# Marcus HutterAustralian National University | ANU

Marcus Hutter

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297

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Introduction

**Skills and Expertise**

## Publications

Publications (297)

Levin Tree Search (LTS) is a search algorithm that makes use of a policy (a probability distribution over actions) and comes with a theoretical guarantee on the number of expansions before reaching a goal node, depending on the quality of the policy. This guarantee can be used as a loss function, which we call the LTS loss, to optimize neural netwo...

Golden-section search and bisection search are the two main principled algorithms for 1d minimization of quasiconvex (unimodal) functions. The first one only uses function queries, while the second one also uses gradient queries. Other algorithms exist under much stronger assumptions, such as Newton's method. However, to the best of our knowledge,...

Levin Tree Search (LTS) is a search algorithm that makes use of a policy (a probability distribution over actions) and comes with a theoretical guarantee on the number of expansions before reaching a goal node, depending on the quality of the policy. This guarantee can be used as a loss function, which we call the LTS loss, to optimize neural netwo...

Machine Learning (ML) and Algorithmic Information Theory (AIT) look at Complexity from different points of view. We explore the interface between AIT and Kernel Methods (that are prevalent in ML) by adopting an AIT perspective on the problem of learning kernels from data through the method of Sparse Kernel Flows introduced in [YSH + 22]. We prove,...

Although much of the success of Deep Learning builds on learning good representations, a rigorous method to evaluate their quality is lacking. In this paper, we treat the evaluation of representations as a model selection problem and propose to use the Minimum Description Length (MDL) principle to devise an evaluation metric. Contrary to the establ...

Inspired by recent progress in multi-agent Reinforcement Learning (RL), in this work we examine the collective intelligent behaviour of theoretical universal agents by introducing a weighted mixture operation. Given a weighted set of agents, their weighted mixture is a new agent whose expected total reward in any environment is the corresponding we...

Memory-based meta-learning is a technique for approximating Bayes-optimal predictors. Under fairly general conditions, minimizing sequential prediction error, measured by the log loss, leads to implicit meta-learning. The goal of this work is to investigate how far this interpretation can be realized by current sequence prediction models and traini...

Reinforcement Learning formalises an embodied agent’s interaction with the environment through observations, rewards and actions. But where do the actions come from? Actions are often considered to represent something external, such as the movement of a limb, a chess piece, or more generally, the output of an actuator. In this work we explore and f...

We study the ability of foundation models to learn representations for classification that are transferable to new, unseen classes. Recent results in the literature show that representations learned by a single classifier over many classes are competitive on few-shot learning problems with representations learned by special-purpose algorithms desig...

Minimum Description Length (MDL) provides a framework and an objective for principled model evaluation. It formalizes Occam's Razor and can be applied to data from non-stationary sources. In the prequential formulation of MDL, the objective is to minimize the cumulative next-step log-loss when sequentially going through the data and using previous...

The Arcade Learning Environment (ALE) has become an essential benchmark for assessing the performance of reinforcement learning algorithms. However, the computational cost of generating results on the entire 57-game dataset limits ALE's use and makes the reproducibility of many results infeasible. We propose a novel solution to this problem in the...

Meta-training agents with memory has been shown to culminate in Bayes-optimal agents, which casts Bayes-optimality as the implicit solution to a numerical optimization problem rather than an explicit modeling assumption. Bayes-optimal agents are risk-neutral, since they solely attune to the expected return, and ambiguity-neutral, since they act in...

We analyze the expected behavior of an advanced artificial agent with a learned goal planning in an unknown environment. Given a few assumptions, we argue that it will encounter a fundamental ambiguity in the data about its goal. For example, if we provide a large reward to indicate that something about the world is satisfactory to us, it may hypot...

Reliable generalization lies at the heart of safe ML and AI. However, understanding when and how neural networks generalize remains one of the most important unsolved problems in the field. In this work, we conduct an extensive empirical study (2200 models, 16 tasks) to investigate whether insights from the theory of computation can predict the lim...

Can an agent’s intelligence level be negative? We extend the Legg-Hutter agent-environment framework to include punishments and argue for an affirmative answer to that question. We show that if the background encodings and Universal Turing Machine (UTM) admit certain Kolmogorov complexity symmetries, then the resulting Legg-Hutter intelligence meas...

We study the ability of foundation models to learn representations for classification that are transferable to new, unseen classes. Recent results in the literature show that representations learned by a single classifier over many classes are competitive on few-shot learning problems with representations learned by special-purpose algorithms desig...

