Switching and Learning in Feedback Systems

Volume 3355 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 290-312

An Introduction to Nonparametric Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling with a Focus on Multi-agent Learning

  • Volker TrespAffiliated withSiemens AG
  • , Kai YuAffiliated withSiemens AG

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In this chapter, we address the situation where agents need to learn from one another by exchanging learned knowledge. We employ hierarchical Bayesian modelling, which provides a powerful and principled solution. We point out some shortcomings of parametric hierarchical Bayesian modelling and thus focus on a nonparametric approach. Nonparametric hierarchical Bayesian modelling has its roots in Bayesian statistics and, in the form of Dirichlet process mixture modelling, was recently introduced into the machine learning community. In this chapter, we hope to provide an accessible introduction to this particular branch of statistics. We present the standard sampling-based learning algorithms and introduce a particular EM learning approach that leads to efficient and plausible solutions. We illustrate the effectiveness of our approach in context of a recommendation engine where our approach allows the principled combination of content-based and collaborative filtering.