Author

# Yasemin Altun

Other affiliations: Max Planck Society, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago, Brown University

Bio: Yasemin Altun is an academic researcher from Google. The author has contributed to research in topics: Conditional random field & Semi-supervised learning. The author has an hindex of 27, co-authored 51 publications receiving 6688 citations. Previous affiliations of Yasemin Altun include Max Planck Society & Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

##### Papers published on a yearly basis

##### Papers

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TL;DR: This paper proposes to appropriately generalize the well-known notion of a separation margin and derive a corresponding maximum-margin formulation and presents a cutting plane algorithm that solves the optimization problem in polynomial time for a large class of problems.

Abstract: Learning general functional dependencies between arbitrary input and output spaces is one of the key challenges in computational intelligence. While recent progress in machine learning has mainly focused on designing flexible and powerful input representations, this paper addresses the complementary issue of designing classification algorithms that can deal with more complex outputs, such as trees, sequences, or sets. More generally, we consider problems involving multiple dependent output variables, structured output spaces, and classification problems with class attributes. In order to accomplish this, we propose to appropriately generalize the well-known notion of a separation margin and derive a corresponding maximum-margin formulation. While this leads to a quadratic program with a potentially prohibitive, i.e. exponential, number of constraints, we present a cutting plane algorithm that solves the optimization problem in polynomial time for a large class of problems. The proposed method has important applications in areas such as computational biology, natural language processing, information retrieval/extraction, and optical character recognition. Experiments from various domains involving different types of output spaces emphasize the breadth and generality of our approach.

2,243 citations

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04 Jul 2004

TL;DR: This paper proposes to generalize multiclass Support Vector Machine learning in a formulation that involves features extracted jointly from inputs and outputs, and demonstrates the versatility and effectiveness of the method on problems ranging from supervised grammar learning and named-entity recognition, to taxonomic text classification and sequence alignment.

Abstract: Learning general functional dependencies is one of the main goals in machine learning. Recent progress in kernel-based methods has focused on designing flexible and powerful input representations. This paper addresses the complementary issue of problems involving complex outputs such as multiple dependent output variables and structured output spaces. We propose to generalize multiclass Support Vector Machine learning in a formulation that involves features extracted jointly from inputs and outputs. The resulting optimization problem is solved efficiently by a cutting plane algorithm that exploits the sparseness and structural decomposition of the problem. We demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of our method on problems ranging from supervised grammar learning and named-entity recognition, to taxonomic text classification and sequence alignment.

1,417 citations

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TL;DR: The Relative Entropy Policy Search (REPS) method is suggested, which differs significantly from previous policy gradient approaches and yields an exact update step and works well on typical reinforcement learning benchmark problems.

Abstract: Policy search is a successful approach to reinforcement learning. However, policy improvements often result in the loss of information. Hence, it has been marred by premature convergence and implausible solutions. As first suggested in the context of covariant policy gradients (Bagnell and Schneider 2003), many of these problems may be addressed by constraining the information loss. In this paper, we continue this path of reasoning and suggest the Relative Entropy Policy Search (REPS) method. The resulting method differs significantly from previous policy gradient approaches and yields an exact update step. It works well on typical reinforcement learning benchmark problems.

641 citations

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Brown University

^{1}TL;DR: This paper presents a novel discriminative learning technique for label sequences based on a combination of the two most successful learning algorithms, Support Vector Machines and Hidden Markov Models which it is called HM-SVMs and handles dependencies between neighboring labels using Viterbi decoding.

Abstract: This paper presents a novel discriminative learning technique for label sequences based on a combination of the two most successful learning algorithms, Support Vector Machines and Hidden Markov Models which we call Hidden Markov Support Vector Machine. The proposed architecture handles dependencies between neighboring labels using Viterbi decoding. In contrast to standard HMM training, the learning procedure is discriminative and is based on a maximum/soft margin criterion. Compared to previous methods like Conditional Random Fields, Maximum Entropy Markov Models and label sequence boosting, HM-SVMs have a number of advantages. Most notably, it is possible to learn non-linear discriminant functions via kernel functions. At the same time, HM-SVMs share the key advantages with other discriminative methods, in particular the capability to deal with overlapping features. We report experimental evaluations on two tasks, named entity recognition and part-of-speech tagging, that demonstrate the competitiveness of the proposed approach.

532 citations

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TL;DR: This paper casts the problem of supersense tagging as a sequential labeling task and investigate it empirically with a discriminatively-trained Hidden Markov Model.

Abstract: In this paper we approach word sense disambiguation and information extraction as a unified tagging problem. The task consists of annotating text with the tagset defined by the 41 Wordnet supersense classes for nouns and verbs. Since the tagset is directly related to Wordnet synsets, the tagger returns partial word sense disambiguation. Furthermore, since the noun tags include the standard named entity detection classes -- person, location, organization, time, etc. -- the tagger, as a by-product, returns extended named entity information. We cast the problem of supersense tagging as a sequential labeling task and investigate it empirically with a discriminatively-trained Hidden Markov Model. Experimental evaluation on the main sense-annotated datasets available, i.e., Semcor and Senseval, shows considerable improvements over the best known "first-sense" baseline.

