DIMACS Workshop on Complexity and Inference

June 2 - 5, 2003
DIMACS Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Mark Hansen, Bell Laboratories, cocteau@stat.ucla.edu
Paul Vitanyi, CWI and the University of Amsterdam, Paul.Vitanyi@cwi.nl
Bin Yu, UC Berkeley, binyu@stat.berkeley.edu
Presented under the auspices of the Special Focus on Computational Information Theory and Coding.

The notion of algorithmic complexity was suggested independently by Kolmogorov, Chaitin, and Solomonoff in the 1960's. Both Kolmogorov and Chaitin introduced the concept as a way to formalize notions of entropy and randomness, building on results from theoretical computer science dealing with partial recursive functions. Independently, Solomonoff defined algorithmic complexity in the pursuit of universal priors for statistical inference. In recent years, Rissanen expanded the applicability of these ideas, employing well-established concepts from information theory to frame his principle of Minimum Description Length (MDL) for statistical inference and model selection.

Each of these lines of research has developed methods for describing data (through coding and compression, or by analogy with some formal computing device); and each of these lines has employed some concept of an efficient representation to guide statistical inference. In this workshop, we will explore both the foundational aspects of complexity-based inference as well as applications of these ideas to challenging modeling problems. Participants will be drawn from the fields of statistics, information and coding theory, machine learning, and complexity theory. Application areas include biology, information technologies, physics and psychology. The following specific topics will be covered by the workshop:

Financial Support: A limited amount of funding is available for partial support of people wishing to attend. Students, recent Ph.D.'s, women and minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. To apply for funding, send a letter to complexity@research.bell-labs.com explaining your interest in the workshop together with a vita or bibliography and a budget for travel/living expenses. If you are a student, also solicit a letter from a faculty adviser.
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Document last modified on May 7, 2003.