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  • Learning Semantics Workshop

    A key ambition of AI is to render computers able to evolve in and interact with the real world. This can be made possible only if the machine is able to produce a correct interpretation of its available modalities (image, audio, text, etc.), upon which it would then build a reasoning to take appropriate actions. Computational linguists use the term ``semantics'' to refer to the possible interpretations (concepts) of natural language expressions, and showed some interest in ``learning semantics'', that is finding (in an automated way) these interpretations. However, ``semantics'' are not restricted to natural language modality, and are also pertinent for speech or vision modalities. Hence, knowing visual concepts and common relationships between them would certainly bring a leap forward in scene analysis and in image parsing akin to the improvement that language phrase interpretations would bring to data mining, information extraction or automatic translation, to name a few.

    Progress in learning semantics has been slow mainly because this involves sophisticated models which are hard to train, especially since they seem to require large quantities of precisely annotated training data. However, recent advances in learning with weak and limited supervision lead to the emergence of a new body of research in semantics based on multi-task/transfer learning, on learning with semi/ambiguous supervision or even with no supervision at all. The goal of this workshop is to explore these new directions and, in particular, to investigate the following questions:
    \begin{itemize}
    \item How should meaning representations be structured to be easily interpretable by a computer and still express rich and complex knowledge?
    \item What is a realistic supervision setting for learning semantics? How can we learn sophisticated representations with limited supervision?
    \item How can we jointly infer semantics from several modalities?

    This workshop defines the issue of learning semantics as its main interdisciplinary subject and aims at identifying, establishing and discussing potential, challenges and issues of learning semantics. The workshop is mainly organized around invited speakers to highlight several key current directions, but, it also presents selected contributions and is intended to encourage the exchange of ideas with all the other members of the NIPS community.

  • Domain Adaptation Workshop: Theory and Application

    Despite the recent advances in domain adaptation, many of the most successful practical achievements in domain adaptation have not been robust, in part because they lack formal assumptions about when they could perform well. At the same time, some of the most influential theoretical work guarantees near optimal performance in new domains, but under assumptions that may not hold in practice.

    Our workshop will bridge theory and practice in the following ways:

    1.We will have one applied and two theoretical invited talks.

    2.We will advertise the workshop to both the applied and theoretical communities.

    3.We will have discussion sessions whose aim emphasizes both the formal assumptions underlying successful practical algorithms and new algorithms based on theoretical foundations.

    Workshop attendees should come away with an understanding of the domain adaptation problem, how it appears in practical applications and existing theoretical guarantees that can be provided in this more general setting. More importantly, attendees will be exposed to the important open problems of the field, which will encourage new collaborations and results.

  • Machine Learning in Computational Biology (MLCB) 2011

    A workshop at the annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2011) @ Sierra Nevada, Spain, December 17, 2011.

  • NIPS 2011 Workshop on Integrating Language and Vision

    A growing number of researchers in computer vision have started to explore how language accompanying images and video can be used to aid interpretation and retrieval, as well as train object and activity recognizers. Simultaneously, an increasing number of computational linguists have begun to investigate how visual information can be used to aid language learning and interpretation, and to ground the meaning of words and sentences in perception. However, there has been very little direct interaction between researchers in these two distinct disciplines. Consequently, researchers in each area have a limited understanding of the methods in the other area, and do not optimally exploit the latest ideas and techniques from both disciplines when developing systems that integrate language and vision. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers in both computer vision and natural-language processing (NLP) to interact, collaborate, and discuss issues and future directions in integrating language and vision.
    Traditional machine learning for both computer vision and NLP requires manually annotating images, video, text, or speech with detailed labels, parse-trees, segmentations, etc. Methods that integrate language and vision hold the promise of greatly reducing such manual supervision by using naturally co-occurring text and images/video to mutually supervise each other.

    There is a wide range of important real-world applications that require integrating vision and language, including but not limited to: image and video retrieval, human-robot interaction, medical image processing, human-computer interaction in virtual worlds, and computer graphics generation.

  • Copulas in Machine Learning Workshop 2011

    From high-throughput biology and astronomy to voice analysis and medical diagnosis, a wide variety of complex domains are inherently continuous and high dimensional. The statistical framework of copulas offers a flexible tool for modeling highly non-linear multivariate distributions for continuous data. Copulas are a theoretically and practically important tool from statistics that explicitly allow one to separate the dependency structure between random variables from their marginal distributions. Although bivariate copulas are a widely used tool in finance, and have even been famously accused of "bringing the world financial system to its knees" (Wired Magazine, Feb. 23, 2009), the use of copulas for high dimensional data is in its infancy.

    While studied in statistics for many years, copulas have only recently been noticed by a number of machine learning researchers, with this "new" tool appearing in the recent leading machine learning conferences (ICML, UAI and NIPS). The goal of this workshop is to promote the further understanding and development of copulas for the kinds of complex modeling tasks that are the focus of machine learning. Specifically, the goals of the workshop are to:

    * draw the attention of machine learning researchers to the
    important framework of copulas

    * provide a theoretical and practical introduction to copulas

    * identify promising research problems in machine learning that
    could exploit copulas

    * bring together researchers from the statistics and machine learning communities working in this area.

    The target audience includes leading researchers from academia and industry, with the aim of facilitating cross fertilization between
    different perspectives.

  • 1st Lisbon Machine Learning School

    LxMLS 2011 will take place July 20-25 (*) at Instituto Superior Tecnico, a leading Engineering and Science school in Portugal. It is organized jointly by IST, the Instituto de Telecomunicacoes and the Spoken Language Systems Lab - L2F of INESC-ID. In its debut year, the topic of the school is Learning for the Web. The school will cover a range of machine learning (ML) Topics, from theory to practice, that are important in solving natural language processing (NLP) problems that arise in the analysis and use of Web data.

  • FOCS 2011

    52nd Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2011). Palm Springs, California, October 23-25, 2011.

  • Mobile Health Conference 2011

    One day conference on mobile healthcare profiling the next generation mHealth apps.

  • IEEE Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics

    The WASPAA meeting is a traditional event sponsored by the Audio and Acoustic Signal Processing Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. The first WASPAA meeting was convened in 1986 and since 1989 it has been held every other year. This two-and-a-half day workshop is devoted to reviewing the current state of the art as well as recent advances in signal processing with emphasis on its applications to audio and acoustics. It brings together researchers and practitioners from universities and industry.

  • Venture Shift New York Webcast

    The new era of venture investing. The questions to explore are: How do these developments change the VC game and capital-formation process and exit dynamics? How are the rise of angels, super angels, incubators changing the stakes across the board? Are 10x returns elusive? How are secondary markets adding value? This event is ideal for entrepreneurs seeking to understand the new world order of venture financing from start to finish. Super angels and angels and venture capitalists should also join the event to mingle and connect with fellow investors shaping the new era of venture investing.