238 citations

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TL;DR: Machine learning addresses many of the same research questions as the fields of statistics, data mining, and psychology, but with differences of emphasis.

Abstract: Machine Learning is the study of methods for programming computers to learn. Computers are applied to a wide range of tasks, and for most of these it is relatively easy for programmers to design and implement the necessary software. However, there are many tasks for which this is difficult or impossible. These can be divided into four general categories. First, there are problems for which there exist no human experts. For example, in modern automated manufacturing facilities, there is a need to predict machine failures before they occur by analyzing sensor readings. Because the machines are new, there are no human experts who can be interviewed by a programmer to provide the knowledge necessary to build a computer system. A machine learning system can study recorded data and subsequent machine failures and learn prediction rules. Second, there are problems where human experts exist, but where they are unable to explain their expertise. This is the case in many perceptual tasks, such as speech recognition, hand-writing recognition, and natural language understanding. Virtually all humans exhibit expert-level abilities on these tasks, but none of them can describe the detailed steps that they follow as they perform them. Fortunately, humans can provide machines with examples of the inputs and correct outputs for these tasks, so machine learning algorithms can learn to map the inputs to the outputs. Third, there are problems where phenomena are changing rapidly. In finance, for example, people would like to predict the future behavior of the stock market, of consumer purchases, or of exchange rates. These behaviors change frequently, so that even if a programmer could construct a good predictive computer program, it would need to be rewritten frequently. A learning program can relieve the programmer of this burden by constantly modifying and tuning a set of learned prediction rules. Fourth, there are applications that need to be customized for each computer user separately. Consider, for example, a program to filter unwanted electronic mail messages. Different users will need different filters. It is unreasonable to expect each user to program his or her own rules, and it is infeasible to provide every user with a software engineer to keep the rules up-to-date. A machine learning system can learn which mail messages the user rejects and maintain the filtering rules automatically. Machine learning addresses many of the same research questions as the fields of statistics, data mining, and psychology, but with differences of emphasis. Statistics focuses on understanding the phenomena that have generated the data, often with the goal of testing different hypotheses about those phenomena. Data mining seeks to find patterns in the data that are understandable by people. Psychological studies of human learning aspire to understand the mechanisms underlying the various learning behaviors exhibited by people (concept learning, skill acquisition, strategy change, etc.).

12,323 citations

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Microsoft

^{1}TL;DR: Probability distributions of linear models for regression and classification are given in this article, along with a discussion of combining models and combining models in the context of machine learning and classification.

Abstract: Probability Distributions.- Linear Models for Regression.- Linear Models for Classification.- Neural Networks.- Kernel Methods.- Sparse Kernel Machines.- Graphical Models.- Mixture Models and EM.- Approximate Inference.- Sampling Methods.- Continuous Latent Variables.- Sequential Data.- Combining Models.

10,141 citations

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24 Aug 2012

TL;DR: This textbook offers a comprehensive and self-contained introduction to the field of machine learning, based on a unified, probabilistic approach, and is suitable for upper-level undergraduates with an introductory-level college math background and beginning graduate students.

Abstract: Today's Web-enabled deluge of electronic data calls for automated methods of data analysis. Machine learning provides these, developing methods that can automatically detect patterns in data and then use the uncovered patterns to predict future data. This textbook offers a comprehensive and self-contained introduction to the field of machine learning, based on a unified, probabilistic approach. The coverage combines breadth and depth, offering necessary background material on such topics as probability, optimization, and linear algebra as well as discussion of recent developments in the field, including conditional random fields, L1 regularization, and deep learning. The book is written in an informal, accessible style, complete with pseudo-code for the most important algorithms. All topics are copiously illustrated with color images and worked examples drawn from such application domains as biology, text processing, computer vision, and robotics. Rather than providing a cookbook of different heuristic methods, the book stresses a principled model-based approach, often using the language of graphical models to specify models in a concise and intuitive way. Almost all the models described have been implemented in a MATLAB software package--PMTK (probabilistic modeling toolkit)--that is freely available online. The book is suitable for upper-level undergraduates with an introductory-level college math background and beginning graduate students.

8,059 citations

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01 Aug 2000

TL;DR: Assessment of medical technology in the context of commercialization with Bioentrepreneur course, which addresses many issues unique to biomedical products.

Abstract: BIOE 402. Medical Technology Assessment. 2 or 3 hours. Bioentrepreneur course. Assessment of medical technology in the context of commercialization. Objectives, competition, market share, funding, pricing, manufacturing, growth, and intellectual property; many issues unique to biomedical products. Course Information: 2 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or above and consent of the instructor.

4,833 citations