Section: Application Domains

Sequential decision making under uncertainty and prediction

The spectrum of applications of our research is very wide: it ranges from the core of our research, that is sequential decision making under uncertainty, to the application of components used to solve this decision making problem.

To be more specific, we work on computational advertising and recommendation systems; these problems are considered as a sequential matching problem in which resources available in a limited amount have to be matched to meet some users' expectations. The sequential approach we advocate paves the way to better tackle the cold-start problem, and non stationary environments. More generally, these approaches are applied to the optimization of budgeted resources under uncertainty, in a time-varying environment, including constraints on computational times (typically, a decision has to be made in less than 1 ms in a recommendation system). An other field of application of our research is related to education which we consider as a sequential matching problem between a student, and educational contents.

The algorithms to solve these tasks heavily rely on tools from machine learning, statistics, and optimization. Henceforth, we also apply our work to more classical supervised learning, and prediction tasks, as well as unsupervised learning tasks. The whole range of methods is used, from decision forests, to kernel methods, to deep learning. For instance, we have recently used deep learning on images. We also have a line of work related to software development studying how machine learning can improve the quality of software being developed. More generally, we apply our research to data science.