Feb 26 2018 cs.PL
It is notoriously hard to correctly implement a multiparty protocol which involves asynchronous/concurrent interactions and the constraints on states of multiple participants. To assist developers in implementing such protocols, we propose a novel specification language to specify interactions within multiple object-oriented actors and the side-effects on heap memory of those actors; a behavioral-type-based analysis is presented for type checking. Our specification language formalizes a protocol as a global type, which describes the procedure of asynchronous method calls, the usage of futures, and the heap side-effects with a first-order logic. To characterize runs of instances of types, we give a model-theoretic semantics for types and translate them into logical constraints over traces. We prove protocol adherence: If a program is well-typed w.r.t. a protocol, then every trace of the program adheres to the protocol, i.e., every trace is a model for the formula of its type.
Feb 21 2018 cs.CR
Since its inception, the blockchain technology has shown promising application prospects. From the initial cryptocurrency to the current smart contract, blockchain has been applied to many fields. Although there are some studies on the security and privacy issues of blockchain, there lacks a systematic examination on the security of blockchain systems. In this paper, we conduct a systematic study on the security threats to blockchain and survey the corresponding real attacks by examining popular blockchain systems. We also review the security enhancement solutions for blockchain, which could be used in the development of various blockchain systems, and suggest some future directions to stir research efforts into this area.
Scalable frameworks, such as TensorFlow, MXNet, Caffe, and PyTorch drive the current popularity and utility of deep learning. However, these frameworks are optimized for a narrow range of server-class GPUs and deploying workloads to other platforms such as mobile phones, embedded devices, and specialized accelerators (e.g., FPGAs, ASICs) requires laborious manual effort. We propose TVM, an end-to-end optimization stack that exposes graph-level and operator-level optimizations to provide performance portability to deep learning workloads across diverse hardware back-ends. We discuss the optimization challenges specific to deep learning that TVM solves: high-level operator fusion, low-level memory reuse across threads, mapping to arbitrary hardware primitives, and memory latency hiding. Experimental results demonstrate that TVM delivers performance across hardware back-ends that are competitive with state-of-the-art libraries for low-power CPU and server-class GPUs. We also demonstrate TVM's ability to target new hardware accelerator back-ends by targeting an FPGA-based generic deep learning accelerator. The compiler infrastructure is open sourced.
We decompose the evidence lower bound to show the existence of a term measuring the total correlation between latent variables. We use this to motivate our $\beta$-TCVAE (Total Correlation Variational Autoencoder), a refinement of the state-of-the-art $\beta$-VAE objective for learning disentangled representations, requiring no additional hyperparameters during training. We further propose a principled classifier-free measure of disentanglement called the mutual information gap (MIG). We perform extensive quantitative and qualitative experiments, in both restricted and non-restricted settings, and show a strong relation between total correlation and disentanglement, when the latent variables model is trained using our framework.
Jan 25 2018 cs.CR
Many millions of users routinely use their Google, Facebook and Microsoft accounts to log in to websites supporting OAuth 2.0 and/or OpenID Connect-based single sign on. The security of OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect is therefore of critical importance, and it has been widely examined both in theory and in practice. Unfortunately, as these studies have shown, real-world implementations of both schemes are often vulnerable to attack, and in particular to cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks. In this paper we propose a new technique which can be used to mitigate CSRF attacks against both OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect.
In order to support experimentation with full-duplex (FD) wireless, we recently integrated an open-access FD transceiver in the ORBIT testbed. In this report, we present the design and implementation of the FD transceiver and interfaces, and provide examples and guidelines for experimentation. In particular, an ORBIT node with a National Instruments (NI)/Ettus Research Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) N210 software-defined radio (SDR) was equipped with the Columbia FlexICoN Gen-1 customized RF self-interference (SI) canceller box. The RF canceller box includes an RF SI canceller that is implemented using discrete components on a printed circuit board (PCB) and achieves 40dB RF SI cancellation across 5MHz bandwidth. We provide an FD transceiver baseline program and present an example FD experiment, where 90dB overall SI cancellation is achieved across both the RF and digital domains, demonstrating the FD capability in the ORBIT testbed. We also discuss potential FD wireless experiments that can be conducted based on the implemented open-access FD transceiver and baseline program.
Jan 04 2018 cs.NI
Full-duplex (FD) wireless is an attractive communication paradigm with high potential for improving network capacity and reducing delay in wireless networks. Despite significant progress on the physical layer development, the challenges associated with developing medium access control (MAC) protocols for heterogeneous networks composed of both legacy half-duplex (HD) and emerging FD devices have not been fully addressed. Therefore, we focus on the design and performance evaluation of scheduling algorithms for infrastructure-based heterogeneous networks (composed of HD and FD users). We develop the hybrid Greedy Maximal Scheduling (H-GMS) algorithm, which is tailored to the special characteristics of such heterogeneous networks and combines both centralized GMS and decentralized Q-CSMA mechanisms. Moreover, we prove that H-GMS is throughput-optimal. We then demonstrate by simple examples the benefits of adding FD nodes to a network. Finally, we evaluate the performance of H-GMS and its variants in terms of throughput, delay, and fairness between FD and HD users via extensive simulations. We show that in heterogeneous HD-FD networks, H-GMS achieves 5-10x better delay performance and improves fairness between HD and FD users by up to 50% compared with the fully decentralized Q-CSMA algorithm.
Kernel-based methods exhibit well-documented performance in various nonlinear learning tasks. Most of them rely on a preselected kernel, whose prudent choice presumes task-specific prior information. Especially when the latter is not available, multi-kernel learning has gained popularity thanks to its flexibility in choosing kernels from a prescribed kernel dictionary. Leveraging the random feature approximation and its recent orthogonality-promoting variant, the present contribution develops a scalable multi-kernel learning scheme (termed Raker) to obtain the sought nonlinear learning function `on the fly,' first for static environments. To further boost performance in dynamic environments, an adaptive multi-kernel learning scheme (termed AdaRaker) is developed using weighted combinations of advices from hierarchical ensembles of experts. The weights account not only for each kernel's contribution to the learning, but also for the unknown dynamics. Performance is analyzed in terms of both static and dynamic regrets. AdaRaker is uniquely capable of tracking nonlinear learning functions in environments with unknown dynamics, with analytic performance guarantees. Tests with synthetic and real datasets are carried out to showcase the effectiveness of the novel algorithms, and their performance.
Dec 21 2017 cs.CV
Recognizing multiple labels of images is a fundamental but challenging task in computer vision, and remarkable progress has been attained by localizing semantic-aware image regions and predicting their labels with deep convolutional neural networks. The step of hypothesis regions (region proposals) localization in these existing multi-label image recognition pipelines, however, usually takes redundant computation cost, e.g., generating hundreds of meaningless proposals with non-discriminative information and extracting their features, and the spatial contextual dependency modeling among the localized regions are often ignored or over-simplified. To resolve these issues, this paper proposes a recurrent attention reinforcement learning framework to iteratively discover a sequence of attentional and informative regions that are related to different semantic objects and further predict label scores conditioned on these regions. Besides, our method explicitly models long-term dependencies among these attentional regions that help to capture semantic label co-occurrence and thus facilitate multi-label recognition. Extensive experiments and comparisons on two large-scale benchmarks (i.e., PASCAL VOC and MS-COCO) show that our model achieves superior performance over existing state-of-the-art methods in both performance and efficiency as well as explicitly identifying image-level semantic labels to specific object regions.
