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- March 3, 2015 | Ankur ParikhBeing able to effectively model latent structure in data is a key challenge in modern AI research, particularly in Natural Language Processing (NLP) where it is crucial to discover and leverage syntactic and semantic relationships that may not be explicitly annotated in the training set. Unfortunately, while incorporating latent variables to represent hidden structure can substantially increase representation power, the key problems of model design and learning become significantly more complicated. For example, unlike fully observed models, latent variable models can suffer from non-identifiability, making it difficult to distinguish the desired latent structure from the others. Moreover, learning is usually formulated as a non-convex optimization problem, leading to the use of local search heuristics that may become trapped in local optima.
- February 26, 2015 | Ken ForbusCreating systems that can work with people, using natural modalities, as apprentices is a key step towards human-level AI. This talk will describe how my group is combining research on sketch understanding, natural language understanding, and analogical learning within the Companion cognitive architecture to create systems that can reason and learn about science by working with people. Some promising results will be described (e.g. solving conceptual physics problems involving sketches, modeling conceptual change, learning by reading) as well as work in progress (e.g. interactive knowledge capture via analogy).
- February 5, 2015 | Bhavana DalviSemi-supervised learning (SSL) has been widely used over a decade for various tasks -- including knowledge acquisition-- that lack large amount of training data. My research proposes a novel learning scenario in which the system knows a few categories in advance, but the rest of the categories are unanticipated and need to be discovered from the unlabeled data. With the availability of enormous unlabeled datasets at low cost, and difficulty of collecting labeled data for all possible categories, it becomes even more important to adapt traditional semi-supervised learning techniques to such realistic settings.
- January 7, 2015 | Been KimI will present the Bayesian Case Model (BCM), a general framework for Bayesian case-based reasoning (CBR) and prototype classification and clustering. BCM brings the intuitive power of CBR to a Bayesian generative framework. The BCM learns prototypes, the ``quintessential" observations that best represent clusters in a data set, by performing joint inference on cluster labels, prototypes and important features. Simultaneously, BCM pursues sparsity by learning subspaces, the sets of features that play important roles in the characterization of the prototypes. The prototype and subspace representation provides quantitative benefits in interpretability while preserving classification accuracy. Human subject experiments verify statistically significant improvements to participants' understanding when using explanations produced by BCM, compared to those given by prior art.
- December 4, 2014 | Aria HaghigiI discuss three problems in applied natural language processing and machine learning: event discovery from distributed discourse, document content models for information extraction, and relevance engineering for a large-scale personalization engine. The first two are information extraction problems over social media which attempt to utilize richer structure and context for decision making; these sections reflect work from the tail end of my purely academic work. The relevance section will discuss work done while at my former startup Prismatic and will focus on issues arising from productionizing real-time machine learning. Along the way, I'll share my thoughts and experience around productizing research and interesting future directions.
- December 3, 2014 | Roozbeh MottaghiScene understanding is one of the holy grails of computer vision, and despite decades of research, it is still considered an unsolved problem. In this talk, I will present a number of methods, which help us take a step further towards the ultimate goal of holistic scene understanding. In particular, I will talk about our work on object detection, 3D pose estimation, and contextual reasoning, and show that modeling these tasks jointly enables better understanding of scenes. At the end of the talk, I will describe our recent work on providing richer descriptions for objects in terms of their viewpoint and sub-category information.
- November 10, 2014 | Alan AkbikThe use of deep syntactic information such as typed dependencies has been shown to be very effective in Information Extraction (IE). Despite this potential, the process of manually creating rule-based information extractors that operate on dependency trees is not intuitive for persons without an extensive NLP background. In this talk, I present an approach and a graphical tool that allows even novice users to quickly and easily define extraction patterns over dependency trees and directly execute them on a very large text corpus. This enables users to explore a corpus for structured information of interest in a highly interactive and data-guided fashion, and allows them to create extractors for those semantic relations they find interesting. I then present a project in which we use Information Extraction to automatically construct a very large common sense knowledge base. This knowledge base - dubbed "The Weltmodell" - contains common sense facts that pertain to proper noun concepts; an example of this is the concept "coffee", for which we know that it is typically drunk by a person or brought by a waiter. I show how we mine such information from very large amounts of text, how we quantify notions such as typicality and similarity, and discuss some ideas how such world knowledge can be used to address reasoning tasks.
Deep Natural Language Semantics by Combining Logical and Distributional Methods using Probabilistic LogicNovember 4, 2014 | Raymond MooneyTraditional logical approaches to semantics and newer distributional or vector space approaches have complementary strengths and weaknesses.We have developed methods that integrate logical and distributional models by using a CCG-based parser to produce a detailed logical form for each sentence, and combining the result with soft inference rules derived from distributional semantics that connect the meanings of their component words and phrases. For recognizing textual entailment (RTE) we use Markov Logic Networks (MLNs) to combine these representations, and for Semantic Textual Similarity (STS) we use Probabilistic Soft Logic (PSL). We present experimental results on standard benchmark datasets for these problems and emphasize the advantages of combining logical structure of sentences with statistical knowledge mined from large corpora.
- October 1, 2014 | Chris Callison-BurchI will present my method for learning paraphrases - pairs of English expressions with equivalent meaning - from bilingual parallel corpora, which are more commonly used to train statistical machine translation systems. My method equates pairs of English phrases like --thrown into jail, imprisoned-- when they share an aligned foreign phrase like festgenommen. Because bitexts are large and because a phrase can be aligned many different foreign phrases including phrases in multiple foreign languages, the method extracts a diverse set of paraphrases. For thrown into jail, we not only learn imprisoned, but also arrested, detained, incarcerated, jailed, locked up, taken into custody, and thrown into prison, along with a set of incorrect/noisy paraphrases. I'll show a number of methods for filtering out the poor paraphrases, by defining a paraphrase probability calculated from translation model probabilities, and by re-ranking the candidate paraphrases using monolingual distributional similarity measures.
- August 5, 2014 | Jonathan BerantMachine reading calls for programs that read and understand text, but most current work only attempts to extract facts from redundant web-scale corpora. In this talk, I will focus on a new reading comprehension task that requires complex reasoning over a single document. The input is a paragraph describing a biological process, and the goal is to answer questions that require an understanding of the relations between entities and events in the process. To answer the questions, we first predict a rich structure representing the process in the paragraph. Then, we map the question to a formal query, which is executed against the predicted structure. We demonstrate that answering questions via predicted structures substantially improves accuracy over baselines that use shallower representations.