Research papers and code for "Ben Ellis":
Reinforcement learning approaches have long appealed to the data management community due to their ability to learn to control dynamic behavior from raw system performance. Recent successes in combining deep neural networks with reinforcement learning have sparked significant new interest in this domain. However, practical solutions remain elusive due to large training data requirements, algorithmic instability, and lack of standard tools. In this work, we introduce LIFT, an end-to-end software stack for applying deep reinforcement learning to data management tasks. While prior work has frequently explored applications in simulations, LIFT centers on utilizing human expertise to learn from demonstrations, thus lowering online training times. We further introduce TensorForce, a TensorFlow library for applied deep reinforcement learning exposing a unified declarative interface to common RL algorithms, thus providing a backend to LIFT. We demonstrate the utility of LIFT in two case studies in database compound indexing and resource management in stream processing. Results show LIFT controllers initialized from demonstrations can outperform human baselines and heuristics across latency metrics and space usage by up to 70%.

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Within the rapidly developing Internet of Things (IoT), numerous and diverse physical devices, Edge devices, Cloud infrastructure, and their quality of service requirements (QoS), need to be represented within a unified specification in order to enable rapid IoT application development, monitoring, and dynamic reconfiguration. But heterogeneities among different configuration knowledge representation models pose limitations for acquisition, discovery and curation of configuration knowledge for coordinated IoT applications. This paper proposes a unified data model to represent IoT resource configuration knowledge artifacts. It also proposes IoT-CANE (Context-Aware recommendatioN systEm) to facilitate incremental knowledge acquisition and declarative context driven knowledge recommendation.

* This paper is an incomplete draft. Therefore, I would like to withdraw it
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Evaluating expression of the Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2) by visual examination of immunohistochemistry (IHC) on invasive breast cancer (BCa) is a key part of the diagnostic assessment of BCa due to its recognised importance as a predictive and prognostic marker in clinical practice. However, visual scoring of Her2 is subjective and consequently prone to inter-observer variability. Given the prognostic and therapeutic implications of Her2 scoring, a more objective method is required. In this paper, we report on a recent automated Her2 scoring contest, held in conjunction with the annual PathSoc meeting held in Nottingham in June 2016, aimed at systematically comparing and advancing the state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) based automated methods for Her2 scoring. The contest dataset comprised of digitised whole slide images (WSI) of sections from 86 cases of invasive breast carcinoma stained with both Haematoxylin & Eosin (H&E) and IHC for Her2. The contesting algorithms automatically predicted scores of the IHC slides for an unseen subset of the dataset and the predicted scores were compared with the 'ground truth' (a consensus score from at least two experts). We also report on a simple Man vs Machine contest for the scoring of Her2 and show that the automated methods could beat the pathology experts on this contest dataset. This paper presents a benchmark for comparing the performance of automated algorithms for scoring of Her2. It also demonstrates the enormous potential of automated algorithms in assisting the pathologist with objective IHC scoring.

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