Homepage of Csaba Szepesvári

Department of Computing Science
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2E8
Office: 311 Athabasca Hall
Email: szepesva AT cs DOT ualberta DOT ca
Phone: (780) 492-8581
Fax: (780) 492-6393
Book cover for my book 'Algorithms for Reinforcement Learning' [en/hu dict]
[CMPUT 412]
[math genealogy]

Who am I?

Faculty at the Department of Computing Science, one of the 10 PIs at AICML, member of RLAI.
On leave from SZTAKI.

However, more importantly, I am the head of a fun family. If I am the head, Beáta is the neck. Our kids are Dávid, Réka, Eszter and Csongor.
If nothing but they make sure that my brain is kept immersed in a "persistently exciting" environment!

Csaba's family


  • I gave a talk titled Towards robust reinforcement learning algorithms at the European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning. The talk investigates how we can relax assumptions that we usually make in reinforcement learning while still arriving at meaningful results. The pdf slides are here.
  • Talk on the full characterization of the complexity of stochastic partial monitoring (slides) at the Workshop on On-line Trading of Exploration and Exploitation 2 , July 2, 2011 (50 mins) at ICML, video!
  • Future plans for the summer: Visiting COLT in Budapest in July, Mini-Workshop on "Mathematics of Machine Learning" at Oberwolfach August 21-27. In addition, we have a student-run course on Monte-Carlo and Simulation, tea-time talks twice a week, LLL talks at noon on Wednesdays.
  • (13/09/2010) Talk at the workshop on Stochastic Approximation about off-policy learning (slides).
  • (01/08/2010) Gabor has won the best student paper award at ALT with this paper on partial monitoring. I am very proud of you Gabor (and David)!!
  • Tea-time talk (29/07/2010): Policy iteration is strongly polynomial. The slides are here.
  • Book! (10/07/2010) Algorithms for Reinforcement Learning. The draft of the book is here. The book is intended for researchers and students who want to learn about the state of the art in RL. The focus is on the algorithms (basic and advanced), what we know about them and what we don't but would be good to know. And I tried to keep it short (~100 pages). As usual, I am interested in your for feedback:)
  • Rich and I gave a tutorial at AAAI (10/07/2010). The tutorial webpage is here. The tutorial was based on my just published book. The slides are on the webpage. They should give you a good idea about what is in the book (but they go beyond the book).

Toward the understanding of partial-monitoring games

A video made by my daughters, Eszter and Reka (then in grade 9 and 10) about the final project of my 2009 CMPUT 412 class. The video was submitted to the IJCAI-09 where it won the "community appreciation award". Well done Eszter and Reka! And thanks for my students who made this possible by their excellent work in the class.

Research interests

Big picture: I am interested in machine learning. In particular, I like to think about how to make the most efficient use of data in various situations and also how this can be done algorithmically. I am particularly interested in sequential decision making problems, which, when learning is put into the picture, leads to reinforcement learning. The most frequently occuring keywords associated with my publications are theory (80), reinforcement learning (49), application (31), neural networks (24), stochastic approximation (17), function approximation (16), nonparametrics (15), control (15), online learning (13), adaptive control (10), performance bounds (10), vision (10), Monte-Carlo methods (8), particle filtering (8) . There is a fair amount of noise in the numbers here. And the chronology is also somewhat important. For example, I focused on neural networks up to around 2001:)
Since my new publications page is dynamically generated, I cannot know if the contents will be properly indexed in google. For now, following some suggestions, I have copied the generated HTML into the webpage (to play safe). However, this is really cumbersome, because every time I change my bib file, I need to hand-copy the contents. This makes the page longer etc. I just hate it. Hence, I have put on a test page which lacks the generated HTML to see if google will ever index my publications on that page. A similar test was done on this page a while ago. Oh, to set up a google alert, here is a non-existent word: funtronedgy. Bad news is that Alex Smola's publications do not show up in google and he uses the same Javascript stuff than me. But let's see..