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An Integer Linear Programming Framework for Mining Constraints from Data

Tao Meng and Kai-Wei Chang, in ICML, 2021.

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Various structured output prediction problems (e.g., sequential tagging) involve constraints over the output space. By identifying these constraints, we can filter out infeasible solutions and build an accountable model. To this end, we present a general integer linear programming (ILP) framework for mining constraints from data. We model the inference of structured output prediction as an ILP problem. Then, given the coefficients of the objective function and the corresponding solution, we mine the underlying constraints by estimating the outer and inner polytopes of the feasible set. We verify the proposed constraint mining algorithm in various synthetic and real-world applications and demonstrate that the proposed approach successfully identifies the feasible set at scale. In particular, we show that our approach can learn to solve 9x9 Sudoku puzzles and minimal spanning tree problems from examples without providing the underlying rules. We also demonstrate results on hierarchical multi-label classification and conduct a theoretical analysis on how close the mined constraints are from the ground truth.

Bib Entry

  author = {Meng, Tao and Chang, Kai-Wei},
  title = {An Integer Linear Programming Framework for Mining Constraints from Data},
  booktitle = {ICML},
  year = {2021}

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