Natural language interfaces (NLIs) enable users to flexibly specify analytical intentions in data visualization. However, diagnosing the visualization results without understanding the underlying generation process is challenging. Our research explores how to provide explanations for NLIs to help users locate the problems and further revise the queries. We present XNLI, an explainable NLI system for visual data analysis. The system introduces a Provenance Generator to reveal the detailed process of visual transformations, a suite of interactive widgets to support error adjustments, and a Hint Generator to provide query revision hints based on the analysis of user queries and interactions. Two usage scenarios of XNLI and a user study verify the effectiveness and usability of the system. Results suggest that XNLI can significantly enhance task accuracy without interrupting the NLI-based analysis process.
Developing deep generative models has been an emerging field due to the ability to model and generate complex data for various purposes, such as image synthesis and molecular design. However, the advancement of deep generative models is limited by challenges to generate objects that possess multiple desired properties: 1) the existence of complex correlation among real-world properties is common but hard to identify; 2) controlling individual property enforces an implicit partially control of its correlated properties, which is difficult to model; 3) controlling multiple properties under various manners simultaneously is hard and under-explored. We address these challenges by proposing a novel deep generative framework that recovers semantics and the correlation of properties through disentangled latent vectors. The correlation is handled via an explainable mask pooling layer, and properties are precisely retained by generated objects via the mutual dependence between latent vectors and properties. Our generative model preserves properties of interest while handling correlation and conflicts of properties under a multi-objective optimization framework. The experiments demonstrate our model's superior performance in generating data with desired properties.
Designing and generating new data under targeted properties has been attracting various critical applications such as molecule design, image editing and speech synthesis. Traditional hand-crafted approaches heavily rely on expertise experience and intensive human efforts, yet still suffer from the insufficiency of scientific knowledge and low throughput to support effective and efficient data generation. Recently, the advancement of deep learning induces expressive methods that can learn the underlying representation and properties of data. Such capability provides new opportunities in figuring out the mutual relationship between the structural patterns and functional properties of the data and leveraging such relationship to generate structural data given the desired properties. This article provides a systematic review of this promising research area, commonly known as controllable deep data generation. Firstly, the potential challenges are raised and preliminaries are provided. Then the controllable deep data generation is formally defined, a taxonomy on various techniques is proposed and the evaluation metrics in this specific domain are summarized. After that, exciting applications of controllable deep data generation are introduced and existing works are experimentally analyzed and compared. Finally, the promising future directions of controllable deep data generation are highlighted and five potential challenges are identified.
Anderson mixing has been heuristically applied to reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms for accelerating convergence and improving the sampling efficiency of deep RL. Despite its heuristic improvement of convergence, a rigorous mathematical justification for the benefits of Anderson mixing in RL has not yet been put forward. In this paper, we provide deeper insights into a class of acceleration schemes built on Anderson mixing that improve the convergence of deep RL algorithms. Our main results establish a connection between Anderson mixing and quasi-Newton methods and prove that Anderson mixing increases the convergence radius of policy iteration schemes by an extra contraction factor. The key focus of the analysis roots in the fixed-point iteration nature of RL. We further propose a stabilization strategy by introducing a stable regularization term in Anderson mixing and a differentiable, non-expansive MellowMax operator that can allow both faster convergence and more stable behavior. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our proposed method enhances the convergence, stability, and performance of RL algorithms.
Early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its prodromal period mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is essential for the delayed disease progression and the improved quality of patients'life. The emerging computer-aided diagnostic methods that combine deep learning with structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) have achieved encouraging results, but some of them are limit of issues such as data leakage and unexplainable diagnosis. In this research, we propose a novel end-to-end deep learning approach for automated diagnosis of AD and localization of important brain regions related to the disease from sMRI data. This approach is based on a 2D single model strategy and has the following differences from the current approaches: 1) Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) models of different structures and capacities are evaluated systemically and the most suitable model is adopted for AD diagnosis; 2) a data augmentation strategy named Two-stage Random RandAugment (TRRA) is proposed to alleviate the overfitting issue caused by limited training data and to improve the classification performance in AD diagnosis; 3) an explainable method of Grad-CAM++ is introduced to generate the visually explainable heatmaps that localize and highlight the brain regions that our model focuses on and to make our model more transparent. Our approach has been evaluated on two publicly accessible datasets for two classification tasks of AD vs. cognitively normal (CN) and progressive MCI (pMCI) vs. stable MCI (sMCI). The experimental results indicate that our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches, including those using multi-model and 3D CNN methods. The resultant localization heatmaps from our approach also highlight the lateral ventricle and some disease-relevant regions of cortex, coincident with the commonly affected regions during the development of AD.