|Period:||period 2 (week 46 through 5, i.e., 11-11-2019 through 31-1-2020; retake week 16)|
|Participants:||see Osiris Docent|
|Schedule:||Official schedule representation can be found in Osiris|
This course treats two advanced topics in machine learning: causal inference (the study of cause-effect relations), and reinforcement learning (learning to interact with an environment).
Learning goals: After completing the course, the student
The following knowledge will be assumed in this course:
|Course form:||Lectures; tutorials / practical sessions|
|Exam form:||Written exam (80% of grade); programming assignments with written reports (20%). Theoretical exercises (ungraded) will be discussed during tutorial sessions as preparation for the exam.|
|Minimum effort to qualify for 2nd chance exam:||To participate in the retake, the original result must be at least 4.|
Modern machine learning methods have achieved spectacular results on various tasks. Yet there are pitfalls and limitations that can't be overcome simply by increasing the amounts of data and computing power. For example, standard methods assume that the data are drawn from a single, unchanging probability distribution. The two main topics that we cover in this course both deal with situations where that is not the case.
The first topic, causal inference, is the subfield of machine learning that studies causes and effects: if we make a change to one random variable in a system, for which other variables does the distribution change? An understanding of these cause-and-effect relations allows us to predict the results of a change in the environment. We will also look at the problem of learning these relations from data.
Second, reinforcement learning is about the design of agents that can learn to interact with an unknown environment. Recent advances in supervised learning (such as deep learning) can be built on by reinforcement learning methods. This brings with it a unique set of challenges that we will cover in this course.