Andreas Damianou

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Machine Learning Scientist at Amazon since 2016, Research Associate at University of Sheffield from 2014-2016, Research intern at Microsoft 2012-2013, PhD Machine Learning at University of Sheffield 2010-2015.

  • Transferring Knowledge across Learning Processes

    In complex transfer learning scenarios new tasks might not be tightly linked to previous tasks. Approaches that transfer information contained only in the final parameters of a source model will therefore struggle. Instead, transfer learning at a higher level of abstraction is needed. We propose Leap, a framework that achieves this by transferring knowledge across learning processes. We associate each task with a manifold on which the training process travels from initialization to final parameters and construct a meta learning objective that minimizes the expected length of this path. Our framework leverages only information obtained during training and can be computed on the fly at negligible cost. We demonstrate that our framework outperforms competing methods, both in meta learning and transfer learning, on a set of computer vision tasks. Finally, we demonstrate that Leap can transfer knowledge across learning processes in demanding Reinforcement Learning environments (Atari) that involve millions of gradient steps.

    12/03/2018 ∙ by Sebastian Flennerhag, et al. ∙ 126 share

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  • Variational Information Distillation for Knowledge Transfer

    Transferring knowledge from a teacher neural network pretrained on the same or a similar task to a student neural network can significantly improve the performance of the student neural network. Existing knowledge transfer approaches match the activations or the corresponding hand-crafted features of the teacher and the student networks. We propose an information-theoretic framework for knowledge transfer which formulates knowledge transfer as maximizing the mutual information between the teacher and the student networks. We compare our method with existing knowledge transfer methods on both knowledge distillation and transfer learning tasks and show that our method consistently outperforms existing methods. We further demonstrate the strength of our method on knowledge transfer across heterogeneous network architectures by transferring knowledge from a convolutional neural network (CNN) to a multi-layer perceptron (MLP) on CIFAR-10. The resulting MLP significantly outperforms the-state-of-the-art methods and it achieves similar performance to the CNN with a single convolutional layer.

    04/11/2019 ∙ by Sungsoo Ahn, et al. ∙ 6 share

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  • Deep Gaussian Processes for Multi-fidelity Modeling

    Multi-fidelity methods are prominently used when cheaply-obtained, but possibly biased and noisy, observations must be effectively combined with limited or expensive true data in order to construct reliable models. This arises in both fundamental machine learning procedures such as Bayesian optimization, as well as more practical science and engineering applications. In this paper we develop a novel multi-fidelity model which treats layers of a deep Gaussian process as fidelity levels, and uses a variational inference scheme to propagate uncertainty across them. This allows for capturing nonlinear correlations between fidelities with lower risk of overfitting than existing methods exploiting compositional structure, which are conversely burdened by structural assumptions and constraints. We show that the proposed approach makes substantial improvements in quantifying and propagating uncertainty in multi-fidelity set-ups, which in turn improves their effectiveness in decision making pipelines.

    03/18/2019 ∙ by Kurt Cutajar, et al. ∙ 4 share

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  • DAC-h3: A Proactive Robot Cognitive Architecture to Acquire and Express Knowledge About the World and the Self

    This paper introduces a cognitive architecture for a humanoid robot to engage in a proactive, mixed-initiative exploration and manipulation of its environment, where the initiative can originate from both the human and the robot. The framework, based on a biologically-grounded theory of the brain and mind, integrates a reactive interaction engine, a number of state-of-the-art perceptual and motor learning algorithms, as well as planning abilities and an autobiographical memory. The architecture as a whole drives the robot behavior to solve the symbol grounding problem, acquire language capabilities, execute goal-oriented behavior, and express a verbal narrative of its own experience in the world. We validate our approach in human-robot interaction experiments with the iCub humanoid robot, showing that the proposed cognitive architecture can be applied in real time within a realistic scenario and that it can be used with naive users.

    06/12/2017 ∙ by Clément Moulin-Frier, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Preferential Bayesian Optimization

    Bayesian optimization (BO) has emerged during the last few years as an effective approach to optimizing black-box functions where direct queries of the objective are expensive. In this paper we consider the case where direct access to the function is not possible, but information about user preferences is. Such scenarios arise in problems where human preferences are modeled, such as A/B tests or recommender systems. We present a new framework for this scenario that we call Preferential Bayesian Optimization (PBO) which allows us to find the optimum of a latent function that can only be queried through pairwise comparisons, the so-called duels. PBO extends the applicability of standard BO ideas and generalizes previous discrete dueling approaches by modeling the probability of the winner of each duel by means of a Gaussian process model with a Bernoulli likelihood. The latent preference function is used to define a family of acquisition functions that extend usual policies used in BO. We illustrate the benefits of PBO in a variety of experiments, showing that PBO needs drastically fewer comparisons for finding the optimum. According to our experiments, the way of modeling correlations in PBO is key in obtaining this advantage.

