Collaborating Authors


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.

A New Constructive Heuristic driven by Machine Learning for the Traveling Salesman Problem Artificial Intelligence

Recent systems applying Machine Learning (ML) to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) exhibit issues when they try to scale up to real case scenarios with several hundred vertices. The use of Candidate Lists (CLs) has been brought up to cope with the issues. The procedure allows to restrict the search space during solution creation, consequently reducing the solver computational burden. So far, ML were engaged to create CLs and values on the edges of these CLs expressing ML preferences at solution insertion. Although promising, these systems do not clearly restrict what the ML learns and does to create solutions, bringing with them some generalization issues. Therefore, motivated by exploratory and statistical studies, in this work we instead use a machine learning model to confirm the addition in the solution just for high probable edges. CLs of the high probable edge are employed as input, and the ML is in charge of distinguishing cases where such edges are in the optimal solution from those where they are not. . This strategy enables a better generalization and creates an efficient balance between machine learning and searching techniques. Our ML-Constructive heuristic is trained on small instances. Then, it is able to produce solutions, without losing quality, to large problems as well. We compare our results with classic constructive heuristics, showing good performances for TSPLIB instances up to 1748 cities. Although our heuristic exhibits an expensive constant time operation, we proved that the computational complexity in worst-case scenario, for the solution construction after training, is $O(n^2 \log n^2)$, being $n$ the number of vertices in the TSP instance.

The application of artificial intelligence in software engineering: a review challenging conventional wisdom Artificial Intelligence

The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is witnessing a recent upsurge in research, tools development, and deployment of applications. Multiple software companies are shifting their focus to developing intelligent systems; and many others are deploying AI paradigms to their existing processes. In parallel, the academic research community is injecting AI paradigms to provide solutions to traditional engineering problems. Similarly, AI has evidently been proved useful to software engineering (SE). When one observes the SE phases (requirements, design, development, testing, release, and maintenance), it becomes clear that multiple AI paradigms (such as neural networks, machine learning, knowledge-based systems, natural language processing) could be applied to improve the process and eliminate many of the major challenges that the SE field has been facing. This survey chapter is a review of the most commonplace methods of AI applied to SE. The review covers methods between years 1975-2017, for the requirements phase, 46 major AI-driven methods are found, 19 for design, 15 for development, 68 for testing, and 15 for release and maintenance. Furthermore, the purpose of this chapter is threefold; firstly, to answer the following questions: is there sufficient intelligence in the SE lifecycle? What does applying AI to SE entail? Secondly, to measure, formulize, and evaluate the overlap of SE phases and AI disciplines. Lastly, this chapter aims to provide serious questions to challenging the current conventional wisdom (i.e., status quo) of the state-of-the-art, craft a call for action, and to redefine the path forward.

Learning off-road maneuver plans for autonomous vehicles Artificial Intelligence

This thesis explores the benefits machine learning algorithms can bring to online planning and scheduling for autonomous vehicles in off-road situations. Mainly, we focus on typical problems of interest which include computing itineraries that meet certain objectives, as well as computing scheduling strategies to execute synchronized maneuvers with other vehicles. We present a range of learning-based heuristics to assist different itinerary planners. We show that these heuristics allow a significant increase in performance for optimal planners. Furthermore, in the case of approximate planning, we show that not only does the running time decrease, the quality of the itinerary found also becomes almost always better. Finally, in order to synthesize strategies to execute synchronized maneuvers, we propose a novel type of scheduling controllability and a learning-assisted algorithm. The proposed framework achieves significant improvement on known benchmarks in this controllability type over the performance of state-of-the-art works in a related controllability type. Moreover, it is able to find strategies on complex scheduling problems for which previous works fail to do so.

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.

Classical Planning in Deep Latent Space Artificial Intelligence

Current domain-independent, classical planners require symbolic models of the problem domain and instance as input, resulting in a knowledge acquisition bottleneck. Meanwhile, although deep learning has achieved significant success in many fields, the knowledge is encoded in a subsymbolic representation which is incompatible with symbolic systems such as planners. We propose Latplan, an unsupervised architecture combining deep learning and classical planning. Given only an unlabeled set of image pairs showing a subset of transitions allowed in the environment (training inputs), Latplan learns a complete propositional PDDL action model of the environment. Later, when a pair of images representing the initial and the goal states (planning inputs) is given, Latplan finds a plan to the goal state in a symbolic latent space and returns a visualized plan execution. We evaluate Latplan using image-based versions of 6 planning domains: 8-puzzle, 15-Puzzle, Blocksworld, Sokoban and Two variations of LightsOut.

