AI & Statistics 2005 
Tenth International Workshop on

Cochairs: Robert Cowell and Zoubin Ghahramani 
A Uniform Convergence Bound for the Area Under the ROC
Curve
Shivani Agarwal, Sariel HarPeled and Dan
Roth
The area under the ROC curve (AUC) has been advocated as an evaluation
criterion for the bipartite ranking problem. We study uniform convergence
properties of the AUC; in particular, we derive a distributionfree uniform
convergence bound for the AUC which serves to bound the expected accuracy of a
learned ranking function in terms of its empirical AUC on the training sequence
from which it is learned. Our bound is expressed in terms of a new set of
combinatorial parameters that we term the bipartite rankshatter
coefficients; these play the same role in our result as do the standard
VCdimension related shatter coefficients (also known as the growth function) in
uniform convergence results for the classification error rate. A comparison of
our result with a recent uniform convergence result derived by Freund et al.
(2003) for a quantity closely related to the AUC shows that the bound provided
by our result can be considerably tighter.
On the Path to an Ideal ROC Curve: Considering Cost Asymmetry
in Learning Classifiers
Francis Bach, David Heckerman and Eric
Horvitz
Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves are a standard way to display
the performance of a set of binary classifiers for all feasible ratios of the
costs associated with false positives and false negatives. For linear
classifiers, the set of classifiers is typically obtained by training once,
holding constant the estimated slope and then varying the intercept to obtain a
parameterized set of classifiers whose performances can be plotted in the ROC
plane. In this paper, we consider the alternative of varying the asymmetry of
the cost function used for training. We show that the ROC curve obtained by
varying the intercept and the asymmetry — and hence the slope — always
outperforms the ROC curve obtained by varying only the intercept. In addition,
we present a pathfollowing algorithm for the support vector machine (SVM) that
can compute efficiently the entire ROC curve, that has the same computational
properties as training a single classifier. Finally, we provide a theoretical
analysis of the relationship between the asymmetric cost model assumed when
training a classifier and the cost model assumed in applying the classifier. In
particular, we show that the mismatch between the step function used for testing
and its convex upper bounds usually used for training leads to a provable and
quantifiable difference around extreme asymmetries.
On Manifold Regularization
Misha Belkin, Partha Niyogi and Vikas
Sindhwani
We propose a family of learning algorithms based on a new form of
regularization that allows us to exploit the geometry of the marginal
distribution. We focus on a semisupervised framework that incorporates labeled
and unlabeled data in a generalpurpose learner. Some transductive graph
learning algorithms and standard methods including Support Vector Machines and
Regularized Least Squares can be obtained as special cases. We utilize
properties of Reproducing Kernel Hilbert spaces to prove new Representer
theorems that provide theoretical basis for the algorithms. As a result (in
contrast to purely graph based approaches) we obtain a natural outofsample
extension to novel examples and are thus able to handle both transductive and
truly semisupervised settings. We present experimental evidence suggesting that
our semisupervised algorithms are able to use unlabeled data effectively. In
the absence of labeled examples, our framework gives rise to a regularized form
of spectral clustering with an outofsample extension.
Distributed Latent Variable Models of Lexical
Cooccurrences
John Blitzer, Amir Globerson and Fernando
Pereira
Lowdimensional representations for lexical cooccurrence data have become
increasingly important in alleviating the sparse data problem inherent in
natural language processing tasks. This work presents a distributed latent
variable model for inducing these lowdimensional representations. The model
takes inspiration from both connectionist language models (Bengio et al. 2003,
Xu et al. 2003) and (Saul and Pereira 1997, Hofmann and Puzicha 1998). We give
results which show that the new model significantly improves both bigram and
trigram models.
On Contrastive Divergence Learning
Miguel Á. CarreiraPerpiñán and Geoffrey
Hinton
Maximumlikelihood (ML) learning of Markov random fields is challenging
because it requires estimates of averages that have an exponential number of
terms. Markov chain Monte Carlo methods typically take a long time to converge
on unbiased estimates, but Hinton (2002) showed that if the Markov chain is only
run for a few steps, the learning can still work well and it approximately
minimizes a different function called “contrastive divergence” (CD). CD learning
has been successfully applied to various types of random fields. Here, we study
the properties of CD learning and show that it provides biased estimates in
general, but that the bias is typically very small. Fast CD learning can
therefore be used to get close to an ML solution and slow ML learning can then
be used to finetune the CD solution.
OOBN for Forensic Identification through Searching a DNA
profiles’ Database
David Cavallini and Fabio Corradi
In this paper we evaluate forensic identification hypotheses conditionally to
the characteristics observed both on a crime sample and on individuals contained
in a database. First we solve the problem via a computational efficient Bayesian
Network obtained by transforming some recognized conditional specific
independencies into conditional independencies. Then we propose an Object
Oriented Bayesian Network representation, first considering a generic
characteristic, then inheritable DNA traits.In this respect we show how to use
the Object Oriented Bayesian Network to evaluate hypotheses concerning the
possibility that some unobserved individuals, genetically related to the
individuals profiled in the database, are the donors of the crime sample.
Active Learning for Parzen Window
Classifier
Olivier Chapelle
The problem of active learning is approached in this paper by minimizing
directly an estimate of the expected test error. The main difficulty in this
“optimal” strategy is that output probabilities need to be estimated accurately.
