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Abstract:We show that a constant-size constant-error coreset for polytope distance is simple to maintain under merges of coresets. However, increasing the size cannot improve the error bound significantly beyond that constant.

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Abstract:Given a set of points of interest, a volumetric spanner is a subset of the points using which all the points can be expressed using "small" coefficients (measured in an appropriate norm). Formally, given a set of vectors $X = \{v_1, v_2, \dots, v_n\}$, the goal is to find $T \subseteq [n]$ such that every $v \in X$ can be expressed as $\sum_{i\in T} \alpha_i v_i$, with $\|\alpha\|$ being small. This notion, which has also been referred to as a well-conditioned basis, has found several applications, including bandit linear optimization, determinant maximization, and matrix low rank approximation. In this paper, we give almost optimal bounds on the size of volumetric spanners for all $\ell_p$ norms, and show that they can be constructed using a simple local search procedure. We then show the applications of our result to other tasks and in particular the problem of finding coresets for the Minimum Volume Enclosing Ellipsoid (MVEE) problem.

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Authors:Harvey Dam, Vinu Joseph, Aditya Bhaskara, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Saurav Muralidharan, Michael Garland

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Abstract:Network compression is now a mature sub-field of neural network research: over the last decade, significant progress has been made towards reducing the size of models and speeding up inference, while maintaining the classification accuracy. However, many works have observed that focusing on just the overall accuracy can be misguided. E.g., it has been shown that mismatches between the full and compressed models can be biased towards under-represented classes. This raises the important research question, can we achieve network compression while maintaining "semantic equivalence" with the original network? In this work, we study this question in the context of the "long tail" phenomenon in computer vision datasets observed by Feldman, et al. They argue that memorization of certain inputs (appropriately defined) is essential to achieving good generalization. As compression limits the capacity of a network (and hence also its ability to memorize), we study the question: are mismatches between the full and compressed models correlated with the memorized training data? We present positive evidence in this direction for image classification tasks, by considering different base architectures and compression schemes.

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Abstract:We consider the classic online learning and stochastic multi-armed bandit (MAB) problems, when at each step, the online policy can probe and find out which of a small number ($k$) of choices has better reward (or loss) before making its choice. In this model, we derive algorithms whose regret bounds have exponentially better dependence on the time horizon compared to the classic regret bounds. In particular, we show that probing with $k=2$ suffices to achieve time-independent regret bounds for online linear and convex optimization. The same number of probes improve the regret bound of stochastic MAB with independent arms from $O(\sqrt{nT})$ to $O(n^2 \log T)$, where $n$ is the number of arms and $T$ is the horizon length. For stochastic MAB, we also consider a stronger model where a probe reveals the reward values of the probed arms, and show that in this case, $k=3$ probes suffice to achieve parameter-independent constant regret, $O(n^2)$. Such regret bounds cannot be achieved even with full feedback after the play, showcasing the power of limited ``advice'' via probing before making the play. We also present extensions to the setting where the hints can be imperfect, and to the case of stochastic MAB where the rewards of the arms can be correlated.

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Abstract:We consider the online linear optimization problem, where at every step the algorithm plays a point $x_t$ in the unit ball, and suffers loss $\langle c_t, x_t\rangle$ for some cost vector $c_t$ that is then revealed to the algorithm. Recent work showed that if an algorithm receives a hint $h_t$ that has non-trivial correlation with $c_t$ before it plays $x_t$, then it can achieve a regret guarantee of $O(\log T)$, improving on the bound of $\Theta(\sqrt{T})$ in the standard setting. In this work, we study the question of whether an algorithm really requires a hint at every time step. Somewhat surprisingly, we show that an algorithm can obtain $O(\log T)$ regret with just $O(\sqrt{T})$ hints under a natural query model; in contrast, we also show that $o(\sqrt{T})$ hints cannot guarantee better than $\Omega(\sqrt{T})$ regret. We give two applications of our result, to the well-studied setting of optimistic regret bounds and to the problem of online learning with abstention.

