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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Designing an AI Health Coach and Studying its Utility in Promoting Regular Aerobic Exercise

Oct 10, 2019
Shiwali Mohan, Anusha Venkatakrishnan, Andrea Hartzler

Our research aims to develop interactive, social agents that can coach people to learn new tasks, skills, and habits. In this paper, we focus on coaching sedentary, overweight individuals (i.e., trainees) to exercise regularly. We employ adaptive goal setting in which the intelligent health coach generates, tracks, and revises personalized exercise goals for a trainee. The goals become incrementally more difficult as the trainee progresses through the training program. Our approach is model-based - the coach maintains a parameterized model of the trainee's aerobic capability that drives its expectation of the trainee's performance. The model is continually revised based on trainee-coach interactions. The coach is embodied in a smartphone application, NutriWalking, which serves as a medium for coach-trainee interaction. We adopt a task-centric evaluation approach for studying the utility of the proposed algorithm in promoting regular aerobic exercise. We show that our approach can adapt the trainee program not only to several trainees with different capabilities, but also to how a trainee's capability improves as they begin to exercise more. Experts rate the goals selected by the coach better than other plausible goals, demonstrating that our approach is consistent with clinical recommendations. Further, in a 6-week observational study with sedentary participants, we show that the proposed approach helps increase exercise volume performed each week.

* Accepted at the ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems 

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Posture and sequence recognition for Bharatanatyam dance performances using machine learning approach

Sep 24, 2019
Tanwi Mallick, Partha Pratim Das, Arun Kumar Majumdar

Understanding the underlying semantics of performing arts like dance is a challenging task. Dance is multimedia in nature and spans over time as well as space. Capturing and analyzing the multimedia content of the dance is useful for the preservation of cultural heritage, to build video recommendation systems, to assist learners to use tutoring systems. To develop an application for dance, three aspects of dance analysis need to be addressed: 1) Segmentation of the dance video to find the representative action elements, 2) Matching or recognition of the detected action elements, and 3) Recognition of the dance sequences formed by combining a number of action elements under certain rules. This paper attempts to solve three fundamental problems of dance analysis for understanding the underlying semantics of dance forms. Our focus is on an Indian Classical Dance (ICD) form known as Bharatanatyam. As dance is driven by music, we use the music as well as motion information for key posture extraction. Next, we recognize the key postures using machine learning as well as deep learning techniques. Finally, the dance sequence is recognized using the Hidden Markov Model (HMM). We capture the multi-modal data of Bharatanatyam dance using Kinect and build an annotated data set for research in ICD.


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Cross-Domain Collaborative Filtering via Translation-based Learning

Aug 11, 2019
Dimitrios Rafailidis

With the proliferation of social media platforms and e-commerce sites, several cross-domain collaborative filtering strategies have been recently introduced to transfer the knowledge of user preferences across domains. The main challenge of cross-domain recommendation is to weigh and learn users' different behaviors in multiple domains. In this paper, we propose a Cross-Domain collaborative filtering model following a Translation-based strategy, namely CDT. In our model, we learn the embedding space with translation vectors and capture high-order feature interactions in users' multiple preferences across domains. In doing so, we efficiently compute the transitivity between feature latent embeddings, that is if feature pairs have high interaction weights in the latent space, then feature embeddings with no observed interactions across the domains will be closely related as well. We formulate our objective function as a ranking problem in factorization machines and learn the model's parameters via gradient descent. In addition, to better capture the non-linearity in user preferences across domains we extend the proposed CDT model by using a deep learning strategy, namely DeepCDT. Our experiments on six publicly available cross-domain tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed models, outperforming other state-of-the-art cross-domain strategies.

* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1907.01645 

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Attention Filtering for Multi-person Spatiotemporal Action Detection on Deep Two-Stream CNN Architectures

Jul 21, 2019
João Antunes, Pedro Abreu, Alexandre Bernardino, Asim Smailagic, Daniel Siewiorek

Action detection and recognition tasks have been the target of much focus in the computer vision community due to their many applications, namely, security, robotics and recommendation systems. Recently, datasets like AVA, provide multi-person, multi-label, spatiotemporal action detection and recognition challenges. Being unable to discern which portions of the input to use for classification is a limitation of two-stream CNN approaches, once the vision task involves several people with several labels. We address this limitation and improve the state-of-the-art performance of two-stream CNNs. In this paper we present four contributions: our fovea attention filtering that highlights targets for classification without discarding background; a generalized binary loss function designed for the AVA dataset; miniAVA, a partition of AVA that maintains temporal continuity and class distribution with only one tenth of the dataset size; and ablation studies on alternative attention filters. Our method, using fovea attention filtering and our generalized binary loss, achieves a relative video mAP improvement of 20% over the two-stream baseline in AVA, and is competitive with the state-of-the-art in the UCF101-24. We also show a relative video mAP improvement of 12.6% when using our generalized binary loss over the standard sum-of-sigmoids.


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The Intrinsic Robustness of Stochastic Bandits to Strategic Manipulation

Jun 04, 2019
Zhe Feng, David C. Parkes, Haifeng Xu

We study the behavior of stochastic bandits algorithms under \emph{strategic behavior} conducted by rational actors, i.e., the arms. Each arm is a strategic player who can modify its own reward whenever pulled, subject to a cross-period budget constraint. Each arm is \emph{self-interested} and seeks to maximize its own expected number of times of being pulled over a decision horizon. Strategic manipulations naturally arise in various economic applications, e.g., recommendation systems such as Yelp and Amazon. We analyze the robustness of three popular bandit algorithms: UCB, $\varepsilon$-Greedy, and Thompson Sampling. We prove that all three algorithms achieve a regret upper bound $\mathcal{O}(\max \{ B, \ln T\})$ under \emph{any} (possibly adaptive) strategy of the strategic arms, where $B$ is the total budget across arms. Moreover, we prove that our regret upper bound is \emph{tight}. Our results illustrate the intrinsic robustness of bandits algorithms against strategic manipulation so long as $B=o(T)$. This is in sharp contrast to the more pessimistic model of adversarial attacks where an attack budget of $\mathcal{O}(\ln T) $ can trick UCB and $\varepsilon$-Greedy to pull the optimal arm only $o(T)$ number of times. Our results hold for both bounded and unbounded rewards.