Dec 21 2017 cs.CV
Accelerating deep neural networks (DNNs) has been attracting increasing attention as it can benefit a wide range of applications, e.g., enabling mobile systems with limited computing resources to own powerful visual recognition ability. A practical strategy to this goal usually relies on a two-stage process: operating on the trained DNNs (e.g., approximating the convolutional filters with tensor decomposition) and fine-tuning the amended network, leading to difficulty in balancing the trade-off between acceleration and maintaining recognition performance. In this work, aiming at a general and comprehensive way for neural network acceleration, we develop a Wavelet-like Auto-Encoder (WAE) that decomposes the original input image into two low-resolution channels (sub-images) and incorporate the WAE into the classification neural networks for joint training. The two decomposed channels, in particular, are encoded to carry the low-frequency information (e.g., image profiles) and high-frequency (e.g., image details or noises), respectively, and enable reconstructing the original input image through the decoding process. Then, we feed the low-frequency channel into a standard classification network such as VGG or ResNet and employ a very lightweight network to fuse with the high-frequency channel to obtain the classification result. Compared to existing DNN acceleration solutions, our framework has the following advantages: i) it is tolerant to any existing convolutional neural networks for classification without amending their structures; ii) the WAE provides an interpretable way to preserve the main components of the input image for classification.
Dec 20 2017 cs.LO
We present a method for synthesizing compositions of mixins using type inhabitation in intersection types. First, recursively defined classes and mixins, which are functions over classes, are expressed as terms in a lambda calculus with records. Intersection types with records and record-merge are used to assign meaningful types to these terms without resorting to recursive types. Second, typed terms are translated to a repository of typed combinators. We show a relation between record types with record-merge and intersection types with constructors. This relation is used to prove soundness and partial completeness of the translation with respect to mixin composition synthesis. Furthermore, we demonstrate how a translated repository and goal type can be used as input to an existing framework for composition synthesis in bounded combinatory logic via type inhabitation. The computed result is a class typed by the goal type and generated by a mixin composition applied to an existing class.
Dec 19 2017 cs.CR
The gas mechanism in Ethereum charges the execution of every operation to ensure that smart contracts running in EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) will be eventually terminated. Failing to properly set the gas costs of EVM operations allows attackers to launch DoS attacks on Ethereum. Although Ethereum recently adjusted the gas costs of EVM operations to defend against known DoS attacks, it remains unknown whether the new setting is proper and how to configure it to defend against unknown DoS attacks. In this paper, we make the first step to address this challenging issue by first proposing an emulation-based framework to automatically measure the resource consumptions of EVM operations. The results reveal that Ethereum's new setting is still not proper. Moreover, we obtain an insight that there may always exist exploitable under-priced operations if the cost is fixed. Hence, we propose a novel gas cost mechanism, which dynamically adjusts the costs of EVM operations according to the number of executions, to thwart DoS attacks. This method punishes the operations that are executed much more frequently than before and lead to high gas costs. To make our solution flexible and secure and avoid frequent update of Ethereum client, we design a special smart contract that collaborates with the updated EVM for dynamic parameter adjustment. Experimental results demonstrate that our method can effectively thwart both known and unknown DoS attacks with flexible parameter settings. Moreover, our method only introduces negligible additional gas consumption for benign users.
Nov 29 2017 cs.PL
OpenMP is a shared memory programming model which supports the offloading of target regions to accelerators such as NVIDIA GPUs. The implementation in Clang/LLVM aims to deliver a generic GPU compilation toolchain that supports both the native CUDA C/C++ and the OpenMP device offloading models. There are situations where the semantics of OpenMP and those of CUDA diverge. One such example is the policy for implicitly handling local variables. In CUDA, local variables are implicitly mapped to thread local memory and thus become private to a CUDA thread. In OpenMP, due to semantics that allow the nesting of regions executed by different numbers of threads, variables need to be implicitly \emphshared among the threads of a contention group. In this paper we introduce a re-design of the OpenMP device data sharing infrastructure that is responsible for the implicit sharing of local variables in the Clang/LLVM toolchain. We introduce a new data sharing infrastructure that lowers implicitly shared variables to the shared memory of the GPU. We measure the amount of shared memory used by our scheme in cases that involve scalar variables and statically allocated arrays. The evaluation is carried out by offloading to K40 and P100 NVIDIA GPUs. For scalar variables the pressure on shared memory is relatively low, under 26\% of shared memory utilization for the K40, and does not negatively impact occupancy. The limiting occupancy factor in that case is register pressure. The data sharing scheme offers the users a simple memory model for controlling the implicit allocation of device shared memory.
Nov 10 2017 cs.LO
Recently, it was shown that any theory of strings containing the string-replace function (even the most restricted version where pattern/replacement strings are both constant strings) becomes undecidable if we do not impose some kind of straight-line (aka acyclicity) restriction on the formulas. Despite this, the straight-line restriction is still practically sensible since this condition is typically met by string constraints that are generated by symbolic execution. In this paper, we provide the first systematic study of straight-line string constraints with the string-replace function and the regular constraints as the basic operations. We show that a large class of such constraints (i.e. when only a constant string or a regular expression is permitted in the pattern) is decidable. We note that the string-replace function, even under this restriction, is sufficiently powerful for expressing the concatenation operator and much more (e.g. extensions of regular expressions with string variables). This gives us the most expressive decidable logic containing concatenation, replace, and regular constraints under the same umbrella. Our decision procedure for the straight-line fragment follows an automata-theoretic approach, and is modular in the sense that the string-replace terms are removed one by one to generate more and more regular constraints, which can then be discharged by the state-of-the-art string constraint solvers. We also show that this fragment is, in a way, a maximal decidable subclass of the straight-line fragment with string-replace and regular constraints. To this end, we show undecidability results for the following two extensions: (1) variables are permitted in the pattern parameter of the replace function, (2) length constraints are permitted.
Embedding methods such as word embedding have become pillars for many applications containing discrete structures. Conventional embedding methods directly associate each symbol with a continuous embedding vector, which is equivalent to applying linear transformation based on "one-hot" encoding of the discrete symbols. Despite its simplicity, such approach yields number of parameters that grows linearly with the vocabulary size and can lead to overfitting. In this work we propose a much more compact K-way D-dimensional discrete encoding scheme to replace the "one-hot" encoding. In "KD encoding", each symbol is represented by a $D$-dimensional code, and each of its dimension has a cardinality of $K$. The final symbol embedding vector can be generated by composing the code embedding vectors. To learn the semantically meaningful code, we derive a relaxed discrete optimization technique based on stochastic gradient descent. By adopting the new coding system, the efficiency of parameterization can be significantly improved (from linear to logarithmic), and this can also mitigate the over-fitting problem. In our experiments with language modeling, the number of embedding parameters can be reduced by 97\% while achieving similar or better performance.
Nov 09 2017 cs.CV
This paper proposes a novel deep architecture to address multi-label image recognition, a fundamental and practical task towards general visual understanding. Current solutions for this task usually rely on an extra step of extracting hypothesis regions (i.e., region proposals), resulting in redundant computation and sub-optimal performance. In this work, we achieve the interpretable and contextualized multi-label image classification by developing a recurrent memorized-attention module. This module consists of two alternately performed components: i) a spatial transformer layer to locate attentional regions from the convolutional feature maps in a region-proposal-free way and ii) an LSTM (Long-Short Term Memory) sub-network to sequentially predict semantic labeling scores on the located regions while capturing the global dependencies of these regions. The LSTM also output the parameters for computing the spatial transformer. On large-scale benchmarks of multi-label image classification (e.g., MS-COCO and PASCAL VOC 07), our approach demonstrates superior performances over other existing state-of-the-arts in both accuracy and efficiency.
Nov 01 2017 cs.RO
Constructing a smart wheelchair on a commercially available powered wheelchair (PWC) platform avoids a host of seating, mechanical design and reliability issues but requires methods of predicting and controlling the motion of a device never intended for robotics. Analog joystick inputs are subject to black-box transformations which may produce intuitive and adaptable motion control for human operators, but complicate robotic control approaches; furthermore, installation of standard axle mounted odometers on a commercial PWC is difficult. In this work, we present an integrated hardware and software system for predicting the motion of a commercial PWC platform that does not require any physical or electronic modification of the chair beyond plugging into an industry standard auxiliary input port. This system uses an RGB-D camera and an Arduino interface board to capture motion data, including visual odometry and joystick signals, via ROS communication. Future motion is predicted using an autoregressive sparse Gaussian process model. We evaluate the proposed system on real-world short-term path prediction experiments. Experimental results demonstrate the system's efficacy when compared to a baseline neural network model.
