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163
Active learning literature survey
, 2010
"... The key idea behind active learning is that a machine learning algorithm can achieve greater accuracy with fewer labeled training instances if it is allowed to choose the data from which is learns. An active learner may ask queries in the form of unlabeled instances to be labeled by an oracle (e.g., ..."
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Cited by 132 (1 self)
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The key idea behind active learning is that a machine learning algorithm can achieve greater accuracy with fewer labeled training instances if it is allowed to choose the data from which is learns. An active learner may ask queries in the form of unlabeled instances to be labeled by an oracle (e.g., a human annotator). Active learning is wellmotivated in many modern machine learning problems, where unlabeled data may be abundant but labels are difficult, timeconsuming, or expensive to obtain. This report provides a general introduction to active learning and a survey of the literature. This includes a discussion of the scenarios in which queries can be formulated, and an overview of the query strategy frameworks proposed in the literature to date. An analysis of the empirical and theoretical evidence for active learning, a summary of several problem setting variants, and a discussion
Nearoptimal sensor placements: Maximizing information while minimizing communication cost
 In IPSN
, 2006
"... When monitoring spatial phenomena with wireless sensor networks, selecting the best sensor placements is a fundamental task. Not only should the sensors be informative, but they should also be able to communicate efficiently. In this paper, we present a datadriven approach that addresses the three ..."
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Cited by 89 (16 self)
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When monitoring spatial phenomena with wireless sensor networks, selecting the best sensor placements is a fundamental task. Not only should the sensors be informative, but they should also be able to communicate efficiently. In this paper, we present a datadriven approach that addresses the three central aspects of this problem: measuring the predictive quality of a set of sensor locations (regardless of whether sensors were ever placed at these locations), predicting the communication cost involved with these placements, and designing an algorithm with provable quality guarantees that optimizes the NPhard tradeoff. Specifically, we use data from a pilot deployment to build nonparametric probabilistic models called Gaussian Processes (GPs) both for the spatial phenomena of interest and for the spatial variability of link qualities, which allows us to estimate predictive power and communication cost of unsensed locations. Surprisingly, uncertainty in the representation of link qualities plays an important role in estimating communication costs. Using these models, we present a novel, polynomialtime, datadriven algorithm, pSPIEL, which selects Sensor Placements at Informative and costEffective Locations. Our approach exploits two important properties of this problem: submodularity, formalizing the intuition that adding a node to a small deployment can help more than adding a node to a large deployment; and locality, under which nodes that are far from each other provide almost independent information. Exploiting these properties, we prove strong approximation guarantees for our pSPIEL approach. We also provide extensive experimental validation of this practical approach on several realworld placement problems, and built a complete system implementation on 46 Tmote Sky motes, demonstrating significant advantages over existing methods.
Nearoptimal nonmyopic value of information in graphical models
 In Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence
"... A fundamental issue in realworld systems, such as sensor networks, is the selection of observations which most effectively reduce uncertainty. More specifically, we address the long standing problem of nonmyopically selecting the most informative subset of variables in a graphical model. We present ..."
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Cited by 88 (17 self)
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A fundamental issue in realworld systems, such as sensor networks, is the selection of observations which most effectively reduce uncertainty. More specifically, we address the long standing problem of nonmyopically selecting the most informative subset of variables in a graphical model. We present the first efficient randomized algorithm providing a constant factor (1 − 1/e − ε) approximation guarantee for any ε> 0 with high confidence. The algorithm leverages the theory of submodular functions, in combination with a polynomial bound on sample complexity. We furthermore prove that no polynomial time algorithm can provide a constant factor approximation better than (1 − 1/e) unless P = NP. Finally, we provide extensive evidence of the effectiveness of our method on two complex realworld datasets. 1
Maximizing nonmonotone submodular functions
 In Proceedings of 48th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS
, 2007
"... Submodular maximization generalizes many important problems including Max Cut in directed/undirected graphs and hypergraphs, certain constraint satisfaction problems and maximum facility location problems. Unlike the problem of minimizing submodular functions, the problem of maximizing submodular fu ..."
