Thursday, September 3, 2020

UQSay #13

The thirteenth UQSay seminar on Uncertainty Quantification and related topics, organized by L2S, MSSMAT, and EDF R&D, will take place online on Thursday afternoon, September 10, 2020.

14h–15h — Balázs Kégl (Noah's Ark Lab, Huawei Paris) — [slides]

DARMDN: Deep autoregressive mixture density nets for dynamical system modelling

Unlike computers, physical engineering systems (such as data center cooling or wireless network control) do not get faster with time. This is arguably one of the main reasons why recent beautiful advances in deep reinforcement learning (RL) stay mostly in the realm of simulated worlds and do not immediately translate to practical success in the real world. In order to make the best use of the small data sets these systems generate, we develop data-driven neural simulators to model the system and apply model-based control to optimize them. In this talk I will present the first step of this research agenda, a new versatile system modelling tool called deep autoregressive mixture density net (DARMDN – pronounced darm-dee-en). We argue that the performance of model-based reinforcement learning is partly limited by the approximation capacity of the currently used conditional density models and show how DARMDN alleviates these limitations. The model, combined with a random shooting controller, establishes a new state of the art on the popular Acrobot benchmark. Our most interesting and counter-intuitive finding is that the “sincos” Acrobot system which requires no multimodal posterior predictives, can be solved with a deterministic model, but only if it is trained as a probabilistic model. A deterministic model that is trained to minimize MSE leads to prediction error accumulation.

Joint work with Gabriel Hurtado and Albert Thomas.

Organizers: Julien Bect (L2S), Emmanuel Vazquez (L2S), Didier Clouteau (MSSMAT), Filippo Gatti (MSSMAT), Fernando Lopez Caballero (MSSMAT), Bertrand Iooss (EDF R&D).

Practical details: the seminar will be held online using Microsoft Teams.

If you want to attend this seminar (or any of the forthcoming online UQSay seminars), and if you do not already have access to the UQSay group on Teams, simply send an email and you will be invited. Please specify which email address the invitation must be sent to (this has to be the address associated with your Teams account).

You will find the link to the seminar on the "General" UQSay channel on Teams, approximately 15 minutes before the beginning.

The technical side of things: you can use Teams either directly from you web browser or using the "fat client", which is available for most platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android & iOS). We strongly recommend the latter option whenever possible. Please give it a try before the seminar to anticipate potential problems.