We suggest here different methods for estimating those efficiently. In this
context, the Parzen window classifier is considered because it is both simple
and probabilistic. The analysis of experimental results highlights that
regularization is a key ingredient for this strategy.
SemiSupervised Classification by Low Density
Separation
Olivier Chapelle and Alexander Zien
We believe that the cluster assumption is key to successful semisupervised
learning. Based on this, we propose three semisupervised algorithms: 1.
deriving graphbased distances that emphazise low density regions between
clusters, followed by training a standard SVM; 2. optimizing the Transductive
SVM objective function, which places the decision boundary in low density
regions, by gradient descent; 3. combining the first two to make maximum use of
the cluster assumption. We compare with state of the art algorithms and
demonstrate superior accuracy for the latter two methods.
Learning spectral graph segmentation
Timothée Cour, Nicolas Gogin and Jianbo
Shi
We present a general graph learning algorithm for spectral graph
partitioning, that allows direct supervised learning of graph structures using
hand labeled training examples. The learning algorithm is based on gradient
descent in the space of all feasible graph weights. Computation of the gradient
involves finding the derivatives of eigenvectors with respect to the graph
weight matrix. We show the derivatives of eigenvectors exist and can be computed
in an exact analytical form using the theory of implicit functions. Furthermore,
we show for a simple case, the gradient converges exponentially fast. In the
image segmentation domain, we demonstrate how to encode topdown high level
object prior in a bottomup shape detection process.
A Graphical Model for Simultaneous Partitioning and
Labeling
Philip J. Cowans and Martin Szummer
In this work we develop a graphical model for describing probability
distributions over labeled partitions of an undirected graph which are
conditioned on observed data. We show how to efficiently perform exact inference
in these models, by exploiting the structure of the graph and adapting the
sumproduct and maxproduct algorithms. We demonstrate our approach on the task
of segmenting and labeling handdrawn ink fragments, and show that a significant
performance increase is obtained by labeling and partitioning simultaneously.
Restructuring Dynamic Causal Systems in
Equilibrium
Denver Dash
In this paper I consider general obstacles to the recovery of a causal system
from its probability distribution. I argue that most of the wellknown problems
with this task belong in the class of what I call degenerate causal
systems. I then consider the task of discovering causality of dynamic systems
that have passed through one or more equilibrium points, and show that these
systems present a challenge to causal discovery that is fundamentally different
from degeneracy. To make this comparison, I consider two operators that are used
to transform causal models. The first is the wellknown Do operator for
modeling manipulation, and the second is the Equilibration operator for
modeling a dynamic system that has achieved equilibrium. I consider a set of
questions regarding the commutability of these operators i.e., whether or not an
equilibratedmanipulated model is necessarily equal to the corresponding
manipulatedequilibrated model, and I explore the implications of that
commutability on the practice of causal discovery. I provide empirical results
showing that (a) these two operators sometimes, but not always, commute, and (b)
the manipulatedequilibrated model is the correct one under a common
interpretation of manipulation on dynamic systems. I argue that these results
have strong implications for causal discovery from equilibrium data.
Probability and Statistics in the Law
Philip Dawid
The field of legal reasoning is full of logical subtleties and probabilistic
pitfalls. I survey a number of these, pointing out some of the problems and
ambiguities, and various attempts to deal with them. Some celebrated court cases
are used for illustration.
Efficient NonParametric Function Induction in
SemiSupervised Learning
Olivier Delalleau, Yoshua Bengio and Nicolas Le
Roux
There has been an increase of interest for semisupervised learning recently,
because of the many datasets with large amounts of unlabeled examples and only a
few labeled ones. This paper follows up on proposed nonparametric algorithms
which provide an estimated continuous label for the given unlabeled examples.
First, it extends them to function induction algorithms that minimize a
regularization criterion applied to an outofsample example, and happen to have
the form of Parzen windows regressors. This allows to predict test labels
without solving again a linear system of dimension _{} (the number of unlabeled and labeled
training examples), which can cost _{}. Second, this function induction procedure gives
rise to an efficient approximation of the training process, reducing the linear
system to be solved to _{} unknowns, using only a
subset of _{} examples. An improvement of _{} in time can thus be obtained. Comparative
experiments are presented, showing the good performance of the induction formula
and approximation algorithm.
Structured Variational Inference Procedures and
their Realizations
Dan Geiger and Chris Meek
We describe and prove the convergence of several algorithms for approximate
structured variational inference. We discuss the computation cost of these
algorithms and describe their relationship to the meanfield and
generalizedmeanfield variational approaches and other structured variational
methods.
Kernel Constrained Covariance for Dependence
Measurement
Arthur Gretton, Alexander Smola, Olivier Bousquet, Ralf
Herbrich, Andrei Belitski, Mark Augath, Yusuke Murayama, Jon Pauls, Bernhard
Schölkopf and Nikos Logothetis
We discuss reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS)based measures of
statistical dependence, with emphasis on constrained covariance (COCO), a novel
criterion to test dependence of random variables. We show that COCO is a test
for independence if and only if the associated RKHSs are universal. That said,
no independence test exists that can distinguish dependent and
independent random variables in all circumstances. Dependent random variables
can result in a COCO which is arbitrarily close to zero when the source
densities are highly nonsmooth. All current kernelbased independence tests
share this behaviour. We demonstrate exponential convergence between the
population and empirical COCO. Finally, we use COCO as a measure of joint neural
activity between voxels in MRI recordings of the macaque monkey, and compare the
results to the mutual information and the correlation. We also show the effect
of removing breathing artefacts from the MRI recording.
