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Journal ArticleDOI

Learning regular sets from queries and counterexamples

Dana Angluin1
01 Nov 1987-Information & Computation (Academic Press, Inc.)-Vol. 75, Iss: 2, pp 87-106
TL;DR: In this article, the problem of identifying an unknown regular set from examples of its members and nonmembers is addressed, where the regular set is presented by a minimaMy adequate teacher, which can answer membership queries about the set and can also test a conjecture and indicate whether it is equal to the unknown set and provide a counterexample if not.
Abstract: The problem of identifying an unknown regular set from examples of its members and nonmembers is addressed. It is assumed that the regular set is presented by a minimaMy adequate Teacher, which can answer membership queries about the set and can also test a conjecture and indicate whether it is equal to the unknown set and provide a counterexample if not. (A counterexample is a string in the symmetric difference of the correct set and the conjectured set.) A learning algorithm L* is described that correctly learns any regular set from any minimally adequate Teacher in time polynomial in the number of states of the minimum dfa for the set and the maximum length of any counterexample provided by the Teacher. It is shown that in a stochastic setting the ability of the Teacher to test conjectures may be replaced by a random sampling oracle, EX( ). A polynomial-time learning algorithm is shown for a particular problem of context-free language identification.

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Citations
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01 Jan 1997
TL;DR: A survey of machine learning methods for handling data sets containing large amounts of irrelevant information can be found in this article, where the authors focus on two key issues: selecting relevant features and selecting relevant examples.
Abstract: In this survey, we review work in machine learning on methods for handling data sets containing large amounts of irrelevant information. We focus on two key issues: the problem of selecting relevant features, and the problem of selecting relevant examples. We describe the advances that have been made on these topics in both empirical and theoretical work in machine learning, and we present a general framework that we use to compare different methods. We close with some challenges for future work in this area. @ 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.

2,947 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This survey reviews work in machine learning on methods for handling data sets containing large amounts of irrelevant information and describes the advances that have been made in both empirical and theoretical work in this area.

2,869 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper shows that the essential condition for distribution-free learnability is finiteness of the Vapnik-Chervonenkis dimension, a simple combinatorial parameter of the class of concepts to be learned.
Abstract: Valiant's learnability model is extended to learning classes of concepts defined by regions in Euclidean space En. The methods in this paper lead to a unified treatment of some of Valiant's results, along with previous results on distribution-free convergence of certain pattern recognition algorithms. It is shown that the essential condition for distribution-free learnability is finiteness of the Vapnik-Chervonenkis dimension, a simple combinatorial parameter of the class of concepts to be learned. Using this parameter, the complexity and closure properties of learnable classes are analyzed, and the necessary and sufficient conditions are provided for feasible learnability.

1,967 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Dana Angluin1
TL;DR: This work considers the problem of using queries to learn an unknown concept, and several types of queries are described and studied: membership, equivalence, subset, superset, disjointness, and exhaustiveness queries.
Abstract: We consider the problem of using queries to learn an unknown concept. Several types of queries are described and studied: membership, equivalence, subset, superset, disjointness, and exhaustiveness queries. Examples are given of efficient learning methods using various subsets of these queries for formal domains, including the regular languages, restricted classes of context-free languages, the pattern languages, and restricted types of prepositional formulas. Some general lower bound techniques are given. Equivalence queries are compared with Valiant's criterion of probably approximately correct identification under random sampling.

1,797 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A formalism for active concept learning called selective sampling is described and it is shown how it may be approximately implemented by a neural network.
Abstract: Active learning differs from “learning from examples” in that the learning algorithm assumes at least some control over what part of the input domain it receives information about. In some situations, active learning is provably more powerful than learning from examples alone, giving better generalization for a fixed number of training examples. In this article, we consider the problem of learning a binary concept in the absence of noise. We describe a formalism for active concept learning called selective sampling and show how it may be approximately implemented by a neural network. In selective sampling, a learner receives distribution information from the environment and queries an oracle on parts of the domain it considers “useful.” We test our implementation, called an SG-network, on three domains and observe significant improvement in generalization.

1,627 citations

References
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Proceedings ArticleDOI
05 Nov 1984
TL;DR: This paper regards learning as the phenomenon of knowledge acquisition in the absence of explicit programming, and gives a precise methodology for studying this phenomenon from a computational viewpoint.
Abstract: Humans appear to be able to learn new concepts without needing to be programmed explicitly in any conventional sense. In this paper we regard learning as the phenomenon of knowledge acquisition in the absence of explicit programming. We give a precise methodology for studying this phenomenon from a computational viewpoint. It consists of choosing an appropriate information gathering mechanism, the learning protocol, and exploring the class of concepts that can be learnt using it in a reasonable (polynomial) number of steps. We find that inherent algorithmic complexity appears to set serious limits to the range of concepts that can be so learnt. The methodology and results suggest concrete principles for designing realistic learning systems.

5,311 citations

Book
14 Apr 1983
TL;DR: An algorithm that can fix a bug that has been identified, and integrate it with the diagnosis algorithms to form an interactive debugging system that can debug programs that are too complex for the Model Inference System to synthesize.
Abstract: The thesis lays a theoretical framework for program debugging, with the goal of partly mechanizing this activity. In particular, we formalize and develop algorithmic solutions to the following two questions: (1) How do we identify a bug in a program that behaves incorrectly? (2) How do we fix a bug, once one is identified? We develop interactive diagnosis algorithms that identify a bug in a program that behaves incorrectly, and implement them in Prolog for the diagnosis of Prolog programs. Their performance suggests that they can be the backbone of debugging aids that go far beyond what is offered by current programming environments. We develop an inductive inference algorithm that synthesizes logic programs from examples of their behavior. The algorithm incorporates the diagnosis algorithms as a component. It is incremental, and progresses by debugging a program with respect to the examples. The Model Inference System is a Prolog implementation of the algorithm. Its range of applications and efficiency is comparable to existing systems for program synthesis from examples and grammatical inference. We develop an algorithm that can fix a bug that has been identified, and integrate it with the diagnosis algorithms to form an interactive debugging system. By restricting the class of bugs we attempt to correct, the system can debug programs that are too complex for the Model Inference System to synthesize.

1,166 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This survey highlights and explains the main ideas that have been developed in the study of inductive inference, with special emphasis on the relations between the general theory and the specific algorithms and implementations.
Abstract: There has been a great deal of theoretical and experimental work in computer science on inductive inference systems, that is, systems that try to infer general rules from examples. However, a complete and applicable theory of such systems is still a distant goal. This survey highlights and explains the main ideas that have been developed in the study of inductive inference, with special emphasis on the relations between the general theory and the specific algorithms and implementations. 154 references.

894 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The question of whether there is an automaton with n states which agrees with a finite set D of data is shown to be NP-complete, although identification-in-the-limit of finite automata is possible in polynomial time as a function of the size of D.
Abstract: The question of whether there is an automaton with n states which agrees with a finite set D of data is shown to be NP-complete, although identification-in-the-limit of finite automata is possible in polynomial time as a function of the size of D. Necessary and sufficient conditions are given for D to be realizable by an automaton whose states are reachable from the initial state by a given set T of input strings. Although this question is also NP-complete, these conditions suggest heuristic approaches. Even if a solution to this problem were available, it is shown that finding a minimal set T does not necessarily give the smallest possible T.

819 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A variety of familiar problems are shown complete for P, including context-free emptiness, infiniteness and membership, establishing inconsistency of propositional formulas by unit resolution, deciding whether a player in a two-person game has a winning strategy, and determining whether an element is generated from a set by a binary operation.

268 citations