Assignment 3: Take Home Exam
31005 Machine Learning Spring 2019
Answer ONE of the following questions (at the end of this document). Answers
should be around 800-1,000 words in length. The structure of your report will vary
slightly for different questions. The required information is stated in the respective
The questions are challenging, open research questions. It is natural if you are not
100% sure about your answer or you could not answer the question completely.
Your answer will be assessed by your reason in the argument and your insight.
You are allowed (and practically required) to do additional reading on the subject to
answer the questions. The references should be cited properly. The task is
individual work. Direct discussion of the exam question in any form is
considered dishonest.
100 The answer is relevant to the question.
The answer is technically sound, which can be assessed either by theoretical proof, or by
reasonable hypothetical arguments, or by empirical evidence such as experimental support.
The proposed solution can be practically feasible. This point is either convinced by logical
argument in the report or supported by empirical evidence.
The report contains sufficient background research of existing solutions to related or similar
More possible methods are considered. The proposed method is well motivated among the
the report has a clear structure and is well written.
50 The answer is mostly relevant to the question.
The answer is mostly technically sound, but contains obvious issues, or lacks support.
Feasibility discussion is missing, but it is possible for the readers to accept that the proposed
solution is feasible.
There is no effort in studying the background research of existing solutions to related or similar
problems. No alternatives are considered.
The report has a clear structure and is written with care and easy to follow.
This assignment contributes 30% to your final mark.
Due date 11:59pm 9 Oct 2019.
You need to submit an exported PDF of your Jupyter Notebook, including a PLAIN TEXT
link to the Github file to UTSOnline. (Same as A1/2)
Late Penalty 10 marks per day (round-up) past deadline.
Extension Extensions may be granted if arranged with the Subject Coordinator before the
deadline and if decent progress/effort has been made at the time of application. We use
github commission history of your draft report as evidence for progress/effort.
If your performance in an assessment item or items has been affected by extenuating or
special circumstances beyond your control you may apply for Special Consideration.
Information on how to apply can be found at
Due to the size of our class, extensions will lead to delay in marking your assignment and
the final grade.
This assignment is an individual task.
0 The answer is mostly irrelevant to the question.
The answer disagrees with existing understanding of the problem, and no logical reason has
been provided.
Feasibility discussion is missing, and it is hard to be convinced that the proposed solution is
feasible. There is no background research of existing solutions to related or similar problems.
No alternatives are considered.
The report is unreadable.
Following your graduation, you are hired by a polling organisation as a data analyst.
As social media has exploded and transformed the way people interact with each
other, it would be a great idea to use messages collected from social media to
predict how the user can be converted to change his/her support. List three
challenges to solving this problem. With reference to existing approaches, describe
the design of your system. Discuss the ethical and social consequence of this
Ensemble methods have been very successful in building classifiers. The hot topics
include how to create diverse classifiers and how to fuse the decisions from
individual classifiers, in particular how to establish the weights that individual
classifiers contribute to the ensemble’s answer. Describe two existing approaches
to solving this problem, discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Make a plan
to address one issue or two (related to learning the weights or creating diverse
classifiers), briefly describe your new method. Explain the reason why the
developed method could outperform the conventional ones.
Marketing or advertising companies would be very interested in being able to
predict whether a Twitter message will spread as a meme or not, and even better,
construct it so that it will spread. Why is this a hard problem to solve? Describe two
approaches using data analytics to predict whether a tweet will go viral or not. How
would you validate these approaches? Discuss the ethical and social consequence
of this study.
One of the themes in the machine learning models we’ve looked at this semester is
large numbers of parameters that are changed by tiny amounts. Why do so many
apparently different models use such similar techniques? Are there other ways to
approach the problem of learning? Are there also commonalities in the way the
amounts to be changed are determined?
Consider if you are in front of a gambling machine. The machine has n arms, pulling
each will yield a random amount of reward. The average reward yielded by each
arm in long-run is a fixed certain value, but the money you receive in individual
rounds is random. E.g. you can expect pulling arm-2 will produce a return of r2, but
the actual returns are random values. The expected return of each arm is unknown
– you know there is a fixed value, but not knowing what the value is. The task is to i)
design a strategy to earn reward as fast as possible (“fast” is defined in terms of the
number you pulling the arms); ii) identify the main challenge in designing such
strategies; iii) discuss the up bound of the performance of the optimal policy.

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