Tomas Singliar

I am a Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft Cloud AI. We create simple cloud-installable systems that put an AI/ML core into business processes like pricing and forecasting.

My recently active expertise is in econometric applications of big data, an intersection of causality (mostly of the Rubin sort), experiment design and analysis, predictive models and (lots of) data pipeline and warehouse engineering. My recent technology preferences necessarily emphasize Cortana Intelligence, the Azure data stack covering everything from data storage to predictive model deployment and operation.

Over time I have also worked in:

  • Machine Learning, especially graphical probability models
  • Action understanding through IRL
  • Data collection and mining, sensor data analytics at 100TB scales
  • Data visualization software
  • General software engineering process and staffing

If machine learning is your thing, you should check out the new Azure ML Workbench. It is more (Python) code based than the still-cool Azure ML Studio. The ML Studio was revolutionary in its ease of use, but the Workbench runs much more demanding workloads with docker and Spark back-ends.

Contact information

  • (+1) 425 722 8627 (business, email me for cell)
  • work: Tomas.Singliar@(my company).com
  • personal: last name at google's public mail service

My Research and Development at Microsoft

Non-experimental near-causal price analytics

Based on exprience from customer engagements, we built a pre-configured solution for pricing analytics. The interesting thing about is the advanced "double-ML" estimation technique that allows it to get decent price elasticity estimates without running explicit experiments. We use hierarchical regularization to provide elasticity estimates at fine grain for data-poor items. Finally, business constraints generate interesting optimization problems in pricing.

OR-like problems

Predictive models around business operations, such as forecasting, on-time delivery, inventory business intelligence. Integration with MS Dynamics data.

Machine learning SME

Subject Matter Experts help other within the company with modeling, machine learning technologies. We give talks and tutorials and organize the ML research community within Microsoft around the MS Journal of Applied Research and the ML and Data Science conference.

My Research and Development at Amazon

Causality from non-experimental data (proprietary)

My research is mostly proprietary. In general terms, I estimate the causal effect of making improvements to the catalog data to the key perfomance metrics such as page views and purchases. This is extraordinarily complex because of the number of subsystems that each affect customer experience, and feed off the catalog data. It is not classical A/B testing for reasons of scalability, we have to make do with observational data. That has all sorts of statistical validity issues that we need to mitigate. We built and maintain a system using a large scale data pipeline feeding an econometric model that does the estimation.

Statistical consulting

Design and analyze experiments to answer business questions, define sampling protocols to deal with wild data exhibiting power-laws distributions, ...

My Research and Development at Boeing

Before Amazon, I was an Advanced Technologist (research scientist in disguise) at Boeing Research and Technology in Bellevue, WA. These are the things I've done there. Due to proprietary nature of the projects, the descriptions are deliberately vague - sorry.

Large-scale sensor data analytics (proprietary)

How does one build self-service predictive data analytics for engineers who are not experts in computing, but rather the system where the data originates?

The XDATA project

Program website.

Building a highly-scalable Bayesian network library based on SMILE with University of Pittsburgh's DSL folks.

Understanding Purposeful Behavior

Using methods of inverse reinforcement learning, computers actively learn from humas to really understand observed behavior (defined as: ascertain and interpret the incentives and beliefs that explain the behavior as rational) of large numbers of agents, creating a ISR data exploitation capability to concentrate analaysts' attention on unusual and suspicious behavior instances, alert and generate explanations of the observations.

Publications:

DARPA Bootstrapped Learning (Phases 2 and 3)

The BL program attempts to implement the "Bootstrap Learning Dream", which is to dispense with the need for programming. Instead, the agent (such as a UAV) is taught how to perform the required tasks by somebody who understands the problem, instead of understanding programming.

Agent Executive based on Partial-Order Planning (proprietary)

Wrote a simple executive for an autonomous agent that uses the "repairability" of partial order plans to react in an environment where actions are nearly deterministic (so you can ignore uncertainty in planning), but robust recovery from action or resource failure is essential.

Automatic Derivation of Decision Policies (proprietary)

How to do reinforcement learning when rewards are large but rare. Automating reward shaping.

Computer Vision & Machine Learning applied to Satellite Imagery (proprietary)