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marco

thanks for these comments! They do make a lot of sense. As you state it in the end of your post, you do not address the issue of short-term vs long-term research. However, as scientists involved in machine learning, I believe we are already quite biased towards experimental evidence, e.g. things that work. This, in my opinion, shouldn't be interpreted as a justification to push academic research in the field towards (re)discovering tricks and hacks that seem to work now. On the contrary, I really believe originality to be super important in Academia. What I just mean is that for people working on this topic, the gap is probably a lot smaller than say, for someone involved in "pure" maths, and that our interest for data already sets us quite close to the motivations of industries.

Patrick Haffner

I agree that to have an idea vindicated by an experiment is often an equal or stronger source of pride and satisfaction than being accepted for publication.

But, and this is the pitfall of working for a company, one who is not encouraged to publish is often just happy whese these experiments only his colleagues have heard of. He ends up not publishing these experiment, and come to regret it later, out of seing somebody else being credited for the discovery.

This is a just punishment: not publishing experiments should be a crime...

I have been guilty of this crime many times.

Shanker

Hi!

Interesting blog! :) Im studying machine learning for the first time and Im stuck in what looks like an unescapable mess..
Im doing an assignment to train a program to recognize "fashion" in a certain environment. Ive collected data and I was looking for a suitable algorithm. However, I couldnt find any because my data set has only "yes" examples and most of the approaches(decision trees, etc) need both "yes" and "no"s. Would you happen to know how I can solve this problem or suggest an approach? I realize that this comment is completely off the topic and unrelated, but Im really stuck at a loose end and Id appreciate the help :)
Thanks

christbirawan

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Ithri

Hello Olivier,

Very interesting thoughts ! I share completely your mind and I exactly ask the same questions to myself every minute of my life! Many research teams pretend actually that they are doing research, but when you join them, they just want you do more engineering than research, moreover, they want you publish with that !!
I think that there are two main reasons for that :
1- Serious research is very hard to do and is very demanding (in intellectual effort of course (often suffering), in time, in sacrificing some of your private life mainly when one idea crossed your mind and you do not want it to go like that, or to be competitive with other researchers and teams, etc.)
2- Nowadays, research is very related to money (because money for many is comfort and so it is actually !). So many research leaders care more about satisfying the terms of their research projects contracts (very often engineering solutions are sought by the funding organization(s) ...), and about publishing anything in conferences (and usually this work is done by Masters or PhD students) and offer to themselves free trips, at the expense of good quality research of course !

Though the two points are tightly linked to each other ... lol

Having said this, it is not easy to judge researchers because this suggests knowledge of all the parameters surrounding them (either research parameters or private life parameters), which is not the case of course ...

Thanks,
Ithri
PhD.

Robin

As a part-time researcher I would say research is a pain but I like it as I am passionate. All may pain goes of the moment my work is published or recognized.

Thanks for the article.

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Very nice post. One point where I disagree a bit is "publishing because you are not able to do the testing". It definitely depends on the nature of the research area, but I still feel a researcher should first do some degree of testing his idea (at least to convince him fully) before publishing it.

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