Semisupervised alignment of manifolds
Jihun Ham, Daniel Lee and Lawrence Saul
In this paper, we study a family of semisupervised learning algorithms for
“aligning” different data sets that are characterized by the same underlying
manifold. The optimizations of these algorithms are based on graphs that provide
a discretized approximation to the manifold. Partial alignments of the data
sets—obtained from prior knowledge of their manifold structure or from pairwise
correspondences of subsets of labeled examples—are completed by integrating
supervised signals with unsupervised frameworks for manifold learning. As an
illustration of this semisupervised setting, we show how to learn mappings
between different data sets of images that are parameterized by the same
underlying modes of variability (e.g., pose and viewing angle). The curse of
dimensionality in these problems is overcome by exploiting the low dimensional
structure of image manifolds.
Learning Causally Linked Markov Random
Fields
Geoffrey Hinton, Simon Osindero and Kejie
Bao
We describe a learning procedure for a generative model that contains a
hidden Markov Random Field (MRF) which has directed connections to the
observable variables. The learning procedure uses a variational approximation
for the posterior distribution over the hidden variables. Despite the
intractable partition function of the MRF, the weights on the directed
connections and the variational approximation itself can be learned by
maximizing a lower bound on the log probability of the observed data. The
parameters of the MRF are learned by using the mean field version of contrastive
divergence [1]. We show that this hybrid model simultaneously learns parts of
objects and their interrelationships from intensity images. We discuss the
extension to multiple MRF’s linked into in a chain graph by directed
connections.
Hilbertian Metrics and Positive Definite Kernels
on Probability Measures
Matthias Hein and Olivier Bousquet
We investigate the problem of defining Hilbertian metrics resp. positive
definite kernels on probability measures, continuing the work in [5].This type
of kernels has shown very good results in text classification and has a wide
range of possible applications. In this paper we extend the twoparameter family
of Hilbertian metrics of Topsøe such that it now includes all commonly used
Hilbertian metrics on probability measures. This allows us to do model selection
among these metrics in an elegant and unified way. Second we investigate further
our approach to incorporate similarity information of the probability space into
the kernel. The analysis provides a better understanding of these kernels and
gives in some cases a more efficient way to compute them. Finally we compare all
proposed kernels in two text and two image classification problems.
Fast NonParametric Bayesian Inference on
Infinite Trees
Marcus Hutter
Given i.i.d. data from an unknown distribution, we consider the problem of
predicting future items. An adaptive way to estimate the probability density is
to recursively subdivide the domain to an appropriate datadependent
granularity. A Bayesian would assign a dataindependent prior probability to
"subdivide", which leads to a prior over infinite(ly many) trees. We derive an
exact, fast, and simple inference algorithm for such a prior, for the data
evidence, the predictive distribution, the effective model dimension, and other
quantities.
Restricted concentration models – graphical
Gaussian models with concentration parameters restricted to being
equal
Søren Højsgaard and Steffen Lauritzen
In this paper we introduce restricted concentration models (RCMs) as a class
of graphical models for the multivariate Gaussian distribution in which some
elements of the concentration matrix are restricted to being identical is
introduced. An estimation algorithm for RCMs, which is guaranteed to converge to
the maximum likelihood estimate, is presented. Model selection is briefly
discussed and a practical example is given.
Fast maximum aposteriori inference on Monte
Carlo state spaces
Mike Klaas, Dustin Lang and Nando de
Freitas
Many important algorithms for statistical inference can be expressed as a
weighted maxkernel search problem. This is the case with the Viterbi algorithm
for HMMs, message construction in maximum a posteriori BP (maxBP),
as well as certain particlesmoothing algorithms. Previous work has focused on
reducing the cost of this procedure in discrete regular grids [4]. Monte Carlo
state spaces, which are vital for highdimensional inference, cannot be handled
by these techniques. We present a novel dualtree based algorithm that is
appliable to a wide range of kernels and shows substantial performance gains
over naïve computation.
Generative Model for Layers of Appearance and
Deformation
Anitha Kannan, Nebojsa Jojic and Brendan
Frey
We are interested in learning generative models of objects that can be used
in wide range of tasks such as video summarization, image segmentation and frame
interpolation. Learning objectbased appearance/shape models and estimating
motion fields (deformation field) are highly interdependent problems. At the
extreme, all motions can be represented as an excessively large set of
appearance exemplars. However, a more efficient representation of a video
sequence would save on frame description if it described the motion from the
previous frame instead. The extreme in this direction is also problematic as
there are usually causes of appearance variability other than motion. The
flexible sprite model (Jojic and Frey, 2001) illustrates the benefits of joint
modelling of motion, shape and appearance using very simple models. The
advantage of such a model is that each part of the model tries to capture some
of the variability in the data until all the variability is decomposed
and explained through either appearance, shape or transformation changes. Yet,
the set of motions modelled is very limited, and the residual motion is simply
captured in the variance maps of the sprites. In this paper, we develop a better
balance between the transformation and appearance model by explicitly modelling
arbitrary large, nonuniform motion.
