NeurIPS 2019
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Sets and Partitions

Nicholas Monath · Manzil Zaheer · Andrew McCallum · Ari Kobren · Junier Oliva · Barnabas Poczos · Ruslan Salakhutdinov

West 215 + 216

Classic problems for which the input and/or output is set-valued are ubiquitous in machine learning. For example, multi-instance learning, estimating population statistics, and point cloud classification are all problem domains in which the input is set-valued. In multi-label classification the output is a set of labels, and in clustering, the output is a partition. New tasks that take sets as input are also rapidly emerging in a variety of application areas including: high energy physics, cosmology, crystallography, and art. As a natural means of succinctly capturing large collections of items, techniques for learning representations of sets and partitions have significant potential to enhance scalability, capture complex dependencies, and improve interpretability. The importance and potential of improved set processing has led to recent work on permutation invariant and equivariant representations (Ravanbakhsh et al, 2016; Zaheer et al, 2017; Ilse et al, 2018; Hartford et al, 2018; Lee et al, 2019, Cotter et al, 2019, Bloom-Reddy & Teh, 2019, and more) and continuous representations of set-based outputs and partitions (Tai and Lin, 2012; Belanger & McCallum, 2015; Wiseman et al, 2016; Caron et al, 2018; Zhang et al, 2019; Vikram et al 2019).

The goal of this workshop is to explore:
- Permutation invariant and equivariant representations; empirical performance, limitations, implications, inductive biases of proposed representations of sets and partitions, as well as rich models of interaction among set elements;
- Inference methods for predicting sets or clusterings; approaches based on gradient-descent, continuous representations, amenable to end-to-end optimization with other models;
- New applications of set and partition-based models.

The First Workshop on Sets and Partitions, to be held as a part of the NeurIPS 2019 conference, focuses on models for tasks with set-based inputs/outputs as well as models of partitions and novel clustering methodology. The workshop welcomes both methodological and theoretical contributions, and also new applications. Connections to related problems in optimization, algorithms, theory as well as investigations of learning approaches to set/partition problems are also highly relevant to the workshop. We invite both paper submissions and submissions of open problems. We hope that the workshops will inspire further progress in this important field.

Organizing Committee:
Andrew McCallum, UMass Amherst
Ruslan Salakhutdinov, CMU
Barnabas Poczos, CMU
Junier Oliva, UNC Chapel Hill
Manzil Zaheer, Google Research
Ari Kobren, UMass Amherst
Nicholas Monath, UMass Amherst
with senior advisory support from Alex Smola.

Invited Speakers:
Siamak Ravanbakhsh
Abhishek Khetan
Eunsu Kang
Amr Ahmed
Stefanie Jegelka

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