We extend and combine several tools of the literature to design fast, adaptive, anytime and scale-free online learning algorithms. Scale-free regret bounds must scale linearly with the maximum loss, both toward large losses and toward very small losses. Adaptive regret bounds demonstrate that an algorithm can take advantage of easy data and potenti...

The field of General Reinforcement Learning (GRL) formulates the problem of sequential decision-making from ground up. The history of interaction constitutes a "ground" state of the system, which never repeats. On the one hand, this generality allows GRL to model almost every domain possible, e.g.\ Bandits, MDPs, POMDPs, PSRs, and history-based env...

In this paper, we provide a detailed review of previous classifications of $$2\times 2$$ 2 × 2 games and suggest a mathematically simple way to classify the symmetric $$2\times 2$$ 2 × 2 games based on a decomposition of the payoff matrix into a cooperative and a zero-sum part. We argue that differences in the interaction between the parts is what...

Can humans get arbitrarily capable reinforcement learning (RL) agents to do their bidding? Or will sufficiently capable RL agents always find ways to bypass their intended objectives by shortcutting their reward signal? This question impacts how far RL can be scaled, and whether alternative paradigms must be developed in order to build safe artific...

The recent phenomenal success of language models has reinvigorated machine learning research, and large sequence models such as transformers are being applied to a variety of domains. One important problem class that has remained relatively elusive however is purposeful adaptive behavior. Currently there is a common perception that sequence models...

Can an agent's intelligence level be negative? We extend the Legg-Hutter agent-environment framework to include punishments and argue for an affirmative answer to that question. We show that if the background encodings and Universal Turing Machine (UTM) admit certain Kolmogorov complexity symmetries, then the resulting Legg-Hutter intelligence meas...

Reinforcement Learning formalises an embodied agent's interaction with the environment through observations, rewards and actions. But where do the actions come from? Actions are often considered to represent something external, such as the movement of a limb, a chess piece, or more generally, the output of an actuator. In this work we explore and f...

The Feature Markov Decision Processes ( MDPs) model developed in Part I (Hutter, 2009b) is well-suited for learning agents in general environments. Nevertheless, unstructured (Φ)MDPs are limited to relatively simple environments. Structured MDPs like Dynamic Bayesian Networks (DBNs) are used for large-scale real-world problems. In this article I ex...

Algorithmic Information Theory has inspired intractable constructions of general intelligence (AGI), and undiscovered tractable approximations are likely feasible. Reinforcement Learning (RL), the dominant paradigm by which an agent might learn to solve arbitrary solvable problems, gives an agent a dangerous incentive: to gain arbitrary “power” in...

The reinforcement learning (RL) framework formalizes the notion of learning with interactions. Many real-world problems have large state-spaces and/or action-spaces such as in Go, StarCraft, protein folding, and robotics or are non-Markovian, which cause significant challenges to RL algorithms. In this work we address the large action-space problem...

This paper presents a new family of backpropagation-free neural architectures, Gated Linear Networks (GLNs). What distinguishes GLNs from contemporary neural networks is the distributed and local nature of their credit assignment mechanism; each neuron directly predicts the target, forgoing the ability to learn feature representations in favor of r...

Reinforcement learners are agents that learn to pick actions that lead to high reward. Ideally, the value of a reinforcement learner’s policy approaches optimality–where the optimal informed policy is the one which maximizes reward. Unfortunately, we show that if an agent is guaranteed to be “asymptotically optimal” in any (stochastically computabl...

Algorithmic Information Theory has inspired intractable constructions of general intelligence (AGI), and undiscovered tractable approximations are likely feasible. Reinforcement Learning (RL), the dominant paradigm by which an agent might learn to solve arbitrary solvable problems, gives an agent a dangerous incentive: to gain arbitrary "power" in...

The dominant view in neuroscience is that changes in synaptic weights underlie learning. It is unclear, however, how the brain is able to determine which synapses should change, and by how much. This uncertainty stands in sharp contrast to deep learning, where changes in weights are explicitly engineered to optimize performance. However, the main t...

In imitation learning, imitators and demonstrators are policies for picking actions given past interactions with the environment. If we run an imitator, we probably want events to unfold similarly to the way they would have if the demonstrator had been acting the whole time. No existing work provides formal guidance in how this might be accomplishe...

