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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 44879 matches for " Michael Wellman "
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Qualitative Probabilistic Networks for Planning Under Uncertainty
Michael P. Wellman
Computer Science , 2013,
Abstract: Bayesian networks provide a probabilistic semantics for qualitative assertions about likelihood. A qualitative reasoner based on an algebra over these assertions can derive further conclusions about the influence of actions. While the conclusions are much weaker than those computed from complete probability distributions, they are still valuable for suggesting potential actions, eliminating obviously inferior plans, identifying important tradeoffs, and explaining probabilistic models.
Exploiting Functional Dependencies in Qualitative Probabilistic Reasoning
Michael P. Wellman
Computer Science , 2013,
Abstract: Functional dependencies restrict the potential interactions among variables connected in a probabilistic network. This restriction can be exploited in qualitative probabilistic reasoning by introducing deterministic variables and modifying the inference rules to produce stronger conclusions in the presence of functional relations. I describe how to accomplish these modifications in qualitative probabilistic networks by exhibiting the update procedures for graphical transformations involving probabilistic and deterministic variables and combinations. A simple example demonstrates that the augmented scheme can reduce qualitative ambiguity that would arise without the special treatment of functional dependency. Analysis of qualitative synergy reveals that new higher-order relations are required to reason effectively about synergistic interactions among deterministic variables.
The Role of Calculi in Uncertain Inference Systems
Michael P. Wellman,David Heckerman
Computer Science , 2013,
Abstract: Much of the controversy about methods for automated decision making has focused on specific calculi for combining beliefs or propagating uncertainty. We broaden the debate by (1) exploring the constellation of secondary tasks surrounding any primary decision problem, and (2) identifying knowledge engineering concerns that present additional representational tradeoffs. We argue on pragmatic grounds that the attempt to support all of these tasks within a single calculus is misguided. In the process, we note several uncertain reasoning objectives that conflict with the Bayesian ideal of complete specification of probabilities and utilities. In response, we advocate treating the uncertainty calculus as an object language for reasoning mechanisms that support the secondary tasks. Arguments against Bayesian decision theory are weakened when the calculus is relegated to this role. Architectures for uncertainty handling that take statements in the calculus as objects to be reasoned about offer the prospect of retaining normative status with respect to decision making while supporting the other tasks in uncertain reasoning.
Computing Best-Response Strategies in Infinite Games of Incomplete Information
Daniel Reeves,Michael P. Wellman
Computer Science , 2012,
Abstract: We describe an algorithm for computing best response strategies in a class of two-player infinite games of incomplete information, defined by payoffs piecewise linear in agents' types and actions, conditional on linear comparisons of agents' actions. We show that this class includes many well-known games including a variety of auctions and a novel allocation game. In some cases, the best-response algorithm can be iterated to compute Bayes-Nash equilibria. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approach on existing and new games.
Multiattribute Auctions Based on Generalized Additive Independence
Yagil Engel,Michael P. Wellman
Computer Science , 2014, DOI: 10.1613/jair.3002
Abstract: We develop multiattribute auctions that accommodate generalized additive independent (GAI) preferences. We propose an iterative auction mechanism that maintains prices on potentially overlapping GAI clusters of attributes, thus decreases elicitation and computational burden, and creates an open competition among suppliers over a multidimensional domain. Most significantly, the auction is guaranteed to achieve surplus which approximates optimal welfare up to a small additive factor, under reasonable equilibrium strategies of traders. The main departure of GAI auctions from previous literature is to accommodate non-additive trader preferences, hence allowing traders to condition their evaluation of specific attributes on the value of other attributes. At the same time, the GAI structure supports a compact representation of prices, enabling a tractable auction process. We perform a simulation study, demonstrating and quantifying the significant efficiency advantage of more expressive preference modeling. We draw random GAI-structured utility functions with various internal structures, generate additive functions that approximate the GAI utility, and compare the performance of the auctions using the two representations. We find that allowing traders to express existing dependencies among attributes improves the economic efficiency of multiattribute auctions.
