CS 273A: Machine Learning Fall 2018

Project Details

The course project will consist of groups of three students working together. There are two options for you to pick your project; one is more useful if you are interested in learning machine learning, but not necessarily pursue it as a research career option, and the other is more suitable for students who are already familiar with machine learning and want to handle something more advanced. The two options are:

  1. Datasets: Implement and analyze an application of machine learning to a given dataset, amongst the ones listed below. (more details: here)
  2. ICLR 2019 Challenge: Implement an existing paper in order to try and reproduce their results, and submit a report to the ICLR challenge: https://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~jpineau/ICLR2019-ReproducibilityChallenge.html. For advanced students only! (more details: here)

Forming a Team

Deadline: November 9

Once you have identified your teammates and decided on a project, coordinate, and do the following:

  1. Come up with a short and simple team name
  2. Add yourself to a project group on Canvas (see detailed instructions below), and rename the group to be the team name.
  3. Once everyone has been added, one of you submit the topic you agreed upon as the submission, before the deadline here: https://canvas.eee.uci.edu/courses/11634/assignments/226333
    • Option 1: Topic should be the name of the dataset
    • Option 2: Topic should be the OpenReview URL.
  4. If you’re doing Option 2, take an appointment using calendly to meet with me (can be after the deadline).

Joining a Group on Canvas

  1. Go to Canvas, and navigate to ‘People’ on the left navigation bar.
  2. Click the ’Groups’ tab. You should see a list of potential groups to join.
  3. If your team has not already claimed one, join one of the empty “Project Group X” groups. Otherwise, join the same group as your teammates. Warning: Do NOT use the “+GROUP” button to create a new group!
  4. Change the group name from “Project Group X” to your team name. To do this, navigate to your group’s homepage and click the “Edit Group” button. Note: You will only be able to do this if you are the first member of your team to join the group.

Option 1: Datasets

You have the choice of the following six datasets:

Dataset Type #Instances #Labels Each Instance URL
Diabetes 130-US hospitals Tabular 100K 3 49 features UCI ML Repo
Adult Tabular 48k 2 14 features UCI ML Repo
Toxic Comment Challenge NLP 300K 7 Short comments Kaggle
IMDB Reviews NLP 50K 2 Movie review Website
Emotion Detection Vision 13K 7 350x350 Github
Street View House Numbers Vision 73K 10 32x32 SVHN, format 2

Project Requirements

I am looking for several elements to be present in any good project. These are:

  1. Explore the various aspects of the data, visualizing and analyzing it in different ways. It is really important that you are familiar with it. You should describe how you made various design choices, based on the dataset exploration.
  2. Exploration of at least one or two techniques on which we did not spend significant time in class. For example, using neural networks, support vector machines, or random forests are great ideas; but if you do this, you should explore in some depth the various options available to you for parameterize the model, controlling complexity, etc. (This should involve more than simply varying a parameter and showing a plot of results.)
  3. Other options might include feature design, or optimizing your models to deal with special aspects of the data (missing features, too many features, large numbers of zeros in the data; possible outlier data; etc.). Your report should describe what aspects you chose to focus on.
  4. Performance validation. You should practice good form and use validation or cross-validation to assess your models’ performance, do model selection, combine models, etc. You should not simply try a few variations and assume you are done.
  5. Adaptation to under- and over-fitting. Machine learning is not very “one size fits all”; it is impossible to know for sure what model to choose, what features to give it, or how to set the parameters until you see how it does on the data. Therefore, much of machine learning revolves around assessing performance (e.g., is my poor performance due to underfitting, or overfitting?) and deciding how to modify your techniques in response. Your report should describe how, during your process, you decided how to adapt your models and why.

Your team will produce a single write-up document, approximately 6 pages long, describing the problem you chose (with dataset analysis) and the methods you used to address it, including which model(s) you tried, how you trained them, how you selected any parameters they might require, and how they performed in on the test data. Consider including tables of performance of different approaches, or plots of performance used to perform model selection (i.e., parameters that control complexity). Within your document, please try to describe to the best of your ability who was responsible for which aspects (which learners, etc.), and how the team as a whole put the ideas together.

You are free to collaborate with other teams, including sharing ideas and even code, but please document where your predictions came from. (This also relaxes the proscription from posting code or asking for code help on Campuswire, at least for project purposes.) For example, for any code you use, please say in your report who wrote the code and how it was applied (who determined the parameter settings and how, etc.) Collaboration is particularly true for learning ensembles of predictors: your teams may each supply a set of predictors, and then collaborate to learn an ensemble from the set. To encourage such discussion, we will set up rooms in Campuswire for each project.

Some possible components of a successful project include:

Option 2: ICLR Challenge

Follow the instructions of the reproducibility challenge, and meet me.

URL: https://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~jpineau/ICLR2019-ReproducibilityChallenge.html