Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

A few more hours to 2010. I wish everyone a great new year ahead; hope all your dreams, aspirations, and resolutions are fulfilled. Hope the world becomes a more better place in 2010.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Broken internet and The Mystic Masseur

Going back to reading books over break has been refreshing. I just finished reading Naipaul's The Mystic Masseur. I don't think I ever read a book by Naipaul before, but I have to say that I am pretty impressed. I like the imagery that permeates Naipaul's writing. The Internet in my apartment was down for the last few days, and that definitely put me in the mindset to pick up a book. I also realized that my life has been deeply interwined with the Internet; I felt something was amiss in my life, that some portion of my daily life has suddenly disappeared - an appalling dependency on technology.

The net is back, since I am writing this entry, but the irony is that I need the technology to talk about my appalling dependency on the technology.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lifted first order and first order languages

I spent a week or two exploring first order and lifted first order languages. The idea is very simple; express models in first order, and the system creates the necessary graphical models to perform inference. From a machine learning perspective, this is a very useful idea. Since graphical models are not always in the repertoire of machine learners, this kind of first order language specification of probabilistic models will be advantageous. I think the eventual goal is to have such a system as a library to a standard programming platform, where the complexity of graphical models is abstracted away in the form of a blackbox.