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Research Interests

My research interests lie at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning and statistics. I am particularly interested in hierarchical graphical models and approximate inference/learning techniques including Markov Chain Monte Carlo and variational Bayesian methods. My current research has a particular emphasis on models and algorithms for multivariate time series data. Thanks to recent awards from NSF and NIH, my current applied work is focusing on machine learning-based analytics for clinical and mobile health (mHealth) data. In the past, I have worked on a broad range of applications including collaborative filtering and ranking, unsupervised structure discovery and feature induction, object recognition and image labeling, and natural language processing, and I continue to consult on projects in these areas.

Recent Publications

Saleheen, Nazir, Amin Ali, Syed Monowar Hossain, Hillol Sarker, Soujanya Chatterjee, Benjamin Marlin, Emre Ertin, Mustafa al'Absi, and Santosh Kumar puffMarker : A Multi-Sensor Approach for Pinpointing the Timing of First Lapse in Smoking Cessation. 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing., 2015. Abstractpuff-marker.pdf

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths. Mobile technologies can help to deliver just-in-time-interventions to abstinent smokers and assist them in resisting urges to lapse. Doing so, however, it requires identification of high-risk situations that may lead an abstinent smoker to relapse. In this paper, we propose an explainable model for detecting smoking lapses in newly abstinent smokers using respiration and 6-axis inertial sensors worn on wrists. We propose a novel method by identifying windows of data that represent the hand at the mouth. We then develop a model to classify into puff or non-puff. On the training data, the model achieves a recall rate of 98%, for a FP rate of 1.5%. When the model is applied to the data collected from 13 abstainers, the false positive rate is 0.3/hour. Among 15 lapsers, the model is able to pinpoint the timing of first lapse in 13 participants.

Kumar, S., and others. "Center of excellence for mobile sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K)." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 22.6 (2015): 1137-1142. AbstractFull Text

Mobile sensor data-to-knowledge (MD2K) was chosen as one of 11 Big Data Centers of Excellence by the National Institutes of Health, as part of its Big Data-to-Knowledge initiative. MD2K is developing innovative tools to streamline the collection, integration, management, visualization, analysis, and interpretation of health data generated by mobile and wearable sensors. The goal of the big data solutions being developed by MD2K is to reliably quantify physical, biological, behavioral, social, and environmental factors that contribute to health and disease risk. The research conducted by MD2K is targeted at improving health through early detection of adverse health events and by facilitating prevention. MD2K will make its tools, software, and training materials widely available and will also organize workshops and seminars to encourage their use by researchers and clinicians.

Iyengar, Srinivasan, Sandeep Kalra, Anushree Ghosh, David Irwin, Prashant Shenoy, and Benjamin Marlin. "iProgram: Inferring Smart Schedules for Dumb Thermostats." 10th Annual Women in Machine Learning Workshop. 2015. Abstract

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) accounts for over 50% of a typical home's energy usage. A thermostat generally controls HVAC usage in a home to ensure user comfort. In this paper, we focus on making existing "dumb" programmable thermostats smart by applying energy analytics on smart meter data to infer home occupancy patterns and compute an optimized thermostat schedule. Utilities with smart meter deployments are capable of immediately applying our approach, called iProgram, to homes across their customer base. iProgram addresses new challenges in inferring home occupancy from smart meter data where i) training data is not available and ii) the thermostat schedule may be misaligned with occupancy, frequently resulting in high power usage during unoccupied periods. iProgram translates occupancy patterns inferred from opaque smart meter data into a custom schedule for existing types of programmable thermostats, e.g., 1-day, 7-day, etc. We implement iProgram as a web service and show that it reduces the mismatch time between the occupancy pattern and the thermostat schedule by a median value of 44.28 minutes (out of 100 homes) when compared to a default 8am-6pm weekday schedule, with a median deviation of 30.76 minutes off the optimal schedule. Further, iProgram yields a daily energy saving of 0.42kWh on average across the 100 homes. Utilities may use iProgram to recommend thermostat schedules to customers and provide them estimates of potential energy savings in their energy bills.

Li, Steven Cheng-Xian, and Benjamin M. Marlin. "Collaborative Multi-Output Gaussian Processes for Collections of Sparse Multivariate Time Series,." NIPS Time Series Workshop. 2015. Abstractli-nips-ts2015.pdf

Collaborative Multi-Output Gaussian Processes (COGPs) are a flexible tool for modeling multivariate time series. They induce correlation across outputs through the use of shared latent processes. While past work has focused on the computational challenges that result from a single multivariate time series with many observed values, this paper explores the problem of fitting the COGP model to collections of many sparse and irregularly sampled multivariate time series. This work is motivated by applications to modeling physiological data (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) in Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Adams, Roy J., Edison Thomaz, and Benjamin M. Marlin. "Hierarchical Nested CRFs for Segmentation and Labeling of Physiological Time Series." NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning in Healthcare. 2015. Abstractadams-nips-heath2015.pdf

In this paper, we address the problem of nested hierarchical segmentation
and labeling of time series data. We present a hierarchical
span-based conditional random field framework for this problem that
leverages higher-order factors to enforce the nesting constraints. The framework can
incorporate a variety of additional factors including higher order cardinality
factors. This research is motivated by hierarchical activity recognition problems
in the field of mobile Health (mHealth). We show that the specific model of interest in the mHealth setting supports exact MAP inference in quadratic time. Learning is accomplished in the structured support vector machine framework. We show positive results on real and synthetic data sets.

