Tutorial
Negative Dependence, Stable Polynomials, and All That
Suvrit Sra · Stefanie Jegelka

Mon Dec 3rd 11:00 AM -- 01:00 PM @ Room 517 CD

This tutorial provides an introduction to a rapidly evolving topic: the theory of negative dependence and its numerous ramifications in machine learning. Indeed, negatively dependent probability measures provide a powerful tool for modeling non-i.i.d. data, and thus can impact all aspects of learning, including supervised, unsupervised, interpretable, interactive, and large-scale setups. The most well-known examples of negatively dependent distributions are perhaps the Determinantal Point Processes (DPPs), which have already found numerous ML applications. But DPPs are just the tip of the iceberg; the class of negatively dependent measures is much broader, and given the vast web of mathematical connections it enjoys, its holds great promise as a tool for machine learning. This tutorial exposes the ML audience to this rich mathematical toolbox, while outlining key theoretical ideas and motivating fundamental applications. Tasks that profit from negative dependence include anomaly detection, information maximization, experimental design, validation of black-box systems, architecture learning, fast MCMC sampling, dataset summarization, interpretable learning.

Author Information

Suvrit Sra (MIT)

Suvrit Sra is a faculty member within the EECS department at MIT, where he is also a core faculty member of IDSS, LIDS, MIT-ML Group, as well as the statistics and data science center. His research spans topics in optimization, matrix theory, differential geometry, and probability theory, which he connects with machine learning --- a key focus of his research is on the theme "Optimization for Machine Learning” (http://opt-ml.org)

Stefanie Jegelka (MIT)

Stefanie Jegelka is an X-Consortium Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of EECS at MIT. She is a member of the Computer Science and AI Lab (CSAIL), the Center for Statistics and an affiliate of the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Operations Research Center. Before joining MIT, she was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, and obtained her PhD from ETH Zurich and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. Stefanie has received a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, the German Pattern Recognition Award and a Best Paper Award at the International Conference for Machine Learning (ICML). Her research interests span the theory and practice of algorithmic machine learning.

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