**Earth Mover’s Distance (EMD)**

In computer science, the earth mover’s distance (EMD) is a measure of the distance between two probability distributions over a region D. In mathematics, this is known as the Wasserstein metric. Informally, if the distributions are interpreted as two different ways of piling up a certain amount of dirt over the region D, the EMD is the minimum cost of turning one pile into the other; where the cost is assumed to be amount of dirt moved times the distance by which it is moved. The above definition is valid only if the two distributions have the same integral (informally, if the two piles have the same amount of dirt), as in normalized histograms or probability density functions. In that case, the EMD is equivalent to the 1st Mallows distance or 1st Wasserstein distance between the two distributions.

➘ “Wasserstein Metric” … **Transformation Forests**

Regression models for supervised learning problems with a continuous target are commonly understood as models for the conditional mean of the target given predictors. This notion is simple and therefore appealing for interpretation and visualisation. Information about the whole underlying conditional distribution is, however, not available from these models. A more general understanding of regression models as models for conditional distributions allows much broader inference from such models, for example the computation of prediction intervals. Several random forest-type algorithms aim at estimating conditional distributions, most prominently quantile regression forests (Meinshausen, 2006, JMLR). We propose a novel approach based on a parametric family of distributions characterised by their transformation function. A dedicated novel ‘transformation tree’ algorithm able to detect distributional changes is developed. Based on these transformation trees, we introduce ‘transformation forests’ as an adaptive local likelihood estimator of conditional distribution functions. The resulting models are fully parametric yet very general and allow broad inference procedures, such as the model-based bootstrap, to be applied in a straightforward way. … **Predictive Neural Network (PNN)**

Recurrent neural networks are a powerful means to cope with time series. We show that already linearly activated recurrent neural networks can approximate any time-dependent function f(t) given by a number of function values. The approximation can effectively be learned by simply solving a linear equation system; no backpropagation or similar methods are needed. Furthermore the network size can be reduced by taking only the most relevant components of the network. Thus, in contrast to others, our approach not only learns network weights but also the network architecture. The networks have interesting properties: In the stationary case they end up in ellipse trajectories in the long run, and they allow the prediction of further values and compact representations of functions. We demonstrate this by several experiments, among them multiple superimposed oscillators (MSO) and robotic soccer. Predictive neural networks outperform the previous state-of-the-art for the MSO task with a minimal number of units. …

# If you did not already know

**12**
*Thursday*
Apr 2018

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