Bootstrapping and Learning PDFA in Data Streams

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Borja Balle, Jorge Castro, Ricard Gavaldà ;
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Grammatical Inference, PMLR 21:34-48, 2012.

Abstract

Markovian models with hidden state are widely-used formalisms for modeling sequential phenomena. Learnability of these models has been well studied when the sample is given in batch mode, and algorithms with PAC-like learning guarantees exist for specific classes of models such as Probabilistic Deterministic Finite Automata (PDFA). Here we focus on PDFA and give an algorithm for infering models in this class under the stringent \emphdata stream scenario: unlike existing methods, our algorithm works incrementally and in one pass, uses memory sublinear in the stream length, and processes input items in amortized constant time. We provide rigorous PAC-like bounds for all of the above, as well as an evaluation on synthetic data showing that the algorithm performs well in practice. Our algorithm makes a key usage of several old and new sketching techniques. In particular, we develop a new sketch for implementing bootstrapping in a streaming setting which may be of independent interest. In experiments we have observed that this sketch yields important reductions in the examples required for performing some crucial statistical tests in our algorithm.

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