Pruning Random Forest with Orthogonal Matching Trees

In this paper we propose a new method to reduce the size of Breiman’s Random Forests. Given a RandomForest and a target size, our algorithm builds a linear combination of trees which minimizes the training error. Selected trees, as well as weights of the linear combination are obtained by means of the Orthogonal Matching Pursuit algorithm. We test our method on many public benchmark datasets both on regression and binary classification, and we compare it to other pruning techniques. Experiments show that our technique performs significantly better or equally good on many datasets1. We also discuss the benefit and short-coming of learning weights for the pruned forest which lead us to propose to use a non-negative constraint on the OMP weights for better empirical results.

Luc Giffon, Charly Lamothe, Léo Bouscarrat, Paolo Milanesi, Farah Cherfaoui, and Sokol Ko, Pruning Random Forest with Orthogonal Matching Trees, Proc. of CAP 2020.

Click here to access the paper.

Multilingual Enrichment of Disease Biomedical Ontologies

Translating biomedical ontologies is an important challenge, but doing it manually requires much time and money. We study the possibility to use open-source knowledge bases to translate biomedical ontologies. We focus on two aspects: coverage and quality. We look at the coverage of two biomedical ontologies focusing on diseases with respect to Wikidata for 9 European languages (Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish) for both, plus Arabic, Chinese and Russian for the second. We first use direct links between Wikidata and the studied ontologies and then use second-order links by going through other intermediate ontologies. We then compare the quality of the translations obtained thanks to Wikidata with a commercial machine translation tool, here Google Cloud Translation.

Léo Bouscarrat, Antoine Bonnefoy, Cécile Capponi, Carlos Ramisch, Multilingual Enrichment of Disease Biomedical Ontologies, Proc. of MultilingualBIO 2020.

Click here to access the paper.

Internships 2020

This document presents internships supervised by our software engineering department or by our research & development department. Each project is an opportunity to feel both empowered and responsible for your own professional development and for your contribution to the company.

 

If you are interested in one of our offers, please send us your application to career@euranova.eu, including your CV and motivation regarding your top three internship positions (described in the document).

 

If you wish to read the testimonies of students who have done an internship at EURA NOVA, visit our blog, or read directly their experiences:

If you are interested in working on a topic that is not in our range of offers, we would be delighted to hear your proposition and invite you get in touch.

Internship subjects and application guidelines are available here: Internship Offers.

TopoGraph: an End-To-End Framework to Build and Analyze Graph Cubes

Graphs are a fundamental structure that provides an intuitive abstraction for modelling and analyzing complex and highly interconnected data. Given the potential complexity of such data, some approaches proposed extending decision-support systems with multidimensional analysis capabilities over graphs. In this paper, we introduce TopoGraph, an end-to-end framework for building and analyzing graph cubes. TopoGraph extends the existing graph cube models by defining new types of dimensions and measures and organizing them within a multidimensional space that guarantees multidimensional integrity constraints. This results in defining three new types of graph cubes: property graph cubes, topological graph cubes, and graph-structured cubes. Afterwards, we define the algebraic OLAP operations for such novel cubes. We implement and experimentally validate TopoGraph with different types of real-world datasets.

 

The paper will be published soon in Information Systems Frontiers, and is already available online on Springer. Currently, it is unfortunately available only to subscribers, but do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information!

 

Amine Ghrab, Oscar Romero, Sabri Skhiri, Esteban Zimányi, TopoGraph: an End-To-End Framework to Build and Analyze Graph Cubes, published in Information Systems Frontiers (2020).

 

 

Thirty-Fourth AAAI Conference On Artificial Intelligence: A Summary

Two weeks ago, our young research engineers Hounaida Zemzem and Rania Saidi were in New York for the Thirty-Fourth AAAI Conference On Artificial Intelligence. The conference promotes research in artificial intelligence and fosters scientific exchange between researchers, practitioners, scientists, students, and engineers in AI and its affiliated disciplines. Rania and Hounaida attended dozens of technical paper presentations, workshops, and tutorials on their favourite research areas: reinforcement learning for Hounaida and graph theory for Rania. What were the big trends and their favourite talks? Let’s find out with them!