Recently a number of empirical "universal" scaling law papers have been published, most notably by OpenAI. `Scaling laws' refers to power-law decreases of training or test error w.r.t. more data, larger neural networks, and/or more compute. In this work we focus on scaling w.r.t. data size $n$. Theoretical understanding of this phenomenon is largel...

The reinforcement learning (RL) framework formalizes the notion of learning with interactions. Many real-world problems have large state-spaces and/or action-spaces such as in Go, StarCraft, protein folding, and robotics or are non-Markovian, which cause significant challenges to RL algorithms. In this work we address the large action-space problem...

Human intelligence is characterized not only by the capacity to learn complex skills, but the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire new skills within an ever-changing environment. In this work we study how the learning of modular solutions can allow for effective generalization to both unseen and potentially differently distributed data. Our main po...

Permutation-invariant, -equivariant, and -covariant functions and anti-symmetric functions are important in quantum physics, computer vision, and other disciplines. Applications often require most or all of the following properties: (a) a large class of such functions can be approximated, e.g. all continuous function, (b) only the (anti)symmetric f...

The Lottery Ticket Hypothesis is a conjecture that every large neural network contains a subnetwork that, when trained in isolation, achieves comparable performance to the large network. An even stronger conjecture has been proven recently: Every sufficiently overparameterized network contains a subnetwork that, even without training, achieves comp...

If we could define the set of all bad outcomes, we could hard-code an agent which avoids them; however, in sufficiently complex environments, this is infeasible. We do not know of any general-purpose approaches in the literature to avoiding novel failure modes. Motivated by this, we define an idealized Bayesian reinforcement learner which follows a...

Reinforcement learners are agents that learn to pick actions that lead to high reward. Ideally, the value of a reinforcement learner's policy approaches optimality--where the optimal informed policy is the one which maximizes reward. Unfortunately, we show that if an agent is guaranteed to be "asymptotically optimal" in any (stochastically computab...

In this technical report we give an elementary introduction to Quantum Computing for non-physicists. In this introduction we describe in detail some of the foundational Quantum Algorithms including: the Deutsch-Jozsa Algorithm, Shor's Algorithm, Grocer Search, and Quantum Counting Algorithm and briefly the Harrow-Lloyd Algorithm. Additionally we gi...

General intelligence, the ability to solve arbitrary solvable problems, is supposed by many to be artificially constructible. Narrow intelligence, the ability to solve a given particularly difficult problem, has seen impressive recent development. Notable examples include self-driving cars, Go engines, image classifiers, and translators. Artificial...

We introduce a new and completely online contextual bandit algorithm called Gated Linear Contextual Bandits (GLCB). This algorithm is based on Gated Linear Networks (GLNs), a recently introduced deep learning architecture with properties well-suited to the online setting. Leveraging data-dependent gating properties of the GLN we are able to estimat...

This paper presents a family of backpropagation-free neural architectures, Gated Linear Networks (GLNs),that are well suited to online learning applications where sample efficiency is of paramount importance. The impressive empirical performance of these architectures has long been known within the data compression community, but a theoretically sa...

Can an arbitrarily intelligent reinforcement learning agent be kept under control by a human user? Or do agents with sufficient intelligence inevitably find ways to shortcut their reward signal? This question impacts how far reinforcement learning can be scaled, and whether alternative paradigms must be developed in order to build safe artificial g...

Reinforcement Learning agents are expected to eventually perform well. Typically, this takes the form of a guarantee about the asymptotic behavior of an algorithm given some assumptions about the environment. We present an algorithm for a policy whose value approaches the optimal value with probability 1 in all computable probabilistic environments...

The convergence of many reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms with linear function approximation has been investigated extensively but most proofs assume that these methods converge to a unique solution. In this paper, we provide a complete characterization of non-uniqueness issues for a large class of reinforcement learning algorithms, simultaneo...

Most real-world problems have huge state and/or action spaces. Therefore, a naive application of existing tabular solution methods is not tractable on such problems. Nonetheless, these solution methods are quite useful if an agent has access to a relatively small state-action space homomorphism of the true environment and near-optimal performance i...

The convergence of many reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms with linear function approximation has been investigated extensively but most proofs assume that these methods converge to a unique solution. In this paper, we provide a complete characterization of non-uniqueness issues for a large class of reinforcement learning algorithms, simultaneo...

General intelligence, the ability to solve arbitrary solvable problems, is supposed by many to be artificially constructible. Narrow intelligence, the ability to solve a given particularly difficult problem, has seen impressive recent development. Notable examples include self-driving cars, Go engines, image classifiers, and translators. Artificial...

