Imani, Mahdi (2019-02). Estimation, Inference and Learning of Partially-Observed Dynamical Systems. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Demand for learning, design and decision making is higher than ever before. Autonomous vehicles need to learn how to ride safely by recognizing pedestrians, traffic signs, and other cars. Companies and consumers need to identify possible changes in the environment and adapt their strategies relatively fast to stay competitive. The complexity of biological systems necessitates incorporation of the biological knowledge with mathematical models to find effective treatments for many chronic fatal diseases. This dissertation addresses some of the critical issues concerning estimation, identification and learning of complex dynamical systems observed through noisy data. Nonlinear state-space models are a popular class of time series models with numerous applications in fields such as cyber-physical systems, economics, biology and more. However, the applicability of the existing techniques for inference of large systems or systems with big data sets, two common scenarios in many real-world applications, becomes impossible. We have developed a multi-fidelity Bayesian optimization algorithm for the inference of general nonlinear state-space models (MFBO-SSM), which enables simultaneous sequential selection of parameters and approximators. The accuracy and speed of the algorithm are demonstrated by numerical experiments using synthetic gene expression data from a gene regulatory network model and real data from the VIX stock price index. Along with estimation and identification, control of dynamical systems has been on the center of attention is many years. A Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) is a rich framework for modeling the dynamical systems in varieties of fields. The optimal control of MDP with known dynamics and finite state and action spaces is achievable using the Dynamic programming (DP) framework. However, in complex applications, there is often uncertainty about the system dynamics. In addition, many practical problems have large or continuous state and action spaces which hinders the simple application of DP. Reinforcement learning is a powerful technique widely used for adaptive control of MDPs with unknown dynamics. Existing RL techniques developed for MDPs with unknown dynamics rely on data that is acquired via interaction with the system or via simulation. While this is feasible in areas such as robotics or speech recognition, in other applications such as biology, manufacturing, cyber-physical systems, and marketing, there is either a lack of reliable simulators or inaccessibility to the real system due to practical limitations, including cost, ethical, and physical considerations. We have developed Bayesian decision making framework for control of MDPs with unknown dynamics and large, possibly continuous, state, action, and parameter spaces in data-poor environments. The effectiveness of the proposed framework is demonstrated using a simple dynamical system model with continuous state and action spaces, as well as a more complex model for a metastatic melanoma gene regulatory network observed through noisy synthetic gene expression data. Finally, we have studied an instance of partially-observed dynamical systems with Boolean state variable, called partially-observed Boolean dynamical systems (POBDS). This signal model has applications in many areas such as genomics/metagenomics, brain networking signals, fault propagation in sensor networks, communication and more. We have developed sets of optimal tools for this signal model, which most are the first exact solutions for the entire class of nonlinear non- Gaussian state-space models. These include optimal minimum mean-square error (MMSE) state estimator for known POBDS, which is called the Boolean Kalman Smoother (BKS). For POBDS with a significant uncertainty in the modeling process, we developed the maximum-likelihood and the optimal Bayesian adaptive filters for simultaneous estimation of the state and parameters, capable of tackling discrete, continuous or mixtu

publication date

  • February 2019
  • May 2019