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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Constraint Sampling Reinforcement Learning: Incorporating Expertise For Faster Learning

Dec 30, 2021
Tong Mu, Georgios Theocharous, David Arbour, Emma Brunskill

Online reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms are often difficult to deploy in complex human-facing applications as they may learn slowly and have poor early performance. To address this, we introduce a practical algorithm for incorporating human insight to speed learning. Our algorithm, Constraint Sampling Reinforcement Learning (CSRL), incorporates prior domain knowledge as constraints/restrictions on the RL policy. It takes in multiple potential policy constraints to maintain robustness to misspecification of individual constraints while leveraging helpful ones to learn quickly. Given a base RL learning algorithm (ex. UCRL, DQN, Rainbow) we propose an upper confidence with elimination scheme that leverages the relationship between the constraints, and their observed performance, to adaptively switch among them. We instantiate our algorithm with DQN-type algorithms and UCRL as base algorithms, and evaluate our algorithm in four environments, including three simulators based on real data: recommendations, educational activity sequencing, and HIV treatment sequencing. In all cases, CSRL learns a good policy faster than baselines.

* AAAI2022 

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Obtaining Calibrated Probabilities with Personalized Ranking Models

Dec 09, 2021
Wonbin Kweon, SeongKu Kang, Hwanjo Yu

For personalized ranking models, the well-calibrated probability of an item being preferred by a user has great practical value. While existing work shows promising results in image classification, probability calibration has not been much explored for personalized ranking. In this paper, we aim to estimate the calibrated probability of how likely a user will prefer an item. We investigate various parametric distributions and propose two parametric calibration methods, namely Gaussian calibration and Gamma calibration. Each proposed method can be seen as a post-processing function that maps the ranking scores of pre-trained models to well-calibrated preference probabilities, without affecting the recommendation performance. We also design the unbiased empirical risk minimization framework that guides the calibration methods to learning of true preference probability from the biased user-item interaction dataset. Extensive evaluations with various personalized ranking models on real-world datasets show that both the proposed calibration methods and the unbiased empirical risk minimization significantly improve the calibration performance.

* AAAI 2022 

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Mitigating dataset harms requires stewardship: Lessons from 1000 papers

Aug 06, 2021
Kenny Peng, Arunesh Mathur, Arvind Narayanan

Concerns about privacy, bias, and harmful applications have shone a light on the ethics of machine learning datasets, even leading to the retraction of prominent datasets including DukeMTMC, MS-Celeb-1M, TinyImages, and VGGFace2. In response, the machine learning community has called for higher ethical standards, transparency efforts, and technical fixes in the dataset creation process. The premise of our work is that these efforts can be more effective if informed by an understanding of how datasets are used in practice in the research community. We study three influential face and person recognition datasets - DukeMTMC, MS-Celeb-1M, and Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) - by analyzing nearly 1000 papers that cite them. We found that the creation of derivative datasets and models, broader technological and social change, the lack of clarity of licenses, and dataset management practices can introduce a wide range of ethical concerns. We conclude by suggesting a distributed approach that can mitigate these harms, making recommendations to dataset creators, conference program committees, dataset users, and the broader research community.

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All That's 'Human' Is Not Gold: Evaluating Human Evaluation of Generated Text

Jul 07, 2021
Elizabeth Clark, Tal August, Sofia Serrano, Nikita Haduong, Suchin Gururangan, Noah A. Smith

Human evaluations are typically considered the gold standard in natural language generation, but as models' fluency improves, how well can evaluators detect and judge machine-generated text? We run a study assessing non-experts' ability to distinguish between human- and machine-authored text (GPT2 and GPT3) in three domains (stories, news articles, and recipes). We find that, without training, evaluators distinguished between GPT3- and human-authored text at random chance level. We explore three approaches for quickly training evaluators to better identify GPT3-authored text (detailed instructions, annotated examples, and paired examples) and find that while evaluators' accuracy improved up to 55%, it did not significantly improve across the three domains. Given the inconsistent results across text domains and the often contradictory reasons evaluators gave for their judgments, we examine the role untrained human evaluations play in NLG evaluation and provide recommendations to NLG researchers for improving human evaluations of text generated from state-of-the-art models.

* references added, corrected typo 

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TrivialAugment: Tuning-free Yet State-of-the-Art Data Augmentation

Mar 18, 2021
Samuel G. Müller, Frank Hutter

Automatic augmentation methods have recently become a crucial pillar for strong model performance in vision tasks. Current methods are mostly a trade-off between being simple, in-expensive or well-performing. We present a most simple automatic augmentation baseline, TrivialAugment, that outperforms previous methods almost for free. It is parameter-free and only applies a single augmentation to each image. To us, TrivialAugment's effectiveness is very unexpected. Thus, we performed very thorough experiments on its performance. First, we compare TrivialAugment to previous state-of-the-art methods in a plethora of scenarios. Then, we perform multiple ablation studies with different augmentation spaces, augmentation methods and setups to understand the crucial requirements for its performance. We condensate our learnings into recommendations to automatic augmentation users. Additionally, we provide a simple interface to use multiple automatic augmentation methods in any codebase, as well as, our full code base for reproducibility. Since our work reveals a stagnation in many parts of automatic augmentation research, we end with a short proposal of best practices for sustained future progress in automatic augmentation methods.