The increasing attention on deep learning has tremendously spurred the design of intelligence processing hardware. The variety of emerging intelligence processors requires standard benchmarks for fair comparison and system optimization (in both software and hardware). However, existing benchmarks are unsuitable for benchmarking intelligence processors due to their non-diversity and nonrepresentativeness. Also, the lack of a standard benchmarking methodology further exacerbates this problem. In this paper, we propose BENCHIP, a benchmark suite and benchmarking methodology for intelligence processors. The benchmark suite in BENCHIP consists of two sets of benchmarks: microbenchmarks and macrobenchmarks. The microbenchmarks consist of single-layer networks. They are mainly designed for bottleneck analysis and system optimization. The macrobenchmarks contain state-of-the-art industrial networks, so as to offer a realistic comparison of different platforms. We also propose a standard benchmarking methodology built upon an industrial software stack and evaluation metrics that comprehensively reflect the various characteristics of the evaluated intelligence processors. BENCHIP is utilized for evaluating various hardware platforms, including CPUs, GPUs, and accelerators. BENCHIP will be open-sourced soon.
Oct 20 2017 cs.PL
We propose a typesafe abstraction to tensors (i.e. multidimensional arrays) exploiting the type-level programming capabilities of Scala through heterogeneous lists (HList), and showcase typesafe abstractions of common tensor operations and various neural layers such as convolution or recurrent neural networks. This abstraction could lay the foundation of future typesafe deep learning frameworks that runs on Scala/JVM.
Predicting fine-grained interests of users with temporal behavior is important to personalization and information filtering applications. However, existing interest prediction methods are incapable of capturing the subtle degreed user interests towards particular items, and the internal time-varying drifting attention of individuals is not studied yet. Moreover, the prediction process can also be affected by inter-personal influence, known as behavioral mutual infectivity. Inspired by point process in modeling temporal point process, in this paper we present a deep prediction method based on two recurrent neural networks (RNNs) to jointly model each user's continuous browsing history and asynchronous event sequences in the context of inter-user behavioral mutual infectivity. Our model is able to predict the fine-grained interest from a user regarding a particular item and corresponding timestamps when an occurrence of event takes place. The proposed approach is more flexible to capture the dynamic characteristic of event sequences by using the temporal point process to model event data and timely update its intensity function by RNNs. Furthermore, to improve the interpretability of the model, the attention mechanism is introduced to emphasize both intra-personal and inter-personal behavior influence over time. Experiments on real datasets demonstrate that our model outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in fine-grained user interest prediction.
In most macro-scale robotics systems , propulsion and controls are enabled through a physical tether or complex on-board electronics and batteries. A tether simplifies the design process but limits the range of motion of the robot, while on-board controls and power supplies are heavy and complicate the design process. Here we present a simple design principle for an untethered, entirely soft, swimming robot with the ability to achieve preprogrammed, directional propulsion without a battery or on-board electronics. Locomotion is achieved by employing actuators that harness the large displacements of bistable elements, triggered by surrounding temperature changes. Powered by shape memory polymer (SMP) muscles, the bistable elements in turn actuates the robot's fins. Our robots are fabricated entirely using a commercially available 3D printer with no post-processing. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrate the ability to program a vessel, which can autonomously deliver a cargo and navigate back to the deployment point.
In multi-agent navigation, agents need to move towards their goal locations while avoiding collisions with other agents and static obstacles, often without communication with each other. Existing methods compute motions that are optimal locally but do not account for the aggregated motions of all agents, producing inefficient global behavior especially when agents move in a crowded space. In this work, we develop methods to allow agents to dynamically adapt their behavior to their local conditions. We accomplish this by formulating the multi-agent navigation problem as an action-selection problem, and propose an approach, ALAN, that allows agents to compute time-efficient and collision-free motions. ALAN is highly scalable because each agent makes its own decisions on how to move using a set of velocities optimized for a variety of navigation tasks. Experimental results show that the agents using ALAN, in general, reach their destinations faster than using ORCA, a state-of-the-art collision avoidance framework, the Social Forces model for pedestrian navigation, and a Predictive collision avoidance model.
Oct 12 2017 cs.SY
The stable spline (SS) kernel and the diagonal correlated (DC) kernel are two kernels that have been applied and studied extensively for kernel-based regularized LTI system identification. In this note, we show that similar to the derivation of the SS kernel, the continuous-time DC kernel can be derived by applying the same "stable" coordinate change to a "generalized" first-order spline kernel, and thus can be interpreted as a stable generalized first-order spline kernel. This interpretation provides new facets to understand the properties of the DC kernel. In particular, we derive a new orthonormal basis expansion of the DC kernel, and the explicit expression of the norm of the RKHS associated with the DC kernel. Moreover, for the non-uniformly sampled DC kernel, we derive its maximum entropy property and show that its kernel matrix has tridiagonal inverse.
Oct 05 2017 cs.CV
Sketch portrait generation benefits a wide range of applications such as digital entertainment and law enforcement. Although plenty of efforts have been dedicated to this task, several issues still remain unsolved for generating vivid and detail-preserving personal sketch portraits. For example, quite a few artifacts may exist in synthesizing hairpins and glasses, and textural details may be lost in the regions of hair or mustache. Moreover, the generalization ability of current systems is somewhat limited since they usually require elaborately collecting a dictionary of examples or carefully tuning features/components. In this paper, we present a novel representation learning framework that generates an end-to-end photo-sketch mapping through structure and texture decomposition. In the training stage, we first decompose the input face photo into different components according to their representational contents (i.e., structural and textural parts) by using a pre-trained Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). Then, we utilize a Branched Fully Convolutional Neural Network (BFCN) for learning structural and textural representations, respectively. In addition, we design a Sorted Matching Mean Square Error (SM-MSE) metric to measure texture patterns in the loss function. In the stage of sketch rendering, our approach automatically generates structural and textural representations for the input photo and produces the final result via a probabilistic fusion scheme. Extensive experiments on several challenging benchmarks suggest that our approach outperforms example-based synthesis algorithms in terms of both perceptual and objective metrics. In addition, the proposed method also has better generalization ability across dataset without additional training.
Sep 12 2017 cs.CV
The existing image captioning approaches typically train a one-stage sentence decoder, which is difficult to generate rich fine-grained descriptions. On the other hand, multi-stage image caption model is hard to train due to the vanishing gradient problem. In this paper, we propose a coarse-to-fine multi-stage prediction framework for image captioning, composed of multiple decoders each of which operates on the output of the previous stage, producing increasingly refined image descriptions. Our proposed learning approach addresses the difficulty of vanishing gradients during training by providing a learning objective function that enforces intermediate supervisions. Particularly, we optimize our model with a reinforcement learning approach which utilizes the output of each intermediate decoder's test-time inference algorithm as well as the output of its preceding decoder to normalize the rewards, which simultaneously solves the well-known exposure bias problem and the loss-evaluation mismatch problem. We extensively evaluate the proposed approach on MSCOCO and show that our approach can achieve the state-of-the-art performance.
Modularity, since its introduction, has remained one of the most widely used metrics to assess the quality of community structure in a complex network. However the resolution limit problem associated with modularity limits its applicability to networks with community sizes smaller than a certain scale. In the past various attempts have been made to solve this problem. More recently a new metric, modularity density, was introduced for the quality of community structure in networks in order to solve some of the known problems with modularity, particularly the resolution limit problem. Modularity density resolves some communities which are otherwise undetectable using modularity. However, we find that it does not solve the resolution limit problem completely by investigating some cases where it fails to detect expected community structures. To address this problem, we introduce a variant of this metric and show that it further reduces the resolution limit problem, effectively eliminating the problem in a wide range of networks.