 

The Big Trends:

Rania says: “The conference focused mostly on advanced AI topics such as graph theory, NLP, Online Learning, Neural Nets Theory and Knowledge Representation. It also looked into real-world applications such as online advertising, email marketing, health care, recommender systems, etc.”

Hounaida adds: “I thought it was very successful given the large number of attendees as well as the quality of the accepted papers (7737 submissions were reviewed and 1,591 accepted). The talks showed the power of AI to tackle problems or improve situations in various domains.”

 

Favourite talks and tutorials

Hounaida explains: “Several of the sessions I attended were very insightful. My favourite talk was given by Mohammad Ghavamzadeh, an AI researcher at Facebook. He gave a tutorial on Exploration-Exploitation in Reinforcement Learning. The tutorial by William Yeoh, assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, was also amazing. He talked about Multi-Agent Distributed Constrained Optimization. Both their talks were clear and funny.”

 

Rania’s feedback? “One of my favourite talks was given by Yolanda Gil, the president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). She gave a personal perspective on AI and its watershed moments, demonstrated the utility of AI in addressing future challenges, and insisted on the fact that AI is now necessary to science. I also learned a lot about the state of the art in graph theory. The tutorial given by Yao Ma, Wei jin, Lingfu Wu and Tengfei Ma was really interesting. They explained Graph Neural Networks: Models and Application​s. Finally, the tutorial presented by Chengxi Zang and Fei Wang about Differential Deep Learning on Graphs and its Applications was excellent. Both were really inspiring and generated a lot of ideas about how to continue to expand my research in the field! ”

 

Favourite papers

A personal selection by Rania & Hounaida of interesting papers to check out :

For Hounaida:

 

For Rania:

 

Final thoughts

After attending their first conference as Euranovians, what will Rania & Hounaida remember? Hounaida concludes: “Going to New York for the AAAI-20 Conference as one of the ENX data scientists was an amazing experience. I met many brilliant and sharp international experts in various fields. I enjoyed the one-week talks with so many special events, offline discussions, and the night strolls!”

Throwback To 2019

At EURA NOVA, we believe technology is a catalyst for change. To embrace it, we strive to stay at the edge of knowledge. Investing in research allows us to continuously become more proficient, to maintain our know-how at the cutting edge of IT, to share its benefits with our customers, and to incubate the products of tomorrow. As we look back on the year 2019, we are both proud and happy of the work achieved!

 

Published papers:

We are happy to say that our R&D department has published five peer-reviewed scientific papers last year.

 

  • LEAD: A Formal Specification For Event Processing

 

In June, our R&D engineer Anas presented his work on complex event processing at the 13Th ACM international Conference on distributed and event-based systems, which was taking place in Germany.

Anas Al Bassit, Skhiri Sabri, LEAD: A Formal Specification For Event Processing, in 13Th ACM international Conference on distributed and event-based systems 2019

 

  • Coherence Regularization for Neural Topic Models

 

In July, our R&D engineer Kate presented her paper on neural topic models at the 16th International Symposium on Neural Networks taking place in Moscow.

Katsiaryna Krasnashchok, Aymen Cherif, Coherence Regularization for Neural Topic Models. in 16th International Symposium on Neural Networks 2019 (ISNN 2019)

 

  • STRASS: A Light and Effective Method for Extractive Summarization

 

In August, our PhD student Léo was in Italy to present his paper at the 2019 ACL Student Research Workshop.

Léo Bouscarrat, Antoine Bonnefoy, Thomas Peel, Cécile Pereira, STRASS: A Light and Effective Method for Extractive Summarization Based on Sentence Embeddings, in 2019 ACL Student Research Workshop, Florence, Italy.

 

  • GraphOpt: Framework for Automatic Parameters Tuning of Graph Processing Frameworks

 

In December, the paper written by our former intern and now full-time colleague Muaz was presented in Los Angeles at the third IEEE International Workshop on Benchmarking, Performance Tuning and Optimization for Big Data Applications.