Iyengar, Srinivasan, Sandeep Kalra, Anushree Ghosh, David Irwin, Prashant Shenoy, and Benjamin Marlin. "iProgram: Inferring Smart Schedules for Dumb Thermostats." Proceedings of the 2Nd ACM International Conference on Embedded Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environments. BuildSys '15. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2015. 211-220. Abstractp211-iyengar.pdf

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) accounts for over 50% of a typical home's energy usage. A thermostat generally controls HVAC usage in a home to ensure user comfort. In this paper, we focus on making existing "dumb" programmable thermostats smart by applying energy analytics on smart meter data to infer home occupancy patterns and compute an optimized thermostat schedule. Utilities with smart meter deployments are capable of immediately applying our approach, called iProgram, to homes across their customer base. iProgram addresses new challenges in inferring home occupancy from smart meter data where i) training data is not available and ii) the thermostat schedule may be misaligned with occupancy, frequently resulting in high power usage during unoccupied periods. iProgram translates occupancy patterns inferred from opaque smart meter data into a custom schedule for existing types of programmable thermostats, e.g., 1-day, 7-day, etc. We implement iProgram as a web service and show that it reduces the mismatch time between the occupancy pattern and the thermostat schedule by a median value of 44.28 minutes (out of 100 homes) when compared to a default 8am-6pm weekday schedule, with a median deviation of 30.76 minutes off the optimal schedule. Further, iProgram yields a daily energy saving of 0.42kWh on average across the 100 homes. Utilities may use iProgram to recommend thermostat schedules to customers and provide them estimates of potential energy savings in their energy bills.

Natarajan, Annamalai, Edward Gaiser, Gustavo Angarita, Robert Malison, Deepak Ganesan, and Benjamin Marlin. "Conditional Random Fields for Morphological Analysis of Wireless ECG Signals." Proceedings of the 5th Annual conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Health Informatics. Newport Beach, CA: ACM, 2014. Abstractcrf_bcb2014.pdf

Thanks to advances in mobile sensing technologies, it has recently become practical to deploy wireless electrocardiograph sensors for continuous recording of ECG signals. This capability has diverse applications in the study of human health and behavior, but to realize its full potential, new computational tools are required to effectively deal with the uncertainty that results from the noisy and highly non-stationary signals collected using these devices. In this work, we present a novel approach to the problem of extracting the morphological structure of ECG signals based on the use of dynamically structured conditional random field (CRF) models. We apply this framework to the problem of extracting morphological structure from wireless ECG sensor data collected in a lab-based study of habituated cocaine users. Our results show that the proposed CRF-based approach significantly out-performs independent prediction models using the same features, as well as a widely cited open source toolkit.

Mayberry, Addison, Pan Hu, Benjamin Marlin, Christopher Salthouse, and Deepak Ganesan iShadow: Design of a Wearable, Real-Time Mobile Gaze Tracker. 12th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services., 2014. Abstractishadow_mobisys14.pdf

Continuous, real-time tracking of eye gaze is valuable in a variety of scenarios including hands-free interaction with the physical world, detection of unsafe behaviors, leveraging visual context for advertising, life logging, and others. While eye tracking is commonly used in clinical trials and user studies, it has not bridged the gap to everyday consumer use. The challenge is that a real-time eye tracker is a power-hungry and computation-intensive device which requires continuous sensing of the eye using an imager running at many tens of frames per second, and continuous processing of the image stream using sophisticated gaze estimation algorithms. Our key contribution is the design of an eye tracker that dramatically reduces the sensing and computation needs for eye tracking, thereby achieving orders of magnitude reductions in power consumption and form-factor. The key idea is that eye images are extremely redundant, therefore we can estimate gaze by using a small subset of carefully chosen pixels per frame. We instantiate this idea in a prototype hardware platform equipped with a low-power image sensor that provides random access to pixel values, a low-power ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller, and a bluetooth radio to communicate with a mobile phone. The sparse pixel-based gaze estimation algorithm is a multi-layer neural network learned using a state-of-the-art sparsity-inducing regularization function that minimizes the gaze prediction error while simultaneously minimizing the number of pixels used. Our results show that we can operate at roughly 70mW of power, while continuously estimating eye gaze at the rate of 30 Hz with errors of roughly 3 degrees.

Recent Funded Projects

[2016-2017] Improved Systems for Real-World Pervasive Human Sensing (with Deepak Ganesan, PI. DCS Cor. prime to ARL.).

[2014-2018] Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data to Knowledge (with Santosh Kumar, U. Memphis, PI). See center website.

[2014-2019]. NSF CAREER: Machine Learning for Complex Health Data Analytics.

[2013-2016] Accurate and Computationally Efficient Predictors of Java Memory Resource Consumption (with Eliot Moss, PI).

[2012-2015]  SensEye: An Architecture for Ubiquitous, Real-Time Visual Context Sensing and Inference (with Deepak Ganesan, PI).

[2012-2015]  Patient Experience Recommender System for Persuasive Communication Tailoring (with Tom Houston, UMMS, PI).

[2012-2014] Foresight and Understanding from Scientific Exposition (With Andrew McCallum, PI and Raytheon BBN Technologies)