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CIS Seminar: “Towards a New Synthesis of Reasoning and Learning”

April 9, 2019 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This talk discusses the role of logical reasoning in statistical machine learning. While their unification has been a long-standing and crucial open problem, automated reasoning and machine learning are still disparate fields within artificial intelligence. I will describe recent progress towards their synthesis in three facets.
I start with a very practical question: how can we enforce logical constraints on the output of deep neural networks to incorporate symbolic knowledge? Second, I explain how circuits developed for tractable logical reasoning can be turned into statistical models. When brought to bear on a variety of machine learning tasks, including discrete density estimation and simple image classification, these probabilistic and logistic circuits yield state-of-the-art results. In a third facet, I argue for high-level representations of uncertainty, such as probabilistic programs, probabilistic databases, and statistical relational models. These pose unique challenges for inference that can only be overcome by high-level reasoning about their first-order structure to exploit symmetry and exchangeability.

Guy Van den Broeck 

Computer Science Department  University of California, Los Angeles

Guy Van den Broeck is an Assistant Professor and Samueli Fellow at UCLA, in the Computer Science Department, where he directs the Statistical and Relational Artificial Intelligence (StarAI) lab. His research interests are in Machine Learning (Statistical Relational Learning, Tractable Learning, Probabilistic Programming), Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (Probabilistic Graphical Models, Lifted Probabilistic Inference, Knowledge Compilation, Probabilistic Databases), and Artificial Intelligence in general. Guy’s work received best paper awards from key artificial intelligence venues such as UAI, ILP, and KR, and an outstanding paper honorable mention at AAAI. His doctoral thesis was awarded the ECCAI Dissertation Award for the best European dissertation in AI. Guy serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR). His research is sponsored by NSF, DARPA, NEC, and Intel.


April 9, 2019
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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