Offline Multi-Action Policy Learning google
In many settings, a decision-maker wishes to learn a rule, or policy, that maps from observable characteristics of an individual to an action. Examples include selecting offers, prices, advertisements, or emails to send to consumers, as well as the problem of determining which medication to prescribe to a patient. While there is a growing body of literature devoted to this problem, most existing results are focused on the case where data comes from a randomized experiment, and further, there are only two possible actions, such as giving a drug to a patient or not. In this paper, we study the offline multi-action policy learning problem with observational data and where the policy may need to respect budget constraints or belong to a restricted policy class such as decision trees. We build on the theory of efficient semi-parametric inference in order to propose and implement a policy learning algorithm that achieves asymptotically minimax-optimal regret. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first result of this type in the multi-action setup, and it provides a substantial performance improvement over the existing learning algorithms. We then consider additional computational challenges that arise in implementing our method for the case where the policy is restricted to take the form of a decision tree. We propose two different approaches, one using a mixed integer program formulation and the other using a tree-search based algorithm. …

Multi-Objective Automated Negotiation Based Online Feature Selection (MOANOFS) google
Feature Selection (FS) plays an important role in learning and classification tasks. The object of FS is to select the relevant and non-redundant features. Considering the huge amount number of features in real-world applications, FS methods using batch learning technique can’t resolve big data problem especially when data arrive sequentially. In this paper, we propose an online feature selection system which resolves this problem. More specifically, we treat the problem of online supervised feature selection for binary classification as a decision-making problem. A philosophical vision to this problem leads to a hybridization between two important domains: feature selection using online learning technique (OFS) and automated negotiation (AN). The proposed OFS system called MOANOFS (Multi-Objective Automated Negotiation based Online Feature Selection) uses two levels of decision. In the first level, from n learners (or OFS methods), we decide which are the k trustful ones (with high confidence or trust value). These elected k learners will participate in the second level. In this level, we integrate our proposed Multilateral Automated Negotiation based OFS (MANOFS) method to decide finally which is the best solution or which are relevant features. We show that MOANOFS system is applicable to different domains successfully and achieves high accuracy with several real-world applications. Index Terms: Feature selection, online learning, multi-objective automated negotiation, trust, classification, big data. …

Time Aligned Common and Individual Factor Analysis (TACIFA) google
Many modern data sets require inference methods that can estimate the shared and individual-specific components of variability in collections of matrices that change over time. Promising methods have been developed to analyze these types of data in static cases, but very few approaches are available for dynamic settings. To address this gap, we consider novel models and inference methods for pairs of matrices in which the columns correspond to multivariate observations at different time points. In order to characterize common and individual features, we propose a Bayesian dynamic factor modeling framework called Time Aligned Common and Individual Factor Analysis (TACIFA) that includes uncertainty in time alignment through an unknown warping function. We provide theoretical support for the proposed model, showing identifiability and posterior concentration. The structure enables efficient computation through a Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC) algorithm. We show excellent performance in simulations, and illustrate the method through application to a social synchrony experiment. …

LEAFAGE google
As machine learning models become more accurate, they typically become more complex and uninterpretable by humans. The black-box character of these models holds back its acceptance in practice, especially in high-risk domains where the consequences of failure could be catastrophic such as health-care or defense. Providing understandable and useful explanations behind ML models or predictions can increase the trust of the user. Example-based reasoning, which entails leveraging previous experience with analogous tasks to make a decision, is a well known strategy for problem solving and justification. This work presents a new explanation extraction method called LEAFAGE, for a prediction made by any black-box ML model. The explanation consists of the visualization of similar examples from the training set and the importance of each feature. Moreover, these explanations are contrastive which aims to take the expectations of the user into account. LEAFAGE is evaluated in terms of fidelity to the underlying black-box model and usefulness to the user. The results showed that LEAFAGE performs overall better than the current state-of-the-art method LIME in terms of fidelity, on ML models with non-linear decision boundary. A user-study was conducted which focused on revealing the differences between example-based and feature importance-based explanations. It showed that example-based explanations performed significantly better than feature importance-based explanation, in terms of perceived transparency, information sufficiency, competence and confidence. Counter-intuitively, when the gained knowledge of the participants was tested, it showed that they learned less about the black-box model after seeing a feature importance-based explanation than seeing no explanation at all. The participants found feature importance-based explanation vague and hard to generalize it to other instances. …

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