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Authors:Vinu Joseph, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Aditya Bhaskara, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Saurav Muralidharan, Michael Garland, Sheraz Ahmed, Andreas Dengel

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Abstract:Model compression is a ubiquitous tool that brings the power of modern deep learning to edge devices with power and latency constraints. The goal of model compression is to take a large reference neural network and output a smaller and less expensive compressed network that is functionally equivalent to the reference. Compression typically involves pruning and/or quantization, followed by re-training to maintain the reference accuracy. However, it has been observed that compression can lead to a considerable mismatch in the labels produced by the reference and the compressed models, resulting in bias and unreliability. To combat this, we present a framework that uses a teacher-student learning paradigm to better preserve labels. We investigate the role of additional terms to the loss function and show how to automatically tune the associated parameters. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach both quantitatively and qualitatively on multiple compression schemes and accuracy recovery algorithms using a set of 8 different real-world network architectures. We obtain a significant reduction of up to 4.1X in the number of mismatches between the compressed and reference models, and up to 5.7X in cases where the reference model makes the correct prediction.

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Abstract:We study an online linear optimization (OLO) problem in which the learner is provided access to $K$ "hint" vectors in each round prior to making a decision. In this setting, we devise an algorithm that obtains logarithmic regret whenever there exists a convex combination of the $K$ hints that has positive correlation with the cost vectors. This significantly extends prior work that considered only the case $K=1$. To accomplish this, we develop a way to combine many arbitrary OLO algorithms to obtain regret only a logarithmically worse factor than the minimum regret of the original algorithms in hindsight; this result is of independent interest.

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Abstract:What does it mean for a clustering to be fair? One popular approach seeks to ensure that each cluster contains groups in (roughly) the same proportion in which they exist in the population. The normative principle at play is balance: any cluster might act as a representative of the data, and thus should reflect its diversity. But clustering also captures a different form of representativeness. A core principle in most clustering problems is that a cluster center should be representative of the cluster it represents, by being "close" to the points associated with it. This is so that we can effectively replace the points by their cluster centers without significant loss in fidelity, and indeed is a common "use case" for clustering. For such a clustering to be fair, the centers should "represent" different groups equally well. We call such a clustering a group-representative clustering. In this paper, we study the structure and computation of group-representative clusterings. We show that this notion naturally parallels the development of fairness notions in classification, with direct analogs of ideas like demographic parity and equal opportunity. We demonstrate how these notions are distinct from and cannot be captured by balance-based notions of fairness. We present approximation algorithms for group representative $k$-median clustering and couple this with an empirical evaluation on various real-world data sets.

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Abstract:We consider a variant of the classical online linear optimization problem in which at every step, the online player receives a "hint" vector before choosing the action for that round. Rather surprisingly, it was shown that if the hint vector is guaranteed to have a positive correlation with the cost vector, then the online player can achieve a regret of $O(\log T)$, thus significantly improving over the $O(\sqrt{T})$ regret in the general setting. However, the result and analysis require the correlation property at \emph{all} time steps, thus raising the natural question: can we design online learning algorithms that are resilient to bad hints? In this paper we develop algorithms and nearly matching lower bounds for online learning with imperfect directional hints. Our algorithms are oblivious to the quality of the hints, and the regret bounds interpolate between the always-correlated hints case and the no-hints case. Our results also generalize, simplify, and improve upon previous results on optimistic regret bounds, which can be viewed as an additive version of hints.

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Abstract:In the dictionary learning (or sparse coding) problem, we are given a collection of signals (vectors in $\mathbb{R}^d$), and the goal is to find a "basis" in which the signals have a sparse (approximate) representation. The problem has received a lot of attention in signal processing, learning, and theoretical computer science. The problem is formalized as factorizing a matrix $X (d \times n)$ (whose columns are the signals) as $X = AY$, where $A$ has a prescribed number $m$ of columns (typically $m \ll n$), and $Y$ has columns that are $k$-sparse (typically $k \ll d$). Most of the known theoretical results involve assuming that the columns of the unknown $A$ have certain incoherence properties, and that the coefficient matrix $Y$ has random (or partly random) structure. The goal of our work is to understand what can be said in the absence of such assumptions. Can we still find $A$ and $Y$ such that $X \approx AY$? We show that this is possible, if we allow violating the bounds on $m$ and $k$ by appropriate factors that depend on $k$ and the desired approximation. Our results rely on an algorithm for what we call the threshold correlation problem, which turns out to be related to hypercontractive norms of matrices. We also show that our algorithmic ideas apply to a setting in which some of the columns of $X$ are outliers, thus giving similar guarantees even in this challenging setting.

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