Aug 21 2017 cs.SY
Input design is an important issue for classical system identification methods but has not been investigated for the kernel-based regularization method (KRM) until very recently. In this paper, we consider in the time domain the input design problem of KRMs for LTI system identification. Different from the recent result, we adopt a Bayesian perspective and in particular make use of scalar measures (e.g., the $A$-optimality, $D$-optimality, and $E$-optimality) of the Bayesian mean square error matrix as the design criteria subject to power-constraint on the input. Instead to solve the optimization problem directly, we propose a two-step procedure. In the first step, by making suitable assumptions on the unknown input, we construct a quadratic map (transformation) of the input such that the transformed input design problems are convex, the number of optimization variables is independent of the number of input data, and their global minima can be found efficiently by applying well-developed convex optimization software packages. In the second step, we derive the expression of the optimal input based on the global minima found in the first step by solving the inverse image of the quadratic map. In addition, we derive analytic results for some special types of fixed kernels, which provide insights on the input design and also its dependence on the kernel structure.
The present paper deals with online convex optimization involving both time-varying loss functions, and time-varying constraints. The loss functions are not fully accessible to the learner, and instead only the function values (a.k.a. bandit feedback) are revealed at queried points. The constraints are revealed after making decisions, and can be instantaneously violated, yet they must be satisfied in the long term. This setting fits nicely the emerging online network tasks such as fog computing in the Internet-of-Things (IoT), where online decisions must flexibly adapt to the changing user preferences (loss functions), and the temporally unpredictable availability of resources (constraints). Tailored for such human-in-the-loop systems where the loss functions are hard to model, a family of bandit online saddle-point (BanSaP) schemes are developed, which adaptively adjust the online operations based on (possibly multiple) bandit feedback of the loss functions, and the changing environment. Performance here is assessed by: i) dynamic regret that generalizes the widely used static regret; and, ii) fit that captures the accumulated amount of constraint violations. Specifically, BanSaP is proved to simultaneously yield sub-linear dynamic regret and fit, provided that the best dynamic solutions vary slowly over time. Numerical tests in fog computation offloading tasks corroborate that our proposed BanSaP approach offers competitive performance relative to existing approaches that are based on gradient feedback.
Techniques for automatically designing deep neural network architectures such as reinforcement learning based approaches have recently shown promising results. However, their success is based on vast computational resources (e.g. hundreds of GPUs), making them difficult to be widely used. A noticeable limitation is that they still design and train each network from scratch during the exploration of the architecture space, which is highly inefficient. In this paper, we propose a new framework toward efficient architecture search by exploring the architecture space based on the current network and reusing its weights. We employ a reinforcement learning agent as the meta-controller, whose action is to grow the network depth or layer width with function-preserving transformations. As such, the previously validated networks can be reused for further exploration, thus saves a large amount of computational cost. We apply our method to explore the architecture space of the plain convolutional neural networks (no skip-connections, branching etc.) on image benchmark datasets (CIFAR-10, SVHN) with restricted computational resources (5 GPUs). Our method can design highly competitive networks that outperform existing networks using the same design scheme. On CIFAR-10, our model without skip-connections achieves 4.23\% test error rate, exceeding a vast majority of modern architectures and approaching DenseNet. Furthermore, by applying our method to explore the DenseNet architecture space, we are able to achieve more accurate networks with fewer parameters.
Jul 18 2017 cs.CV
This paper aims at task-oriented action prediction, i.e., predicting a sequence of actions towards accomplishing a specific task under a certain scene, which is a new problem in computer vision research. The main challenges lie in how to model task-specific knowledge and integrate it in the learning procedure. In this work, we propose to train a recurrent long-short term memory (LSTM) network for handling this problem, i.e., taking a scene image (including pre-located objects) and the specified task as input and recurrently predicting action sequences. However, training such a network usually requires large amounts of annotated samples for covering the semantic space (e.g., diverse action decomposition and ordering). To alleviate this issue, we introduce a temporal And-Or graph (AOG) for task description, which hierarchically represents a task into atomic actions. With this AOG representation, we can produce many valid samples (i.e., action sequences according with common sense) by training another auxiliary LSTM network with a small set of annotated samples. And these generated samples (i.e., task-oriented action sequences) effectively facilitate training the model for task-oriented action prediction. In the experiments, we create a new dataset containing diverse daily tasks and extensively evaluate the effectiveness of our approach.
Jul 04 2017 cs.SY
The kernel-based regularization method has two core issues: kernel design and hyperparameter estimation. In this paper, we focus on the second issue and study the properties of several hyperparameter estimators including the empirical Bayes (EB) estimator, two Stein's unbiased risk estimators (SURE) and their corresponding Oracle counterparts, with an emphasis on the asymptotic properties of these hyperparameter estimators. To this goal, we first derive and then rewrite the first order optimality conditions of these hyperparameter estimators, leading to several insights on these hyperparameter estimators. Then we show that as the number of data goes to infinity, the two SUREs converge to the best hyperparameter minimizing the corresponding mean square error, respectively, while the more widely used EB estimator converges to another best hyperparameter minimizing the expectation of the EB estimation criterion. This indicates that the two SUREs are asymptotically optimal but the EB estimator is not. Surprisingly, the convergence rate of two SUREs is slower than that of the EB estimator, and moreover, unlike the two SUREs, the EB estimator is independent of the convergence rate of $\Phi^T\Phi/N$ to its limit, where $\Phi$ is the regression matrix and $N$ is the number of data. A Monte Carlo simulation is provided to demonstrate the theoretical results.
Recent advances in neural networks have inspired people to design hybrid recommendation algorithms that can incorporate both (1) user-item interaction information and (2) content information including image, audio, and text. Despite their promising results, neural network-based recommendation algorithms pose extensive computational costs, making it challenging to scale and improve upon. In this paper, we propose a general neural network-based recommendation framework, which subsumes several existing state-of-the-art recommendation algorithms, and address the efficiency issue by investigating sampling strategies in the stochastic gradient descent training for the framework. We tackle this issue by first establishing a connection between the loss functions and the user-item interaction bipartite graph, where the loss function terms are defined on links while major computation burdens are located at nodes. We call this type of loss functions "graph-based" loss functions, for which varied mini-batch sampling strategies can have different computational costs. Based on the insight, three novel sampling strategies are proposed, which can significantly improve the training efficiency of the proposed framework (up to $\times 30$ times speedup in our experiments), as well as improving the recommendation performance. Theoretical analysis is also provided for both the computational cost and the convergence. We believe the study of sampling strategies have further implications on general graph-based loss functions, and would also enable more research under the neural network-based recommendation framework.
Jun 09 2017 cs.CR
Android is designed with a number of built-in security features such as app sandboxing and permission-based access controls. Android supports multiple communication methods for apps to cooperate. This creates a security risk of app collusion. For instance, a sandboxed app with permission to access sensitive data might leak that data to another sandboxed app with access to the internet. In this paper, we present a method to detect potential collusion between apps. First, we extract from apps all information about their accesses to protected resources and communications. Then we identify sets of apps that might be colluding by using rules in first order logic codified in Prolog. After these, more computationally demanding approaches like taint analysis can focus on the identified sets that show collusion potential. This "filtering" approach is validated against a dataset of manually crafted colluding apps. We also demonstrate that our tool scales by running it on a set of more than 50,000 apps collected in the wild. Our tool allowed us to detect a large set of real apps that used collusion as a synchronization method to maximize the effects of a payload that was injected into all of them via the same SDK.
Learning a good representation of text is key to many recommendation applications. Examples include news recommendation where texts to be recommended are constantly published everyday. However, most existing recommendation techniques, such as matrix factorization based methods, mainly rely on interaction histories to learn representations of items. While latent factors of items can be learned effectively from user interaction data, in many cases, such data is not available, especially for newly emerged items. In this work, we aim to address the problem of personalized recommendation for completely new items with text information available. We cast the problem as a personalized text ranking problem and propose a general framework that combines text embedding with personalized recommendation. Users and textual content are embedded into latent feature space. The text embedding function can be learned end-to-end by predicting user interactions with items. To alleviate sparsity in interaction data, and leverage large amount of text data with little or no user interactions, we further propose a joint text embedding model that incorporates unsupervised text embedding with a combination module. Experimental results show that our model can significantly improve the effectiveness of recommendation systems on real-world datasets.
