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List of things to blog about

I come across a lot of interesting stuff. Every Day. And I haven’t blogged about ANY of them!

The Distinguished Speaker Series from the Center for Machine Learning at UCI has been really interesting so far. And so has the weekly seminars by the same Center.

I quite enjoyed Prof. Peter Stone’s “Learning and Multiagent Reasoning for Autonomous Agents”. Material related to the talk is available here. I haven’t given robotics a serious thought, though if I get more reasonably into Machine Learning, I should want to try out games, strategies, and all that.

Then there was Prof. Doug Oard who talked about extracting identities from a set of emails. So now you refer to a Judy in your email, or even cutie pie, the software should be able to pick out who you’re talking about, just by being given a set of previous correspondences.I was QUITE interested. It didn’t seem that challenging learning-wise or applying concepts-wise, but I guess the challenge is to figure out how to extract features. And it turns out simple methods are the ones that work best.

There was also Judy Olsen from PARC, who talked about identity resolution on the Net, and how that could be used to obtain biases in Amazon.com reviews. So say X reviews a book by Y. And you find that X and Y are strongly related. You can take that into account while giving weight to reviews. Here, they didn’t use anything more than plain keyword matching on Google search. Just googling for X and Y and determining how much of overlap between the results existed. And the results turned out surprisingly good. I’m wondering about also using sentiment analysis here to determine if the bias would be positive or negative.

The most recent one was Prof. Padhraic Smyth, one of the judges of the Netflix contest talking about the nature of the contest, how it went on, the details in the data, some assumptions….. I came in half an hour late, but still managed to enjoy the rest of the talk.

And the reason I missed half of it? I’m currently a Graduate Student Researcher with Prof. Bill Tomlinson. I’m working on visualizations using Google Earth. My most recent working code will always be posted here. I should aggregate all my knowledge about Google Earth’s API and KML here. Sometime Soon. It’s rather fun.

I’m also taking an AI course this quarter, and my class project has to do with cryptogram solving. The approach I will be using is word-based genetic algorithm. You can check the paper out here [pdf]. I will be uploading the code to Google Appengine once I’m done with it, or atleast gotten started.

And then there’s Probability Models, where I’m supposed to read up on how Markov Chains and the like are used in solving problems. I want to check out how it’s done in text mining. More details forthcoming.

That’s it for now. More coming up, hopefully. I should make it a regular habit to blog here every single day so that I don’t lose what I learn.

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