Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Master Algorithm - Pedro Domingos

A description of the state of present day machine learning organized by the main techniques/algorithms, the domains from which the techniques originated, the history of the field and how the search for the master algorithm continues.

1. The Master algorithm

  • The AI algorithm that can replicate/reproduce all of human knowledge.
  • Areas that might yield the master algorithm: NeuroScience, Statistics, Evolution, Physics, Computer Science
  • 5 approaches to AI (and the fields that influenced them): Bayesian (Statistics), Symbolist (Inverse deduction) , SVM (Analogies), Connectionist (Neuroscience), Genetic programming/Evolutionary algorithms (Evolution)

2. The Humes Inference question

  • Can everything be inferred from limited knowledge? Can the past ever be used to accurately predict the future?
  • Is a Master Algorithm feasible?
  • Rationalism (All knowledge comes from reasoning)  vs empiricism (All knowledge comes from experimentation/observation)
  •  The Symbolist approach:
    •     Knowledge is just the manipulation of symbols
    •     Inverse deduction: Deduce complex rules from simple rules
    •     E.g. Decision tress

3. The Connectist approach

  • Neural networks:
    • Theory behind how the brain learns (Hebbs): Axions fire across neurons, reinforced every time they are fired, developing a memory
  • Perceptron: Weighted inputs + Thresholding function
    • Drawback: Can classify only when there is a linear boundary
    • E.g. XOR has three regions 00, 01, 10, 00
    • E.g. Gender + Age (0/1): How to classify if condition is true for Male/Young and Female/Old but not for other cases
  •  Neural networks: Multilayer perceptrons with backprop to learn
  •  Others: Autoencoders, Boltzmann machines, CNNs

4. The Evolutionary/Genetic approach

  • Based on genetic algorithms
  • A set of solutions, combined continuously in iterations, at each iteration, weakest solutions are discarded
  • Iteration continue until an optimal solution is reached.

5. The Bayesian approach

  • Based on Bayes' rule: Probability of cause of an effect, given probability of cause, probaility of effect, and probability of effect given cause.
  • P(cause|effect) = P(cause)*P(effect|cause)/P(effect)
    •    P(cause): Prior
    •    P(cause| effect): Posterior
    •    P(effect | cause)/P(effect): Support
    •    Imagine a Venn diagram: 4 areas: C, E, C and E, Not C/Not E => Four probs: E, C, E|C, C|E
  • Bayesian networks: Networks of Bayesian infererers: Used to infer probabilites of complex sequences
  • E.g. Hidden Markov Models, Kalman Filters (Continuous variable version of discrete HMMs)

6. The Analogist approach

  • Find similarities between examples
  • E.g.Nearest Neighbor, SVM

7. Unsupervised approaches: Learning without teaching

  • E.g. KMeans, Principal Component Analysis, Reinforcement learning, Relational learning

8. Unifying the algorithms

  • Metalearning: Techniques to combine approaches. All reduce variance
    • Random forests:Bootstrapping, Bagging, Boosting

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