As a cutting-edge technology, microgrids feature intelligent EMSs and sophisticated control, which will dramatically change our energy infrastructure. The modern microgrids are a relatively recent development with high potential to bring distributed generation, DES devices, controllable loads, communication infrastructure, and many new technologies into the mainstream. As a more controllable and intelligent entity, a microgrid has more growth potential than ever before. However, there are still many open questions, such as the future business models and economics. What is the cost-benefit to the end-user? How should we systematically evaluate the potential benefits and costs of control and energy management in a microgrid?
Impressive image captioning results are achieved in domains with plenty of training image and sentence pairs (e.g., MSCOCO). However, transferring to a target domain with significant domain shifts but no paired training data (referred to as cross-domain image captioning) remains largely unexplored. We propose a novel adversarial training procedure to leverage unpaired data in the target domain. Two critic networks are introduced to guide the captioner, namely domain critic and multi-modal critic. The domain critic assesses whether the generated sentences are indistinguishable from sentences in the target domain. The multi-modal critic assesses whether an image and its generated sentence are a valid pair. During training, the critics and captioner act as adversaries -- captioner aims to generate indistinguishable sentences, whereas critics aim at distinguishing them. The assessment improves the captioner through policy gradient updates. During inference, we further propose a novel critic-based planning method to select high-quality sentences without additional supervision (e.g., tags). To evaluate, we use MSCOCO as the source domain and four other datasets (CUB-200-2011, Oxford-102, TGIF, and Flickr30k) as the target domains. Our method consistently performs well on all datasets. In particular, on CUB-200-2011, we achieve 21.8% CIDEr-D improvement after adaptation. Utilizing critics during inference further gives another 4.5% boost.
The proliferation of social media in communication and information dissemination has made it an ideal platform for spreading rumors. Automatically debunking rumors at their stage of diffusion is known as \textitearly rumor detection, which refers to dealing with sequential posts regarding disputed factual claims with certain variations and highly textual duplication over time. Thus, identifying trending rumors demands an efficient yet flexible model that is able to capture long-range dependencies among postings and produce distinct representations for the accurate early detection. However, it is a challenging task to apply conventional classification algorithms to rumor detection in earliness since they rely on hand-crafted features which require intensive manual efforts in the case of large amount of posts. This paper presents a deep attention model on the basis of recurrent neural networks (RNN) to learn \textitselectively temporal hidden representations of sequential posts for identifying rumors. The proposed model delves soft-attention into the recurrence to simultaneously pool out distinct features with particular focus and produce hidden representations that capture contextual variations of relevant posts over time. Extensive experiments on real datasets collected from social media websites demonstrate that (1) the deep attention based RNN model outperforms state-of-the-arts that rely on hand-crafted features; (2) the introduction of soft attention mechanism can effectively distill relevant parts to rumors from original posts in advance; (3) the proposed method detects rumors more quickly and accurately than competitors.
Mar 30 2017 cs.CV
In this paper, we propose a novel approach for learning multi-label classifiers with the help of privileged information. Specifically, we use similarity constraints to capture the relationship between available information and privileged information, and use ranking constraints to capture the dependencies among multiple labels. By integrating similarity constraints and ranking constraints into the learning process of classifiers, the privileged information and the dependencies among multiple labels are exploited to construct better classifiers during training. A maximum margin classifier is adopted, and an efficient learning algorithm of the proposed method is also developed. We evaluate the proposed method on two applications: multiple object recognition from images with the help of implicit information about object importance conveyed by the list of manually annotated image tags; and multiple facial action unit detection from low-resolution images augmented by high-resolution images. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method can effectively take full advantage of privileged information and dependencies among multiple labels for better object recognition and better facial action unit detection.
Mar 14 2017 cs.SE
Smart contracts are full-fledged programs that run on blockchains (e.g., Ethereum, one of the most popular blockchains). In Ethereum, gas (in Ether, a cryptographic currency like Bitcoin) is the execution fee compensating the computing resources of miners for running smart contracts. However, we find that under-optimized smart contracts cost more gas than necessary, and therefore the creators or users will be overcharged. In this work, we conduct the first investigation on Solidity, the recommended compiler, and reveal that it fails to optimize gas-costly programming patterns. In particular, we identify 7 gas-costly patterns and group them to 2 categories. Then, we propose and develop GASPER, a new tool for automatically locating gas-costly patterns by analyzing smart contracts' bytecodes. The preliminary results on discovering 3 representative patterns from 4,240 real smart contracts show that 93.5%, 90.1% and 80% contracts suffer from these 3 patterns, respectively.
Network resource allocation shows revived popularity in the era of data deluge and information explosion. Existing stochastic optimization approaches fall short in attaining a desirable cost-delay tradeoff. Recognizing the central role of Lagrange multipliers in network resource allocation, a novel learn-and-adapt stochastic dual gradient (LA-SDG) method is developed in this paper to learn the sample-optimal Lagrange multiplier from historical data, and accordingly adapt the upcoming resource allocation strategy. Remarkably, LA-SDG only requires just an extra sample (gradient) evaluation relative to the celebrated stochastic dual gradient (SDG) method. LA-SDG can be interpreted as a foresighted learning scheme with an eye on the future, or, a modified heavy-ball iteration from an optimization viewpoint. It is established - both theoretically and empirically - that LA-SDG markedly improves the cost-delay tradeoff over state-of-the-art allocation schemes.
Mar 01 2017 cs.CV
Recent progress in computer vision has been dominated by deep neural networks trained over large amounts of labeled data. Collecting such datasets is however a tedious, often impossible task; hence a surge in approaches relying solely on synthetic data for their training. For depth images however, discrepancies with real scans still noticeably affect the end performance. We thus propose an end-to-end framework which simulates the whole mechanism of these devices, generating realistic depth data from 3D models by comprehensively modeling vital factors e.g. sensor noise, material reflectance, surface geometry. Not only does our solution cover a wider range of sensors and achieve more realistic results than previous methods, assessed through extended evaluation, but we go further by measuring the impact on the training of neural networks for various recognition tasks; demonstrating how our pipeline seamlessly integrates such architectures and consistently enhances their performance.
Feb 28 2017 cs.SI
Selfies have become increasingly fashionable in the social media era. People are willing to share their selfies in various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Flicker. The popularity of selfie have caught researchers' attention, especially psychologists. In computer vision and machine learning areas, little attention has been paid to this phenomenon as a valuable data source. In this paper, we focus on exploring the deeper personal patterns behind people's different kinds of selfie-posting behaviours. We develop this work based on a dataset of WeChat, one of the most extensively used instant messaging platform in China. In particular, we first propose an unsupervised approach to classify the images posted by users. Based on the classification result, we construct three types of user-level features that reflect user preference, activity and posting habit. Based on these features, for a series of selfie related tasks, we build classifiers that can accurately predict two sets of users with opposite selfie-posting behaviours. We have found that people's interest, activity and posting habit have a great influence on their selfie-posting behaviours. For example, the classification accuracy between selfie-posting addict and nonaddict reaches 89.36%. We also prove that using user's image information to predict these behaviours achieve better performance than using text information. More importantly, for each set of users with a specific selfie-posting behaviour, we extract and visualize significant personal patterns about them. In addition, we cluster users and extract their high-level attributes, revealing the correlation between these attributes and users' selfie-posting behaviours. In the end, we demonstrate that users' selfie-posting behaviour, as a good predictor, could predict their different preferences toward these high-level attributes accurately.
Jan 25 2017 cs.LO
Behaviour distances to measure the resemblance of two states in a (nondeterministic) fuzzy transition system have been proposed recently in the literature. Such a distance, defined as a pseudo-ultrametric over the state space of the model, provides a quantitative analogue of bisimilarity. In this paper, we focus on the problem of computing these distances. We first extend the definition of the pseudo-ultrametric by introducing discount such that the discounting factor being equal to 1 captures the original definition. We then provide polynomial-time algorithms to calculate the behavioural distances, in both the non-discounted and the discounted setting. The algorithm is strongly polynomial in the former case. Furthermore, we give a polynomial-time algorithm to compute bisimulation over fuzzy transition systems which captures the distance being equal to 0.
