Models, code, and papers for "Eli Upfal":

The tasks of extracting (top-$K$) Frequent Itemsets (FI's) and Association Rules (AR's) are fundamental primitives in data mining and database applications. Exact algorithms for these problems exist and are widely used, but their running time is hindered by the need of scanning the entire dataset, possibly multiple times. High quality approximations of FI's and AR's are sufficient for most practical uses, and a number of recent works explored the application of sampling for fast discovery of approximate solutions to the problems. However, these works do not provide satisfactory performance guarantees on the quality of the approximation, due to the difficulty of bounding the probability of under- or over-sampling any one of an unknown number of frequent itemsets. In this work we circumvent this issue by applying the statistical concept of \emph{Vapnik-Chervonenkis (VC) dimension} to develop a novel technique for providing tight bounds on the sample size that guarantees approximation within user-specified parameters. Our technique applies both to absolute and to relative approximations of (top-$K$) FI's and AR's. The resulting sample size is linearly dependent on the VC-dimension of a range space associated with the dataset to be mined. The main theoretical contribution of this work is a proof that the VC-dimension of this range space is upper bounded by an easy-to-compute characteristic quantity of the dataset which we call \emph{d-index}, and is the maximum integer $d$ such that the dataset contains at least $d$ transactions of length at least $d$ such that no one of them is a superset of or equal to another. We show that this bound is strict for a large class of datasets.

In this work we focus on efficient heuristics for solving a class of stochastic planning problems that arise in a variety of business, investment, and industrial applications. The problem is best described in terms of future buy and sell contracts. By buying less reliable, but less expensive, buy (supply) contracts, a company or a trader can cover a position of more reliable and more expensive sell contracts. The goal is to maximize the expected net gain (profit) by constructing a dose to optimum portfolio out of the available buy and sell contracts. This stochastic planning problem can be formulated as a two-stage stochastic linear programming problem with recourse. However, this formalization leads to solutions that are exponential in the number of possible failure combinations. Thus, this approach is not feasible for large scale problems. In this work we investigate heuristic approximation techniques alleviating the efficiency problem. We primarily focus on the clustering approach and devise heuristics for finding clusterings leading to good approximations. We illustrate the quality and feasibility of the approach through experimental data.

While standard statistical inference techniques and machine learning generalization bounds assume that tests are run on data selected independently of the hypotheses, practical data analysis and machine learning are usually iterative and adaptive processes where the same holdout data is often used for testing a sequence of hypotheses (or models), which may each depend on the outcome of the previous tests on the same data. In this work, we present RadaBound a rigorous, efficient and practical procedure for controlling the generalization error when using a holdout sample for multiple adaptive testing. Our solution is based on a new application of the Rademacher Complexity generalization bounds, adapted to dependent tests. We demonstrate the statistical power and practicality of our method through extensive simulations and comparisons to alternative approaches.

We frame the problem of selecting an optimal audio encoding scheme as a supervised learning task. Through uniform convergence theory, we guarantee approximately optimal codec selection while controlling for selection bias. We present rigorous statistical guarantees for the codec selection problem that hold for arbitrary distributions over audio sequences and for arbitrary quality metrics. Our techniques can thus balance sound quality and compression ratio, and use audio samples from the distribution to select a codec that performs well on that particular type of data. The applications of our technique are immense, as it can be used to optimize for quality and bandwidth usage of streaming and other digital media, while significantly outperforming approaches that apply a fixed codec to all data sources.

In a multi-armed bandit problem, an online algorithm chooses from a set of strategies in a sequence of trials so as to maximize the total payoff of the chosen strategies. While the performance of bandit algorithms with a small finite strategy set is quite well understood, bandit problems with large strategy sets are still a topic of very active investigation, motivated by practical applications such as online auctions and web advertisement. The goal of such research is to identify broad and natural classes of strategy sets and payoff functions which enable the design of efficient solutions. In this work we study a very general setting for the multi-armed bandit problem in which the strategies form a metric space, and the payoff function satisfies a Lipschitz condition with respect to the metric. We refer to this problem as the "Lipschitz MAB problem". We present a solution for the multi-armed bandit problem in this setting. That is, for every metric space we define an isometry invariant which bounds from below the performance of Lipschitz MAB algorithms for this metric space, and we present an algorithm which comes arbitrarily close to meeting this bound. Furthermore, our technique gives even better results for benign payoff functions. We also address the full-feedback ("best expert") version of the problem, where after every round the payoffs from all arms are revealed.

In a multi-armed bandit problem, an online algorithm chooses from a set of strategies in a sequence of trials so as to maximize the total payoff of the chosen strategies. While the performance of bandit algorithms with a small finite strategy set is quite well understood, bandit problems with large strategy sets are still a topic of very active investigation, motivated by practical applications such as online auctions and web advertisement. The goal of such research is to identify broad and natural classes of strategy sets and payoff functions which enable the design of efficient solutions. In this work we study a very general setting for the multi-armed bandit problem in which the strategies form a metric space, and the payoff function satisfies a Lipschitz condition with respect to the metric. We refer to this problem as the "Lipschitz MAB problem". We present a complete solution for the multi-armed problem in this setting. That is, for every metric space (L,X) we define an isometry invariant which bounds from below the performance of Lipschitz MAB algorithms for X, and we present an algorithm which comes arbitrarily close to meeting this bound. Furthermore, our technique gives even better results for benign payoff functions.

