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Reproducibility in Machine Learning Research
Rosemary Nan Ke · Anirudh Goyal · Alex Lamb · Joelle Pineau · Samy Bengio · Yoshua Bengio

Thu Aug 10 03:30 PM -- 12:30 AM (PDT) @ C4.10
Event URL: https://sites.google.com/view/icml-reproducibility-workshop/home »

This workshop focuses on issues of reproducibility and replication of results in the Machine Learning community. Papers from the Machine Learning community are supposed to be a valuable asset. They can help to inform and inspire future research. They can be a useful educational tool for students. They can give guidance to applied researchers in industry. Perhaps most importantly, they can help us to answer the most fundamental questions about our existence - what does it mean to learn and what does it mean to be human? Reproducibility, while not always possible in science (consider the study of a transient astrological phenomenon like a passing comet), is a powerful criteria for improving the quality of research. A result which is reproducible is more likely to be robust and meaningful and rules out many types of experimenter error (either fraud or accidental).

There are many interesting open questions about how reproducibility issues intersect with the Machine Learning community:

* How can we tell if papers in the Machine Learning community are reproducible even in theory? If a paper is about recommending news sites before a particular election, and the results come from running the system online in production - it will be impossible to reproduce the published results because the state of the world is irreversibly changed from when the experiment was ran.
* What does it mean for a paper to be reproducible in theory but not in practice? For example, if a paper requires tens of thousands of GPUs to reproduce or a large closed-off dataset, then it can only be reproduced in reality by a few large labs.
* For papers which are reproducible both in theory and in practice - how can we ensure that papers published in ICML would actually be able to replicate if such an experiment were attempted?
* What does it mean for a paper to have successful or unsuccessful replications?
* Of the papers with attempted replications completed, how many have been published?
* What can be done to ensure that as many papers which are reproducible in theory fall into the last category?
* On the reproducibility issue, what can the Machine Learning community learn from other fields?

Our aim in the following workshop is to raise the profile of these questions in the community and to search for their answers. In doing so we aim for papers focusing on the following topics:
* Analysis of the current state of reproducibility in machine learning venues
* Tools to help increase reproducibility
* Evidence that reproducibility is important for science
* Connections between the reproducibility situation in Machine Learning and other fields
* Replications, both failed and successful, of influential papers in the Machine Learning literature.

Author Information

Rosemary Nan Ke (MILA, University of Montreal)

I am a PhD student at Mila, I am advised by Chris Pal and Yoshua Bengio. My research interest are efficient credit assignment, causal learning and model-based reinforcement learning. Here is my homepage https://nke001.github.io/

Anirudh Goyal (Université de Montréal)
Alex Lamb (Universite de Montreal)
Joelle Pineau (McGill University / Facebook)
Samy Bengio (Google Research Brain Team)
Yoshua Bengio (Mila / U. Montreal)

Yoshua Bengio is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in deep learning. Since 1993, he has been a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operational Research at the Université de Montréal. He is the founder and scientific director of Mila, the Quebec Institute of Artificial Intelligence, the world’s largest university-based research group in deep learning. He is a member of the NeurIPS board and co-founder and general chair for the ICLR conference, as well as program director of the CIFAR program on Learning in Machines and Brains and is Fellow of the same institution. In 2018, Yoshua Bengio ranked as the computer scientist with the most new citations, worldwide, thanks to his many publications. In 2019, he received the ACM A.M. Turing Award, “the Nobel Prize of Computing”, jointly with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing. In 2020 he was nominated Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

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