May 15

IBC seminar: Dennis Shasha “Reducing Errors by Refusing to Guess (Occasionally)” 1 June 2017

IBC Seminar
Thursday 1 June 2017, 15h, room 1/124, bat. 5 Campus Saint Priest, Montpellier

Reducing Errors by Refusing to Guess (Occasionally)

Dennis Shasha

New York University
We propose a meta-algorithm to reduce the error rate of state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms by refusing to make predictions in certain cases even when the underlying algorithms suggest predictions. Intuitively, our new Conjugate Prediction approach estimates the likelihood that a prediction will be in error and when that likelihood is high, the approach refuses to go along with that prediction. Unlike other approaches, we can probabilistically guarantee an error rate on predictions we do make (denoted the {\em decisive predictions}). Empirically on seven diverse data sets from genomics, ecology, image-recognition, and gaming,, our method can probabilistically guarantee to reduce the error rate to 1/4 of what it is in the state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm at a cost of between 11% and 58% refusals. Competing state-of-the-art methods refuse at roughly twice the rate  of ours (sometimes refusing all suggested predictions).

Permanent link to this article: https://team.inria.fr/zenith/ibc-seminar-dennis-shasha-reducing-errors-by-refusing-to-guess-occasionally-1-june-2017/