Learning Selection Strategies in Buchberger’s Algorithm

Jul 12, 2020

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Studying the set of exact solutions of a system of polynomial equations largely depends on a single iterative algorithm, known as Buchberger’s algorithm. Optimized versions of this algorithm are crucial for many computer algebra systems (e.g., Mathematica, Maple, Sage). We introduce a new approach to Buchberger’s algorithm that uses reinforcement learning agents to perform S-pair selection, a key step in the algorithm. We then study how the difficulty of the problem depends on the choices of domain and distribution of polynomials, about which little is known. Finally, we train a policy model using proximal policy optimization (PPO) to learn S-pair selection strategies for random systems of binomial equations. In certain domains, the trained model outperforms state-of-the-art selection heuristics both in number of iterations of the algorithm and total number of polynomial additions performed. These results provide a proof-of-concept that recent developments in machine learning have the potential to improve performance of algorithms in symbolic computation.

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About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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