Muaz Twaty, Amine Ghrab, Skhiri Sabri: GraphOpt: a Framework for Automatic Parameters Tuning of Graph Processing Frameworks. 2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data) Workshops, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

 

  • A Performance Prediction Model for Spark Applications

 

In June 2020, our paper written as part of the ECCO research project we have been leading at EURA NOVA will be presented at the Big Data congress 2020 taking place in Hawaii.

Florian Demesmaeker, Amine Ghrab, Usama Javaid, Ahmed Amir Kanoun, A Performance Prediction Model for Spark Applications, in the proceedings of Big Data congress 2020.

 

IEEE Big Data Workshop

Last December, Eura Nova’s research centre held the fourth workshop on real-time and stream analytics in big data at the 2019 IEEE Conference on Big Data in Los Angeles. The workshop brought together leading players including Confluent, Apache Pulsar, the University of Virginia and Télécom Paris Tech as well as 8 renowned speakers from 6 different countries. We received more than 30 applications and we are proud to have hosted such interesting presentations of papers in stream mining, IoT, and industry 4.0. Special thanks to our keynote guests, Matteo Merli (Apache Pulsar) and John Roesler (Confluent), and all the attendees and speakers!

 

JERICHO, research driving innovations

The mission of the JERICHO research track is to make the latest technologies available to our client, to offer them a competitive edge to play along megacorporations.  After two years of intense work, seven published papers, presentations in international conferences spanning Russia, the United States, Germany, Australia, or Belgium, our Jericho project has come to an end.

And the adventure continues! We are really excited to continue our work on innovative solutions for the next data challenges with our new research track ASGARD.

Our R&D director Sabri Skhiri says: “The costs of data solutions and the lack of data scientists will increase in the next 3 to 5 years and solutions to reduce them will benefit from a large market. In this sense, ASGARD is precisely in the strategy of Eura Nova. ASGARD aims to reduce these costs by automating the most expensive tasks. As the world becomes increasingly digital and reinvents itself, innovation and research are essential in the market.”

 

Academic collaboration

This year, we welcomed nine interns across our three offices. A big kudo to our intern Muaz who successfully finished his master thesis in collaboration with EURA NOVA! The goal of his thesis was to optimise the configuration of distributed graph frameworks. He now joined EURA NOVA to work as a full-time employee.

 

Talks & seminars

This year, the research team had the pleasure to be invited at several international conferences:

  • In February, our research director Sabri Skhiri gave a seminar on modern Stateful Stream Processing at EPT. Our R&D engineer Syrine Ferjaoui also went to Morocco to give a workshop about data architecture at the Annual International Conference on Arab Women In Computing.
  • In March, Sabri was at the World AI Show in Dubaï to talk about successfully deploying AI projects in production. He was also invited to Barcelona Tech to give a Big Data Architecture & Design  seminar.
  • In June, our data privacy officer Nazanin Gifani gave a masterclass on Fairness and Transparency in AI at the DI Summit in Brussels.
  • In September, our R&D project manager Shivom Aggarwal talked at the Arab Future Cities Summit 2019 about deploying AI at industrial scale for smart cities.
  • In October, our software engineer Christophe Philemotte was in San Francisco to talk at the Kafka Summit about crossing the streams thanks to Kafka and Flink.
  • In November, Sabri was invited as a keynote speaker at the 17th International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing to share his experience about the convergence between micro-service, stateful stream processing and function as a service.

 

Summer schools & conferences

This year, Euranovians attended more than 15 prestigious international conferences and summits across the world to remain up to date and grow our network. We investigated the state of the art in streaming, data science, DevOps, computer vision or cloud engineering at conferences such as Flink Forward, Spark AI Summit, Kubecon, IEEE Big Data, DataWorks Summit, Kafka Summit, NeurIPS, RedHat, Elixir LDN or CVPR.

Euranovians brought back what they learned for the rest of the team and the big data community. Find our public summaries, identified trends and review of conferences here:

 

IEEE Big Data 2019 – A Summary

At the beginning of the month, our R&D director Sabri Skhiri and our R&D engineer Syrine Ferjaoui travelled to Los Angeles to attend IEEE Big Data Conference. It is one of the most influential academic gatherings in distributed machine learning. This year, it featured 879 authors, shortlisted from 2009 applicants. They came from 28 countries and presented 210 papers. Back in Belgium, Sabri and Syrine give you their opinion on the event itself and the important elements from the keynotes, the tutorials, the workshops and the interesting papers.