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Generative and Discriminative Deep Belief Network Classifiers: Comparisons Under an Approximate Computing Framework

Jan 31, 2021
Siqiao Ruan, Ian Colbert, Ken Kreutz-Delgado, Srinjoy Das

The use of Deep Learning hardware algorithms for embedded applications is characterized by challenges such as constraints on device power consumption, availability of labeled data, and limited internet bandwidth for frequent training on cloud servers. To enable low power implementations, we consider efficient bitwidth reduction and pruning for the class of Deep Learning algorithms known as Discriminative Deep Belief Networks (DDBNs) for embedded-device classification tasks. We train DDBNs with both generative and discriminative objectives under an approximate computing framework and analyze their power-at-performance for supervised and semi-supervised applications. We also investigate the out-of-distribution performance of DDBNs when the inference data has the same class structure yet is statistically different from the training data owing to dynamic real-time operating environments. Based on our analysis, we provide novel insights and recommendations for choice of training objectives, bitwidth values, and accuracy sensitivity with respect to the amount of labeled data for implementing DDBN inference with minimum power consumption on embedded hardware platforms subject to accuracy tolerances.

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An Empirical Investigation of Beam-Aware Training in Supertagging

Oct 10, 2020
Renato Negrinho, Matthew R. Gormley, Geoffrey J. Gordon

Structured prediction is often approached by training a locally normalized model with maximum likelihood and decoding approximately with beam search. This approach leads to mismatches as, during training, the model is not exposed to its mistakes and does not use beam search. Beam-aware training aims to address these problems, but unfortunately, it is not yet widely used due to a lack of understanding about how it impacts performance, when it is most useful, and whether it is stable. Recently, Negrinho et al. (2018) proposed a meta-algorithm that captures beam-aware training algorithms and suggests new ones, but unfortunately did not provide empirical results. In this paper, we begin an empirical investigation: we train the supertagging model of Vaswani et al. (2016) and a simpler model with instantiations of the meta-algorithm. We explore the influence of various design choices and make recommendations for choosing them. We observe that beam-aware training improves performance for both models, with large improvements for the simpler model which must effectively manage uncertainty during decoding. Our results suggest that a model must be learned with search to maximize its effectiveness.

* EMNLP Findings 2020 camera-ready. Code can be found at 

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Transfer Learning-based Road Damage Detection for Multiple Countries

Aug 30, 2020
Deeksha Arya, Hiroya Maeda, Sanjay Kumar Ghosh, Durga Toshniwal, Alexander Mraz, Takehiro Kashiyama, Yoshihide Sekimoto

Many municipalities and road authorities seek to implement automated evaluation of road damage. However, they often lack technology, know-how, and funds to afford state-of-the-art equipment for data collection and analysis of road damages. Although some countries, like Japan, have developed less expensive and readily available Smartphone-based methods for automatic road condition monitoring, other countries still struggle to find efficient solutions. This work makes the following contributions in this context. Firstly, it assesses the usability of the Japanese model for other countries. Secondly, it proposes a large-scale heterogeneous road damage dataset comprising 26620 images collected from multiple countries using smartphones. Thirdly, we propose generalized models capable of detecting and classifying road damages in more than one country. Lastly, we provide recommendations for readers, local agencies, and municipalities of other countries when one other country publishes its data and model for automatic road damage detection and classification. Our dataset is available at (

* 16 pages, 14 figures 

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Segmenting Scientific Abstracts into Discourse Categories: A Deep Learning-Based Approach for Sparse Labeled Data

May 27, 2020
Soumya Banerjee, Debarshi Kumar Sanyal, Samiran Chattopadhyay, Plaban Kumar Bhowmick, Parthapratim Das

The abstract of a scientific paper distills the contents of the paper into a short paragraph. In the biomedical literature, it is customary to structure an abstract into discourse categories like BACKGROUND, OBJECTIVE, METHOD, RESULT, and CONCLUSION, but this segmentation is uncommon in other fields like computer science. Explicit categories could be helpful for more granular, that is, discourse-level search and recommendation. The sparsity of labeled data makes it challenging to construct supervised machine learning solutions for automatic discourse-level segmentation of abstracts in non-bio domains. In this paper, we address this problem using transfer learning. In particular, we define three discourse categories BACKGROUND, TECHNIQUE, OBSERVATION-for an abstract because these three categories are the most common. We train a deep neural network on structured abstracts from PubMed, then fine-tune it on a small hand-labeled corpus of computer science papers. We observe an accuracy of 75% on the test corpus. We perform an ablation study to highlight the roles of the different parts of the model. Our method appears to be a promising solution to the automatic segmentation of abstracts, where the labeled data is sparse.

* to appear in the proceedings of JCDL'2020 

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