    04/12/2017 ∙ by Javier Gonzalez, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Manifold Alignment Determination: finding correspondences across different data views

    We present Manifold Alignment Determination (MAD), an algorithm for learning alignments between data points from multiple views or modalities. The approach is capable of learning correspondences between views as well as correspondences between individual data-points. The proposed method requires only a few aligned examples from which it is capable to recover a global alignment through a probabilistic model. The strong, yet flexible regularization provided by the generative model is sufficient to align the views. We provide experiments on both synthetic and real data to highlight the benefit of the proposed approach.

    01/12/2017 ∙ by Andreas Damianou, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Multi-view Learning as a Nonparametric Nonlinear Inter-Battery Factor Analysis

    Factor analysis aims to determine latent factors, or traits, which summarize a given data set. Inter-battery factor analysis extends this notion to multiple views of the data. In this paper we show how a nonlinear, nonparametric version of these models can be recovered through the Gaussian process latent variable model. This gives us a flexible formalism for multi-view learning where the latent variables can be used both for exploratory purposes and for learning representations that enable efficient inference for ambiguous estimation tasks. Learning is performed in a Bayesian manner through the formulation of a variational compression scheme which gives a rigorous lower bound on the log likelihood. Our Bayesian framework provides strong regularization during training, allowing the structure of the latent space to be determined efficiently and automatically. We demonstrate this by producing the first (to our knowledge) published results of learning from dozens of views, even when data is scarce. We further show experimental results on several different types of multi-view data sets and for different kinds of tasks, including exploratory data analysis, generation, ambiguity modelling through latent priors and classification.

    04/17/2016 ∙ by Andreas Damianou, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Inverse Reinforcement Learning via Deep Gaussian Process

    We propose a new approach to inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) based on the deep Gaussian process (deep GP) model, which is capable of learning complicated reward structures with few demonstrations. Our model stacks multiple latent GP layers to learn abstract representations of the state feature space, which is linked to the demonstrations through the Maximum Entropy learning framework. Incorporating the IRL engine into the nonlinear latent structure renders existing deep GP inference approaches intractable. To tackle this, we develop a non-standard variational approximation framework which extends previous inference schemes. This allows for approximate Bayesian treatment of the feature space and guards against overfitting. Carrying out representation and inverse reinforcement learning simultaneously within our model outperforms state-of-the-art approaches, as we demonstrate with experiments on standard benchmarks ("object world","highway driving") and a new benchmark ("binary world").

    12/26/2015 ∙ by Ming Jin, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Recurrent Gaussian Processes

    We define Recurrent Gaussian Processes (RGP) models, a general family of Bayesian nonparametric models with recurrent GP priors which are able to learn dynamical patterns from sequential data. Similar to Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), RGPs can have different formulations for their internal states, distinct inference methods and be extended with deep structures. In such context, we propose a novel deep RGP model whose autoregressive states are latent, thereby performing representation and dynamical learning simultaneously. To fully exploit the Bayesian nature of the RGP model we develop the Recurrent Variational Bayes (REVARB) framework, which enables efficient inference and strong regularization through coherent propagation of uncertainty across the RGP layers and states. We also introduce a RGP extension where variational parameters are greatly reduced by being reparametrized through RNN-based sequential recognition models. We apply our model to the tasks of nonlinear system identification and human motion modeling. The promising obtained results indicate that our RGP model maintains its highly flexibility while being able to avoid overfitting and being applicable even when larger datasets are not available.

    11/20/2015 ∙ by César Lincoln C. Mattos, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Variational Auto-encoded Deep Gaussian Processes

    We develop a scalable deep non-parametric generative model by augmenting deep Gaussian processes with a recognition model. Inference is performed in a novel scalable variational framework where the variational posterior distributions are reparametrized through a multilayer perceptron. The key aspect of this reformulation is that it prevents the proliferation of variational parameters which otherwise grow linearly in proportion to the sample size. We derive a new formulation of the variational lower bound that allows us to distribute most of the computation in a way that enables to handle datasets of the size of mainstream deep learning tasks. We show the efficacy of the method on a variety of challenges including deep unsupervised learning and deep Bayesian optimization.

    11/19/2015 ∙ by Zhenwen Dai, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Semi-described and semi-supervised learning with Gaussian processes

    Propagating input uncertainty through non-linear Gaussian process (GP) mappings is intractable. This hinders the task of training GPs using uncertain and partially observed inputs. In this paper we refer to this task as "semi-described learning". We then introduce a GP framework that solves both, the semi-described and the semi-supervised learning problems (where missing values occur in the outputs). Auto-regressive state space simulation is also recognised as a special case of semi-described learning. To achieve our goal we develop variational methods for handling semi-described inputs in GPs, and couple them with algorithms that allow for imputing the missing values while treating the uncertainty in a principled, Bayesian manner. Extensive experiments on simulated and real-world data study the problems of iterative forecasting and regression/classification with missing values. The results suggest that the principled propagation of uncertainty stemming from our framework can significantly improve performance in these tasks.

    09/03/2015 ∙ by Andreas Damianou, et al. ∙ 0 share

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