Existing approaches to online convex optimization (OCO) make sequential one-slot-ahead decisions, which lead to (possibly adversarial) losses that drive subsequent decision iterates. Their performance is evaluated by the so-called regret that measures the difference of losses between the online solution and the best yet fixed overall solution in hindsight. The present paper deals with online convex optimization involving adversarial loss functions and adversarial constraints, where the constraints are revealed after making decisions, and can be tolerable to instantaneous violations but must be satisfied in the long term. Performance of an online algorithm in this setting is assessed by: i) the difference of its losses relative to the best dynamic solution with one-slot-ahead information of the loss function and the constraint (that is here termed dynamic regret); and, ii) the accumulated amount of constraint violations (that is here termed dynamic fit). In this context, a modified online saddle-point (MOSP) scheme is developed, and proved to simultaneously yield sub-linear dynamic regret and fit, provided that the accumulated variations of per-slot minimizers and constraints are sub-linearly growing with time. MOSP is also applied to the dynamic network resource allocation task, and it is compared with the well-known stochastic dual gradient method. Under various scenarios, numerical experiments demonstrate the performance gain of MOSP relative to the state-of-the-art.
Dec 28 2016 cs.SI
The problem of ideology detection is to study the latent (political) placement for people, which is traditionally studied on politicians according to their voting behaviors. Recently, more and more studies begin to address the ideology detection problem for ordinary users based on their online behaviors that can be captured by social media, e.g., Twitter. As far as we are concerned, however, the vast majority of the existing methods on ideology detection on social media have oversimplified the problem as a binary classification problem (i.e., liberal vs. conservative). Moreover, though social links can play a critical role in deciding one's ideology, most of the existing work ignores the heterogeneous types of links in social media. In this paper we propose to detect \emphnumerical ideology positions for Twitter users, according to their \emphfollow, \emphmention, and \emphretweet links to a selected set of politicians. A unified probabilistic model is proposed that can (1) explain the reasons why links are built among people in terms of their ideology, (2) integrate heterogeneous types of links together in determining people's ideology, and (3) automatically learn the quality of each type of links in deciding one's ideology. Experiments have demonstrated the advantages of our model in terms of both ranking and political leaning classification accuracy. It is shown that (1) using multiple types of links is better than using any single type of links alone to determine one's ideology, and (2) our model is even more superior than baselines when dealing with people that are sparsely linked in one type of links. We also show that the detected ideology for Twitter users aligns with our intuition quite well.
Language Models based on recurrent neural networks have dominated recent image caption generation tasks. In this paper, we introduce a Language CNN model which is suitable for statistical language modeling tasks and shows competitive performance in image captioning. In contrast to previous models which predict next word based on one previous word and hidden state, our language CNN is fed with all the previous words and can model the long-range dependencies of history words, which are critical for image captioning. The effectiveness of our approach is validated on two datasets MS COCO and Flickr30K. Our extensive experimental results show that our method outperforms the vanilla recurrent neural network based language models and is competitive with the state-of-the-art methods.
Artistic style transfer is an image synthesis problem where the content of an image is reproduced with the style of another. Recent works show that a visually appealing style transfer can be achieved by using the hidden activations of a pretrained convolutional neural network. However, existing methods either apply (i) an optimization procedure that works for any style image but is very expensive, or (ii) an efficient feedforward network that only allows a limited number of trained styles. In this work we propose a simpler optimization objective based on local matching that combines the content structure and style textures in a single layer of the pretrained network. We show that our objective has desirable properties such as a simpler optimization landscape, intuitive parameter tuning, and consistent frame-by-frame performance on video. Furthermore, we use 80,000 natural images and 80,000 paintings to train an inverse network that approximates the result of the optimization. This results in a procedure for artistic style transfer that is efficient but also allows arbitrary content and style images.
Dec 13 2016 cs.SY
There are two key issues for the kernel-based regularization method: one is how to design a suitable kernel to embed in the kernel the prior knowledge of the LTI system to be identified, and the other one is how to tune the kernel such that the resulting regularized impulse response estimator can achieve a good bias-variance tradeoff. In this paper, we focus on the issue of kernel design. Depending on the type of the prior knowledge, we propose two methods to design kernels: one is from a machine learning perspective and the other one is from a system theory perspective. We also provide analysis results for both methods, which not only enhances our understanding for the existing kernels but also directs the design of new kernels.
In this paper, we study the problem of author identification under double-blind review setting, which is to identify potential authors given information of an anonymized paper. Different from existing approaches that rely heavily on feature engineering, we propose to use network embedding approach to address the problem, which can automatically represent nodes into lower dimensional feature vectors. However, there are two major limitations in recent studies on network embedding: (1) they are usually general-purpose embedding methods, which are independent of the specific tasks; and (2) most of these approaches can only deal with homogeneous networks, where the heterogeneity of the network is ignored. Hence, challenges faced here are two folds: (1) how to embed the network under the guidance of the author identification task, and (2) how to select the best type of information due to the heterogeneity of the network. To address the challenges, we propose a task-guided and path-augmented heterogeneous network embedding model. In our model, nodes are first embedded as vectors in latent feature space. Embeddings are then shared and jointly trained according to task-specific and network-general objectives. We extend the existing unsupervised network embedding to incorporate meta paths in heterogeneous networks, and select paths according to the specific task. The guidance from author identification task for network embedding is provided both explicitly in joint training and implicitly during meta path selection. Our experiments demonstrate that by using path-augmented network embedding with task guidance, our model can obtain significantly better accuracy at identifying the true authors comparing to existing methods.
Dec 06 2016 cs.CV
To avoid the exhaustive search over locations and scales, current state-of-the-art object detection systems usually involve a crucial component generating a batch of candidate object proposals from images. In this paper, we present a simple yet effective approach for segmenting object proposals via a deep architecture of recursive neural networks (RNNs), which hierarchically groups regions for detecting object candidates over scales. Unlike traditional methods that mainly adopt fixed similarity measures for merging regions or finding object proposals, our approach adaptively learns the region merging similarity and the objectness measure during the process of hierarchical region grouping. Specifically, guided by a structured loss, the RNN model jointly optimizes the cross-region similarity metric with the region merging process as well as the objectness prediction. During inference of the object proposal generation, we introduce randomness into the greedy search to cope with the ambiguity of grouping regions. Extensive experiments on standard benchmarks, e.g., PASCAL VOC and ImageNet, suggest that our approach is capable of producing object proposals with high recall while well preserving the object boundaries and outperforms other existing methods in both accuracy and efficiency.
Sentiment analysis is crucial for extracting social signals from social media content. Due to the prevalence of images in social media, image sentiment analysis is receiving increasing attention in recent years. However, most existing systems are black-boxes that do not provide insight on how image content invokes sentiment and emotion in the viewers. Psychological studies have confirmed that salient objects in an image often invoke emotions. In this work, we investigate more fine-grained and more comprehensive interaction between visual saliency and visual sentiment. In particular, we partition images in several primary scene-type dimensions, including: open-closed, natural-manmade, indoor-outdoor, and face-noface. Using state of the art saliency detection algorithm and sentiment classification algorithm, we examine how the sentiment of the salient region(s) in an image relates to the overall sentiment of the image. The experiments on a representative image emotion dataset have shown interesting correlation between saliency and sentiment in different scene types and in turn shed light on the mechanism of visual sentiment evocation.
We propose a scalable approach to learn video-based question answering (QA): answer a "free-form natural language question" about a video content. Our approach automatically harvests a large number of videos and descriptions freely available online. Then, a large number of candidate QA pairs are automatically generated from descriptions rather than manually annotated. Next, we use these candidate QA pairs to train a number of video-based QA methods extended fromMN (Sukhbaatar et al. 2015), VQA (Antol et al. 2015), SA (Yao et al. 2015), SS (Venugopalan et al. 2015). In order to handle non-perfect candidate QA pairs, we propose a self-paced learning procedure to iteratively identify them and mitigate their effects in training. Finally, we evaluate performance on manually generated video-based QA pairs. The results show that our self-paced learning procedure is effective, and the extended SS model outperforms various baselines.
