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Andrew Jesson

PhD, started 2019

Andrew is a DPhil student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. He works in the Applied and Theoretical Machine Learning Group (OATML) under the supervision of Yarin Gal. Prior to joining the group, he was a program manager and researcher at Imagia in Montreal. He obtained his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University, working in the Probabilistic Vision Group (PVG) under the supervision of Tal Arbel. His research focuses on personalized decision making under uncertainty in causal-effect estimates. Specifically, he is interested in quantifying, integegrating, and reducing uncertainty arising from the relaxation of causal assumptions.


Publications while at OATMLNews items mentioning Andrew JessonReproducibility and CodeBlog Posts

Publications while at OATML:

Interventions, Where and How? Experimental Design for Causal Models at Scale

Causal discovery from observational and interventional data is challenging due to limited data and non-identifiability: factors that introduce uncertainty in estimating the underlying structural causal model (SCM). Selecting experiments (interventions) based on the uncertainty arising from both factors can expedite the identification of the SCM. Existing methods in experimental design for causal discovery from limited data either rely on linear assumptions for the SCM or select only the intervention target. This work incorporates recent advances in Bayesian causal discovery into the Bayesian optimal experimental design framework, allowing for active causal discovery of large, nonlinear SCMs while selecting both the interventional target and the value. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed method on synthetic graphs (Erdos-Rènyi, Scale Free) for both linear and nonlinear SCMs as well as on the in-silico single-cell gene regulatory network dataset, DREAM.


Panagiotis Tigas, Yashas Annadani, Andrew Jesson, Bernhard Schölkopf, Yarin Gal, Stefan Bauer
NeurIPS, 2022
Adaptive Experimental Design and Active Learning in the Real World, ICML 2022
[arXiv] [BibTex]

GeneDisco: A Benchmark for Experimental Design in Drug Discovery

In vitro cellular experimentation with genetic interventions, using for example CRISPR technologies, is an essential step in early-stage drug discovery and target validation that serves to assess initial hypotheses about causal associations between biological mechanisms and disease pathologies. With billions of potential hypotheses to test, the experimental design space for in vitro genetic experiments is extremely vast, and the available experimental capacity - even at the largest research institutions in the world - pales in relation to the size of this biological hypothesis space. Machine learning methods, such as active and reinforcement learning, could aid in optimally exploring the vast biological space by integrating prior knowledge from various information sources as well as extrapolating to yet unexplored areas of the experimental design space based on available data. However, there exist no standardised benchmarks and data sets for this challenging task and little researc... [full abstract]


Arash Mehrjou, Ashkan Soleymani, Andrew Jesson, Pascal Notin, Yarin Gal, Stefan Bauer, Patrick Schwab
International Conference on Learning Representations, 2022
[Preprint] [BibTex] [Code]

Using Non-Linear Causal Models to Study Aerosol-Cloud Interactions in the Southeast Pacific

Aerosol-cloud interactions include a myriad of effects that all begin when aerosol enters a cloud and acts as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). An increase in CCN results in a decrease in the mean cloud droplet size (r$_{e}$). The smaller droplet size leads to brighter, more expansive, and longer lasting clouds that reflect more incoming sunlight, thus cooling the earth. Globally, aerosol-cloud interactions cool the Earth, however the strength of the effect is heterogeneous over different meteorological regimes. Understanding how aerosol-cloud interactions evolve as a function of the local environment can help us better understand sources of error in our Earth system models, which currently fail to reproduce the observed relationships. In this work we use recent non-linear, causal machine learning methods to study the heterogeneous effects of aerosols on cloud droplet radius.


Andrew Jesson, Peter Manshausen, Alyson Douglas, Duncan Watson-Parris, Yarin Gal, Philip Stier
Workshops on Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning, and Causal Inference & Machine Learning: Why now?, NeurIPS 2021

Causal-BALD: Deep Bayesian Active Learning of Outcomes to Infer Treatment-Effects

Estimating personalized treatment effects from high-dimensional observational data is essential in situations where experimental designs are infeasible, unethical or expensive. Existing approaches rely on fitting deep models on outcomes observed for treated and control populations, but when measuring the outcome for an individual is costly (e.g. biopsy) a sample efficient strategy for acquiring outcomes is required. Deep Bayesian active learning provides a framework for efficient data acquisition by selecting points with high uncertainty. However, naive application of existing methods selects training data that is biased toward regions where the treatment effect cannot be identified because there is non-overlapping support between the treated and control populations. To maximize sample efficiency for learning personalized treatment effects, we introduce new acquisition functions grounded in information theory that bias data acquisition towards regions where overlap is satisfied, by... [full abstract]


Andrew Jesson, Panagiotis Tigas, Joost van Amersfoort, Andreas Kirsch, Uri Shalit, Yarin Gal
NeurIPS, 2021

Quantifying Ignorance in Individual-Level Causal-Effect Estimates under Hidden Confounding

We study the problem of learning conditional average treatment effects (CATE) from high-dimensional, observational data with unobserved confounders. Unobserved confounders introduce ignorance -- a level of unidentifiability -- about an individual's response to treatment by inducing bias in CATE estimates. We present a new parametric interval estimator suited for high-dimensional data, that estimates a range of possible CATE values when given a predefined bound on the level of hidden confounding. Further, previous interval estimators do not account for ignorance about the CATE stemming from samples that may be underrepresented in the original study, or samples that violate the overlap assumption. Our novel interval estimator also incorporates model uncertainty so that practitioners can be made aware of out-of-distribution data. We prove that our estimator converges to tight bounds on CATE when there may be unobserved confounding, and assess it using semi-synthetic, high-dimensional ... [full abstract]