Reinforcement Learning agents are expected to eventually perform well. Typically, this takes the form of a guarantee about the asymptotic behavior of an algorithm given some assumptions about the environment. We present an algorithm for a policy whose value approaches the optimal value with probability 1 in all computable probabilistic environments...

Most real-world problems have huge state and/or action spaces. Therefore, a naive application of existing tabular solution methods is not tractable on such problems. Nonetheless, these solution methods are quite useful if an agent has access to a relatively small state-action space homomorphism of the true environment and near-optimal performance i...

Temporal-difference (TD) learning is an attractive, computationally efficient framework for model- free reinforcement learning. Q-learning is one of the most widely used TD learning technique that enables an agent to learn the optimal action-value function, i.e. Q-value function. Contrary to its widespread use, Q-learning has only been proven to co...

The development of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) promises to be a major event. Along with its many potential benefits, it also raises serious safety concerns. The intention of this paper is to provide an easily accessible and up-to-date collection of references for the emerging field of AGI safety. A significant number of safety problems fo...

The development of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) promises to be a major event. Along with its many potential benefits, it also raises serious safety concerns (Bostrom, 2014). The intention of this paper is to provide an easily accessible and up-to-date collection of references for the emerging field of AGI safety. A significant number of sa...

We consider the problem of converting batch estimators into a sequential predictor or estimator with small extra regret. Formally this is the problem of merging a collection of probability measures over strings of length 1,2,3,... into a single probability measure over infinite sequences. We describe various approaches and their pros and cons on va...

Foundational theories have contributed greatly to scientific progress in many fields. Examples include Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory in mathematics, and universal Turing machines in computer science. Universal Artificial Intelligence (UAI) is an increasingly well-studied foundational theory for artificial intelligence, based on ancient principles in...

How could we solve the machine learning and the artificial intelligence problem if we had infinite computation? Solomonoff induction and the reinforcement learning agent AIXI are proposed answers to this question. Both are known to be incomputable. We quantify this using the arithmetical hierarchy, and prove upper and in most cases corresponding lo...

The off-switch game is a game theoretic model of a highly intelligent robot interacting with a human. In the original paper by Hadfield-Menell et al. (2016), the analysis is not fully game-theoretic as the human is modelled as an irrational player, and the robot's best action is only calculated under unrealistic normality and soft-max assumptions....

We introduce a new count-based optimistic exploration algorithm for Reinforcement Learning (RL) that is feasible in environments with high-dimensional state-action spaces. The success of RL algorithms in these domains depends crucially on generalisation from limited training experience. Function approximation techniques enable RL agents to generali...

We discuss some recent results on Thompson sampling for nonparametric reinforcement learning in countable classes of general stochastic environments. These environments can be non-Markovian, non-ergodic, and partially observable. We show that Thompson sampling learns the environment class in the sense that (1) asymptotically its value converges in...

Many state-of-the-art reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms typically assume that the environment is an ergodic Markov Decision Process (MDP). In contrast, the field of universal reinforcement learning (URL) is concerned with algorithms that make as few assumptions as possible about the environment. The universal Bayesian agent AIXI and a family o...

We introduce a new count-based optimistic exploration algorithm for Reinforcement Learning (RL) that is feasible in environments with high-dimensional state-action spaces. The success of RL algorithms in these domains depends crucially on generalisation from limited training experience. Function approximation techniques enable RL agents to generali...

Many state-of-the-art reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms typically assume that the environment is an ergodic Markov Decision Process (MDP). In contrast, the field of universal reinforcement learning (URL) is concerned with algorithms that make as few assumptions as possible about the environment. The universal Bayesian agent AIXI and a family o...

No real-world reward function is perfect. Sensory errors and software bugs may result in RL agents observing higher (or lower) rewards than they should. For example, a reinforcement learning agent may prefer states where a sensory error gives it the maximum reward, but where the true reward is actually small. We formalise this problem as a generali...

In recent years, work has been done to develop the theory of General Reinforcement Learning (GRL). However, there are few examples demonstrating these results in a concrete way. In particular, there are no examples demonstrating the known results regarding gener- alised discounting. We have added to the GRL simulation platform AIXIjs the functional...

We consider a Reinforcement Learning setup where an agent interacts with an environment in observation–reward–action cycles without any (esp. MDP) assumptions on the environment. State aggregation and more generally feature reinforcement learning is concerned with mapping histories/raw-states to reduced/aggregated states. The idea behind both is th...