Nov 10 2016 cs.CL
Word embeddings are now ubiquitous forms of word representation in natural language processing. There have been applications of word embeddings for monolingual word sense disambiguation (WSD) in English, but few comparisons have been done. This paper attempts to bridge that gap by examining popular embeddings for the task of monolingual English WSD. Our simplified method leads to comparable state-of-the-art performance without expensive retraining. Cross-Lingual WSD - where the word senses of a word in a source language e come from a separate target translation language f - can also assist in language learning; for example, when providing translations of target vocabulary for learners. Thus we have also applied word embeddings to the novel task of cross-lingual WSD for Chinese and provide a public dataset for further benchmarking. We have also experimented with using word embeddings for LSTM networks and found surprisingly that a basic LSTM network does not work well. We discuss the ramifications of this outcome.
Oct 14 2016 cs.NI
Wireless object tracking applications are gaining popularity and will soon utilize emerging ultra-low-power device-to-device communication. However, severe energy constraints require much more careful accounting of energy usage than what prior art provides. In particular, the available energy, the differing power consumption levels for listening, receiving, and transmitting, as well as the limited control bandwidth must all be considered. Therefore, we formulate the problem of maximizing the throughput among a set of heterogeneous broadcasting nodes with differing power consumption levels, each subject to a strict ultra-low-power budget. We obtain the oracle throughput (i.e., maximum throughput achieved by an oracle) and use Lagrangian methods to design EconCast - a simple asynchronous distributed protocol in which nodes transition between sleep, listen, and transmit states, and dynamically change the transition rates. EconCast can operate in groupput or anyput modes to respectively maximize two alternative throughput measures. We show that EconCast approaches the oracle throughput. The performance is also evaluated numerically and via extensive simulations and it is shown that EconCast outperforms prior art by 6x - 17x under realistic assumptions. Moreover, we evaluate EconCast's latency performance and consider design tradeoffs when operating in groupput and anyput modes. Finally, we implement EconCast using the TI eZ430-RF2500-SEH energy harvesting nodes and experimentally show that in realistic environments it obtains 57% - 77% of the achievable throughput.
Existing approaches to resource allocation for nowadays stochastic networks are challenged to meet fast convergence and tolerable delay requirements. The present paper leverages online learning advances to facilitate stochastic resource allocation tasks. By recognizing the central role of Lagrange multipliers, the underlying constrained optimization problem is formulated as a machine learning task involving both training and operational modes, with the goal of learning the sought multipliers in a fast and efficient manner. To this end, an order-optimal offline learning approach is developed first for batch training, and it is then generalized to the online setting with a procedure termed learn-and-adapt. The novel resource allocation protocol permeates benefits of stochastic approximation and statistical learning to obtain low-complexity online updates with learning errors close to the statistical accuracy limits, while still preserving adaptation performance, which in the stochastic network optimization context guarantees queue stability. Analysis and simulated tests demonstrate that the proposed data-driven approach improves the delay and convergence performance of existing resource allocation schemes.
Oct 07 2016 cs.IR
We propose a framework for discriminative Information Retrieval (IR) atop linguistic features, trained to improve the recall of tasks such as answer candidate passage retrieval, the initial step in text-based Question Answering (QA). We formalize this as an instance of linear feature-based IR (Metzler and Croft, 2007), illustrating how a variety of knowledge discovery tasks are captured under this approach, leading to a 44% improvement in recall for candidate triage for QA.
Oct 04 2016 cs.LO
Subtyping in concurrency has been extensively studied since early 1990s as one of the most interesting issues in type theory. The correctness of subtyping relations has been usually provided as the soundness for type safety. The converse direction, the completeness, has been largely ignored in spite of its usefulness to define the largest subtyping relation ensuring type safety. This paper formalises preciseness (i.e. both soundness and completeness) of subtyping for mobile processes and studies it for the synchronous and the asynchronous session calculi. We first prove that the well-known session subtyping, the branching-selection subtyping, is sound and complete for the synchronous calculus. Next we show that in the asynchronous calculus, this subtyping is incomplete for type-safety: that is, there exist session types T and S such that T can safely be considered as a subtype of S, but T < S is not derivable by the subtyping. We then propose an asynchronous subtyping system which is sound and complete for the asynchronous calculus. The method gives a general guidance to design rigorous channel-based subtypings respecting desired safety properties. Both the synchronous and the asynchronous calculus are first considered with lin ear channels only, and then they are extended with session initialisations and c ommunications of expressions (including shared channels).
Autoscaling system can reconfigure cloud-based applications and services, through various cloud software configurations and hardware provisioning, to adapt to the changing environment at runtime. Such a behaviour offers the foundation to achieve elasticity in modern cloud computing paradigm. Given the importance of autoscaling in cloud, computational intelligence has been widely applied for engineering autoscaling system, leading to self-aware, self-adaptive and more dependable runtime scaling. In this paper, we present the brief background and history for autoscaling in the cloud, as well as their associations with self-awareness and self-adaptivity of a system. Subsequently, we conduct detailed survey and taxonomy of the key related work and identify the gaps in this area of research.
The read channel of a Flash memory cell degrades after repetitive program and erase (P/E) operations. This degradation is often modeled as a function of the number of P/E cycles. In contrast, this paper models the degradation as a function of the cumulative effect of the charge written and erased from the cell. Based on this modeling approach, this paper dynamically allocates voltage using lower-voltage write thresholds at the beginning of the device lifetime and increasing the thresholds as needed to maintain the mutual information of the read channel in the face of degradation. The paper introduces the technique in an idealized setting and then removes ideal assumptions about channel knowledge and available voltage resolution to conclude with a practical scheme with performance close to that of the idealized setting.
Sep 01 2016 cs.SE
Self-adaptive software (SAS) can reconfigure itself to adapt to the changing environment at runtime. Such a behavior permits continual optimization on various conflicting non- functional objectives, e.g., response time and energy consumption. In this paper, we present FEMOSAA, a novel framework that automatically synergizes the feature model and Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MOEA), to optimize SAS at runtime. At design time, FEMOSAA automatically transposes the design of SAS, which is expressed as a feature model, to the chromosome representation and the reproduction operators (mutation and crossover) in MOEA. At runtime, the feature model serves as the domain knowledge to guide the search, providing more chances to find better solutions. In addition, we have designed a new method to search for the knee solutions, which can achieve balanced trade-off. We experimentally compare FEMOSAA with different variants and state-of-the-art approaches on a real world SAS. The results reveal its effectiveness and superiority over the others.
Anomaly detection plays an important role in modern data-driven security applications, such as detecting suspicious access to a socket from a process. In many cases, such events can be described as a collection of categorical values that are considered as entities of different types, which we call heterogeneous categorical events. Due to the lack of intrinsic distance measures among entities, and the exponentially large event space, most existing work relies heavily on heuristics to calculate abnormal scores for events. Different from previous work, we propose a principled and unified probabilistic model APE (Anomaly detection via Probabilistic pairwise interaction and Entity embedding) that directly models the likelihood of events. In this model, we embed entities into a common latent space using their observed co-occurrence in different events. More specifically, we first model the compatibility of each pair of entities according to their embeddings. Then we utilize the weighted pairwise interactions of different entity types to define the event probability. Using Noise-Contrastive Estimation with "context-dependent" noise distribution, our model can be learned efficiently regardless of the large event space. Experimental results on real enterprise surveillance data show that our methods can accurately detect abnormal events compared to other state-of-the-art abnormal detection techniques.