Toward QuestionAsking Machines: The Logic of
Questions and the Inquiry Calculus
Kevin Knuth
For over a century, the study of logic has focused on the algebra of logical
statements. This work, first performed by George Boole, has led to the
development of modern computers, and was shown by Richard T. Cox to be the
foundation of Bayesian inference. Meanwhile the logic of questions has been much
neglected. For our computing machines to be truly intelligent, they need to be
able to ask relevant questions. In this paper I will show how the Boolean
lattice of logical statements gives rise to the free distributive lattice of
questions thus defining their algebra. Furthermore, there exists a quantity
analogous to probability, called relevance, which quantifies the degree to which
one question answers another. I will show that relevance is not only a natural
generalization of information theory, but also forms its foundation.
Convergent treereweighted message passing for
energy minimization
Vladimir Kolmogorov
Treereweighted maxproduct message passing (TRW) is an algorithm for energy
minimization introduced recently by Wainwright et al. [7]. It shares some
similarities with Pearl’s loopy belief propagation. TRW was inspired by a
problem of maximizing a lower bound on the energy. However, the algorithm is not
guaranteed to increase this bound  it may actually go down. In addition, TRW
does not always converge. We develop a modification of this algorithm which we
call sequential treereweighted message passing. Its main property is
that the bound is guaranteed not to decrease. We also give a weak tree
agreement condition which characterizes local maxima of the bound with
respect to TRW algorithms. We prove that our algorithm has a limit point that
achieves weak tree agreement. Experimental results demonstrate that on certain
synthetic and real problems our algorithm outperforms both the ordinary belief
propagation and treereweighted algorithm [7].
Instrumental variable tests for Directed Acyclic
Graph Models
Manabu Kuroki and Zhihong Cai
Consider a case where causeeffect relationships among variables can be
described as a directed acyclic graph model. The instrumental variable (IV)
method is well known as a powerful tool for inferring the total effect of a
treatment variable _{} on a response variable _{}, even if there exist unobserved confounders
between _{} and _{}. This paper proposes a criterion to search for
covariates which satisfy the IV conditions in linear structural equation models.
In addition, it is shown that our criterion is applicable to the case where all
variables in a directed acyclic graph are discrete. The results of this paper
provide a statistical justification for testing whether the statistical data is
generated by a model involving IVs.
Estimating Class Membership Probabilities using
Classifier Learners
John Langford and Bianca Zadrozny
We present an algorithm, “Probing”, which reduces learning an estimator of
class probability membership to learning binary classifiers. The reduction comes
with a theoretical guarantee: a small error rate for binary classification
implies accurate estimation of class membership probabilities. We tested our
reduction on several datasets with several classifier learning algorithms. The
results show strong performance as compared to other common methods for
obtaining class membership probability estimates from classifiers.
Loss Functions for Discriminative Training of
EnergyBased Models
Yann LeCun and Fu Jie Huang
Probabilistic graphical models associate a probability to each configuration
of the relevant variables. Energybased models (EBM) associate an
energy to those configurations, eliminating the need for proper normalization of
probability distributions. Making a decision (an inference) with an EBM consists
in comparing the energies associated with various configurations of the variable
to be predicted, and choosing the one with the smallest energy. Such systems
must be trained discriminatively to associate low energies to the desired
configurations and higher energies to undesired configurations. A wide variety
of loss function can be used for this purpose. We give sufficient conditions
that a loss function should satisfy so that its minimization will cause the
system to approach to desired behavior. We give many specific examples of
suitable loss functions, and show an application to object recognition in
images.
Probabilistic Soft Interventions in Conditional
Gaussian Networks
Florian Markowetz, Steffen Grossmann, and Rainer
Spang
We introduce a general concept of probabilistic interventions in Bayesian
networks. This generalizes deterministic interventions, which fix nodes to
certain states. We propose “pushing” variables in the direction of target states
without fixing them. We formalize this idea in a Bayesian framework based on
Conditional Gaussian networks.
Unsupervised Learning with NonIgnorable Missing
Data
Benjamin M. Marlin, Sam T. Roweis and Richard S.
Zemel
In this paper we explore the topic of unsupervised learning in the presence
of nonignorable missing data with an unknown missing data mechanism. We discuss
several classes of missing data mechanisms for categorical data and develop
learning and inference methods for two specific models. We present empirical
results using synthetic data which show that these algorithms can recover both
the unknown selection model parameters and the underlying data model parameters
to a high degree of accuracy. We also apply the algorithms to real data from the
domain of collaborative filtering, and report initial results.
Regularized spectral learning
Marina Meila, Susan Shortreed and Liang Xu
Spectral clustering is a technique for finding groups in data consisting of
similarities _{} between pairs of points. We
approach the problem of learning the similarity as a function of other observed
features, in order to optimize spectral clustering results on future data. This
paper formulates a new objective for learning in spectral clustering, that
balances a clustering accuracy term, the gap, and a stability term, the
eigengap with the later in the role of a regularizer. We derive an
algorithm to optimize this objective, and semiautomatic methods to chose the
optimal regularization. Preliminary experiments confirm the validity of the
approach.
