[Intelligence Seminar] Feb. 22, 3:30pm: Presentation by Bart Selman

Dana Houston dhouston at cs.cmu.edu
Thu Feb 17 13:37:30 EST 2011

FEBRUARY 22 AT 3:30PM, IN GHC 4303

SPEAKER: BART SELMAN (Cornell University)
Host: Tuomas Sandholm
For meetings, contact Charlotte Yano (yano at cs.cmu.edu)


In recent years, we have seen tremendous progress in inference
technologies. For example, in the area of Boolean satisfiability (SAT)
and Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) solvers now enable us to tackle
significant practical problem instances with up to a million variables
and constraints. Key to this success is the ability to strike the
right balance between the expressiveness of the underlying
representation formalism and the efficiency of the solvers. The next
challenge is to extend the reach of these solvers to more complex
tasks that lie beyond NP. I will discuss our work on sampling,
counting, probabilistic reasoning, and adversarial reasoning. In
particular, I will discuss a new sampling technique based on the
so-called flat histogram method, from statistical physics. The
technique allows for fast probabilistic inference and learning in
Markov Logic networks and other graphical models. In the area of
adversarial reasoning, the UCT method, based on sampling strategies
first developed for use in multi-armed bandit scenarios, provides a
compelling alternative to traditional minimax search. The method has
led to an exciting advance in the strength of GO programs. I will
discuss insights into the surprising effectiveness of the UCT


Bart Selman is a professor of computer science at Cornell University.
His research interests include efficient reasoning procedures,
planning, knowledge representation, and connections between computer
science and statistical physics. He has (co-)authored over 150 papers,
which have appeared in venues spanning Nature, Science, Proc. Natl.
Acad. of Sci., and a variety of conferences and journals in AI and
Computer Science. He has received six Best Paper Awards, and is an
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship recipient, a Fellow of AAAI, and a
Fellow of AAAS.

Dana M. Houston
Language Technologies Institute
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
5407 Gates Hillman Complex
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

T:  (412)268-6591
F:  (412)268-6298

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