SIAM Data Mining 2007

I am currently attending SIAM Data Mining 2007 in Minneapolis. If you are not here, you can still read the papers. They are all online.

Interesting facts:

  • Association Rules and frequent itemsets are at an all time low (6% of accepted papers);
  • they keep the conference size the same, but the number of submitted papers keeps on increasing, reducing the acceptance rate all the time (it is now at an all time low of 12%).

Papers that I liked (list not exhaustive) include:

  • Aristides Gionis and Evimaria Terzi, Segmentations with Rearrangements: they introduce a new time series segmentation problem where you are allowed to reorder the time series, heuristics are provided but no optimal solution is possible;
  • Sandeep Pandey, Deepak Agarwal, Deepayan Chakrabarti and Vanja Josifovski, Bandits for Taxonomies: A Model-based Approach : they examine how you can match ads and web pages using taxonomies as a dimensionality reduction trick, and couple with this idea they borrow from the multi-arms bandit literature;
  • Michael Bertolacci and Anthony Wirth, Are approximation algorithms for consensus clustering worthwhile?: they review approximation algorithms for the consensus clustering problem (given several clustering, find the a new clustering the disagrees least with the provided clusterings and conclude that simple approximation algorithms work well.

I really enjoyed Jerome Friedman‘s talk on Ensemble Learning. I am not a big fan of Machine Learning, but what he does is really neat. You throw in a lot of rules (extracted from decision trees) and you let a Lasso regression technique to find the important rules. What is really neat is that he can actually explain how the predictor works once he is done, so this is not mindless prediction.

Tom Mitchell showed that you could determine what I person thinks about using a MRI scan. This is very impressive and constitutes the first sketch of a mind-reading machine. Of course, it is quite primitive in its current state and there is a long road ahead.

Some cool people I met include Cyril Goutte (NRC – Gatineau), François Meyer (Princeton) and Ee-Peng Lim (Nanyang Technological University).

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