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Latent Value Learning

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This is a cleaned and simplified version of a simulation / animation of latent variable learning used in the Recommendation Systems section of the Stitch Fix Algorithms Tour.

Each circle is assumed to have some latent value along the horizontal axis - some true value for an attribute that we cannot observe directly but that we can try to estimate based on feedback from attempted pair-matches involving one A element and one B element.

The algorithm used to find them is as follows:

The underlying simulation, then, is running this algorithm over a set of entities while also simulating the entities - each has its own latent value and the feedback it provides when paired with other entities is based on the actual differences between their latent values, with some noise added for good measure.

The svg update is straightforward - at each timestep, pairs are shown by lines between the circles, and the circles are transitioned to their new location based on their current estimated latent value.