[talks] Talk TOMORROW

Ginny Hogan gch at CS.Princeton.EDU
Wed Mar 26 13:08:20 EDT 2008

Computer Science Talk Tomorrow - 4:15pm
Computer Science Room 105.

"Recent Directions in Nonparametric Bayesian Machine Learning 

Zoubin Ghahramani 
Carnegie Mellon University 

Machine learning is an interdisciplinary field which seeks to develop both
the mathematical foundations and practical applications of systems that
learn, reason and act. Machine learning draws from many fields, ranging from
Computer Science, to Engineering, Psychology, Neuroscience, and Statistics.
Because uncertainty, data, and inference play a fundamental role in the
design of systems that learn, statistical methods have recently emerged as
one of the key components of the field of machine learning. In particular,
Bayesian methods, based on the work of Reverend Thomas Bayes in the 1700s,
describe how probabilities can be used to represent the degrees of belief of
a rational agent. Bayesian methods work best when they are applied to models
that are flexible enough to capture to complexity of real-world data. Recent
work on non-parametric Bayesian methods provides this flexibility. 

I will touch upon key developments in the field, including Gaussian
processes, Dirichlet processes, and the Indian buffet process (IBP).
Focusing on the IBP, I will describe how this can be used in a number of
applications such as collaborative filtering, bioinformatics, cognitive
modelling, independent components analysis, and causal discovery. Finally, I
will outline the main challenges in the field: how to develop new models,
new fast inference algorithms, and compelling applications. 

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