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Greedy Inference Algorithms for Structured and Neural Models
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A number of problems in Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning produce structured outputs in high-dimensional space, which makes searching for the global optimal solution extremely expensive. Thus, greedy algorithms, making trade-offs between precision and efficiency, are widely used. %Unfortunately, they in general lack theoretical guarantees. In this thesis, we prove that greedy algorithms are effective and efficient to search for multiple top-scoring hypotheses from structured (neural) models: 1) Entropy estimation. We aim to find deterministic samples that are representative of Gibbs distribution via a greedy strategy. 2) Searching for a set of diverse and high-quality bounding boxes. We formulate this problem as the constrained maximization of a monotonic sub-modular function such that there exists a greedy algorithm having near-optimal guarantee. 3) Fill-in-the-blank. The goal is to generate missing words conditioned on context given an image. We extend Beam Search, a greedy algorithm applicable on unidirectional expansion, to bidirectional neural models when both past and future information have to be considered. We test our proposed approaches on a series of Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing benchmarks and show that they are effective and efficient.
- Doctoral Dissertations