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The Human Kernel
Andrew Wilson · Christoph Dann · Chris Lucas · Eric Xing

Tue Dec 08 02:30 PM -- 03:00 PM (PST) @ Room 210 A

Bayesian nonparametric models, such as Gaussian processes, provide a compelling framework for automatic statistical modelling: these models have a high degree of flexibility, and automatically calibrated complexity. However, automating human expertise remains elusive; for example, Gaussian processes with standard kernels struggle on function extrapolation problems that are trivial for human learners. In this paper, we create function extrapolation problems and acquire human responses, and then design a kernel learning framework to reverse engineer the inductive biases of human learners across a set of behavioral experiments. We use the learned kernels to gain psychological insights and to extrapolate in human-like ways that go beyond traditional stationary and polynomial kernels. Finally, we investigate Occam's razor in human and Gaussian process based function learning.

Author Information

Andrew Wilson (Carnegie Mellon University)
Andrew Wilson

I am a professor of machine learning at New York University.

Christoph Dann (Carnegie Mellon University)
Chris Lucas (University of Edinburgh)
Eric Xing (Carnegie Mellon University)

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