Microsoft Research Lectures
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Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:11:29 GMT
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:11:29 GMT

The Peripheral
[Speaker: William Gibson] As a favor to her brother Burton, Flynne Fisher fills in on a mysterious job beta testing a new game. She's glad for the work, as money is tight with her mother needing constant medical care and Burton having financial troubles since he left the marines. Remotely flying a copter around a highrise building, Flynne is tasked with simply keeping the paparazzi drones away from one of the apartments, but after she witnesses a murder, everything in her life is going to change.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231472
William Gibson
Science and Technology
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:30:00 GMT

Automated Debugging as a Constraint Solving Problem
[Speakers: Tom Wies and Zvomir Pavlinovic] Debugging is one of the most time consuming aspects of software development. Any automation that reduces the manual effort involved in this task can have a significant impact on software productivity. An integral part of all debugging activities is error localization: once undesired behavior is spotted, the actual defect has to be identified before a fix can be developed. Most existing fault localization techniques rely on the availability of high quality test suites, which limits their applicability in practice. It therefore seems necessary to explore alternatives that complement testingbased techniques. We will present two novel algorithms that reduce the problem of error localization to constraint solving. The first algorithm can be used for slicing error traces and explaining code inconsistencies in imperative programs. The second algorithm finds the best explanations of type errors in functional programs. The reduction to constraint solving leverages the recent advances in automated theorem proving to localize errors without relying on testing. Moreover, it can provide formal quality guarantees about the computed results. Our experiments indicate that our new algorithms have the potential to significantly increase the quality of error reports produced by compilers and debugging tools. The talk will be split into two parts presented by Thomas Wies and Zvonimir Pavlinovic.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231473
Tom Wies; Zvomir Pavlinovic
Science and Technology
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:30:00 GMT

Northwest Probability Seminar 2014  A Regular Stochastic Block Model
[Speaker: Ioana Dumitriu] The famous Stochastic Block Model (SBM) has been recently completely solved independently by Massoulie and MosselNeemanSly. Inspired by their work, we have decided to examine a regular variant of the graph; the restrictive nature of the constraints makes the problem easier, but at the same time more challenging (given that we can push the thresholds lower, how much lower can we push them?) This is joint work with Gerandy Brito, Shirshendu Ganguly, Chris Hoffman, and Linh Tran.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231476
Ioana Dumitriu
Science and Technology
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 23:35:00 GMT

Northwest Probability Seminar 2014  Sampling from the FominKirillov distribution
[Speaker: Benjamin Young] I will describe recent joint work with Sara Billey (UW) and Alexander Holroyd (MSR), generalizing earlier work of mine, in which we bijectively prove the general case of Macdonald's identity in Schubert calculus. As a consequence, we also get a sampling algorithm for a probability distribution on reduced words which is implicit in work of Fomin and Kirillov. The proof involves several novel uses of David Little's generalized "bumping" algorithm.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231487
Benjamin Young
Science and Technology
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 22:25:00 GMT

Northwest Probability Seminar 2014  The role of compactness in large deviations.
[Speaker: Srinivasa Varadhan] The estimates obtained in large deviations are basically local estimates. While it is not a problem for lower bounds it is a problem for upper bounds. In the absence of exponential tightness some type of "compactification" of the space is needed. We will look at some examples.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231478
Srinivasa Varadhan
Science and Technology
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:20:00 GMT

Northwest Probability Seminar 2014  Sharp higher order corrections for the critical value of a bootstrap percolation model
[Speaker: Tim Hulshof] Bootstrap Percolation (BP) models are simple cellular automata with a deterministic growth rule and random initial configuration. It is known that (critical) BP models on the lattice undergo a metastable phase transition on a lattice of fixed size, as the density of the initial configuration increases. Holroyd (2004) determined sharp first order asymptotics for the critical value for the canonical nearestneighbor model in 2D. Surprisingly, this value turned out to be very far removed from computer simulations of BP on large lattices, suggesting that higher order corrections to the critical value may dominate even on large lattices. We study the scaling of the critical value for the socalled anisotropic (1,2)model. DuminilCopin and van Enter recently showed sharp first order asymptotics for the critical value of this model. We determine sharp second and third order corrections, and show that they are both large enough to dominate the critical value of anisotropic bootstrap percolation on any scale that is feasibly accessed by computers. Based on joint work with Hugo DuminilCopin, Aernout van Enter, and Robert Morris.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231489
Tim Hulshof
Science and Technology
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 19:00:00 GMT