We present hierarchical rank pooling, a video sequence encoding method for activity recognition. It consists of a network of rank pooling functions which captures the dynamics of rich convolutional neural network features within a video sequence. By stacking non-linear feature functions and rank pooling over one another, we obtain a high capacity d...

Reinforcement learning (RL) is a general paradigm for studying intelligent behaviour, with applications ranging from artificial intelligence to psychology and economics. AIXI is a universal solution to the RL problem; it can learn any computable environment. A technical subtlety of AIXI is that it is defined using a mixture over semimeasures that n...

Any agent that is part of the environment it interacts with and has versatile actuators (such as arms and fingers), will in principle have the ability to self-modify -- for example by changing its own source code. As we continue to create more and more intelligent agents, chances increase that they will learn about this ability. The question is: wi...

How can we design good goals for arbitrarily intelligent agents? Reinforcement learning (RL) may seem like a natural approach. Unfortunately, RL does not work well for generally intelligent agents, as RL agents are incentivised to shortcut the reward sensor for maximum reward – the so-called wireheading problem. In this paper we suggest an alternat...

This paper establishes for the first time the predictive performance of speed priors and their computational complexity. A speed prior is essentially a probability distribution that puts low probability on strings that are not efficiently computable. We propose a variant to the original speed prior (Schmidhuber, 2002), and show that our prior can p...

We discuss a variant of Thompson sampling for nonparametric reinforcement learning in a countable classes of general stochastic environments. These environments can be non-Markov, non-ergodic, and partially observable. We show that Thompson sampling learns the environment class in the sense that (1) asymptotically its value converges to the optimal...

This encyclopedic article gives a mini-introduction into the theory of universal learning, founded by Ray Solomonoff in the 1960s and significantly developed and extended in the last decade. It explains the spirit of universal learning, but necessarily glosses over technical subtleties.

The algorithm selection problem asks to select the best algorithm for a given problem. In the companion paper (Everitt and Hutter 2015b), expected runtime was approximated as a function of search depth and probabilistic goal distribution for tree search versions of breadth-first search (BFS) and depth-first search (DFS). Here we provide an analogou...

Breadth-first search (BFS) and depth-first search (DFS) are the two most fundamental search algorithms. We derive approximations of their expected runtimes in complete trees, as a function of tree depth and probabilistic goal distribution. We also demonstrate that the analytical approximations are close to the empirical averages for most parameter...

How could we solve the machine learning and the artificial intelligence
problem if we had infinite computation? Solomonoff induction and the
reinforcement learning agent AIXI are proposed answers to this question. Both
are known to be incomputable. In this paper, we quantify this using the
arithmetical hierarchy, and prove upper and corresponding l...

A big open question of algorithmic information theory is the choice of the
universal Turing machine (UTM). For Kolmogorov complexity and Solomonoff
induction we have invariance theorems: the choice of the UTM changes bounds
only by a constant. For the universally intelligent agent AIXI (Hutter, 2005)
no invariance theorem is known. Our results are...

Search is a central problem in artificial intelligence, and BFS and DFS the
two most fundamental ways to search. In this report we derive results for
average BFS and DFS runtime: For tree search, we employ a probabilistic model
of goal distribution; for graph search, the analysis depends on an additional
statistic of path redundancy and average bra...

In this article,1 we present a top-down theoretical study of general reinforcement learning agents. We begin with rational agents with unlimited resources and then move to a setting where an agent can only maintain a limited number of hypotheses and optimizes plans over a horizon much shorter than what the agent designer actually wants. We axiomati...

General reinforcement learning is a powerful framework for artificial intelligence that has seen much theoretical progress since introduced fifteen years ago. We have previously provided guarantees for cases with finitely many possible environments. Though the results are the best possible in general, a linear dependence on the size of the hypothes...

Nicod's criterion states that observing a black raven is evidence for the
hypothesis H that all ravens are black. We show that Solomonoff induction does
not satisfy Nicod's criterion: there are time steps in which observing black
ravens decreases the belief in H. Moreover, while observing any computable
infinite string compatible with H, the belief...

Solomonoff induction is held as a gold standard for learning, but it is known
to be incomputable. We quantify its incomputability by placing various flavors
of Solomonoff's prior M in the arithmetical hierarchy. We also derive
computability bounds for knowledge-seeking agents, and give a limit-computable
weakly asymptotically optimal reinforcement...

