CS 168: The Modern Algorithmic Toolbox
- 5/24: Here is mini-project 9, with
and installation instructions.
- 5/17: Mini-project 8 is out.
It is due Tuesday, May 24th.
- 5/11: The final exam will be Friday, June 3rd, 12:15-3:15 PM, in room
- 5/10: Mini-project 7 is out.
It is due Tuesday, May 17th. Here is the data
file of national parks for Part 2.
- 5/5: Mini-project 6 is out.
It is due Tuesday, May 10th. Here is the data
file for Part 2.
- 4/26: Mini-project #5 is available. It is due Tuesday, May 3rd. The datasets are here: county_results.csv and county_facts_dictionary.csv.
- 4/19: Here is mini-project #4
and here is the dataset.
- 4/12: Mini-project #3 is available. QWOP scripts are available for MATLAB here and Python here. It is due Tuesday, April 19th.
- 4/5: Mini-project #2 is available.
It is due Tuesday, April 12th. The dataset is available here.
- Here is some starter code for drawing
heatmaps in Python (and/or check Stack Overflow).
- 4/4: Here
is a review (courtesy of EE263) of the most basic aspects of vectors and matrices (e.g., how
to multiply them). Most relevant for CS168 are pages 1--9 (up to "Block
matrices and submatrices") and the "Linear functions" and "Linear
equations" sections on pages 10--11.
- 3/28: Mini-project #1 is available.
It is due Tuesday, April 5th.
- Here is some starter code for drawing
histograms in Python (and/or check Stack Overflow).
- 3/28: Welcome to CS168!
Roughgarden (Office hours: Mon 4:45 - 5:45pm, Gates 474. Email: first name at cs.stanford.edu).
Gregory Valiant (Office hours: Thurs 3-4pm, Gates 470. Email: last name at stanford.edu).
(Office hours: Fri 10:00am - 12:00pm. Lathrop Tech Lounge,
Email: sethhjs at stanford.edu).
(Office hours: Mon 3:00pm - 5:00pm. Gates 400,
Email: first initial last name at stanford.edu).
(Office hours: Mon 11:00am - 1:00pm Huang Basement,
Email: first name last name at stanford.edu).
Time/location: 1:30 - 2:50pm Mon/Wed in 370-370.
Piazza site: Here.
Prerequisites: CS107 and CS161, or permission from the instructor.
This course will provide a rigorous and hands-on
introduction to the central ideas and algorithms that constitute the
core of the modern algorithms toolkit. Emphasis will be on
understanding the high-level theoretical intuitions and principles
underlying the algorithms we discuss, as well as developing a concrete
understanding of when and how to implement and apply the algorithms.
The course will be structured as a sequence of one-week
investigations; each week will introduce one algorithmic idea, and
discuss the motivation, theoretical underpinning, and practical
applications of that algorithmic idea. Each topic will be accompanied
by a mini-project in which students will be guided through a practical
application of the ideas of the week. Topics include modern techniques
in hashing, dimension reduction, linear and convex programming,
gradient descent and regression, sampling and estimation, compressive
sensing, and linear-algebraic techniques (principal components
analysis, singular value decomposition, spectral techniques).
Week 1: Modern Hashing
- Lecture 1 (Mon 3/28): Course introduction. Consistent hashing.
- Lecture 2 (Wed 3/30):
Property-preserving lossy compression.
From majority elements to approximate heavy hitters.
From bloom filters to the count-min sketch.
Week 2: LSH and Nearest Neighbor
- Lecture 3 (Mon 4/4):
Similarity metrics: Jaccard, Euclidean, L1.
Efficient algorithm for finding similar elements in small/medium (ie. <20) dimensions: k-d-trees.
- Lecture 4 (Wed 4/6):
Curse of Dimensionality, kissing number.
Estimating Jaccard similarity using MinHash.
JL dimensionality reduction.
- A nice survey of "kissing number", and some other strange phenomena from high dimensional spaces:
Kissing Numbers, Sphere Packings, and some Unexpected Proofs (from 2000).
- Origins of MinHash at Alta Vista:
and Filtering Near-Duplicate
Documents (from 2000).
- Ailon/Chazelle, Faster
Dimension Reduction, CACM '10.
Hashing Algorithms for Approximate Nearest Neighbor in High
Dimensions, CACM '08.
- For much more on LSH, see this chapter of
the CS246 textbook (by Leskovec, Rajaraman, and Ullman).
Week 3: Gradient Descent and Regression
- Lecture 5 (Mon 4/11):
The intuition and geometry of gradient descent.
Application to linear regression.
- Lecture 6 (Wed 4/13): Stochastic gradient descent and
Week 4: Linear-Algebraic Techniques:
Understanding Principal Components Analysis
- Lecture 7 (Mon 4/18):
Understanding Principal Component Analysis (PCA).
Minimizing squared distances equals maximizing variance.
Use cases for data visualization and data compression.
Failure modes for PCA.
- A nice exposition by 23andMe of the fact that the top 2 principal components of genetic SNP data of Europeans essentially recovers the geography of europe: nice exposition w. figures. Original Nature paper: Genes mirror geography in Europe, Nature, Aug. 2008.
(see also this blog post)
- There's tons of PCA tutorials floating around the Web (some good, some
not so good), which you are also permitted to refer to.
- Lecture 8 (Wed 4/20):
How PCA works. Maximizing variance as finding the
"direction of maximum stretch" of the covariance matrix.
