Distilling Information from a Flood: A Possibility for the Use of Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review in Machine Learning Research

Peter Henderson
Contributed Talk Metaresearch


Talk based on paper with co-authors: Emma Brunskill. The current flood of information in all areas of machine learning research, from computer vision to reinforcement learning, has made it difficult to make aggregate scientific inferences. It can be challenging to distill a myriad of similar papers into a set of useful principles, to determine which new methodologies to use for a particular application, and to be confident that one has compared against all relevant related work when developing new ideas. However, such a rapidly growing body of research literature is a problem that other fields have already faced – in particular, medicine and epidemiology. In those fields, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been used exactly for dealing with these issues and it is not uncommon for entire journals to be dedicated to such analyses. Here, we suggest the field of machine learning might similarly benefit from meta-analysis and systematic review, and we encourage further discussion and development along this direction

Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montréal