Moving beyond the dualistic view in AI where agent and environment are
separated incurs new challenges for decision making, as calculation of expected
utility is no longer straightforward. The non-dualistic decision theory
literature is split between causal decision theory and evidential decision
theory. We extend these decision algorithms to the s...

Algorithmic complexity provides a mathematical formal notion of string complexity. Building on this, one arrives at mathematical 'gold standard' (though incomputable) definitions of randomness, induction, similarity, and even intelligence. These definitions can be turned into practical algorithms by using common compressors to approximate the unive...

Computer vision techniques such as Structurefrom- Motion (SfM) and object recognition tend to fail on scenes with highly reflective objects because the reflections behave differently to the true geometry of the scene. Such image sequences may be treated as two layers superimposed over each other - the nonreflection scene source layer and the reflec...

We study the convergence of Solomonoff's universal mixture on individual Martin-Löf random sequences. A new result is presented extending the work of Hutter and Muchnik [3] by showing that there does not exist a universal mixture that converges on all Martin-Löf random sequences. We show that this is not an artifact of the fact that the universal m...

Can we measure the difficulty of an optimization problem? Although optimization plays a crucial role in modern science and technology, a formal framework that puts problems and solution algorithms into a broader context has not been established. This paper presents a conceptual approach which gives a positive answer to the question for a broad clas...

This paper describes a new information-theoretic policy evaluation technique
for reinforcement learning. This technique converts any compression or density
model into a corresponding estimate of value. Under appropriate stationarity
and ergodicity conditions, we show that the use of a sufficiently powerful
model gives rise to a consistent value fun...

Clarke and Barron analysed the relative entropy between an i.i.d. source and
a Bayesian mixture over a continuous class containing that source. In this
paper a comparable result is obtained when the source is permitted to be both
non-stationary and dependent. The main theorem shows that Bayesian methods
perform well for both compression and sequenc...

We study upper and lower bounds on the sample-complexity of learning near-optimal behaviour in finite-state discounted Markov Decision Processes (mdps).
We prove a new bound for a modified version of Upper Confidence Reinforcement Learning (ucrl) with only cubic dependence on the horizon. The bound is unimprovable in all parameters except the size...

Common Structure from Motion (SfM) tasks require reliable point correspondences in images taken from different views to subsequently estimate model parameters which describe the 3D scene geometry. For example when estimating the fundamental matrix from point correspondences using RANSAC. The amount of noise in the point correspondences drastically...

We consider a general reinforcement learning problem and show that carefully combining the Bayesian optimal policy and an exploring policy leads to minimax sample-complexity bounds in a very general class of (history-based) environments. We also prove lower bounds and show that the new algorithm displays adaptive behaviour when the environment is e...

We construct a class of nonnegative martingale processes that oscillate
indefinitely with high probability. For these processes, we state a uniform
rate of the number of oscillations and show that this rate is asymptotically
close to the theoretical upper bound. These bounds on probability and
expectation of the number of upcrossings are compared t...

We propose to perform the optimization task of Universal Artificial Intelligence (UAI) through learning a reference machine on which good programs are short. Further, we also acknowledge that the choice of reference machine that the UAI objective is based on is arbitrary and, therefore, we learn a suitable machine for the environment we are in. Thi...

We consider a Reinforcement Learning setup where an agent interacts with an
environment in observation-reward-action cycles without any (esp.\ MDP)
assumptions on the environment. State aggregation and more generally feature
reinforcement learning is concerned with mapping histories/raw-states to
reduced/aggregated states. The idea behind both is t...

We consider the problem of converting offline estimators into an online
predictor or estimator with small extra regret. Formally this is the problem of
merging a collection of probability measures over strings of length 1,2,3,...
into a single probability measure over infinite sequences. We describe various
approaches and their pros and cons on var...

Function optimisation is a major challenge in computer science. The No Free Lunch theorems state that if all functions with the same histogram are assumed to be equally probable then no algorithm outperforms any other in expectation. We argue against the uniform assumption and suggest a universal prior exists for which there is a free lunch, but wh...

This paper revisits the problem of learning a k-CNF Boolean function from
examples in the context of online learning under the logarithmic loss. In doing
so, we give a Bayesian interpretation to one of Valiant's celebrated PAC
learning algorithms, which we then build upon to derive two efficient, online,
probabilistic, supervised learning algorithm...