Knowledge Combination in Graphical Multiagent Model
Quang Duong,Michael P. Wellman,Satinder Singh
Computer Science , 2012,
Abstract: A graphical multiagent model (GMM) represents a joint distribution over the behavior of a set of agents. One source of knowledge about agents' behavior may come from gametheoretic analysis, as captured by several graphical game representations developed in recent years. GMMs generalize this approach to express arbitrary distributions, based on game descriptions or other sources of knowledge bearing on beliefs about agent behavior. To illustrate the flexibility of GMMs, we exhibit game-derived models that allow probabilistic deviation from equilibrium, as well as models based on heuristic action choice. We investigate three different methods of integrating these models into a single model representing the combined knowledge sources. To evaluate the predictive performance of the combined model, we treat as actual outcome the behavior produced by a reinforcement learning process. We find that combining the two knowledge sources, using any of the methods, provides better predictions than either source alone. Among the combination methods, mixing data outperforms the opinion pool and direct update methods investigated in this empirical trial.
Self-Confirming Price Prediction Strategies for Simultaneous One-Shot Auctions
Michael P. Wellman,Eric Sodomka,Amy Greenwald
Computer Science , 2012,
Abstract: Bidding in simultaneous auctions is challenging because an agent's value for a good in one auction may depend on the uncertain outcome of other auctions: the so-called exposure problem. Given the gap in understanding of general simultaneous auction games, previous works have tackled this problem with heuristic strategies that employ probabilistic price predictions. We define a concept of self-confirming prices, and show that within an independent private value model, Bayes-Nash equilibrium can be fully characterized as a profile of optimal price prediction strategies with self-confirming predictions. We exhibit practical procedures to compute approximately optimal bids given a probabilistic price prediction, and near self-confirming price predictions given a price-prediction strategy. An extensive empirical game-theoretic analysis demonstrates that self-confirming price prediction strategies are effective in simultaneous auction games with both complementary and substitutable preference structures.
Constrained Automated Mechanism Design for Infinite Games of Incomplete Information
Yevgeniy Vorobeychik,Daniel Reeves,Michael P. Wellman
Computer Science , 2012,
Abstract: We present a functional framework for automated mechanism design based on a two-stage game model of strategic interaction between the designer and the mechanism participants, and apply it to several classes of two-player infinite games of incomplete information. At the core of our framework is a black-box optimization algorithm which guides the selection process of candidate mechanisms. Our approach yields optimal or nearly optimal mechanisms in several application domains using various objective functions. By comparing our results with known optimal mechanisms, and in some cases improving on the best known mechanisms, we provide evidence that ours is a promising approach to parametric design of indirect mechanisms.
Representing Aggregate Belief through the Competitive Equilibrium of a Securities Market
David M. Pennock,Michael P. Wellman
Computer Science , 2013,
Abstract: We consider the problem of belief aggregation: given a group of individual agents with probabilistic beliefs over a set of uncertain events, formulate a sensible consensus or aggregate probability distribution over these events. Researchers have proposed many aggregation methods, although on the question of which is best the general consensus is that there is no consensus. We develop a market-based approach to this problem, where agents bet on uncertain events by buying or selling securities contingent on their outcomes. Each agent acts in the market so as to maximize expected utility at given securities prices, limited in its activity only by its own risk aversion. The equilibrium prices of goods in this market represent aggregate beliefs. For agents with constant risk aversion, we demonstrate that the aggregate probability exhibits several desirable properties, and is related to independently motivated techniques. We argue that the market-based approach provides a plausible mechanism for belief aggregation in multiagent systems, as it directly addresses self-motivated agent incentives for participation and for truthfulness, and can provide a decision-theoretic foundation for the "expert weights" often employed in centralized pooling techniques.
Optimal Factory Scheduling using Stochastic Dominance A*
Peter R. Wurman,Michael P. Wellman
Computer Science , 2013,
Abstract: We examine a standard factory scheduling problem with stochastic processing and setup times, minimizing the expectation of the weighted number of tardy jobs. Because the costs of operators in the schedule are stochastic and sequence dependent, standard dynamic programming algorithms such as A* may fail to find the optimal schedule. The SDA* (Stochastic Dominance A*) algorithm remedies this difficulty by relaxing the pruning condition. We present an improved state-space search formulation for these problems and discuss the conditions under which stochastic scheduling problems can be solved optimally using SDA*. In empirical testing on randomly generated problems, we found that in 70%, the expected cost of the optimal stochastic solution is lower than that of the solution derived using a deterministic approximation, with comparable search effort.
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