Northwest Probability Seminar 2014  Finitely dependent coloring
[Speaker: Alexander Holroyd] Do local constraints demand global coordination? I'll address a particularly simple formulation of this question: can the vertices of a graph be assigned random colours in a stationary way, so that neighboring colours always differ, but without longrange dependence? The quest to answer this has led to the discovery of a beautiful yet mysterious new stochastic process that seemingly has no right to exist, while overturning the conventional thinking on a fundamental 49year old question. (Joint work with Tom Liggett.)
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231491
Alexander Holroyd
Science and Technology
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 18:15:00 GMT

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
[Speaker: Steven Johnson] What was the chain of unexpected connections that led from the search for clean water to the manufacture of computer chips? And how did the overheating of printing presses in the U.S. inspire mass migration and political transformation? How We Got to Now, explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by amateurs and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. This illustrated history is full of surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include a playback feature, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind WiFi and Bluetooth. How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231357
Steven Johnson
Science and Technology
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:00:00 GMT

Computer Vision  StAR Lecture Series: Object Recognition
[Speaker: Larry Zitnick] The stateoftheart in object recognition has undergone dramatic changes in the last 20 years. In this talk, I will review the progression of the field and discuss why various approaches both succeeded and failed. The talk will cover visual recognition from the early 90's, including handwritten digit and face detection, to the current stateoftheart in deep learning applied to object categorization. Algorithms will be explained at an intuitive level. The talk is aimed at the nonexpert in computer vision with some knowledge of machine learning. While deep learning is briefly covered, Ross Girshick will be giving a more detailed StAR talk on the subject at a later date.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231358
Larry Zitnick
Science and Technology
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:00:00 GMT

Reasoning about GADT Pattern Matching in Haskell
[Speaker: George Karachalias] Generalized Algebraic Data Types (GADTs) are a simple but powerful generalization of Algebraic Data Types (ADTs) in Haskell and the ML family. Reasoning about the accessibility of case branches and the exhaustiveness of pattern matching is a well studied and efficiently solved problem for ADTs. However, classic algorithms fall short in the presence of GADTs, issuing false warnings: Since GADT constructors introduce local constraints, we must allow for the fact that particular combinations of patterns and/or values cannot actually occur. We present a novel algorithm for checking pattern matching that accounts for Haskell's laziness and relies on implication constraints generated and solved by the OutsideIn(X) type inference engine. Since we rely on the existing type inference engine, our approach is efficient and robust to future extensions of the type system. We also report on a proofofconcept implementation of our algorithm in GHC.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231391
George Karachalias
Science and Technology
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:00:00 GMT

Fast Conservative Garbage Collection
[Speaker: Rifat Shahriyar] Garbage collectors are exact or conservative. An exact collector identifies all references precisely and may move referents and update references, whereas a conservative collector treats one or more of stack, register, and heap references as ambiguous. Ambiguous references constrain collectors in two ways. (1) Since they may be pointers, the collectors must retain referents. (2) Since they may be values, the collectors cannot modify them, pinning their referents. We explore conservative collectors for managed languages, with ambiguous stacks and registers. We show that for Java benchmarks they retain and pin remarkably few heap objects: <0.01% are falsely retained and 0.03% are pinned. The larger effect is collector design. Prior conservative collectors (1) use marksweep and unnecessarily forgo moving all objects, or (2) use mostly copying and pin entire pages. Compared to generational collection, overheads are substantial: 12% and 45% respectively. We introduce high performance conservative Immix and reference counting (RC). Immix is a markregion collector with fine linegrain pinning and opportunistic copying of unambiguous referents. Deferred RC simply needs an object map to deliver the first conservative RC. We implement six exact collectors and their conservative counterparts. Conservative Immix and RC come within 2 to 3% of their exact counterparts. In particular, conservative RC Immix is slightly faster than a welltuned exact generational collector. These findings show that for managed languages, conservative collection is compatible with high performance.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231480
Rifat Shahriyar
Science and Technology
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:30:00 GMT

An Approximate Differentiable Renderer
[Speaker: Matthew Loper] Although computer vision can be posed as an inverse rendering problem, most renderers are not tailored to this task. Our framework makes it simple to express a forward graphics model, automatically obtain derivatives with respect to the model parameters, and optimize over them. Built on a new autodifferentiation package and OpenGL, OpenDR provides color, depth and boundary renderers, and promotes the ability to construct functions of the renderers. We demonstrate the power and simplicity of programming with OpenDR by using it to prototype a system for estimating human body shape from Kinect depth and RGB data.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231393
Matthew Loper
Science and Technology
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:00 GMT

