Discrete sequence prediction and its applications
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Learning from experience to predict sequences of discrete symbols is a fundamental problem in machine learning with many applications. We present a simple and practical algorithm (TDAG) for discrete sequence prediction. Based on a text-compression method, the TDAG algorithm limits the growth of storage by retaining the most likely prediction contexts and discarding (forgetting) less likely ones. The storage/speed tradeoffs are parameterized so that the algorithm can be used in a variety of applications. Our experiments verify its performance on data compression tasks and show how it applies to two problems: dynamically optimizing Prolog programs for good average-case behavior and maintaining a cache for a database on mass storage.