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How Much Data Is Sufficient to Learn High-Performing Algorithms?

04 Nov
Friday, 11/04/2022 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Lederle Graduate Research Center, Room A215; Zoom
Data Science Deep Dive

Abstract: Algorithms often have tunable parameters that have a considerable impact on their runtime and solution quality. A growing body of research has demonstrated that data-driven algorithm design can lead to significant gains in runtime and solution quality. Data-driven algorithm design uses a training set of problem instances sampled from an unknown, application-specific distribution and returns a parameter setting with strong average performance on the training set. We provide a broadly applicable theory for deriving generalization guarantees for data-driven algorithm design, which bound the difference between the algorithm's expected performance and its average performance over the training set. The challenge is that for many combinatorial algorithms, performance is a volatile function of the parameters: slightly perturbing the parameters can cause a cascade of changes in the algorithm's behavior. This talk is based on joint work with Nina Balcan, Dan DeBlasio, Travis Dick, Carl Kingsford, and Tuomas Sandholm.

Bio: Ellen Vitercik is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University with a joint appointment between the Management Science & Engineering department and the Computer Science department. Her research revolves around machine learning theory, discrete optimization, and the interface between economics and computation. Before joining Stanford, she spent a year as a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley after receiving a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Her thesis won the SIGecom Doctoral Dissertation Award and the CMU School of Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Join the Seminar

The Data Science Deep Dive is free and open to the public. If you are interested in giving a talk, please email Mohammad Hajiesmaili or Adam Lechowicz. Note that in addition to being a public lecture series, the Data Science Deep Dive is also a seminar (CompSci 692K, Algorithms with Predictions Seminar) that can be taken for credit.