Approximate Inference for Infinite Contingent
Bayesian Networks
Brian Milch, Bhaskara Marthi, David Sontag, Stuart Russell,
Daniel L. Ong and Andrey Kolobov
In many practical problems — from tracking aircraft based on radar data to
building a bibliographic database based on citation lists — we want to reason
about an unbounded number of unseen objects with unknown relations among them.
Bayesian networks, which define a fixed dependency structure on a finite set of
variables, are not the ideal representation language for this task. This paper
introduces contingent Bayesian networks (CBNs), which represent uncertainty
about dependencies by labeling each edge with a condition under which it is
active. A CBN may contain cycles and have infinitely many variables.
Nevertheless, we give general conditions under which such a CBN defines a unique
joint distribution over its variables. We also present a likelihood weighting
algorithm that performs approximate inference in finite time per sampling step
on any CBN that satisfies these conditions.
Hierarchical Probabilistic Neural Network Language
Model
Frederic Morin and Yoshua Bengio
In recent years, variants of a neural network architecture for statistical
language modeling have been proposed and successfully applied, e.g. in the
language modeling component of speech recognizers. The main advantage of these
architectures is that they learn an embedding for words (or other symbols) in a
continuous space that helps to smooth the language model and provide good
generalization even when the number of training examples is insufficient.
However, these models are extremely slow in comparison to the more commonly used
ngram models, both for training and recognition. As an alternative to an
importance sampling method proposed to speedup training, we introduce a
hierarchical decomposition of the conditional probabilities that yields a
speedup of about 200 both during training and recognition. The hierarchical
decomposition is a binary hierarchical clustering constrained by the prior
knowledge extracted from the WordNet semantic hierarchy.
Greedy Spectral Embedding
Marie Ouimet and Yoshua Bengio
Spectral dimensionality reduction methods and spectral clustering methods
require computation of the principal eigenvectors of an _{} matrix where _{} is the number of examples. Following up on
previously proposed techniques to speedup kernel methods by focusing on a
subset of _{} examples, we study a greedy selection
procedure for this subset, based on the featurespace distance between a
candidate example and the span of the previously chosen ones. In the case of
kernel PCA or spectral clustering this reduces computation to _{}. For the same computational complexity, we can
also compute the feature space projection of the nonselected examples on the
subspace spanned by the selected examples, to estimate the embedding function
based on all the data, which yields considerably better estimation of the
embedding function. This algorithm can be formulated in an online setting and we
can bound the error on the approximation of the Gram matrix.
FastMap, MetricMap, and Landmark MDS are all
Nystrom Algorithms
John Platt
This paper unifies the mathematical foundation of three multidimensional
scaling algorithms: FastMap, MetricMap, and Landmark MDS (LMDS). All three
algorithms are based on the Nyström approximation of the eigenvectors and
eigenvalues of a matrix. LMDS is applies the basic Nyström approximation, while
FastMap and MetricMap use generalizations of Nyström, including deflation and
using more points to establish an embedding. Empirical experiments on the
Reuters and Corel Image Features data sets show that the basic Nyström
approximation outperforms these generalizations: LMDS is more accurate than
FastMap and MetricMap with roughly the same computation and can become even more
accurate if allowed to be slower.
Bayesian Conditional Random Fields
Yuan Qi, Martin Szummer and Tom Minka
We propose Bayesian Conditional Random Fields (BCRFs) for classifying
interdependent and structured data, such as sequences, images or webs. BCRFs are
a Bayesian approach to training and inference with conditional random fields,
which were previously trained by maximizing likelihood (ML) (Lafferty et al.,
2001). Our framework eliminates the problem of overfitting, and offers the full
advantages of a Bayesian treatment. Unlike the ML approach,we estimate the
posterior distribution of the model parameters during training, and average over
this posterior during inference. We apply an extension of EP method, the power
EP method, to incorporate the partition function. For algorithmic stability and
accuracy, we flatten the approximation structures to avoid twolevel
approximations. Finally, BCRFs use lowrank matrix computation for computational
efficiency. We demonstrate the superior prediction accuracy of BCRFs over
conditional random fields trained with ML or MAP on synthetic and real datasets.
PoissonNetworks: A Model for Structured Poisson
Processes
Shyamsundar Rajaram, Graepel Thore and Ralf
Herbrich
Modelling structured multivariate point process data has wide ranging
applications like understanding neural activity, developing faster file access
systems and learning dependencies among servers in large networks. In this
paper, we develop the Poisson network model for representing multivariate
structured Poisson processes. In our model each node of the network represents a
Poisson process. The novelty of our work is that waiting times of a process are
modelled by an exponential distribution with a piecewise constant rate function
that depends on the event counts of its parents in the network in a generalised
linear way. Our choice of model allows to perform exact sampling from arbitrary
structures. We adopt a Bayesian approach for learning the network structure.
Further, we discuss fixed point and sampling based approximations for performing
inference of rate functions in Poisson networks.
Deformable Spectrograms
Manuel ReyesGomez, Nebojsa Jojic and Daniel
Ellis
Speech and other natural sounds show high temporal correlation and smooth
spectral evolution punctuated by a few, irregular and abrupt changes. In a
conventional Hidden Markov Model (HMM), such structure is represented weakly and
indirectly through transitions between explicit states representing ‘steps’
along such smooth changes. It would be more efficient and informative to model
successive spectra as transformations of their immediate predecessors,
and we present a model which focuses on local deformations of adjacent bins in a
timefrequency surface to explain an observed sound, using explicit
representation only for those bins that cannot be predicted from their context.
