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Sunny start to the new semester (April 2023). Show image information

Sunny start to the new semester (April 2023).

Photo: Paderborn University, Besim Mazhiqi

Alexander Tornede

 Alexander Tornede

Intelligent Systems and Machine Learning

Member - Research Associate

Sonderforschungsbereich 901

Member - Former

+49 5251 60-3352
Zukunftsmeile 2
33102 Paderborn
New position

Since September 2022 I am working at the Institute of Artificial Intelligence at the Leibniz University Hannover.

Open list in Research Information System


A Survey of Methods for Automated Algorithm Configuration

E. Schede, J. Brandt, A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, V. Bengs, E. Hüllermeier, K. Tierney, in: arXiv:2202.01651, 2022

Algorithm configuration (AC) is concerned with the automated search of the most suitable parameter configuration of a parametrized algorithm. There is currently a wide variety of AC problem variants and methods proposed in the literature. Existing reviews do not take into account all derivatives of the AC problem, nor do they offer a complete classification scheme. To this end, we introduce taxonomies to describe the AC problem and features of configuration methods, respectively. We review existing AC literature within the lens of our taxonomies, outline relevant design choices of configuration approaches, contrast methods and problem variants against each other, and describe the state of AC in industry. Finally, our review provides researchers and practitioners with a look at future research directions in the field of AC.

HARRIS: Hybrid Ranking and Regression Forests for Algorithm Selection

L. Fehring, J.M. Hanselle, A. Tornede, in: Workshop on Meta-Learning (MetaLearn 2022) @ NeurIPS 2022, 2022

It is well known that different algorithms perform differently well on an instance of an algorithmic problem, motivating algorithm selection (AS): Given an instance of an algorithmic problem, which is the most suitable algorithm to solve it? As such, the AS problem has received considerable attention resulting in various approaches - many of which either solve a regression or ranking problem under the hood. Although both of these formulations yield very natural ways to tackle AS, they have considerable weaknesses. On the one hand, correctly predicting the performance of an algorithm on an instance is a sufficient, but not a necessary condition to produce a correct ranking over algorithms and in particular ranking the best algorithm first. On the other hand, classical ranking approaches often do not account for concrete performance values available in the training data, but only leverage rankings composed from such data. We propose HARRIS- Hybrid rAnking and RegRessIon foreSts - a new algorithm selector leveraging special forests, combining the strengths of both approaches while alleviating their weaknesses. HARRIS' decisions are based on a forest model, whose trees are created based on splits optimized on a hybrid ranking and regression loss function. As our preliminary experimental study on ASLib shows, HARRIS improves over standard algorithm selection approaches on some scenarios showing that combining ranking and regression in trees is indeed promising for AS.

Machine Learning for Online Algorithm Selection under Censored Feedback

A. Tornede, V. Bengs, E. Hüllermeier, in: Proceedings of the 36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2022

In online algorithm selection (OAS), instances of an algorithmic problem class are presented to an agent one after another, and the agent has to quickly select a presumably best algorithm from a fixed set of candidate algorithms. For decision problems such as satisfiability (SAT), quality typically refers to the algorithm's runtime. As the latter is known to exhibit a heavy-tail distribution, an algorithm is normally stopped when exceeding a predefined upper time limit. As a consequence, machine learning methods used to optimize an algorithm selection strategy in a data-driven manner need to deal with right-censored samples, a problem that has received little attention in the literature so far. In this work, we revisit multi-armed bandit algorithms for OAS and discuss their capability of dealing with the problem. Moreover, we adapt them towards runtime-oriented losses, allowing for partially censored data while keeping a space- and time-complexity independent of the time horizon. In an extensive experimental evaluation on an adapted version of the ASlib benchmark, we demonstrate that theoretically well-founded methods based on Thompson sampling perform specifically strong and improve in comparison to existing methods.

Algorithm Selection on a Meta Level

A. Tornede, L. Gehring, T. Tornede, M.D. Wever, E. Hüllermeier, in: Machine Learning, 2022

The problem of selecting an algorithm that appears most suitable for a specific instance of an algorithmic problem class, such as the Boolean satisfiability problem, is called instance-specific algorithm selection. Over the past decade, the problem has received considerable attention, resulting in a number of different methods for algorithm selection. Although most of these methods are based on machine learning, surprisingly little work has been done on meta learning, that is, on taking advantage of the complementarity of existing algorithm selection methods in order to combine them into a single superior algorithm selector. In this paper, we introduce the problem of meta algorithm selection, which essentially asks for the best way to combine a given set of algorithm selectors. We present a general methodological framework for meta algorithm selection as well as several concrete learning methods as instantiations of this framework, essentially combining ideas of meta learning and ensemble learning. In an extensive experimental evaluation, we demonstrate that ensembles of algorithm selectors can significantly outperform single algorithm selectors and have the potential to form the new state of the art in algorithm selection.

