**Coral Reefs Optimization (CRO)**

This paper presents a novel bioinspired algorithm to tackle complex optimization problems: the coral reefs optimization (CRO) algorithm. The CRO algorithm artificially simulates a coral reef, where different corals (namely, solutions to the optimization problem considered) grow and reproduce in coral colonies, fighting by choking out other corals for space in the reef. This fight for space, along with the specific characteristics of the corals’ reproduction, produces a robust metaheuristic algorithm shown to be powerful for solving hard optimization problems. In this research the CRO algorithm is tested in several continuous and discrete benchmark problems, as well as in practical application scenarios (i.e., optimum mobile network deployment and off-shore wind farm design). The obtained results confirm the excellent performance of the proposed algorithm and open line of research for further application of the algorithm to real-world problems. … **ReinforceWalk**

Learning to walk over a graph towards a target node for a given input query and a source node is an important problem in applications such as knowledge graph reasoning. It can be formulated as a reinforcement learning (RL) problem that has a known state transition model, but with partial observability and sparse reward. To overcome these challenges, we develop a graph walking agent called ReinforceWalk, which consists of a deep recurrent neural network (RNN) and a Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS). To address partial observability, the RNN encodes the history of observations and map it into the Q-value, the policy and the state value. In order to effectively train the agent from sparse reward, we combine MCTS with the RNN policy to generate trajectories with more positive rewards. From these trajectories, we update the network in an off-policy manner using Q-learning and improves the RNN policy. Our proposed RL algorithm repeatedly applies this policy improvement step to learn the entire model. At testing stage, the MCTS is also combined with the RNN to predict the target node with higher accuracy. Experiment results on several graph-walking benchmarks show that we are able to learn better policies from less number of rollouts compared to other baseline methods, which are mainly based on policy gradient method. … **Automatic Bayesian Density Analysis (ABDA)**

Making sense of a dataset in an automatic and unsupervised fashion is a challenging problem in statistics and AI. Classical approaches for density estimation, even when taking into account mixtures of probabilistic models, are not flexible enough to deal with the uncertainty inherent to real-world data: they are generally restricted to a priori fixed homogeneous likelihood model and to latent variable structures where expressiveness comes at the price of tractability. We propose Automatic Bayesian Density Analysis (ABDA) to go beyond classical mixture model density estimation, casting uncertainty estimation on both the underlying structure in the data, as well as the selection of adequate likelihood models for the data—thus statistical data types of the variable in the data—into a joint inference problem. Specifically, ABDA relies on a hierarchical model explicitly incorporating arbitrarily rich collections of likelihood models at a local level, while capturing global variable interactions by an expressive deep structure built on a sum-product network. Extensive empirical evidence shows that ABDA is more accurate than density estimators in the literature at dealing with both kinds of uncertainties, at modeling and predicting real-world (mixed continuous and discrete) data in both transductive and inductive scenarios, and at recovering the statistical data types. …

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Sep 2018

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