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We consider a problem wherein jobs arrive at random times and assume random values. Upon each job arrival, the decision-maker must decide immediately whether or not to accept the job and gain the value on offer as a reward, with the constraint that they may only accept at most n jobs over some reference time period. The decision-maker only has access to M independent realisations of the job arrival process. We propose an algorithm, Non-Parametric Sequential Allocation (NPSA), for solving this problem. Moreover, we prove that the expected reward returned by the NPSA algorithm converges in probability to optimality as M grows large. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithm empirically on synthetic data and on public fraud-detection datasets, from where the motivation for this work is derived.

A Bayesian network is a directed acyclic graph that represents statistical dependencies between variables of a joint probability distribution. A fundamental task in data science is to learn a Bayesian network from observed data. Polytree Learning is the problem of learning an optimal Bayesian network that fulfills the additional property that its underlying undirected graph is a forest. In this work, we revisit the complexity of Polytree Learning. We show that Polytree Learning can be solved in single-exponential FPT time for the number of variables. Moreover, we consider the influence of d, the number of variables that might receive a nonempty parent set in the final DAG on the complexity of Polytree Learning. We show that Polytree Learning is presumably not fixed-parameter tractable for d, unlike Bayesian network learning which is fixed-parameter tractable for d. Finally, we show that if d and the maximum parent set size are bounded, then we can obtain efficient algorithms.

Gaussian Bayesian networks are widely used for modeling the behavior of continuous random variables. Lifting exploits symmetries when dealing with large numbers of isomorphic random variables. It provides a more compact representation for more efficient query answering by encoding the symmetries using logical variables. This paper improves on an existing lifted representation of the joint distribution represented by a Gaussian Bayesian network (lifted joint), allowing overlaps between the logical variables. Handling overlaps without grounding a model is critical for modelling real-world scenarios. Specifically, this paper contributes (i) a lifted joint that allows overlaps in logical variables and (ii) a lifted query answering algorithm using the lifted joint. Complexity analyses and experimental results show that - despite overlaps - constructing a lifted joint and answering queries on the lifted joint outperform their grounded counterparts significantly.

Bucket Elimination (BE) is a universal inference scheme that can solve most tasks over probabilistic and deterministic graphical models exactly. However, it often requires exponentially high levels of memory (in the induced-width) preventing its execution. In the spirit of exploiting Deep Learning for inference tasks, in this paper, we will use neural networks to approximate BE. The resulting Deep Bucket Elimination (DBE) algorithm is developed for computing the partition function. We provide a proof-of-concept empirically using instances from several different benchmarks, showing that DBE can be a more accurate approximation than current state-of-the-art approaches for approximating BE (e.g. the mini-bucket schemes), especially when problems are sufficiently hard.

Creating an accurate model of a user's skills is necessary for intelligent tutoring systems. Without an accurate model, sample problems or tasks must be selected haphazardly by the tutor. Once an accurate model has been trained, the tutor can selectively focus on training essential or deficient skills. Prior work offers mechanisms for optimizing the training of a single skill or for multiple skills when individual tasks involve testing only a single skill at a time, but not for multiple skills when individual tasks can contain evidence for multiple skills. In this paper, we present a system that estimates user skill models for multiple skills by selecting tasks which maximize the information gain across the entire skill model. We compare our system's policy against several baselines and an optimal policy in both simulated and real tasks. Our system outperforms baselines and performs almost on par with the optimal policy.

Bayesian networks are probabilistic graphical models with a wide range of application areas including gene regulatory networks inference, risk analysis and image processing. Learning the structure of a Bayesian network (BNSL) from discrete data is known to be an NP-hard task with a superexponential search space of directed acyclic graphs. In this work, we propose a new polynomial time algorithm for discovering a subset of all possible cluster cuts, a greedy algorithm for approximately solving the resulting linear program, and a generalized arc consistency algorithm for the acyclicity constraint. We embed these in the constraint programming-based branch-and-bound solver CPBayes and show that, despite being suboptimal, they improve performance by orders of magnitude. The resulting solver also compares favorably with GOBNILP, a state-of-the-art solver for the BNSL problem which solves an NP-hard problem to discover each cut and solves the linear program exactly.

Robustness of decision rules to shifts in the data-generating process is crucial to the successful deployment of decision-making systems. Such shifts can be viewed as interventions on a causal graph, which capture (possibly hypothetical) changes in the data-generating process, whether due to natural reasons or by the action of an adversary. We consider causal Bayesian networks and formally define the interventional robustness problem, a novel model-based notion of robustness for decision functions that measures worst-case performance with respect to a set of interventions that denote changes to parameters and/or causal influences. By relying on a tractable representation of Bayesian networks as arithmetic circuits, we provide efficient algorithms for computing guaranteed upper and lower bounds on the interventional robustness probabilities. Experimental results demonstrate that the methods yield useful and interpretable bounds for a range of practical networks, paving the way towards provably causally robust decision-making systems.

We study the problem of constructing the relational marginal polytope (RMP) of a given set of first-order formulas. Past work has shown that the RMP construction problem can be reduced to weighted first-order model counting (WFOMC). However, existing reductions in the literature are intractable in practice, since they typically require an infeasibly large number of calls to a WFOMC oracle. In this paper, we propose an algorithm to construct RMPs using fewer oracle calls. As an application, we also show how to apply this new algorithm to improve an existing approximation scheme for WFOMC. We demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed approaches experimentally, and find that our method provides speed-ups over the baseline for RMP construction of a full order of magnitude.