We further decompose the logspectrum into two additive layers, which are able
to separately explain and model the evolution of the harmonic excitation, and
formant filtering of speech and similar sounds. Smooth deformations are modeled
with hidden transformation variables in both layers, using Markov Random fields
(MRFs) with overlapping subwindows as observations; inference is efficiently
performed via loopy belief propagation. The model can fillin deleted
timefrequency cells without any signal model, and an entire signal can be
compactly represented with a few specific states along with the deformation maps
for both layers. We discuss several possible applications for this new model,
including source separation.
Variational Speech Separation of More Sources
than Mixtures
Steven J. Rennie, Kannan Achan, Brendan J. Frey and Parham
Aarabi
We present a novel structured variational inference algorithm for
probabilistic speech separation. The algorithm is built upon a new generative
probability model of speech production and mixing in the full spectral domain,
that utilizes a detailed probability model of speech trained in the magnitude
spectral domain, and the position ensemble of the underlying sources as a
natural, lowdimensional parameterization of the mixing process. The algorithm
is able to produce high quality estimates of the underlying source
configurations, even when there are _{} underlying sources than available microphone
recordings. Spectral phase estimates of all underlying speakers are
automatically recovered by the algorithm, facilitating the direct transformation
of the obtained source estimates into the time domain, to yield speech signals
of high perceptual quality.
Learning Bayesian Network Models from Incomplete
Data using Importance Sampling
Carsten Riggelsen and Ad Feelders
We propose a Bayesian approach to learning Bayesian network models from
incomplete data. The objective is to obtain the posterior distribution of
models, given the observed part of the data. We describe a new algorithm, called
_{}MC_{}, to simulate draws from this posterior
distribution. One of the new ideas in our algorithm is to use importance
sampling to approximate the posterior distribution of models given the observed
data and the current imputation model. The importance sampler is constructed by
defining an approximate predictive distribution for the unobserved part of the
data. In this way existing (heuristic) imputation methods can be used that don’t
require exact inference for generating imputations.
We illustrate _{}MC_{}
by its application to modeling the risk factors of coronary heart disease. In
the experiments we consider different missing data mechanisms and different
fractions of missing data.
On the Behavior of MDL
Denoising
Teemu Roos, Petri Myllymäki and Henry
Tirri
We consider wavelet denoising based on minimum description length (MDL)
principle. The derivation of an MDL denoising criterion proposed by Rissanen
involves a renormalization whose effect on the resulting method has not been
well understood so far. By inspecting the behavior of the method we obtain a
characterization of its domain of applicability: good performance in the low
variance regime but overfitting in the high variance regime. We also describe
unexpected behavior in the theoretical situation where the observed signal is
pure noise. An interpretation for the renormalization is given which explains
both the empirical and theoretical findings. For practitioners we point out two
technical pitfalls and ways to avoid them. Further, we give guidelines for
constructing improved MDL denoising
Focused Inference
Romer Rosales and Tommi Jaakkola
We develop a method similar to variable elimination for computing approximate
marginals in graphical models. An underlying notion in this method is that it is
not always necessary to compute marginals over all the variables in the graph,
but focus on a few variables of interest. The Focused Inference (FI) algorithm
introduced reduces the original distribution to a simpler one over the variables
of interest. This is done in an iterative manner where in each step the
operations are guided by (local) optimality properties. We exemplify various
properties of the focused inference algorithm and compare it with other methods.
Numerical simulation indicates that FI outperform the competing methods.
Kernel Methods for Missing
Variables
Alex J. Smola, S. V. N. Vishwanathan and Thomas
Hofmann
We present methods for dealing with missing variables in the context of
Gaussian Processes and Support Vector Machines. This solves an important problem
which has largely been ignored by kernel methods: How to systematically deal
with incomplete data? Our method can also be applied to problems with partially
observed labels as well as to the transductive setting where we view the labels
as missing data. Our approach relies on casting kernel methods as an estimation
problem in exponential families. Hence, estimation with missing variables
becomes a problem of computing marginal distributions, and finding efficient
optimization methods. To that extent we propose an optimization scheme which
extends the Concave Convex Procedure (CCP) of Yuille and Rangarajan, and present
a simplified and intuitive proof of its convergence. We show how our algorithm
can be specialized to various cases in order to efficiently solve the
optimization problems that arise. Encouraging preliminary experimental results
on the USPS dataset are also presented.
Semiparametric latent factor
models
Yee Whye Teh, Matthias Seeger and Michael I.
Jordan
We propose a semiparametric model for regression problems involving multiple
response variables. The model makes use of a set of Gaussian processes that are
linearly mixed to capture dependencies that may exist among the response
variables. We propose an efficient approximate inference scheme for this
semiparametric model whose complexity is linear in the number of training data
points. We present experimental results in the domain of multijoint robot arm
dynamics.
Efficient Gradient Computation for Conditional
Gaussian Models
Bo Thiesson and Chris Meek
We introduce Recursive Exponential Mixed Models (REMMs) and derive the
gradient of the parameters for the incompletedata likelihood. We demonstrate
how one can use probabilistic inference in Conditional Gaussian (CG) graphical
models, a special case of REMMs, to compute the gradient for a CG model. We also
demonstrate that this approach can yield simple and effective algorithms for
computing the gradient for models with tied parameters and illustrate this
approach on stochastic ARMA models.
