AAAI Publications, Twenty-Seventh AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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HC-Search: Learning Heuristics and Cost Functions for Structured Prediction
Janardhan Rao Doppa, Alan Fern, Prasad Tadepalli

Last modified: 2013-06-30


Structured prediction is the problem of learning a function from structured inputs to structured outputs with prototypical examples being part-of-speech tagging and image labeling. Inspired by the recent successes of search-based structured prediction, we introduce a new framework for structured prediction called {\em HC-Search}. Given a structured input, the framework uses a search procedure guided by a learned heuristic H to uncover high quality candidate outputs and then uses a separate learned cost function C to select a final prediction among those outputs. We can decompose the regret of the overall approach into the loss due to H not leading to high quality outputs, and the loss due to C not selecting the best among the generated outputs. Guided by this decomposition, we minimize the overall regret in a greedy stage-wise manner by first training H to quickly uncover high quality outputs via imitation learning, and then training C to correctly rank the outputs generated via H according to their true losses. Experiments on several benchmark domains show that our approach significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.


structured prediction, imitation learning, rank learning

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