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Machine Learning and Adaptive Computation

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In the field of machine learning, semi-supervised learning (SSL) occupies the middle ground, between supervised learning (in which all training examples are labeled) and unsupervised learning (in which no label data are given). Interest in SSL has increased in recent years, particularly because of application domains in which unlabeled data are plentiful, such as images, text, and bioinformatics.

Online decision making under uncertainty and time constraints represents one of the most challenging problems for robust intelligent agents. In an increasingly dynamic, interconnected, and real-time world, intelligent systems must adapt dynamically to uncertainties, update existing plans to accommodate new requests and events, and produce high-quality decisions under severe time constraints.

Proceedings of the 2005 Conference

The annual Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference is the flagship meeting on neural computation. It draws a diverse group of attendees—physicists, neuroscientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists. The presentations are interdisciplinary, with contributions in algorithms, learning theory, cognitive science, neuroscience, brain imaging, vision, speech and signal processing, reinforcement learning and control, emerging technologies, and applications.

Theory and Practice

Regression and classification methods based on similarity of the input to stored examples have not been widely used in applications involving very large sets of high-dimensional data. Recent advances in computational geometry and machine learning, however, may alleviate the problems in using these methods on large data sets. This volume presents theoretical and practical discussions of nearest-neighbor (NN) methods in machine learning and examines computer vision as an application domain in which the benefit of these advanced methods is often dramatic.

A Unified Approach

Evolutionary computation, the use of evolutionary systems as computational processes for solving complex problems, is a tool used by computer scientists and engineers who want to harness the power of evolution to build useful new artifacts, by biologists interested in developing and testing better models of natural evolutionary systems, and by artificial life scientists for designing and implementing new artificial evolutionary worlds. In this clear and comprehensive introduction to the field, Kenneth De Jong presents an integrated view of the state of the art in evolutionary computation.

Gaussian processes (GPs) provide a principled, practical, probabilistic approach to learning in kernel machines. GPs have received increased attention in the machine-learning community over the past decade, and this book provides a long-needed systematic and unified treatment of theoretical and practical aspects of GPs in machine learning.

The ubiquity of combinatorial optimization problems in our society is illustrated by the novel application areas for optimization technology, which range from supply chain management to sports tournament scheduling. Over the last two decades, constraint programming has emerged as a fundamental methodology to solve a variety of combinatorial problems, and rich constraint programming languages have been developed for expressing and combining constraints and specifying search procedures at a high level of abstraction.

Theory and Applications

The process of inductive inference—to infer general laws and principles from particular instances—is the basis of statistical modeling, pattern recognition, and machine learning. The Minimum Descriptive Length (MDL) principle, a powerful method of inductive inference, holds that the best explanation, given a limited set of observed data, is the one that permits the greatest compression of the data—that the more we are able to compress the data, the more we learn about the regularities underlying the data.

Next Generation Challenges and Future Directions

Data mining, or knowledge discovery, has become an indispensable technology for businesses and researchers in many fields. Drawing on work in such areas as statistics, machine learning, pattern recognition, databases, and high performance computing, data mining extracts useful information from the large data sets now available to industry and science. This collection surveys the most recent advances in the field and charts directions for future research.

Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior

The biannual International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior brings together researchers from ethology, psychology, ecology, artificial intelligence, artificial life, robotics, engineering, and related fields to advance the understanding of behaviors and underlying mechanisms that allow natural and synthetic agents (animats) to adapt and survive in uncertain environments.

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