Very Large SVM Training using Core Vector
Machines
Ivor Tsang, James Kwok and PakMing Cheung
Standard SVM training has _{} time and _{} space complexities, where _{} is the training set size. In this paper, we
scale up kernel methods by exploiting the “approximateness” in practical SVM
implementations. We formulate many kernel methods as equivalent minimum
enclosing ball problems in computational geometry, and then obtain provably
approximately optimal solutions efficiently with the use of coresets. Our
proposed Core Vector Machine (CVM) algorithm has a time complexity that is
linear in _{} and a space complexity that is
independent of _{}. Experiments on large toy and
realworld data sets demonstrate that the CVM is much faster and can handle much
larger data sets than existing scaleup methods. In particular, on our PC with
only 512M RAM, the CVM with Gaussian kernel can process the checkerboard data
set with 1 million points in less than 13 seconds.
Streaming Feature Selection using
IIC
Lyle H. Ungar, Jing Zhou, Dean P. Foster and Bob A.
Stine
In Streaming Feature Selection (SFS), new features are sequentially
considered for addition to a predictive model. When the space of potential
features is large, SFS offers many advantages overmethods in which all features
are assumed to be known in advance. Features can be generated dynamically,
focusing the search for new features on promising subspaces, and overfitting can
be controlled by dynamically adjusting the threshold for adding features to the
model. We present a new, adaptive complexity penalty, the Information Investing
Criterion (IIC), which uses an efficient coding of features added, and not
added, to the model to dynamically adjust the threshold on the entropy reduction
required for adding a new feature. Streaming Feature Selection with IIC gives
strong guarantees against overfitting. In contrast, standard penalty methods
such as BIC or RIC always drastically over or underfit in the limit of
infinite numbers of nonpredictive features. Empirical results show that SFS is
competitive with much more computeintensive feature selection methods.
Defensive Forecasting
Vladimir Vovk, Akimichi Takemura and Glenn
Shafer
We consider how to make probability forecasts of binary labels. Our main
mathematical result is that for any continuous gambling strategy used for
detecting disagreement between the forecasts and the actual labels, there exists
a forecasting strategy whose forecasts are ideal as far as this gambling
strategy is concerned. A forecasting strategy obtained in this way from a
gambling strategy demonstrating a strong law of large numbers is simplified and
studied empirically.
Inadequacy of interval estimates corresponding to
variational Bayesian approximations
Bo Wang and D. M. Titterington
In this paper we investigate the properties of the covariance matrices
associated with variational Bayesian approximations, based on data from mixture
models, and compare them with the true covariance matrices, corresponding to
Fisher information matrices. It is shown that the covariance matrices from the
variational Bayes approximations are normally ‘too small’ compared with those
for the maximum likelihood estimator, so that resulting interval estimates for
the parameters will be unrealistically narrow, especially if the components of
the mixture model are not well separated.
Nonlinear Dimensionality Reduction by
Semidefinite Programming and Kernel Matrix Factorization
Kilian Weinberger, Benjamin
Packer and Lawrence Saul
We describe an algorithm for nonlinear dimensionality reduction based on
semidefinite programming and kernel matrix factorization. The algorithm learns a
kernel matrix for high dimensional data that lies on or near a low dimensional
manifold. In earlier work, the kernel matrix was learned by maximizing the
variance in feature space while preserving the distances and angles between
nearest neighbors. In this paper, adapting recent ideas from semisupervised
learning on graphs, we show that the full kernel matrix can be very well
approximated by a product of smaller matrices. Representing the kernel matrix in
this way, we can reformulate the semidefinite program in terms of a much smaller
submatrix of inner products between randomly chosen landmarks. The new framework
leads to orderofmagnitude reductions in computation time and makes it possible
to study much larger problems in manifold learning.
An Expectation Maximization Algorithm for Inferring
OffsetNormal Shape Distributions
Max Welling
The statistical theory of shape plays a prominent role in applications such
as object recognition and medical imaging. An important parameterized family of
probability densities defined on the locations of landmarkpoints is given by
the offsetnormal shape distributions introduced in [7]. In this paper we
present an EM algorithm for learning the parameters of the offsetnormal shape
distribution from shape data. To improve model flexibility we also provide an EM
algorithm to learn mixtures of offsetnormal distributions. To deal with missing
landmarks (e.g. due to occlusions), we extend the algorithm to train on
incomplete datasets. The algorithm is tested on a number of realworld data
sets and on some artificially generated data. Experimentally, this seems to be
the first algorithm for which estimation of the full covariance matrix causes no
difficulties. In all experiments the estimated distribution provided an
excellent approximation to the true offsetnormal shape distribution.
Learning in Markov Random Fields with Contrastive
Free Energies
Max Welling and Charles Sutton
Learning Markov random field (MRF) models is notoriously hard due to the
presence of a global normalization factor. In this paper we present a new
framework for learning MRF models based on the contrastive free energy
(CF) objective function. In this scheme the parameters are updated in an attempt
to match the average statistics of the data distribution and a distribution
which is (partially or approximately) “relaxed” to the equilibrium distribution.