Sequential Equilibrium Distributions in MultiStage Games with Infinite Sets of Types and Actions
[Speaker: Roger Myerson] We consider the question of how to define of sequential equilibria for multistage games with infinite type sets and infinite action sets. The definition should be a natural extension of Kreps and Wilson's 1982 definition for finite games, should yield intuitively appropriate solutions for various examples, and should exist for a broad class of economically interesting games.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231112
Roger Myerson
Science and Technology
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:00:00 GMT

MSR Theory Day  Part 3
[Speakers: Anup Rao and Navin Goyal] 4:154:35 Navin Goyal, MSRIndia Title: Algorithms for independent component analysis Abstract: Independent component analysis is a problem in signal processing. In this problem, we are given linear superposition of independent signals. E.g., we could be receiving data from several sensors but the receiver only gets the sum of these signals. The problem is to recover the original signal from the superposed data. In some situations this turns out to be possible. In this talk I will discuss a provably efficient algorithm for this problem. The algorithm is based on tensor decomposition. 4:405:00 Anup Rao, University of Washington Title: Simplified lower bounds for the numberonforehead complexity of disjointness Abstract: We show that the deterministic numberonforehead communication complexity of set disjointness for k parties on a universe of size n is Omega(n/4k). This gives the first lower bound that is linear in n, nearly matching Grolmusz's upper bound of O(log2 (n) + k2 n/2k). We also simplify Sherstov's proof showing an Omega(sqrtn/(k2k)) lower bound for the randomized communication complexity of set disjointness. Joint work with Amir Yehudayoff.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231005
Anup Rao; Navin Goyal
Science and Technology
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 23:15:00 GMT

MSR Theory Day  Part 2
[Speakers: Sebastien Bubeck and Nick Gravin] 3:103:30 Sebastien Bubeck, MSRRedmond Title: On the influence of the seed in random recursive trees Abstract: Let S be a fixed (seed) tree, and T be a large tree grown according to the uniform attachment process initialized on S. We are interested in whether T still contains information about S, even as the size of T goes to infinity. Perhaps surprisingly, we show that different seeds always lead to different distributions for the limiting trees (from a total variation point of view). 3:353:55 Nick Gravin, MSRNE Title: Competitive analysis: how to play with your benchmarks Abstract: Over the past decade the competitive analysis was one of the most prevalent frameworks in algorithmic mechanism design and online settings. The problem of designing a competitive auction or an online algorithm is usually tailored to the particular benchmark in a given setting. We advocate a more general approach where we (i) design competitive algorithms against an abstract class of benchmarks and (ii) use these algorithms as building blocks to compete against any benchmark of interest. In this talk I will illustrate this approach on a few examples: digital good, position, online auctions, and downwardclosed permutation environments. All of these settings having the following simple scenario at the core: a singleround, sealedbid auction for selling an item in unlimited supply. The goal is to design a truthful auction (i.e., encourages buyers to bid truthfully) such that on every input it must generate profit within a constant factor compared to a certain economically meaningful benchmark. A joint work with Ning Chen and Pinyan Lu.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231130
Sebastien Bubeck; Nick Gravin
Science and Technology
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:10:00 GMT

Operationalizing Predictive Model
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231395
Stephen Rauch
Science and Technology
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:30:00 GMT

Data Visualization, Transformation and Feature Selection
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231397
Stephen Rauch
Science and Technology
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:00:00 GMT

Method of Data Ingress and Egress
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231398
Stephen Rauch
Science and Technology
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT

Welcome and Overview of the Azure ML Workshop
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231399
Stephen Rauch
Science and Technology
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:15:00 GMT

The Running Revolution: How to Run Faster, Farther and InjuryFree for Life
[Speakers: Severin Romanov and Nicholas Romanov] The popular "barefoot" or minimalist running trend changed the way we think about running, but it has also prompted many questions: Have we been running the wrong way? Have we been running in the wrong kind of shoe? What is the safest type of foot strike? The Running Revolution provides both beginning and experienced runners with everything they need to know in order to safely and efficiently transition to and master a safer and more biomechanically efficient way of running that is guaranteed to improve performance and minimize wear and tear on the body.
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=231006
Severin Romanov; Nicholas Romanov
Science and Technology
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:30:00 GMT