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Cited by 85 (13 self)
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Submodular maximization generalizes many important problems including Max Cut in directed/undirected graphs and hypergraphs, certain constraint satisfaction problems and maximum facility location problems. Unlike the problem of minimizing submodular functions, the problem of maximizing submodular functions is NPhard. In this paper, we design the first constantfactor approximation algorithms for maximizing nonnegative submodular functions. In particular, we give a deterministic local search 1 2approximation and a randomizedapproximation algo
Nearoptimal observation selection using submodular functions
 In AAAI Nectar
, 2007
"... AI problems such as autonomous robotic exploration, automatic diagnosis and activity recognition have in common the need for choosing among a set of informative but possibly expensive observations. When monitoring spatial phenomena with sensor networks or mobile robots, for example, we need to decid ..."
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Cited by 55 (10 self)
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AI problems such as autonomous robotic exploration, automatic diagnosis and activity recognition have in common the need for choosing among a set of informative but possibly expensive observations. When monitoring spatial phenomena with sensor networks or mobile robots, for example, we need to decide which locations to observe in order to most effectively decrease the uncertainty, at minimum cost. These problems usually are NPhard. Many observation selection objectives satisfy submodularity, an intuitive diminishing returns property – adding a sensor to a small deployment helps more than adding it to a large deployment. In this paper, we survey recent advances in systematically exploiting this submodularity property to efficiently achieve nearoptimal observation selections, under complex constraints. We illustrate the effectiveness of our approaches on problems of monitoring environmental phenomena and water distribution networks.
Efficient planning of informative paths for multiple robots
 In IJCAI
, 2007
"... In many sensing applications, including environmental monitoring, measurement systems must cover a large space with only limited sensing resources. One approach to achieve required sensing coverage is to use robots to convey sensors within this space.Planning the motion of these robots – coordinatin ..."
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Cited by 42 (11 self)
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In many sensing applications, including environmental monitoring, measurement systems must cover a large space with only limited sensing resources. One approach to achieve required sensing coverage is to use robots to convey sensors within this space.Planning the motion of these robots – coordinating their paths in order to maximize the amount of information collected while placing bounds on their resources (e.g., path length or energy capacity) – is a NPhard problem. In this paper, we present an efficient path planning algorithm that coordinates multiple robots, each having a resource constraint, to maximize the “informativeness ” of their visited locations. In particular, we use a Gaussian Process to model the underlying phenomenon, and use the mutual information between the visited locations and remainder of the space to characterize the amount of information collected. We provide strong theoretical approximation guarantees for our algorithm by exploiting the submodularity property of mutual information. In addition, we improve the efficiency of our approach by extending the algorithm using branch and bound and a regionbased decomposition of the space. We provide an extensive empirical analysis of our algorithm, comparing with existing heuristics on datasets from several real world sensing applications.
Active learning via transductive experimental design
 In Machine Learning, Proceedings of the TwentyThird International Conference (ICML
, 2006
"... This paper considers the problem of selecting the most informative experiments x to get measurements y for learning a regression model y = f(x). We propose a novel and simple concept for active learning, transductive experimental design, that explores available unmeasured experiments (i.e.,unlabeled ..."
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Cited by 34 (1 self)
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This paper considers the problem of selecting the most informative experiments x to get measurements y for learning a regression model y = f(x). We propose a novel and simple concept for active learning, transductive experimental design, that explores available unmeasured experiments (i.e.,unlabeled data) and has a better scalability in comparison with classic experimental design methods. Our indepth analysis shows that the new method tends to favor experiments that are on the one side hardtopredict and on the other side representative for the rest of the experiments. Efficient optimization of the new design problem is achieved through alternating optimization and sequential greedy search. Extensive experimental results on synthetic problems and three realworld tasks, including questionnaire design for preference learning, active learning for text categorization, and spatial sensor placement, highlight the advantages of the proposed approaches. 1.
