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We introduce a probabilistic robustness measure for Bayesian Neural Networks (BNNs), defined as the probability that, given a test point, there exists a point within a bounded set such that the BNN prediction differs between the two. Such a measure can be used, for instance, to quantify the probability of the existence of adversarial examples. Building on statistical verification techniques for probabilistic models, we develop a framework that allows us to estimate probabilistic robustness for a BNN with statistical guarantees, i.e., with a priori error and confidence bounds. We provide experimental comparison for several approximate BNN inference techniques on image classification tasks associated to MNIST and a two-class subset of the GTSRB dataset. Our results enable quantification of uncertainty of BNN predictions in adversarial settings.

Lifted inference algorithms for first-order logic models, e.g., Markov logic networks (MLNs), have been of significant interest in recent years. Lifted inference methods exploit model symmetries in order to reduce the size of the model and, consequently, the computational cost of inference. In this work, we consider the problem of lifted inference in MLNs with continuous or both discrete and continuous groundings. Existing work on lifting with continuous groundings has mostly been limited to special classes of models, e.g., Gaussian models, for which variable elimination or message-passing updates can be computed exactly. Here, we develop approximate lifted inference schemes based on particle sampling. We demonstrate empirically that our approximate lifting schemes perform comparably to existing state-of-the-art for models for Gaussian MLNs, while having the flexibility to be applied to models with arbitrary potential functions.

We investigate approximate Bayesian inference techniques for nonlinear systems described by ordinary differential equation (ODE) models. In particular, the approximations will be based on set-valued reachability analysis approaches, yielding approximate models for the posterior distribution. Nonlinear ODEs are widely used to mathematically describe physical and biological models. However, these models are often described by parameters that are not directly measurable and have an impact on the system behaviors. Often, noisy measurement data combined with physical/biological intuition serve as the means for finding appropriate values of these parameters. Our approach operates under a Bayesian framework, given prior distribution over the parameter space and noisy observations under a known sampling distribution. We explore subsets of the space of model parameters, computing bounds on the likelihood for each subset. This is performed using nonlinear set-valued reachability analysis that is made faster by means of linearization around a reference trajectory. The tiling of the parameter space can be adaptively refined to make bounds on the likelihood tighter. We evaluate our approach on a variety of nonlinear benchmarks and compare our results with Markov Chain Monte Carlo and Sequential Monte Carlo approaches.

Thompson Sampling provides an efficient technique to introduce prior knowledge in the multi-armed bandit problem, along with providing remarkable empirical performance. In this paper, we revisit the Thompson Sampling algorithm under rewards drawn from symmetric alpha-stable distributions, which are a class of heavy-tailed probability distributions utilized in finance and economics, in problems such as modeling stock prices and human behavior. We present an efficient framework for posterior inference, which leads to two algorithms for Thompson Sampling in this setting. We prove finite-time regret bounds for both algorithms, and demonstrate through a series of experiments the stronger performance of Thompson Sampling in this setting. With our results, we provide an exposition of symmetric alpha-stable distributions in sequential decision-making, and enable sequential Bayesian inference in applications from diverse fields in finance and complex systems that operate on heavy-tailed features.

Increasing amounts of available data have led to a heightened need for representing large-scale probabilistic knowledge bases. One approach is to use a probabilistic database, a model with strong assumptions that allow for efficiently answering many interesting queries. Recent work on open-world probabilistic databases strengthens the semantics of these probabilistic databases by discarding the assumption that any information not present in the data must be false. While intuitive, these semantics are not sufficiently precise to give reasonable answers to queries. We propose overcoming these issues by using constraints to restrict this open world. We provide an algorithm for one class of queries, and establish a basic hardness result for another. Finally, we propose an efficient and tight approximation for a large class of queries.

Markov Random Field (MRF) has been successfully used in community detection recently. However, existing MRF methods only utilize the network topology while ignore the semantic attributes. A straightforward way to combine the two types of information is that, one can first use a topic clustering model (e.g. LDA) to derive group membership of nodes by using the semantic attributes, then take this result as a prior to define the MRF model. In this way, however, the parameters of the two models cannot be adjusted by each other, preventing it from really realizing the complementation of the advantages of the two. This paper integrates LDA into MRF to form an end-to-end learning system where their parameters can be trained jointly. However, LDA is a directed graphic model whereas MRF is undirected, making their integration a challenge. To handle this problem, we first transform LDA and MRF into a unified factor graph framework, allowing sharing the parameters of the two models. We then derive an efficient belief propagation algorithm to train their parameters simultaneously, enabling our approach to take advantage of the strength of both LDA and MRF. Empirical results show that our approach compares favorably with the state-of-the-art methods.