Importance measures derived from random forests: characterisation and extension Machine Learning

Nowadays new technologies, and especially artificial intelligence, are more and more established in our society. Big data analysis and machine learning, two sub-fields of artificial intelligence, are at the core of many recent breakthroughs in many application fields (e.g., medicine, communication, finance, ...), including some that are strongly related to our day-to-day life (e.g., social networks, computers, smartphones, ...). In machine learning, significant improvements are usually achieved at the price of an increasing computational complexity and thanks to bigger datasets. Currently, cutting-edge models built by the most advanced machine learning algorithms typically became simultaneously very efficient and profitable but also extremely complex. Their complexity is to such an extent that these models are commonly seen as black-boxes providing a prediction or a decision which can not be interpreted or justified. Nevertheless, whether these models are used autonomously or as a simple decision-making support tool, they are already being used in machine learning applications where health and human life are at stake. Therefore, it appears to be an obvious necessity not to blindly believe everything coming out of those models without a detailed understanding of their predictions or decisions. Accordingly, this thesis aims at improving the interpretability of models built by a specific family of machine learning algorithms, the so-called tree-based methods. Several mechanisms have been proposed to interpret these models and we aim along this thesis to improve their understanding, study their properties, and define their limitations.

Contrastive Reinforcement Learning of Symbolic Reasoning Domains Artificial Intelligence

Abstract symbolic reasoning, as required in domains such as mathematics and logic, is a key component of human intelligence. Solvers for these domains have important applications, especially to computer-assisted education. But learning to solve symbolic problems is challenging for machine learning algorithms. Existing models either learn from human solutions or use hand-engineered features, making them expensive to apply in new domains. In this paper, we instead consider symbolic domains as simple environments where states and actions are given as unstructured text, and binary rewards indicate whether a problem is solved. This flexible setup makes it easy to specify new domains, but search and planning become challenging. We introduce four environments inspired by the Mathematics Common Core Curriculum, and observe that existing Reinforcement Learning baselines perform poorly. We then present a novel learning algorithm, Contrastive Policy Learning (ConPoLe) that explicitly optimizes the InfoNCE loss, which lower bounds the mutual information between the current state and next states that continue on a path to the solution. ConPoLe successfully solves all four domains. Moreover, problem representations learned by ConPoLe enable accurate prediction of the categories of problems in a real mathematics curriculum. Our results suggest new directions for reinforcement learning in symbolic domains, as well as applications to mathematics education.

Zero-Cost Proxies Meet Differentiable Architecture Search Artificial Intelligence

Differentiable neural architecture search (NAS) has attracted significant attention in recent years due to its ability to quickly discover promising architectures of deep neural networks even in very large search spaces. Despite its success, DARTS lacks robustness in certain cases, e.g. it may degenerate to trivial architectures with excessive parametric-free operations such as skip connection or random noise, leading to inferior performance. In particular, operation selection based on the magnitude of architectural parameters was recently proven to be fundamentally wrong showcasing the need to rethink this aspect. On the other hand, zero-cost proxies have been recently studied in the context of sample-based NAS showing promising results -- speeding up the search process drastically in some cases but also failing on some of the large search spaces typical for differentiable NAS. In this work we propose a novel operation selection paradigm in the context of differentiable NAS which utilises zero-cost proxies. Our perturbation-based zero-cost operation selection (Zero-Cost-PT) improves searching time and, in many cases, accuracy compared to the best available differentiable architecture search, regardless of the search space size. Specifically, we are able to find comparable architectures to DARTS-PT on the DARTS CNN search space while being over 40x faster (total searching time 25 minutes on a single GPU).

RoSearch: Search for Robust Student Architectures When Distilling Pre-trained Language Models Artificial Intelligence

Pre-trained language models achieve outstanding performance in NLP tasks. Various knowledge distillation methods have been proposed to reduce the heavy computation and storage requirements of pre-trained language models. However, from our observations, student models acquired by knowledge distillation suffer from adversarial attacks, which limits their usage in security sensitive scenarios. In order to overcome these security problems, RoSearch is proposed as a comprehensive framework to search the student models with better adversarial robustness when performing knowledge distillation. A directed acyclic graph based search space is built and an evolutionary search strategy is utilized to guide the searching approach. Each searched architecture is trained by knowledge distillation on pre-trained language model and then evaluated under a robustness-, accuracy- and efficiency-aware metric as environmental fitness. Experimental results show that RoSearch can improve robustness of student models from 7%~18% up to 45.8%~47.8% on different datasets with comparable weight compression ratio to existing distillation methods (4.6$\times$~6.5$\times$ improvement from teacher model BERT_BASE) and low accuracy drop. In addition, we summarize the relationship between student architecture and robustness through statistics of searched models.