Algorithms for Subset Selection in Linear Regression
 STOC'08
, 2008
"... We study the problem of selecting a subset of k random variables to observe that will yield the best linear prediction of another variable of interest, given the pairwise correlations between the observation variables and the predictor variable. Under approximation preserving reductions, this proble ..."
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Cited by 30 (3 self)
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We study the problem of selecting a subset of k random variables to observe that will yield the best linear prediction of another variable of interest, given the pairwise correlations between the observation variables and the predictor variable. Under approximation preserving reductions, this problem is also equivalent to the“sparse approximation”problem of approximating signals concisely. We propose and analyze exact and approximation algorithms for several special cases of practical interest. We give an FPTAS when the covariance matrix has constant bandwidth, and exact algorithms when the associated covariance graph, consisting of edges for pairs of variables with nonzero correlation, forms a tree or has a large (known) independent set. Furthermore, we give an exact algorithm when the variables can be embedded into a line such that the covariance decreases exponentially in the distance, and a constantfactor approximation when the variables have no “conditional suppressor variables”. Much of our reasoning is based on perturbation results for the R 2 multiple correlation measure, frequently used as a measure for “goodnessoffit statistics”. It lies at the core of our FPTAS, and also allows us to extend exact algorithms to approximation algorithms when the matrix “nearly ” falls into one of the above classes. We also use perturbation analysis to prove approximation guarantees for the widely used “Forward Regression ” heuristic when the observation variables are nearly independent.
Robust submodular observation selection
, 2008
"... In many applications, one has to actively select among a set of expensive observations before making an informed decision. For example, in environmental monitoring, we want to select locations to measure in order to most effectively predict spatial phenomena. Often, we want to select observations wh ..."
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Cited by 30 (3 self)
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In many applications, one has to actively select among a set of expensive observations before making an informed decision. For example, in environmental monitoring, we want to select locations to measure in order to most effectively predict spatial phenomena. Often, we want to select observations which are robust against a number of possible objective functions. Examples include minimizing the maximum posterior variance in Gaussian Process regression, robust experimental design, and sensor placement for outbreak detection. In this paper, we present the Submodular Saturation algorithm, a simple and efficient algorithm with strong theoretical approximation guarantees for cases where the possible objective functions exhibit submodularity, an intuitive diminishing returns property. Moreover, we prove that better approximation algorithms do not exist unless NPcomplete problems admit efficient algorithms. We show how our algorithm can be extended to handle complex cost functions (incorporating nonunit observation cost or communication and path costs). We also show how the algorithm can be used to nearoptimally trade off expectedcase (e.g., the Mean Square Prediction Error in Gaussian Process regression) and worstcase (e.g., maximum predictive variance) performance. We show that many important machine learning problems fit our robust submodular observation selection formalism, and provide extensive empirical evaluation on several realworld problems. For Gaussian Process regression, our algorithm compares favorably with stateoftheart heuristics described in the geostatistics literature, while being simpler, faster and providing theoretical guarantees. For robust experimental design, our algorithm performs favorably compared to SDPbased algorithms.
A tutorial on Bayesian optimization of expensive cost functions, withapplicationtoactiveusermodeling andhierarchical reinforcement learning
, 2009
"... We present a tutorial on Bayesian optimization, a method of finding the maximum of expensive cost functions. Bayesian optimization employs the Bayesian technique of setting a prior over the objective function and combining it with evidence to get a posterior function. This permits a utilitybased se ..."
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Cited by 29 (2 self)
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We present a tutorial on Bayesian optimization, a method of finding the maximum of expensive cost functions. Bayesian optimization employs the Bayesian technique of setting a prior over the objective function and combining it with evidence to get a posterior function. This permits a utilitybased selection of the next observation to make on the objective function, which must take into account both exploration (sampling from areas of high uncertainty) and exploitation (sampling areas likely to offer improvement over the current best observation). We also present two detailed extensions of Bayesian optimization, with experiments—active user modelling with preferences, and hierarchical reinforcement learning— and a discussion of the pros and cons of Bayesian optimization based on our experiences. 1