The simple geometry of "diagonals in disguise".
The power iteration algorithm.
Week 5: Linear-Algebraic Techniques: Understanding the Singular Value Decomposition
- Lecture 9 (Mon 4/25):
Low-rank matrix approximations. The singular value decomposition (SVD).
Recovering missing entries from a matrix.
- Lecture 10 (Wed 4/27):
Tensor methods. The uniqueness of low-rank tensor factorizations, and Jenrich's algorithm.
- A recent blog post discussing Spearman's original experiment and the motivation for tensor methods: here.
- See chapter 3 of Ankur Moitra's course notes here for a more technical in depth discussion of tensor methods, and Jenrich's algorithm.
Week 6: Spectral Graph Theory
- Lecture 11 (Mon 5/2):
Graphs as matrices and the Laplacian of a graph. Interpretations of the largest and smallest eigenvectors/eigenvalues of the Laplacian. Spectral embeddings, and an overview of applications (e.g. graph coloring, spectral clustering.)
- Dan Spielman's excellent lecture notes for his semester-long course on Spectral Graph Theory. The notes include a number of helpful plots.
- Amin Saberi offered a grad course last year quarter that is covering some of the research frontier of Spectral Graph Theory.
Week 7: Sampling and Estimation
- Lecture 13 (Mon 5/9):
Reservoir sampling (how to select a random sample from a datastream). Basic probability tools: Markov's inequality and Chebyshev's inequality. Importance Sampling (how to make inferences about one distribution based on samples from a different distribution). Description of the Good-Turing estimate of the missing/unseen mass.
- A nice description of the probabilistic tools/approach that go into Nate Silver's political forecasting model: here.
- Lecture 14 (Wed 5/11):
Markov Chains, stationary distributions. Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC)
as approaches to solving hard problems by sampling from carefully
- A basic description of MCMC, here.
- Lecture notes from Persi Diaconis on MCMC, including a description of the MCMC approach to decoding substitution-ciphers,
- Example of MCMC used for fitting extremely complex biological models:
The human splicing code... Science, Jan. 2015.
- For those interested in computer Go: here is the Jan, 2016 Nature paper from Google's DeepMind group.
Week 8: The Fourier Perspective
- Lecture 15 (Mon 5/16):
Fourier methods, part 1.
- A very basic intro to Fourier transformations with some nice visualizations: here.
- A book version of a Stanford course on the Fourier Transform, which has many extremely nice applications: pdf here.
- Lecture 16 (Wed 5/18):
Fourier methods, part 2 (emphasis on convolutions).
- Lecture notes combined with Lecture 15 (rough, to be updated shortly)
Week 9: Mathematical Programming and Sparse Vector/Matrix Recovery
- Lecture 17 (Mon 5/23):
- Lecture 18 (Wed 5/25):
Linear and convex programming. Matrix completion.
Week 10: Bonus Lecture
- No lecture on Mon 5/30 (Memorial Day)
- Lecture 19 (Wed 6/1):
Expander codes. (optional lecture)
Optional supplementary material:
- Assignments (75%): There will be 9 weekly mini-projects centered around the topics covered that week. Each mini-project contains both written and programming parts. The projects can be done individually or in pairs. If you work in a pair, only one member should submit all of the relevant files.
For the written part, you are encouraged to use LaTeX to typeset your homeworks;
we've provided a template for your
convenience. We will be using the GradeScope online submission system. You should have received an email saying that you've been enrolled in CS168 on Gradescope. If not, create an account on Gradescope using your Stanford ID and join CS168 using entry code MWNP89.
For the programming part, you are encouraged to use matlab (tutorial), Numpy and Pyplot in Python (Python tutorial, Numpy tutorial, Pyplot tutorial), or some other scientific computing tool (with plotting). Here is a comprehensive python tutorial using IPython Notebook. IPython Notebook is an interactive computational environment, especially useful for scientific computing (tutorial on how to set up). For easy reference, you can also view the notebook here.
To turn in your programming part:
- Compress all your files into a .zip file, such
- See the instructions on the mini-project for details about what files to
submit. For example, we generally want your code in addition
to your answers.
- Copy the zip file to the corn machine (don't miss the colon in the end):
scp <zip file> <your SUNetID>@corn.stanford.edu:
- Log onto the corn machine:
ssh <your SUNetID>corn.stanford.edu
- Run the submit script (run the script without any argument to see its usage):
Note: your file must have the proper name (such as
/usr/class/cs168/WWW/submit.py <project ID> .
p1.zip) for the submit script to process it.
You can submit multiple times; each submission will just replace the previous one.
Assignments are released on Mondays, and are due at 11:59pm on Tuesdays the following week (both the written and the programming parts). No late assignments will be accepted, but we will drop your lowest assignment grade when calculating your final grade.
- Exam (25%):
Date: Friday, June 3rd, 12:15 - 3:15 pm. Location: room 320-105.
Except where otherwise noted, you may refer to your course notes, the
textbooks and research papers listed on the course Web
page only. You cannot refer to textbooks, handouts, or research
papers that are not listed on the course home page. If you do use any
approved sources, make you sure you cite them appropriately, and make
sure that all your words are your own.
You are also permitted to use general resources for whatever programming
language you choose to use.
You can discuss the problems verbally at a high level with other groups. And of course, you are encouraged to contact the course staff (via Piazza or office hours) for additional help.
Please follow the honor code.