Challenges and Opportunities in Applied Machine Learning

Carla E. Brodley, Umaa Rebbapragada, Kevin Small, Byron Wallace


Machine learning research is often conducted in vitro, divorced from motivating practical applications. A researcher might develop a new method for the general task of classification, then assess its utility by comparing its performance (such as accuracy or AUC) to that of existing classification models on publicly available datasets. In terms of advancing machine learning as an academic discipline, this approach has thus far proven quite fruitful. However, it is our view that the most interesting open problems in machine learning are those that arise during its application to real-world problems. We illustrate this point by reviewing two of our interdisciplinary collaborations, both of which have posed unique machine learning problems, providing fertile ground for novel research.


Applications of Machine Learning; Active Learning; Learning from Text; supervised learning; unsupervised learning

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