ISL Colloquium
The ISL Colloquium convenes in person again (on Thursdays at 4pm PT in Packard 101) as of Fall 2021. For those unable to attend, talks are also streamed via Zoom. To avoid "Zoom-bombing", we ask attendees to input their email address here to receive the Zoom meeting details via email.

← List all talks ...

Sequential Decision Making: How Much Adaptivity Is Needed Anyways?

Amin Karbasi – Professor, Yale

Thu, 30-Sep-2021 / 4:45pm / Packard 101


Adaptive stochastic optimization under partial observability is one of the fundamental challenges in artificial intelligence and machine learning with a wide range of applications, including active learning, optimal experimental design, interactive recommendations, viral marketing, Wikipedia link prediction, and perception in robotics, to name a few. In such problems, one needs to adaptively make a sequence of decisions while taking into account the stochastic observations collected in previous rounds. For instance, in active learning, the goal is to learn a classifier by carefully requesting as few labels as possible from a set of unlabeled data points. Similarly, in experimental design, a practitioner may conduct a series of tests in order to reach a conclusion. Even though it is possible to determine all the selections ahead of time before any observations take place (e.g., select all the data points at once or conduct all the medical tests simultaneously), so-called a priori selection, it is more efficient to consider a fully adaptive procedure that exploits the information obtained from past selections in order to make a new selection. In this talk, we introduce semi-adaptive policies, for a wide range of decision-making problems, that enjoy the power of fully sequential procedures while performing exponentially fewer adaptive rounds.


Amin Karbasi is currently an associate professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Statistics at Yale University. He is also a research scientist at Google NY. He has been the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award 2019, Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award 2019, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award 2018, DARPA Young Faculty Award 2016, National Academy of Engineering Grainger Award 2017, Amazon Research Award 2018, Google Faculty Research Award 2016, Microsoft Azure Research Award 2016, Simons Research Fellowship 2017, and ETH Research Fellowship 2013. His work has also been recognized with a number of paper awards, including Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Interventions Conference (MICCAI) 2017, International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTAT) 2015, IEEE ComSoc Data Storage 2013, International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2011, ACM SIGMETRICS 2010, and IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT) 2010 (runner-up). His Ph.D. thesis received the Patrick Denantes Memorial Prize 2013 from the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL, Switzerland.