 

The Big Trends

Sabri says: “The main trends were deep learning, NLP, privacy-preserving approaches, GAN, graph mining and stream mining. In my view, the level of the papers was quite good. Authors are becoming ever more skilled in data science, maths and algorithms. This goes to show that to be a good data scientist, you need an extensive set of advanced skills. Interestingly, there was almost nothing about distributed computing! This is a big move compared to the previous editions. The only presentations that had something to do with distributed systems were about optimisation strategies, an area similar to what our ECCO team researches. The Big Data Conference focuses on data science; it does not really look into its scalability.  Distributed computing topics tend to be dealt with at conferences like DEBS, VLDB, USENIX, SIGMOD, etc. As a result, this conference is an amazing place to see hundreds of data science use cases with, most of the time, an interesting contribution.”

 

The Keynotes

 

The keynotes were focused on data science as well. We even heard the term “Big Data Science”.

Keynote 1: Responsible Data Science by Lise Getoor – Professor at UC Santa Cruz

Syrine says: “The first keynote was my favourite. Lise started by comparing machine learning to a black box. The goal was to unpack the box and invite people to use data science and to use it wisely. To autonomise ethical decision-making, we should move away from maximising AI systems autonomy and move toward human-centric systems. To do this, we should make sure that human-centric systems have three qualities: (1) be knowledge-based, (2) be data-driven, and (3) support human values. Achieving responsible data science requires both machine-learning and ethics.”

 

Keynote 2: DataCommons “Google for Data” by Ramanathan Guha – Google

Guha presented DataCommons, a project started by Google to combine data from different open sources. Syrine explains: “Google’s DataCommons project allows users to pretend that the Web is one website, enabling developers to pretend all this data is in one database. The long-term vision of Google is to aggregate all data from publicly available sources (Medicare, Wikidata, sequence data, Landsat, CDC, Census…) into a single Open Knowledge Graph. The goal is to ​reduce or eliminate the ​​data download-clean-store​ process. Instead, users can access and use already cleaned data in the cloud. ​Data can be public or private (internet & intranet). This will avoid repeated data wrangling  and ease the burden of data storage, indexing, etc.”

 

The Tutorials

This year, IEEE Big Data held nine tutorials. Our R&D director explains: “At this type of events, tutorials are always a good way to learn a complete state of the art in a couple of hours. I particularly appreciated the tutorial on “Taming Unstructured Big data: Automated Information Extraction for Massive Textby the team of the famous Jiawei Han (he is a kind of pop star in data mining and the father of Graph Cube). I found out that many papers about named entity relations were published in the past two years. The idea is to be able to extract supervised, semi-supervised, and unsupervised relations between entities: for instance, discovering that “Trump” is “President of” “USA”. They also propose new approaches to integrate knowledge bases such as DBPedia or YAGO to infer new unknown relations from a corpus. This is just amazing!”

 

Syrine adds: “The tutorial on NewSQL principles, systems, and current trends was interesting as it explained why we should consider using NoSQL/NewSQL to deal with data interconnections and very high scalability. After attending this tutorial, I was motivated to order this book about Principles of Distributed Database Systems. For fans of deep learning, the tutorial “Deep Learning on Big Data with Multi-Node GPU Jobs” covers a lot about large-scale GPU-based deep-learning systems. If you missed the conference, all resources can be found on this ​link​.”

 

The Workshops

The EURA NOVA research centre organised the fourth workshop on Real-time and Stream Analytics in Big Data, at the 2019 IEEE conference on Big Data. We were really happy to welcome Matteo Merli from Apache Pulsar and John Roesler from Confluent as keynotes speakers. Thank you to them and to all the attendees and speakers! They had a great time, with captivating talks and a lot of interesting questions and comments. The summary of the event will soon be available on our website. The slides of the keynotes are available here:

 

 

Favourite Papers

A personal selection of interesting papers:

The paper tackles a really interesting problematic faced by a lot of data scientists. Introducing active learning is a cool idea and so is the way they used a mathematical trick to make their approach feasible.