We formulate and study a fundamental search and detection problem, Schedule Optimization, motivated by a variety of real-world applications, ranging from monitoring content changes on the web, social networks, and user activities to detecting failure on large systems with many individual machines. We consider a large system consists of many nodes, where each node has its own rate of generating new events, or items. A monitoring application can probe a small number of nodes at each step, and our goal is to compute a probing schedule that minimizes the expected number of undiscovered items at the system, or equivalently, minimizes the expected time to discover a new item in the system. We study the Schedule Optimization problem both for deterministic and randomized memoryless algorithms. We provide lower bounds on the cost of an optimal schedule and construct close to optimal schedules with rigorous mathematical guarantees. Finally, we present an adaptive algorithm that starts with no prior information on the system and converges to the optimal memoryless algorithms by adapting to observed data.

Over the past decades, researchers and ML practitioners have come up with better and better ways to build, understand and improve the quality of ML models, but mostly under the key assumption that the training data is distributed identically to the testing data. In many real-world applications, however, some potential training examples are unknown to the modeler, due to sample selection bias or, more generally, covariate shift, i.e., a distribution shift between the training and deployment stage. The resulting discrepancy between training and testing distributions leads to poor generalization performance of the ML model and hence biased predictions. We provide novel algorithms that estimate the number and properties of these unknown training examples---unknown unknowns. This information can then be used to correct the training set, prior to seeing any test data. The key idea is to combine species-estimation techniques with data-driven methods for estimating the feature values for the unknown unknowns. Experiments on a variety of ML models and datasets indicate that taking the unknown examples into account can yield a more robust ML model that generalizes better.

We develop a novel method, based on the statistical concept of the Vapnik-Chervonenkis dimension, to evaluate the selectivity (output cardinality) of SQL queries - a crucial step in optimizing the execution of large scale database and data-mining operations. The major theoretical contribution of this work, which is of independent interest, is an explicit bound to the VC-dimension of a range space defined by all possible outcomes of a collection (class) of queries. We prove that the VC-dimension is a function of the maximum number of Boolean operations in the selection predicate and of the maximum number of select and join operations in any individual query in the collection, but it is neither a function of the number of queries in the collection nor of the size (number of tuples) of the database. We leverage on this result and develop a method that, given a class of queries, builds a concise random sample of a database, such that with high probability the execution of any query in the class on the sample provides an accurate estimate for the selectivity of the query on the original large database. The error probability holds simultaneously for the selectivity estimates of all queries in the collection, thus the same sample can be used to evaluate the selectivity of multiple queries, and the sample needs to be refreshed only following major changes in the database. The sample representation computed by our method is typically sufficiently small to be stored in main memory. We present extensive experimental results, validating our theoretical analysis and demonstrating the advantage of our technique when compared to complex selectivity estimation techniques used in PostgreSQL and the Microsoft SQL Server.

Machine learning is an important research area in particle physics, beginning with applications to high-level physics analysis in the 1990s and 2000s, followed by an explosion of applications in particle and event identification and reconstruction in the 2010s. In this document we discuss promising future research and development areas in machine learning in particle physics with a roadmap for their implementation, software and hardware resource requirements, collaborative initiatives with the data science community, academia and industry, and training the particle physics community in data science. The main objective of the document is to connect and motivate these areas of research and development with the physics drivers of the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider and future neutrino experiments and identify the resource needs for their implementation. Additionally we identify areas where collaboration with external communities will be of great benefit.

Motivated by crowdsourced computation, peer-grading, and recommendation systems, Braverman, Mao and Weinberg [STOC'16] studied the \emph{query} and \emph{round} complexity of fundamental problems such as finding the maximum (\textsc{max}), finding all elements above a certain value (\textsc{threshold-$v$}) or computing the top$-k$ elements (\textsc{Top}-$k$) in a noisy environment. For example, consider the task of selecting papers for a conference. This task is challenging due the crowdsourcing nature of peer reviews: the results of reviews are noisy and it is necessary to parallelize the review process as much as possible. We study the noisy value model and the noisy comparison model: In the \emph{noisy value model}, a reviewer is asked to evaluate a single element: "What is the value of paper $i$?" (\eg accept). In the \emph{noisy comparison model} (introduced in the seminal work of Feige, Peleg, Raghavan and Upfal [SICOMP'94]) a reviewer is asked to do a pairwise comparison: "Is paper $i$ better than paper $j$?" In this paper, we show optimal worst-case query complexity for the \textsc{max},\textsc{threshold-$v$} and \textsc{Top}-$k$ problems. For \textsc{max} and \textsc{Top}-$k$, we obtain optimal worst-case upper and lower bounds on the round vs query complexity in both models. For \textsc{threshold}-$v$, we obtain optimal query complexity and nearly-optimal round complexity, where $k$ is the size of the output) for both models. We then go beyond the worst-case and address the question of the importance of knowledge of the instance by providing, for a large range of parameters, instance-optimal algorithms with respect to the query complexity. Furthermore, we show that the value model is strictly easier than the comparison model.