Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Machine Learning Summer School

Held in Ile de RĂ© (France), 1-15th September, this school counted with some famous names within the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence communities: Rich Sutton (co-author of the widely adopted book on Reinforcement Learning), Isabelle Guyon (co-author of the first paper on Support Vector Machines) and Yann LeCun (known for the convolutional neural network, energy based models and the DjVu image compression technique).

You can check the (almost) complete list of lecturers here. I found the course given by Shai Ben-David, on the Theoretical Foundations of Clustering" quite interesting and intriguing. Clustering seems to be *really* lacking solid theoretical support, which is surprising, given the importance of the problem. Some atempts are being done to axiomatize it, but there are a lot of open questions: what exactly is the class of clustering algorithms? how can you compare different clustering algorithms? why is a partition better than other?
Hope to see more developments in this area in the coming years.