In combinatorial statistics, we are interested in a statistical test of combinatorial correlation, i.e., existence a subset from an underlying combinatorial structure such that the observation is large on the subset. The combinatorial scan statistics has been proposed for such a statistical test; however, it is not commonly used in practice because of its high computational cost. In this study, we restrict our attention to the case that the number of data points is moderately small (e.g., 50), the outcome is binary, and the underlying combinatorial structure is represented by a zero-suppressed binary decision diagram (ZDD), and consider the problem of computing the p-value of the combinatorial scan statistics exactly. First, we prove that this problem is a #P-hard problem. Then, we propose a practical algorithm that solves the problem. Here, the algorithm constructs a binary decision diagram (BDD) for a set of realizations of the random variables by a dynamic programming on the ZDD, and computes the p-value by a dynamic programming on the BDD. We conducted experiments to evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithm using real-world datasets.

Hyper-parameter tuning is of crucial importance for real-world machine learning applications. While existing works mainly focus on speeding up the tuning process, we propose to study the problem of hyper-parameter tuning under a budget constraint, which is a more realistic scenario in developing large-scale systems. We formulate the task into a sequential decision making problem and propose a solution, which uses a Bayesian belief model to predict future performances, and an action-value function to plan and select the next configuration to run. With long term prediction and planning capability, our method is able to early stop unpromising configurations, and adapt the tuning behaviors to different constraints. Experiment results show that our method outperforms existing algorithms, including the-state-of-the-art one, on real-world tuning tasks across a range of different budgets.

Recently there has been growing interest in learning probabilistic models that admit poly-time inference called tractable probabilistic models from data. Although they generalize poorly as compared to intractable models, they often yield more accurate estimates at prediction time. In this paper, we seek to further explore this trade-off between generalization performance and inference accuracy by proposing a novel, partially tractable representation called cutset Bayesian networks (CBNs). The main idea in CBNs is to partition the variables into two subsets X and Y, learn a (intractable) Bayesian network that represents P(X) and a tractable conditional model that represents P(Y|X). The hope is that the intractable model will help improve generalization while the tractable model, by leveraging Rao-Blackwellised sampling which combines exact inference and sampling, will help improve the prediction accuracy. To compactly model P(Y|X), we introduce a novel tractable representation called conditional cutset networks (CCNs) in which all conditional probability distributions are represented using calibrated classifiers—classifiers which typically yield higher quality probability estimates than conventional classifiers. We show via a rigorous experimental evaluation that CBNs and CCNs yield more accurate posterior estimates than their tractable as well as intractable counterparts.

While probabilistic programming is a powerful tool, uncertainty is not always of a probabilistic kind. Some types of uncertainty are better captured using ranking theory, which is an alternative to probability theory where uncertainty is measured using degrees of surprise on the integer scale from 0 to ∞. In this paper we combine probabilistic programming methodology with ranking theory and develop a ranked programming language. We use the Scheme programming language a basis and extend it with the ability to express both normal and exceptional behaviour of a model, and perform inference on such models. Like probabilistic programming, our approach provides a simple and flexible way to represent and reason with models involving uncertainty, but using a coarser grained and computationally simpler kind of uncertainty.

Session-based recommendation is a challenging problem due to the inherent uncertainty of user behavior and the limited historical click information. Latent factors and the complex dependencies within the user’s current session have an important impact on the user's main intention, but the existing methods do not explicitly consider this point. In this paper, we propose a novel model, Interest Shift and Latent Factors Combination Model (ISLF), which can capture the user's main intention by taking into account the user’s interest shift (i.e. long-term and short-term interest) and latent factors simultaneously. In addition, we experimentally give an explicit explanation of this combination in our ISLF. Our experimental results on three benchmark datasets show that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance on all test datasets.

The platform migration and customization have become an indispensable process of deep neural network (DNN) development lifecycle. A high-precision but complex DNN trained in the cloud on massive data and powerful GPUs often goes through an optimization phase (e.g, quantization, compression) before deployment to a target device (e.g, mobile device). A test set that effectively uncovers the disagreements of a DNN and its optimized variant provides certain feedback to debug and further enhance the optimization procedure. However, the minor inconsistency between a DNN and its optimized version is often hard to detect and easily bypasses the original test set. This paper proposes DiffChaser, an automated black-box testing framework to detect untargeted/targeted disagreements between version variants of a DNN. We demonstrate 1) its effectiveness by comparing with the state-of-the-art techniques, and 2) its usefulness in real-world DNN product deployment involved with quantization and optimization.