Pointer Network (PtrNet) is a specific neural network for solving Combinatorial Optimization Problems (COPs). While PtrNets offer real-time feed-forward inference for complex COPs instances, its quality of the results tends to be less satisfactory. One possible reason is that such issue suffers from the lack of global search ability of the gradient descent, which is frequently employed in traditional PtrNet training methods including both supervised learning and reinforcement learning. To improve the performance of PtrNet, this paper delves deeply into the advantages of training PtrNet with Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), which have been widely acknowledged for not easily getting trapped by local optima. Extensive empirical studies based on the Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP) have been conducted. Results demonstrate that PtrNet trained with EA can consistently perform much better inference results than eight state-of-the-art methods on various problem scales. Compared with gradient descent based PtrNet training methods, EA achieves up to 30.21\% improvement in quality of the solution with the same computational time. With this advantage, this paper is able to at the first time report the results of solving 1000-dimensional TSPs by training a PtrNet on the same dimensionality, which strongly suggests that scaling up the training instances is in need to improve the performance of PtrNet on solving higher-dimensional COPs.
Near-space information networks (NSIN) composed of high-altitude platforms (HAPs), high- and low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a new regime for providing quickly, robustly, and cost-efficiently sensing and communication services. Precipitated by innovations and breakthroughs in manufacturing, materials, communications, electronics, and control technologies, NSIN have emerged as an essential component of the emerging sixth-generation of mobile communication systems. This article aims at providing and discussing the latest advances in NSIN in the research areas of channel modeling, networking, and transmission from a forward-looking, comparative, and technological evolutionary perspective. In this article, we highlight the characteristics of NSIN and present the promising use-cases of NSIN. The impact of airborne platforms' unstable movements on the phase delays of onboard antenna arrays with diverse structures is mathematically analyzed. The recent advancements in HAP channel modeling are elaborated on, along with the significant differences between HAP and UAV channel modeling. A comprehensive review of the networking technologies of NSIN in network deployment, handoff management, and network management aspects is provided. Besides, the promising technologies and communication protocols of the physical layer, medium access control (MAC) layer, network layer, and transport layer of NSIN for achieving efficient transmission over NSIN are overviewed. Finally, we outline some open issues and promising directions of NSIN deserved for future study and discuss the corresponding challenges.
Diversity plays a significant role in many problems, such as ensemble learning, reinforcement learning, and combinatorial optimization. How to define the diversity measure is a longstanding problem. Many methods rely on expert experience to define a proper behavior space and then obtain the diversity measure, which is, however, challenging in many scenarios. In this paper, we propose the problem of learning a behavior space from human feedback and present a general method called Diversity from Human Feedback (DivHF) to solve it. DivHF learns a behavior descriptor consistent with human preference by querying human feedback. The learned behavior descriptor can be combined with any distance measure to define a diversity measure. We demonstrate the effectiveness of DivHF by integrating it with the Quality-Diversity optimization algorithm MAP-Elites and conducting experiments on the QDax suite. The results show that DivHF learns a behavior space that aligns better with human requirements compared to direct data-driven approaches and leads to more diverse solutions under human preference. Our contributions include formulating the problem, proposing the DivHF method, and demonstrating its effectiveness through experiments.
Volumetric video offers a highly immersive viewing experience, but poses challenges in ensuring quality of experience (QoE) due to its high bandwidth requirements. In this paper, we explore the effect of viewing distance introduced by six degrees of freedom (6DoF) spatial navigation on user's perceived quality. By considering human visual resolution limitations, we propose a visual acuity model that describes the relationship between the virtual viewing distance and the tolerable boundary point cloud density. The proposed model satisfies spatial visual requirements during 6DoF exploration. Additionally, it dynamically adjusts quality levels to balance perceptual quality and bandwidth consumption. Furthermore, we present a QoE model to represent user's perceived quality at different viewing distances precisely. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that, the proposed scheme can effectively improve the overall average QoE by up to 26% over real networks and user traces, compared to existing baselines.