A great video title describes the most salient event compactly and captures the viewer's attention. In contrast, video captioning tends to generate sentences that describe the video as a whole. Although generating a video title automatically is a very useful task, it is much less addressed than video captioning. We address video title generation for the first time by proposing two methods that extend state-of-the-art video captioners to this new task. First, we make video captioners highlight sensitive by priming them with a highlight detector. Our framework allows for jointly training a model for title generation and video highlight localization. Second, we induce high sentence diversity in video captioners, so that the generated titles are also diverse and catchy. This means that a large number of sentences might be required to learn the sentence structure of titles. Hence, we propose a novel sentence augmentation method to train a captioner with additional sentence-only examples that come without corresponding videos. We collected a large-scale Video Titles in the Wild (VTW) dataset of 18100 automatically crawled user-generated videos and titles. On VTW, our methods consistently improve title prediction accuracy, and achieve the best performance in both automatic and human evaluation. Finally, our sentence augmentation method also outperforms the baselines on the M-VAD dataset.
Elasticity in the cloud is often achieved by on-demand autoscaling. In such context, the goal is to optimize the Quality of Service (QoS) and cost objectives for the cloud-based services. However, the difficulty lies in the facts that these objectives, e.g., throughput and cost, can be naturally conflicted, and the QoS of cloud-based services often interfere due to the shared infrastructure in cloud. Consequently, dynamic and effective trade-off decision making of autoscaling in the cloud is necessary, yet challenging. In particular, it is even harder to achieve well-compromised trade-offs, where the decision largely improves the majority of the objectives, while causing relatively small degradations to others. In this paper, we present a self-adaptive decision making approach for autoscaling in the cloud. It is capable to adaptively produce autoscaling decisions that lead to well-compromised trade-offs without heavy human intervention. We leverage on ant colony inspired multi-objective optimization for searching and optimizing the trade-offs decisions, the result is then filtered by compromise-dominance, a mechanism that extracts the decisions with balanced improvements in the trade-offs. We experimentally compare our approach to four state-of-the-arts autoscaling approaches: rule, heuristic, randomized and multi-objective genetic algorithm based solutions. The results reveal the effectiveness of our approach over the others, including better quality of trade-offs and significantly smaller violation of the requirements.
Aug 23 2016 cs.SE
Elastic autoscaling is the fundamental mechanism that enables the cloud-based services to continually evolve themselves - through changing the related software configurations and hardware resource provisions - under time-varying workloads. However, given the increasingly complex dynamic, uncertainty and trade-offs related to the runtime QoS and cost/energy of services, cloud autoscaling system is becoming one of the most complex artifacts constructed by human and thus its effectiveness is difficult to be preserved. In this article, we present novel ideas for facilitating cloud autoscaling. Our hypothesis that cloud ecosystem, represented by a collection of cloud-based services, bears many similarities with the natural ecosystem. As such, we in- tend to investigate how ecological view can be adopted to better explain how the cloud-based services evolve, and to explore what are the key factors that drive stable and sustainable cloud-based services in the cloud. To achieve this goal, we aim to transpose ecological principles, theories and models into cloud autoscaling analogues and spontaneously improve long-term stability and sustainability of cloud ecosystem.
Modern Internet services are increasingly leveraging on cloud computing for flexible, elastic and on-demand provision. Typically, Quality of Service (QoS) of cloud-based services can be tuned using different underlying cloud configurations and resources, e.g., number of threads, CPU and memory etc., which are shared, leased and priced as utilities. This benefit is fundamentally grounded by autoscaling: an automatic and elastic process that adapts cloud configurations on-demand according to time-varying workloads. This thesis proposes a holistic cloud autoscaling framework to effectively and seamlessly address existing challenges related to different logical aspects of autoscaling, including architecting autoscaling system, modelling the QoS of cloud-based service, determining the granularity of control and deciding trade-off autoscaling decisions. The framework takes advantages of the principles of self-awareness and the related algorithms to adaptively handle the dynamics, uncertainties, QoS interference and trade-offs on objectives that are exhibited in the cloud. The major benefit is that, by leveraging the framework, cloud autoscaling can be effectively achieved without heavy human analysis and design time knowledge. Through conducting various experiments using RUBiS benchmark and realistic workload on real cloud setting, this thesis evaluates the effectiveness of the framework based on various quality indicators and compared with other state-of-the-art approaches.
Classical multiuser information theory studies the fundamental limits of models with a fixed (often small) number of users as the coding blocklength goes to infinity. This work proposes a new paradigm, referred to as \em many-user information theory, where the number of users is allowed to grow with the blocklength. This paradigm is motivated by emerging systems with a massive number of users in an area, such as machine-to-machine communication systems and sensor networks. The focus of the current paper is the \em many-access channel model, which consists of a single receiver and many transmitters, whose number increases unboundedly with the blocklength. Moreover, an unknown subset of transmitters may transmit in a given block and need to be identified. A new notion of capacity is introduced and characterized for the Gaussian many-access channel with random user activities. The capacity can be achieved by first detecting the set of active users and then decoding their messages.
Jun 16 2016 cs.CV
We present a new algorithm for multi-region segmentation of 2D images with objects that may partially occlude each other. Our algorithm is based on the observation hat human performance on this task is based both on prior knowledge about plausible shapes and taking into account the presence of occluding objects whose shape is already known - once an occluded region is identified, the shape prior can be used to guess the shape of the missing part. We capture the former aspect using a deep learning model of shape; for the latter, we simultaneously minimize the energy of all regions and consider only unoccluded pixels for data agreement. Existing algorithms incorporating object shape priors consider every object separately in turn and can't distinguish genuine deviation from the expected shape from parts missing due to occlusion. We show that our method significantly improves on the performance of a representative algorithm, as evaluated on both preprocessed natural and synthetic images. Furthermore, on the synthetic images, we recover the ground truth segmentation with good accuracy.
Subsurface applications including geothermal, geological carbon sequestration, oil and gas, etc., typically involve maximizing either the extraction of energy or the storage of fluids. Characterizing the subsurface is extremely complex due to heterogeneity and anisotropy. Due to this complexity, there are uncertainties in the subsurface parameters, which need to be estimated from multiple diverse as well as fragmented data streams. In this paper, we present a non-intrusive sequential inversion framework, for integrating data from geophysical and flow sources to constraint subsurface Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN). In this approach, we first estimate bounds on the statistics for the DFN fracture orientations using microseismic data. These bounds are estimated through a combination of a focal mechanism (physics-based approach) and clustering analysis (statistical approach) of seismic data. Then, the fracture lengths are constrained based on the flow data. The efficacy of this multi-physics based sequential inversion is demonstrated through a representative synthetic example.
The impact of culture in visual emotion perception has recently captured the attention of multimedia research. In this study, we pro- vide powerful computational linguistics tools to explore, retrieve and browse a dataset of 16K multilingual affective visual concepts and 7.3M Flickr images. First, we design an effective crowdsourc- ing experiment to collect human judgements of sentiment connected to the visual concepts. We then use word embeddings to repre- sent these concepts in a low dimensional vector space, allowing us to expand the meaning around concepts, and thus enabling insight about commonalities and differences among different languages. We compare a variety of concept representations through a novel evaluation task based on the notion of visual semantic relatedness. Based on these representations, we design clustering schemes to group multilingual visual concepts, and evaluate them with novel metrics based on the crowdsourced sentiment annotations as well as visual semantic relatedness. The proposed clustering framework enables us to analyze the full multilingual dataset in-depth and also show an application on a facial data subset, exploring cultural in- sights of portrait-related affective visual concepts.
May 27 2016 cs.CV
Palm vein recognition is a novel biometric identification technology. But how to gain a better vein extraction result from the raw palm image is still a challenging problem, especially when the raw data collection has the problem of asymmetric illumination. This paper proposes a method based on single scale Retinex algorithm to extract palm vein image when strong shadow presents due to asymmetric illumination and uneven geometry of the palm. We test our method on a multispectral palm image. The experimental result shows that the proposed method is robust to the influence of illumination angle and shadow. Compared to the traditional extraction methods, the proposed method can obtain palm vein lines with better visualization performance (the contrast ratio increases by 18.4%, entropy increases by 1.07%, and definition increases by 18.8%).