Su Won Bae, from Mobilewalla, presented how they can define a complete customer acquisition model by mixing their data with their customer data (in this case, a worldwide leader in food delivery). Sabri says: “The quality of data science models highly depends on the data they can train on. I am convinced we will go in the same direction as Mobilewalla in the future to have richer models. However, mixing data must be done with care as it may raise some privacy issues;  our purpose has to have legal ground.”

The speaker presented MorphMine, a method for unsupervised morpheme segmentation.  It can generate morpheme candidates that are filtered out using entropy to select the best morphemes from a corpus. Then, these morphemes can be used to highly improve the word embedding model and the downstream machine learning tasks.

 

 

4th Workshop on Real-time & Stream Analytics in Big Data

EURA NOVA Research centre is proud and excited to organize the fourth workshop on Real-time and Stream analytics in Big Data, collocated with the 2019 IEEE conference on Big Data. The workshop will take place in December in Los Angeles, USA.

Stream processing and real-time analytics in data science have become some of the most important topics of Big Data. To refine new opportunities and use cases required by the industry, we are bringing together experts passioned about the subject. 

This year, we are excited to have two amazing keynotes from Confluent KStream and Apache Pulsar: 

  • Matteo Merli is one of the co-founders of Streamlio, he serves as the PMC chair for Apache Pulsar and he’s a member of the Apache BookKeeper PMC. Previously, he spent several years at Yahoo building database replication systems and multi-tenant messaging platforms. Matteo was the co-creator and lead developer for the Pulsar project within Yahoo.
  • John Roesler is a software engineer at Confluent and a contributor to Apache Kafka, primarily to Kafka Streams. Before that, he spent eight years at Bazaarvoice, on a team designing and building a large-scale streaming database and a high-throughput declarative Stream Processing engine.

 

If you want to join us, authors from the industry and the academia are invited to contribute to the conference by submitting articles. Check out the workshop website to find all the information you will need. Your paper will be reviewed by a prestigious panel of international experts from both the academic and the industrial worlds.

 

STRASS: A Light and Effective Method for Extractive Summarization

This paper introduces STRASS: Summarization by TRAnsformation Selection and Scoring. It is an extractive text summarization method which leverages the semantic information in existing sentence embedding spaces. Our method creates an extractive summary by selecting the sentences with the closest embeddings to the document embedding. The model learns a transformation of the document embedding to minimize the similarity between the extractive summary and the ground truth summary. As the transformation is only composed of a dense layer, the training can be done on CPU, therefore, inexpensive. Moreover, inference time is short and linear according to the number of sentences. As a second contribution, we introduce the French CASS dataset, composed of judgments from the French Court of cassation and their corresponding summaries. On this dataset, our results show that our method performs similarly to the state of the art extractive methods with effective training and inferring time.

Léo Bouscarrat, Antoine Bonnefoy, Thomas Peel, Cécile Pereira, STRASS: A Light and Effective Method for Extractive Summarization Based on Sentence Embeddings, in 2019 ACL Student Research Workshop, Florence, Italy.

Click here to access the paper.

Florence, Italy

Coherence Regularization for Neural Topic Models

Neural topic models aim to predict the words of a document given the document itself. In such models, perplexity is used as a training criterion, whereas the final quality measure is topic coherence. In this work, we introduce a coherence regularization loss that penalizes incoherent topics during the training of the model. We analyze our approach using coherence and an additional metric – exclusivity, responsible for the uniqueness of the terms in topics. We argue that this combination of metrics is an adequate indicator of the model quality. Our results indicate the effectiveness of our loss and the potential to be used in the future neural topic models.

The paper will be published at the 16th International Symposium on Neural Networks taking place in Moscow. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact our R&D department at research@euranova.eu to discuss how you can leverage neural topic models in your projects.

Katsiaryna Krasnashchok, Aymen Cherif, Coherence Regularization for Neural Topic Models. in 16th International Symposium on Neural Networks 2019 (ISNN 2019)

Click here to access the paper.