Outline of the programme

  • Sunday, Sep. 12, 18:00-21:00: Welcoming reception at the Scandic Marina Hotel.
  • Monday, Sep. 13, 08:45-20:00: Technical sessions
  • Monday, Sep. 13, 20:00-22:00: Reception offered by the Rector of University of Helsinki (joint event with the JELIA conference)
  • Tuesday, Sep. 14, 09:00-19:30: Technical sessions.
  • Tuesday, Sep. 14, 20:00-23:00: Banquet Dinner at Restaurant Katsomo (directions)
  • Wednesday, Sep. 15, 09:00-19:00: Technical sessions.

Technical Programme

Monday, September 13

08:45-09:00 Opening of the Workshop

09:00-10:20 Session 1: Inference I
Chair: Jirka Vomlel
10:20-10:50 Coffee

10:50-12:10 Session 2: Inference II
Chair: Silja Renooij
12:10-14:00 Buffet Lunch

14:00-15:20 Session 3: Learning
Chair: Patrik Hoyer
15:20-15:45 Coffee

15:45-17:45 Poster Session I

18:45-19:45 Invited Talk (at the Second festive hall ("Pieni juhlasali") of the University Main Building, joint event with JELIA) 20:00-22:00 Reception offered by the Rector of University of Helsinki ("Lehtisali" in the Main Building)

Tuesday, September 14

09:00-10:20 Session 4: Models and Representation I
Chair: Antonio Salmeron
10:20-10:50 Coffee

10:50-12:10 Session 5: Models and Representation II
Chair: Peter Lucas
12:10-14:00 Buffet Lunch

14:00-15:00 Invited Talk
15:00-15:40 Session 6: Models and Representation III
Chair: Milan Studeny
15:40-16:10 Coffee

16:10-16:50 Session 7: Influence Diagrams
Chair: Concha Bielza
16:50-17:30 Business Meeting

17:45-19:30 Poster Session II

20:00-23:00 Banquet Dinner at Restaurant Katsomo (directions)

Wednesday, September 15

09:00-10:20 Session 8: Sensitivity and Uncertainty
Chair: Thomas Nielsen
10:20-10:50 Coffee

10:50-12:10 Session 9: Causality
Chair: John Agosta 12:10-14:00 Buffet Lunch

14:00-15:20 Session 10: Applications
Chair: Pedro Larranaga 15:20-15:45 Coffee

15:45-16:45 Invited Talk
16:45-19:00 Cocktails (Offered by the Helsinki Graduate School in Computer Science and Engineering (HeCSE))

17:00-19:00 Poster Session III (jointly with HeCSE poster session)

Invited speakers

Adnan Darwiche (UCLA): Relax, Compensate and then Recover: A Theory of Anytime, Approximate Inference
  • Abstract: I will present in this talk a theory of anytime, approximate inference, which explains some of the most influential algorithms in probabilistic reasoning, yet is based on one of the older ideas in symbolic reasoning: Relaxations. According to this theory, the fundamental notion of approximation is that of "relaxing" logical constraints (equalities in particular) for the purpose of decomposing a problem into smaller pieces that can be solved independently. A second fundamental notion is that of "compensation", which calls for imposing weaker and, typically, probabilistic notions of equality to compensate for the relaxed equalities. The third fundamental notion of the presented theory is that of "recovery," where some of the relaxed equalities are incrementally recovered, based on an assessment of their impact on improving the quality of approximations. I will discuss how this theory subsumes one of the most influential algorithms in probabilistic inference: loopy belief propagation and some of its generalizations. I will also discuss the relationship between this theory and current developments in symbolic reasoning—in particular, how advances in knowledge compilation can impact the state of the art in approximate (and exact) probabilistic inference.
  • Time: 18:45-19:45, Monday, September 13
  • Location: The second festive hall ("Pieni juhlasali") of the main building of University of Helsinki (a joint event with the JELIA conference).
Chris Howe (University of Cambridge): What do genes, medieval manuscripts, languages, musical instruments, factories and Persian carpets have in common?
  • Abstract: Biologists have long sought to use the information in DNA and protein sequences to infer evolutionary relationships among groups of organisms, and usually depict them either as two-dimensional bifurcating trees or as networks. The concept of showing the relationships among organisms as trees was famously demonstrated by Darwin, who included an evolutionary tree as the only figure in "On the Origin of Species...". Inferring "phylogenetic" trees is made possible by the accumulation of mutations in DNA as it is copied. However, many other things follow a similar process of copying with the incorporation of changes, and the methods used for inferring phylogenetic trees might, in principle, be applied elsewhere. I shall describe studies applying phylogenetic methods to topics as diverse as manuscript versions of texts, languages, musical instruments, commercial organisations and Persian carpets.
  • Time: 14:00-15:00, Tuesday, September 14.
  • Location: Marina Congress Center
Thore Graepel (Microsoft Research): Graphical Models in Microsoft's Online Services: TrueSkill, AdPredictor, and Matchbox
  • Abstract: Probabilistic Graphical Models play a crucial role in Microsoft's online services. In this talk, I will describe three powerful applications of graphical model inference in practice.
    1. TrueSkill is Xbox Live's Ranking and Matchmaking system and ensures that gamers online have balanced and exciting matches with equally skilled opponents.
    2. AdPredictor is the system that estimates click-through rates (CTR) for ad selection and pricing within Microsoft's search engine Bing.
    3. Matchbox is a large scale Bayesian recommender system that combines aspects of collaborative filtering and content-based recommendation. It is currently being used for tweet recommendation within
    All three systems have in common that they are based on factor graph models and approximate Bayesian inference. They operate at a very large scale involving millions of gamers, billions of ad impressions, and millions of tweets, respectively. I will discuss the underlying graphical models and inference algorithms as well as application-specific insights and findings. Time permitting, I will show the three systems in action. This is based on joint work with Ralf Herbrich, David Stern, Thomas Borchert, Tom Minka, and Joaquin Quiñonero Candela.
  • Time: 15:45-16:45, Wednesday, September 15.
  • Location: Marina Congress Center