The inspiration for the material contained in this book comes from my experiences developing Oracle software and working with fellow Oracle developers, helping them build reliable and robust applications based on the Oracle database. The book is basically a reflection of what I do everyday and of the issues I see people encountering each and every day.
We present a framework for efficient inference in structured image models that explicitly reason about objects. We achieve this by performing probabilistic inference using a recurrent neural network that attends to scene elements and processes them one at a time. Crucially, the model itself learns to choose the appropriate number of inference steps. We use this scheme to learn to perform inference in partially specified 2D models (variable-sized variational auto-encoders) and fully specified 3D models (probabilistic renderers). We show that such models learn to identify multiple objects – counting, locating and classifying the elements of a scene –without any supervision, e.g., decomposing 3D images with various numbers of objects in a single forward pass of a neural network at unprecedented speed. We further show that the networks produce accurate inferences when compared to supervised counterparts, and that their structure leads to improved generalization.
More and more organizations are relying on online and electronic means to grow their business, improve efficiencies, and cut costs. This increased reliance on Internet and networked technologies to meet business goals is forcing organizations to deliver ‘always on’ availability to maximize revenues and satisfy customer expectations. Downtime for such applications can mean an immediate loss in revenues. For example,
To say that the technology field, and database management in particular, has changed significantly in the nine years since the second edition of this book was published would be an understatement, to be sure. Small, handheld devices containing storage capacity and processing power that once would have required several room-sized mainframe computers are now so ubiquitous that many people take them for granted, especially the more recent generations. (My young nephew would likely never understand the excitement I experienced when I purchased my first 40MB storage expansion card for my IBM PC. But that’s another story.) Database management systems can now handle terabytes of data, and there’s recently been a considerable amount of emphasis on storing, managing, and accessing data “in the cloud.”