Fall 2018 (Aug-Dec)

Online Prediction and Learning

Course No.: E1 245

Instructor: Aditya Gopalan, ECE 2.09, Dept. of ECE, E-mail: first-name AT iisc.ac.in

Time: TTh 1400-1530

Place: ECE 1.07

Course Description: The ability to make continual and accurate forecasts and decisions under uncertainty is key in many of today’s data-driven intelligent systems (e.g. Internet recommendation engines, automated trading, etc.). This elective course is aimed to expose students to techniques for online or sequential learning/decision making under uncertainty. We will explore several frameworks and algorithms for online prediction, along with rigorous analyses of their performance. We will also look at interesting applications of these techniques, such as portfolio optimization (finance), sequential data compression (information theory), etc.

Contents: Online classification; Regret Minimization; Learning with experts; Online convex optimization; Bandits; Applications- sequential investment/portfolio selection, universal lossless data compression, Stochastic games- Blackwell approachability, Learning systems with state- online reinforcement learning

Prerequisites: A basic course in probability or stochastic processes. Exposure to convexity (convex geometry, convex analysis or convex optimization) will be helpful but is not absolutely necessary. Contact the instructor for clarifications.

Grading policy: Homework assignments — 30%, exam — 30%, mini-project — 30%, lecture scribing — 10%

Text/References: There is no single reference text for the course. However, a rough basis will be "Prediction, Learning and Games" (PLG). Nicolo Cesa-Bianchi and Gabor Lugosi, Cambridge University Press, 2006 [local PDF copy].

Other useful resources that will be followed as appropriate:


  • Lecture 1 (Aug 2). Introduction to online learning, binary sequence prediction, the Halving algorithm, mistake bounds

  • Lecture 2 (Aug 7). The Weighted Majority algorithm, prediction with expert advice model

  • Lecture 3 (Aug 9). The multiplicative weights/exponential weights algorithm for online learning with convex losses, regret bound, randomized multiplicative weights


Last updated: 2018-08-14, 13:53:38 IST