skip to main content


Search for: All records

Editors contains: "Evans, Robin J."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Evans, Robin J. (Ed.)
    We study linear bandits when the underlying reward function is not linear. Existing work relies on a uniform misspecification parameter $\epsilon$ that measures the sup-norm error of the best linear approximation. This results in an unavoidable linear regret whenever $\epsilon > 0$. We describe a more natural model of misspecification which only requires the approximation error at each input $x$ to be proportional to the suboptimality gap at $x$. It captures the intuition that, for optimization problems, near-optimal regions should matter more and we can tolerate larger approximation errors in suboptimal regions. Quite surprisingly, we show that the classical LinUCB algorithm — designed for the realizable case — is automatically robust against such gap-adjusted misspecification. It achieves a near-optimal $\sqrt{T}$ regret for problems that the best-known regret is almost linear in time horizon $T$. Technically, our proof relies on a novel self-bounding argument that bounds the part of the regret due to misspecification by the regret itself. 
    more » « less
  2. Evans, Robin J ; Shpitser, Illya (Ed.)
    Scientific computing has experienced a surge empowered by advancements in technologies such as neural networks. However, certain important tasks are less amenable to these technologies, benefiting from innovations to traditional inference schemes. One such task is protein re-design. Recently a new re-design algorithm, {AOBB-K\textsuperscript{*}}, was introduced and was competitive with state-of-the-art {BBK\textsuperscript{*}} on small protein re-design problems. However, {AOBB-K\textsuperscript{*}} did not scale well. In this work, we focus on scaling up {AOBB-K\textsuperscript{*}} and introduce three new versions: {AOBB-K\textsuperscript{*}}-b (boosted), {AOBB-K\textsuperscript{*}}-{DH} (with dynamic heuristics), and {AOBB-K\textsuperscript{*}}-{UFO} (with underflow optimization) that significantly enhance scalability. 
    more » « less
  3. Evans, Robin J. ; Shpitser, Ilya (Ed.)
    Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs) are a class of personalized health interventions developed within the behavioral science community. JITAIs aim to provide the right type and amount of support by iteratively selecting a sequence of intervention options from a pre-defined set of components in response to each individual's time varying state. In this work, we explore the application of reinforcement learning methods to the problem of learning intervention option selection policies. We study the effect of context inference error and partial observability on the ability to learn effective policies. Our results show that the propagation of uncertainty from context inferences is critical to improving intervention efficacy as context uncertainty increases, while policy gradient algorithms can provide remarkable robustness to partially observed behavioral state information. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 31, 2024
  4. Evans, Robin J. ; Shpitser, Ilya (Ed.)
    Crowdsourcing is an effective and efficient paradigm for obtaining labels for unlabeled corpus employing crowd workers. This work considers the budget allocation problem for a generalized setting on a graph of instances to be labeled where edges encode instance dependencies. Specifically, given a graph and a labeling budget, we propose an optimal policy to allocate the budget among the instances to maximize the overall labeling accuracy. We formulate the problem as a Bayesian Markov Decision Process (MDP), where we define our task as an optimization problem that maximizes the overall label accuracy under budget constraints. Then, we propose a novel stage-wise reward function that considers the effect of worker labels on the whole graph at each timestamp. This reward function is utilized to find an optimal policy for the optimization problem. Theoretically, we show that our proposed policies are consistent when the budget is infinite. We conduct extensive experiments on five real-world graph datasets and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed policies to achieve a higher label accuracy under budget constraints. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 31, 2024
  5. Evans, Robin J. ; Shpitser, Ilya (Ed.)
    Most existing approaches of differentially private (DP) machine learning focus on private training. Despite its many advantages, private training lacks the flexibility in adapting to incremental changes to the training dataset such as deletion requests from exercising GDPR’s right to be forgotten. We revisit a long-forgotten alternative, known as private prediction, and propose a new algorithm named Individual Kernelized Nearest Neighbor (Ind-KNN). Ind-KNN is easily updatable over dataset changes and it allows precise control of the Rényi DP at an individual user level — a user’s privacy loss is measured by the exact amount of her contribution to predictions; and a user is removed if her prescribed privacy budget runs out. Our results show that Ind-KNN consistently improves the accuracy over existing private prediction methods for a wide range of epsilon on four vision and language tasks. We also illustrate several cases under which Ind-KNN is preferable over private training with NoisySGD. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 31, 2024