A comparison of heuristic, statistical, and machine learning methods for heated tool butt welding of two different materials

K. Gevers, A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, V. Schöppner, E. Hüllermeier, Welding in the World (2022)

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Heated tool butt welding is a method often used for joining thermoplastics, especially when the components are made out of different materials. The quality of the connection between the components crucially depends on a suitable choice of the parameters of the welding process, such as heating time, temperature, and the precise way how the parts are then welded. Moreover, when different materials are to be joined, the parameter values need to be tailored to the specifics of the respective material. To this end, in this paper, three approaches to tailor the parameter values to optimize the quality of the connection are compared: a heuristic by Potente, statistical experimental design, and Bayesian optimization. With the suitability for practice in mind, a series of experiments are carried out with these approaches, and their capabilities of proposing well-performing parameter values are investigated. As a result, Bayesian optimization is found to yield peak performance, but the costs for optimization are substantial. In contrast, the Potente heuristic does not require any experimentation and recommends parameter values with competitive quality.</jats:p>


AutoML for Multi-Label Classification: Overview and Empirical Evaluation

M.D. Wever, A. Tornede, F. Mohr, E. Hüllermeier, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (2021), pp. 1-1

Automated machine learning (AutoML) supports the algorithmic construction and data-specific customization of machine learning pipelines, including the selection, combination, and parametrization of machine learning algorithms as main constituents. Generally speaking, AutoML approaches comprise two major components: a search space model and an optimizer for traversing the space. Recent approaches have shown impressive results in the realm of supervised learning, most notably (single-label) classification (SLC). Moreover, first attempts at extending these approaches towards multi-label classification (MLC) have been made. While the space of candidate pipelines is already huge in SLC, the complexity of the search space is raised to an even higher power in MLC. One may wonder, therefore, whether and to what extent optimizers established for SLC can scale to this increased complexity, and how they compare to each other. This paper makes the following contributions: First, we survey existing approaches to AutoML for MLC. Second, we augment these approaches with optimizers not previously tried for MLC. Third, we propose a benchmarking framework that supports a fair and systematic comparison. Fourth, we conduct an extensive experimental study, evaluating the methods on a suite of MLC problems. We find a grammar-based best-first search to compare favorably to other optimizers.

Predicting Machine Learning Pipeline Runtimes in the Context of Automated Machine Learning

F. Mohr, M.D. Wever, A. Tornede, E. Hüllermeier, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (2021)

Automated Machine Learning (AutoML) seeks to automatically find so-called machine learning pipelines that maximize the prediction performance when being used to train a model on a given dataset. One of the main and yet open challenges in AutoML is an effective use of computational resources: An AutoML process involves the evaluation of many candidate pipelines, which are costly but often ineffective because they are canceled due to a timeout. In this paper, we present an approach to predict the runtime of two-step machine learning pipelines with up to one pre-processor, which can be used to anticipate whether or not a pipeline will time out. Separate runtime models are trained offline for each algorithm that may be used in a pipeline, and an overall prediction is derived from these models. We empirically show that the approach increases successful evaluations made by an AutoML tool while preserving or even improving on the previously best solutions.

Coevolution of Remaining Useful Lifetime Estimation Pipelines for Automated Predictive Maintenance

T. Tornede, A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, E. Hüllermeier, in: Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, 2021

Automated Machine Learning, Bounded Rationality, and Rational Metareasoning

E. Hüllermeier, F. Mohr, A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, 2021

Towards Green Automated Machine Learning: Status Quo and Future Directions

T. Tornede, A. Tornede, J.M. Hanselle, M.D. Wever, F. Mohr, E. Hüllermeier, in: arXiv:2111.05850, 2021

Automated machine learning (AutoML) strives for the automatic configuration of machine learning algorithms and their composition into an overall (software) solution - a machine learning pipeline - tailored to the learning task (dataset) at hand. Over the last decade, AutoML has developed into an independent research field with hundreds of contributions. While AutoML offers many prospects, it is also known to be quite resource-intensive, which is one of its major points of criticism. The primary cause for a high resource consumption is that many approaches rely on the (costly) evaluation of many machine learning pipelines while searching for good candidates. This problem is amplified in the context of research on AutoML methods, due to large scale experiments conducted with many datasets and approaches, each of them being run with several repetitions to rule out random effects. In the spirit of recent work on Green AI, this paper is written in an attempt to raise the awareness of AutoML researchers for the problem and to elaborate on possible remedies. To this end, we identify four categories of actions the community may take towards more sustainable research on AutoML, i.e. Green AutoML: design of AutoML systems, benchmarking, transparency and research incentives.