This paper is concerned with the issue of improving video subscribers' quality of experience (QoE) by deploying a multi-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) network. Different from existing works, we characterize subscribers' QoE by video bitrates, latency, and frame freezing and propose to improve their QoE by energy-efficiently and dynamically optimizing the multi-UAV network in terms of serving UAV selection, UAV trajectory, and UAV transmit power. The dynamic multi-UAV network optimization problem is formulated as a challenging sequential-decision problem with the goal of maximizing subscribers' QoE while minimizing the total network power consumption, subject to some physical resource constraints. We propose a novel network optimization algorithm to solve this challenging problem, in which a Lyapunov technique is first explored to decompose the sequential-decision problem into several repeatedly optimized sub-problems to avoid the curse of dimensionality. To solve the sub-problems, iterative and approximate optimization mechanisms with provable performance guarantees are then developed. Finally, we design extensive simulations to verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm can effectively improve the QoE of subscribers and is 66.75\% more energy-efficient than benchmarks.
In this paper, our goal is to design a simple learning paradigm for long-tail visual recognition, which not only improves the robustness of the feature extractor but also alleviates the bias of the classifier towards head classes while reducing the training skills and overhead. We propose an efficient one-stage training strategy for long-tailed visual recognition called Global and Local Mixture Consistency cumulative learning (GLMC). Our core ideas are twofold: (1) a global and local mixture consistency loss improves the robustness of the feature extractor. Specifically, we generate two augmented batches by the global MixUp and local CutMix from the same batch data, respectively, and then use cosine similarity to minimize the difference. (2) A cumulative head tail soft label reweighted loss mitigates the head class bias problem. We use empirical class frequencies to reweight the mixed label of the head-tail class for long-tailed data and then balance the conventional loss and the rebalanced loss with a coefficient accumulated by epochs. Our approach achieves state-of-the-art accuracy on CIFAR10-LT, CIFAR100-LT, and ImageNet-LT datasets. Additional experiments on balanced ImageNet and CIFAR demonstrate that GLMC can significantly improve the generalization of backbones. Code is made publicly available at https://github.com/ynu-yangpeng/GLMC.
The integration of a near-space information network (NSIN) with the reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) is envisioned to significantly enhance the communication performance of future wireless communication systems by proactively altering wireless channels. This paper investigates the problem of deploying a RIS-integrated NSIN to provide energy-efficient, ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC) services. We mathematically formulate this problem as a resource optimization problem, aiming to maximize the effective throughput and minimize the system power consumption, subject to URLLC and physical resource constraints. The formulated problem is challenging in terms of accurate channel estimation, RIS phase alignment, theoretical analysis, and effective solution. We propose a joint resource allocation algorithm to handle these challenges. In this algorithm, we develop an accurate channel estimation approach by exploring message passing and optimize phase shifts of RIS reflecting elements to further increase the channel gain. Besides, we derive an analysis-friend expression of decoding error probability and decompose the problem into two-layered optimization problems by analyzing the monotonicity, which makes the formulated problem analytically tractable. Extensive simulations have been conducted to verify the performance of the proposed algorithm. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm can achieve outstanding channel estimation performance and is more energy-efficient than diverse benchmark algorithms.
In recent years, various companies started to shift their data services from traditional data centers onto cloud. One of the major motivations is to save operation costs with the aid of cloud elasticity. This paper discusses an emerging need from financial services to reduce idle servers retaining very few user connections, without disconnecting them from the server side. This paper considers this need as a bi-objective online load balancing problem. A neural network based scalable policy is designed to route user requests to varied numbers of servers for elasticity. An evolutionary multi-objective training framework is proposed to optimize the weights of the policy. Not only the new objective of idleness is reduced by over 130% more than traditional industrial solutions, but the original load balancing objective is slightly improved. Extensive simulations help reveal the detailed applicability of the proposed method to the emerging problem of reducing idleness in financial services.