We show that maximum likelihood, mean field, contrastive divergence and
pseudolikelihood objectives can be understood in this paradigm. Moreover, we
propose and study a new learning algorithm: the “kstep Kikuchi/Bethe
approximation”. This algorithm is then tested on a conditional random field
model with “skipchain” edges to model long range interactions in text data. It
is demonstrated that with no loss in accuracy, the training time is brought down
on average from 19 hours (BP based learning) to 83 minutes, an order of
magnitude improvement.
Robust Higher Order Statistics
Max Welling
Sample estimates of moments and cumulants are known to be unstable in the
presence of outliers. This problem is especially severe for higher order
statistics, like kurtosis, which are used in algorithms for independent
components analysis and projection pursuit. In this paper we propose robust
generalizations of moments and cumulants that are more insensitive to outliers
but at the same time retain many of their desirable properties. We show how they
can be combined into series expansions to provide estimates of probability
density functions. This in turn is directly relevant for the design of new
robust algorithms for ICA. We study the improved statistical properties such as
Brobustness, bias and variance while in experiments we demonstrate their
improved behavior.
Online (and Offline) on an Even Tighter
Budget
Jason Weston, Antoine Bordes and Leon
Bottou
We develop a fast online kernel algorithm for classification which can be
viewed as an improvement over the one suggested by (Crammer, Kandola and Singer,
2004), titled "Online Classificaton on a Budget". In that previous work, the
authors introduced an onthefly compression of the number of examples used in
the prediction function using the size of the margin as a quality measure.
Although displaying impressive results on relatively noisefree data we show how
their algorithm is susceptible in noisy problems. Utilizing a new quality
measure for an included example, namely the error induced on a selected subset
of the training data, we gain improved compression rates and insensitivity to
noise compared to the existing approach. Our method is also extendable to the
batch training mode case.
Approximations with Reweighted Generalized Belief
Propagation
Wim Wiegerinck
In (Wainwright et al., 2002) a new general class of upper bounds on the log
partition function of arbitrary undirected graphical models has been developed.
This bound is constructed by taking convex combinations of tractable
distributions. The experimental results published so far concentrates on
combinations of treestructured distributions leading to a convexified Bethe
free energy, which is minimized by the treereweighted belief propagation
algorithm. One of the favorable properties of this class of approximations is
that increasing the complexity of the approximation is guaranteed to increase
the precision. The lack of this guarantee is notorious in standard generalized
belief propagation. We increase the complexity of the approximating
distributions by taking combinations of junction trees, leading to a convexified
Kikuchi free energy, which is minimized by reweighted generalized belief
propagation. Experimental results for Ising grids as well as for fully connected
Ising models are presented illustrating advantages and disadvantages of the
reweighting method in approximate inference.
Recursive Autonomy Identification for Bayesian
Network Structure Learning
Raanan Yehezkel and Boaz Lerner
We propose a constraintbased algorithm for Bayesian network structure
learning called recursive autonomy identification (RAI). The RAI algorithm
learns the structure by recursive application of conditional independence (CI)
tests of increasing orders, edge direction and structure decomposition into
autonomous substructures. In comparison to other constraintbased algorithms
dseparating structures and then directing the resulted undirected graph, the
RAI algorithm combines the two processes from the outset and along the
procedure. Learning using the RAI algorithm renders smaller condition sets thus
requires a smaller number of high order CI tests. This reduces complexity and
runtime as well as increases accuracy since diminishing the
curseofdimensionality. When evaluated on synthetic and "realworld" databases
as well as the ALARM network, the RAI algorithm shows better structural
correctness, runtime reduction along with accuracy improvement compared to
popular constraintbased structure learning algorithms. Accuracy improvement is
also demonstrated when compared to a common searchandscore structure learning
algorithm.
Dirichlet Enhanced Latent Semantic
Analysis
Kai Yu, Shipeng Yu and Volker Tresp
This paper describes nonparametric Bayesian treatments for analyzing records
containing occurrences of items. The introduced model retains the strength of
previous approaches that explore the latent factors of each record
(e.g. topics of documents), and further uncovers the clustering structure
of records, which reflects the statistical dependencies of the latent factors.
The nonparametric model induced by a Dirichlet process (DP) flexibly
adapts model complexity to reveal the clustering structure of the data. To avoid
the problems of dealing with infinite dimensions, we further replace the DP
prior by a simpler alternative, namely Dirichletmultinomial allocation
(DMA), which maintains the main modelling properties of the DP. Instead of
relying on Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) for inference, this paper applies
efficient variational inference based on DMA. The proposed approach yields
encouraging empirical results on both a toy problem and text data. The results
show that the proposed algorithm uncovers not only the latent factors, but also
the clustering structure.
Gaussian Quadrature Based Expectation
Propagation
Onno Zoeter and Tom Heskes
We present a general approximation method for Bayesian inference problems.
The method is based on Expectation Propagation (EP). Projection steps in the EP
iteration that cannot be done analytically are done using Gaussian quadrature.
By identifying a general form in the projections, the only quadrature rules that
are required are for exponential family weight functions. The corresponding
cumulant and moment generating functions can then be used to automatically
derive the necessary quadrature rules. In this article the approach is
restricted to approximating families that factorize to a product of
onedimensional families.
The final algorithm has interesting similarities with particle filtering
algorithms. We discuss these, and also discuss the relationship with variational
Bayes and Laplace propagation. Experimental results are given for an interesting
model from mathematical finance.