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Learning from interaction: models and applications

Glowacka, D; (2012) Learning from interaction: models and applications. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

A large proportion of Machine Learning (ML) research focuses on designing algorithms that require minimal input from the human. However, ML algo- rithms are now widely used in various areas of engineering to design and build systems that interact with the human user and thus need to “learn” from this interaction. In this work, we concentrate on algorithms that learn from user interaction. A significant part of the dissertation is devoted to learning in the bandit setting. We propose a general framework for handling dependencies across arms, based on the new assumption that the mean-reward function is drawn from a Gaussian Process. Additionally, we propose an alternative method for arm selection using Thompson sampling and we apply the new algorithms to a grammar learning problem. In the remainder of the dissertation, we consider content-based image re- trieval in the case when the user is unable to specify the required content through tags or other image properties and so the system must extract infor- mation from the user through limited feedback. We present a novel Bayesian approach that uses latent random variables to model the systems imperfect knowledge about the users expected response to the images. An impor- tant aspect of the algorithm is the incorporation of an explicit exploration- exploitation strategy in the image sampling process. A second aspect of our algorithm is the way in which its knowledge of the target image is updated given user feedback. We considered a few algorithms to do so: variational Bayes, Gibbs sampling and a simple uniform update. We show in experi- ments that the simple uniform update performs best. The reason is because, unlike the uniform update, both variational Bayes and Gibbs sampling tend to focus on a small set of images aggressively.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Learning from interaction: models and applications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1369566
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