Andrew Jesson, Sören Mindermann, Yarin Gal, Uri Shalit
ICML, 2021
[arXiv]

Identifying Causal Effect Inference Failure with Uncertainty-Aware Models

Recommending the best course of action for an individual is a major application of individual-level causal effect estimation. This application is often needed in safety-critical domains such as healthcare, where estimating and communicating uncertainty to decision-makers is crucial. We introduce a practical approach for integrating uncertainty estimation into a class of state-of-the-art neural network methods used for individual-level causal estimates. We show that our methods enable us to deal gracefully with situations of "no-overlap", common in high-dimensional data, where standard applications of causal effect approaches fail. Further, our methods allow us to handle covariate shift, where test distribution differs to train distribution, common when systems are deployed in practice. We show that when such a covariate shift occurs, correctly modeling uncertainty can keep us from giving overconfident and potentially harmful recommendations. We demonstrate our methodology with a ra... [full abstract]


Andrew Jesson, Sören Mindermann, Uri Shalit, Yarin Gal
NeurIPS, 2020
[arXiv] [BibTex]
More publications on Google Scholar.

News items mentioning Andrew Jesson:

OATML to co-organize the Machine Learning for Drug Discovery (MLDD) workshop at ICLR 2022

OATML to co-organize the Machine Learning for Drug Discovery (MLDD) workshop at ICLR 2022

15 Jan 2022

OATML students Pascal Notin, Andrew Jesson, Clare Lyle and Professor Yarin Gal are co-organizing the first Machine Learning for Drug Discovery (MLDD) workshop at ICLR 2022 jointly with collaborators at GSK, Harvard, MILA, MIT and others.

Link to this news item
NeurIPS 2021

NeurIPS 2021

11 Oct 2021

Thirteen papers with OATML members accepted to NeurIPS 2021 main conference. More information in our blog post.

Link to this news item
ICML 2021

ICML 2021

17 Jul 2021

Seven papers with OATML members accepted to ICML 2021, together with 14 workshop papers. More information in our blog post.

Link to this news item


Blog Posts

OATML at ICML 2022

OATML group members and collaborators are proud to present 11 papers at the ICML 2022 main conference and workshops. Group members are also co-organizing the Workshop on Computational Biology, and the Oxford Wom*n Social. …

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Sören Mindermann, Jan Brauner, Muhammed Razzak, Andreas Kirsch, Aidan Gomez, Sebastian Farquhar, Pascal Notin, Tim G. J. Rudner, Freddie Bickford Smith, Neil Band, Panagiotis Tigas, Andrew Jesson, Lars Holdijk, Joost van Amersfoort, Kelsey Doerksen, Jannik Kossen, Yarin Gal, 17 Jul 2022

OATML at ICLR 2022

OATML group members and collaborators are proud to present 4 papers at ICLR 2022 main conference. …

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Yarin Gal, Tuan Nguyen, Andrew Jesson, Pascal Notin, Atılım Güneş Baydin, Clare Lyle, Milad Alizadeh, Joost van Amersfoort, Sebastian Farquhar, Muhammed Razzak, Freddie Kalaitzis, 01 Feb 2022

13 OATML Conference papers at NeurIPS 2021

OATML group members and collaborators are proud to present 13 papers at NeurIPS 2021 main conference. …

Full post...


Jannik Kossen, Neil Band, Aidan Gomez, Clare Lyle, Tim G. J. Rudner, Yarin Gal, Binxin (Robin) Ru, Clare Lyle, Lisa Schut, Atılım Güneş Baydin, Tim G. J. Rudner, Andrew Jesson, Panagiotis Tigas, Joost van Amersfoort, Andreas Kirsch, Pascal Notin, Angelos Filos, 11 Oct 2021

21 OATML Conference and Workshop papers at ICML 2021

OATML group members and collaborators are proud to present 21 papers at ICML 2021, including 7 papers at the main conference and 14 papers at various workshops. Group members will also be giving invited talks and participate in panel discussions at the workshops. …

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Angelos Filos, Clare Lyle, Jannik Kossen, Sebastian Farquhar, Tom Rainforth, Andrew Jesson, Sören Mindermann, Tim G. J. Rudner, Oscar Key, Binxin (Robin) Ru, Pascal Notin, Panagiotis Tigas, Andreas Kirsch, Jishnu Mukhoti, Joost van Amersfoort, Lisa Schut, Muhammed Razzak, Aidan Gomez, Jan Brauner, Yarin Gal, 17 Jul 2021

When causal inference fails - detecting violated assumptions with uncertainty-aware models

NeurIPS 2020. Tl;dr: Uncertainty-aware deep models can identify when some causal-effect inference assumptions are violated.

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Andrew Jesson, Sören Mindermann, Uri Shalit, Yarin Gal, 08 Dec 2020

22 OATML Conference and Workshop papers at NeurIPS 2020

OATML group members and collaborators are proud to be presenting 22 papers at NeurIPS 2020. Group members are also co-organising various events around NeurIPS, including workshops, the NeurIPS Meet-Up on Bayesian Deep Learning and socials. …

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Muhammed Razzak, Panagiotis Tigas, Angelos Filos, Atılım Güneş Baydin, Andrew Jesson, Andreas Kirsch, Clare Lyle, Freddie Kalaitzis, Jan Brauner, Jishnu Mukhoti, Lewis Smith, Lisa Schut, Mizu Nishikawa-Toomey, Oscar Key, Binxin (Robin) Ru, Sebastian Farquhar, Sören Mindermann, Tim G. J. Rudner, Yarin Gal, 04 Dec 2020

Are you looking to do a PhD in machine learning? Did you do a PhD in another field and want to do a postdoc in machine learning? Would you like to visit the group?

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