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Batch-Size Independent Regret Bounds for the Combinatorial Multi-Armed Bandit Problem

May 29, 2019
Nadav Merlis, Shie Mannor

We consider the combinatorial multi-armed bandit (CMAB) problem, where the reward function is nonlinear. In this setting, the agent chooses a batch of arms on each round and receives feedback from each arm of the batch. The reward that the agent aims to maximize is a function of the selected arms and their expectations. In many applications, the reward function is highly nonlinear, and the performance of existing algorithms relies on a global Lipschitz constant to encapsulate the function's nonlinearity. This may lead to loose regret bounds, since by itself, a large gradient does not necessarily cause a large regret, but only in regions where the uncertainty in the reward's parameters is high. To overcome this problem, we introduce a new smoothness criterion, which we term \emph{Gini-weighted smoothness}, that takes into account both the nonlinearity of the reward and concentration properties of the arms. We show that a linear dependence of the regret in the batch size in existing algorithms can be replaced by this smoothness parameter. This, in turn, leads to much tighter regret bounds when the smoothness parameter is batch-size independent. For example, in the probabilistic maximum coverage (PMC) problem, that has many applications, including influence maximization, diverse recommendations and more, we achieve dramatic improvements in the upper bounds. We also prove matching lower bounds for the PMC problem and show that our algorithm is tight, up to a logarithmic factor in the problem's parameters.

* Accepted to COLT 2019 

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Generative Stock Question Answering

Sep 20, 2018
Zhaopeng Tu, Yong Jiang, Xiaojiang Liu, Lei Shu, Shuming Shi

We study the problem of stock related question answering (StockQA): automatically generating answers to stock related questions, just like professional stock analysts providing action recommendations to stocks upon user's requests. StockQA is quite different from previous QA tasks since (1) the answers in StockQA are natural language sentences (rather than entities or values) and due to the dynamic nature of StockQA, it is scarcely possible to get reasonable answers in an extractive way from the training data; and (2) StockQA requires properly analyzing the relationship between keywords in QA pair and the numerical features of a stock. We propose to address the problem with a memory-augmented encoder-decoder architecture, and integrate different mechanisms of number understanding and generation, which is a critical component of StockQA. We build a large-scale dataset containing over 180K StockQA instances, based on which various technique combinations are extensively studied and compared. Experimental results show that a hybrid word-character model with separate character components for number processing, achieves the best performance. By analyzing the results, we found that 44.8% of answers generated by our best model still suffer from the generic answer problem, which can be alleviated by a straightforward hybrid retrieval-generation model.

* data: http://ai.tencent.com/ailab/nlp/data/stockQA.tar.gz 

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Interpretable Active Learning

Jun 24, 2018
Richard L. Phillips, Kyu Hyun Chang, Sorelle A. Friedler

Active learning has long been a topic of study in machine learning. However, as increasingly complex and opaque models have become standard practice, the process of active learning, too, has become more opaque. There has been little investigation into interpreting what specific trends and patterns an active learning strategy may be exploring. This work expands on the Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations framework (LIME) to provide explanations for active learning recommendations. We demonstrate how LIME can be used to generate locally faithful explanations for an active learning strategy, and how these explanations can be used to understand how different models and datasets explore a problem space over time. In order to quantify the per-subgroup differences in how an active learning strategy queries spatial regions, we introduce a notion of uncertainty bias (based on disparate impact) to measure the discrepancy in the confidence for a model's predictions between one subgroup and another. Using the uncertainty bias measure, we show that our query explanations accurately reflect the subgroup focus of the active learning queries, allowing for an interpretable explanation of what is being learned as points with similar sources of uncertainty have their uncertainty bias resolved. We demonstrate that this technique can be applied to track uncertainty bias over user-defined clusters or automatically generated clusters based on the source of uncertainty.

* 13 pages, 8 figures, presented at 2018 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*), New York, New York, USA. Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency, PMLR 81:49-61, 2018 

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Higher-Order Markov Tag-Topic Models for Tagged Documents and Images

Sep 25, 2011
Jia Zeng, Wei Feng, William K. Cheung, Chun-Hung Li

This paper studies the topic modeling problem of tagged documents and images. Higher-order relations among tagged documents and images are major and ubiquitous characteristics, and play positive roles in extracting reliable and interpretable topics. In this paper, we propose the tag-topic models (TTM) to depict such higher-order topic structural dependencies within the Markov random field (MRF) framework. First, we use the novel factor graph representation of latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA)-based topic models from the MRF perspective, and present an efficient loopy belief propagation (BP) algorithm for approximate inference and parameter estimation. Second, we propose the factor hypergraph representation of TTM, and focus on both pairwise and higher-order relation modeling among tagged documents and images. Efficient loopy BP algorithm is developed to learn TTM, which encourages the topic labeling smoothness among tagged documents and images. Extensive experimental results confirm the incorporation of higher-order relations to be effective in enhancing the overall topic modeling performance, when compared with current state-of-the-art topic models, in many text and image mining tasks of broad interests such as word and link prediction, document classification, and tag recommendation.

* 13 pages, 9 figures 

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