produce unseen combinations of seen components), but current neural seq2seq models lack such ability. In this paper, we revisit iterative back-translation, a simple yet effective semi-supervised method, to investigate whether and how it can improve compositional generalization. In this work: (1) We first empirically show that iterative back-translation substantially improves the performance on compositional generalization benchmarks (CFQ and SCAN). (2) To understand why iterative back-translation is useful, we carefully examine the performance gains and find that iterative back-translation can increasingly correct errors in pseudo-parallel data. (3) To further encourage this mechanism, we propose curriculum iterative back-translation, which better improves the quality of pseudo-parallel data, thus further improving the performance.

Estimation of Gas Turbine Shaft Torque and Fuel Flow of a CODLAG Propulsion System Using Genetic Programming Algorithm Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, the publicly available dataset of condition based maintenance of combined diesel-electric and gas (CODLAG) propulsion system for ships has been utilized to obtain symbolic expressions which could estimate gas turbine shaft torque and fuel flow using genetic programming (GP) algorithm. The entire dataset consists of 11934 samples that was divided into training and testing portions of dataset in an 80:20 ratio. The training dataset used to train the GP algorithm to obtain symbolic expressions for gas turbine shaft torque and fuel flow estimation consisted of 9548 samples. The best symbolic expressions obtained for gas turbine shaft torque and fuel flow estimation were obtained based on their $R^2$ score generated as a result of the application of the testing portion of the dataset on the aforementioned symbolic expressions. The testing portion of the dataset consisted of 2386 samples. The three best symbolic expressions obtained for gas turbine shaft torque estimation generated $R^2$ scores of 0.999201, 0.999296, and 0.999374, respectively. The three best symbolic expressions obtained for fuel flow estimation generated $R^2$ scores of 0.995495, 0.996465, and 0.996487, respectively.

A multi-agent evolutionary robotics framework to train spiking neural networks Artificial Intelligence

A novel multi-agent evolutionary robotics (ER) based framework, inspired by competitive evolutionary environments in nature, is demonstrated for training Spiking Neural Networks (SNN). The weights of a population of SNNs along with morphological parameters of bots they control in the ER environment are treated as phenotypes. Rules of the framework select certain bots and their SNNs for reproduction and others for elimination based on their efficacy in capturing food in a competitive environment. While the bots and their SNNs are given no explicit reward to survive or reproduce via any loss function, these drives emerge implicitly as they evolve to hunt food and survive within these rules. Their efficiency in capturing food as a function of generations exhibit the evolutionary signature of punctuated equilibria. Two evolutionary inheritance algorithms on the phenotypes, Mutation and Crossover with Mutation, are demonstrated. Performances of these algorithms are compared using ensembles of 100 experiments for each algorithm. We find that Crossover with Mutation promotes 40% faster learning in the SNN than mere Mutation with a statistically significant margin.

Cross-Modal Generalization: Learning in Low Resource Modalities via Meta-Alignment Artificial Intelligence

The natural world is abundant with concepts expressed via visual, acoustic, tactile, and linguistic modalities. Much of the existing progress in multimodal learning, however, focuses primarily on problems where the same set of modalities are present at train and test time, which makes learning in low-resource modalities particularly difficult. In this work, we propose algorithms for cross-modal generalization: a learning paradigm to train a model that can (1) quickly perform new tasks in a target modality (i.e. meta-learning) and (2) doing so while being trained on a different source modality. We study a key research question: how can we ensure generalization across modalities despite using separate encoders for different source and target modalities? Our solution is based on meta-alignment, a novel method to align representation spaces using strongly and weakly paired cross-modal data while ensuring quick generalization to new tasks across different modalities. We study this problem on 3 classification tasks: text to image, image to audio, and text to speech. Our results demonstrate strong performance even when the new target modality has only a few (1-10) labeled samples and in the presence of noisy labels, a scenario particularly prevalent in low-resource modalities.

Intrusion Detection Systems for IoT: opportunities and challenges offered by Edge Computing Artificial Intelligence

Key components of current cybersecurity methods are the Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) were different techniques and architectures are applied to detect intrusions. IDSs can be based either on cross-checking monitored events with a database of known intrusion experiences, known as signature-based, or on learning the normal behavior of the system and reporting whether some anomalous events occur, named anomaly-based. This work is dedicated to the application to the Internet of Things (IoT) network where edge computing is used to support the IDS implementation. New challenges that arise when deploying an IDS in an edge scenario are identified and remedies are proposed. We focus on anomaly-based IDSs, showing the main techniques that can be leveraged to detect anomalies and we present machine learning techniques and their application in the context of an IDS, describing the expected advantages and disadvantages that a specific technique could cause.

Generalization and Memorization: The Bias Potential Model Machine Learning

Models for learning probability distributions such as generative models and density estimators behave quite differently from models for learning functions. One example is found in the memorization phenomenon, namely the ultimate convergence to the empirical distribution, that occurs in generative adversarial networks (GANs). For this reason, the issue of generalization is more subtle than that for supervised learning. For the bias potential model, we show that dimension-independent generalization accuracy is achievable if early stopping is adopted, despite that in the long term, the model either memorizes the samples or diverges.