Extreme Algorithm Selection with Dyadic Feature Representation

A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, E. Hüllermeier, in: Discovery Science, 2020

Hybrid Ranking and Regression for Algorithm Selection

J.M. Hanselle, A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, E. Hüllermeier, in: KI 2020: Advances in Artificial Intelligence, 2020

AutoML for Predictive Maintenance: One Tool to RUL Them All

T. Tornede, A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, F. Mohr, E. Hüllermeier, in: Proceedings of the ECMLPKDD 2020, 2020


Towards Meta-Algorithm Selection

A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, E. Hüllermeier, in: Workshop MetaLearn 2020 @ NeurIPS 2020, 2020

Run2Survive: A Decision-theoretic Approach to Algorithm Selection based on Survival Analysis

A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, S. Werner, F. Mohr, E. Hüllermeier, in: ACML 2020, 2020

Algorithm selection (AS) deals with the automatic selection of an algorithm from a fixed set of candidate algorithms most suitable for a specific instance of an algorithmic problem class, where "suitability" often refers to an algorithm's runtime. Due to possibly extremely long runtimes of candidate algorithms, training data for algorithm selection models is usually generated under time constraints in the sense that not all algorithms are run to completion on all instances. Thus, training data usually comprises censored information, as the true runtime of algorithms timed out remains unknown. However, many standard AS approaches are not able to handle such information in a proper way. On the other side, survival analysis (SA) naturally supports censored data and offers appropriate ways to use such data for learning distributional models of algorithm runtime, as we demonstrate in this work. We leverage such models as a basis of a sophisticated decision-theoretic approach to algorithm selection, which we dub Run2Survive. Moreover, taking advantage of a framework of this kind, we advocate a risk-averse approach to algorithm selection, in which the avoidance of a timeout is given high priority. In an extensive experimental study with the standard benchmark ASlib, our approach is shown to be highly competitive and in many cases even superior to state-of-the-art AS approaches.

LiBRe: Label-Wise Selection of Base Learners in Binary Relevance for Multi-Label Classification

M.D. Wever, A. Tornede, F. Mohr, E. Hüllermeier, Springer, 2020

In multi-label classification (MLC), each instance is associated with a set of class labels, in contrast to standard classification where an instance is assigned a single label. Binary relevance (BR) learning, which reduces a multi-label to a set of binary classification problems, one per label, is arguably the most straight-forward approach to MLC. In spite of its simplicity, BR proved to be competitive to more sophisticated MLC methods, and still achieves state-of-the-art performance for many loss functions. Somewhat surprisingly, the optimal choice of the base learner for tackling the binary classification problems has received very little attention so far. Taking advantage of the label independence assumption inherent to BR, we propose a label-wise base learner selection method optimizing label-wise macro averaged performance measures. In an extensive experimental evaluation, we find that or approach, called LiBRe, can significantly improve generalization performance.


Towards Automated Machine Learning for Multi-Label Classification

M.D. Wever, F. Mohr, E. Hüllermeier, A. Hetzer. Towards Automated Machine Learning for Multi-Label Classification. In: European Conference on Data Analytics (ECDA), Bayreuth, Germany, 2019.

Algorithm Selection as Recommendation: From Collaborative Filtering to Dyad Ranking

A. Tornede, M.D. Wever, E. Hüllermeier, in: Proceedings - 29. Workshop Computational Intelligence, Dortmund, 28. - 29. November 2019, KIT Scientific Publishing, Karlsruhe, 2019, pp. 135-146

From Automated to On-The-Fly Machine Learning

F. Mohr, M.D. Wever, A. Tornede, E. Hüllermeier. From Automated to On-The-Fly Machine Learning. In: Informatik 2019, Kassel, 2019.

Automating Multi-Label Classification Extending ML-Plan

M.D. Wever, F. Mohr, A. Tornede, E. Hüllermeier, 2019

Existing tools for automated machine learning, such as Auto-WEKA, TPOT, auto-sklearn, and more recently ML-Plan, have shown impressive results for the tasks of single-label classification and regression. Yet, there is only little work on other types of machine learning problems so far. In particular, there is almost no work on automating the engineering of machine learning solutions for multi-label classification (MLC). We show how the scope of ML-Plan, an AutoML-tool for multi-class classification, can be extended towards MLC using MEKA, which is a multi-label extension of the well-known Java library WEKA. The resulting approach recursively refines MEKA's multi-label classifiers, nesting other multi-label classifiers for meta algorithms and single-label classifiers provided by WEKA as base learners. In our evaluation, we find that the proposed approach yields strong results and performs significantly better than a set of baselines we compare with.


jPL: A Java-based Software Framework for Preference Learning

P. Gupta, A. Hetzer, T. Tornede, S. Gottschalk, A. Kornelsen, S. Osterbrink, K. Pfannschmidt, E. Hüllermeier. jPL: A Java-based Software Framework for Preference Learning. In: WDA 2017 Workshops: KDML, FGWM, IR, and FGDB, Rostock, 2017.

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