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Fanhe Ma, Faen Zhang, Shenglan Ben, Shuxin Qin, Pengcheng Zhou, Changsheng Zhou, Fengyi Xu

In this paper, we are interested in building a domain knowledge based deep learning framework to solve the chiller plants energy optimization problems. Compared to the hotspot applications of deep learning (e.g. image classification and NLP), it is difficult to collect enormous data for deep network training in real-world physical systems. Most existing methods reduce the complex systems into linear model to facilitate the training on small samples. To tackle the small sample size problem, this paper considers domain knowledge in the structure and loss design of deep network to build a nonlinear model with lower redundancy function space. Specifically, the energy consumption estimation of most chillers can be physically viewed as an input-output monotonic problem. Thus, we can design a Neural Network with monotonic constraints to mimic the physical behavior of the system. We verify the proposed method in a cooling system of a data center, experimental results show the superiority of our framework in energy optimization compared to the existing ones.

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Xue-Xin Wei, Ding Zhou, Andres Grosmark, Zaki Ajabi, Fraser Sparks, Pengcheng Zhou, Mark Brandon, Attila Losonczy, Liam Paninski

Calcium imaging is a critical tool for measuring the activity of large neural populations. Much effort has been devoted to developing "pre-processing" tools for calcium video data, addressing the important issues of e.g., motion correction, denoising, compression, demixing, and deconvolution. However, statistical modeling of deconvolved calcium signals (i.e., the estimated activity extracted by a pre-processing pipeline) is just as critical for interpreting calcium measurements, and for incorporating these observations into downstream probabilistic encoding and decoding models. Surprisingly, these issues have to date received significantly less attention. In this work we examine the statistical properties of the deconvolved activity estimates, and compare probabilistic models for these random signals. In particular, we propose a zero-inflated gamma (ZIG) model, which characterizes the calcium responses as a mixture of a gamma distribution and a point mass that serves to model zero responses. We apply the resulting models to neural encoding and decoding problems. We find that the ZIG model outperforms simpler models (e.g., Poisson or Bernoulli models) in the context of both simulated and real neural data, and can therefore play a useful role in bridging calcium imaging analysis methods with tools for analyzing activity in large neural populations.

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Faen Zhang, Xinyu Fan, Hui Xu, Pengcheng Zhou, Yujian He, Junlong Liu

To deal with datasets of different complexity, this paper presents an efficient learning model that combines the proposed Dynamic Connected Neural Decision Networks (DNDN) and a new pruning method--Dynamic Soft Pruning (DSP). DNDN is a combination of random forests and deep neural networks thereby it enjoys both the properties of powerful classification capability and representation learning functionality. Different from Deep Neural Decision Forests (DNDF), this paper adopts an end-to-end training approach by representing the classification distribution with multiple randomly initialized softmax layers, which enables the placement of the forest trees after each layer in the neural network and greatly improves the training speed and stability. Furthermore, DSP is proposed to reduce the redundant connections of the network in a soft fashion which has high flexibility but demonstrates no performance loss compared with previous approaches. Extensive experiments on different datasets demonstrate the superiority of the proposed model over other popular algorithms in solving classification tasks.

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Faen Zhang, Xinyu Fan, Hui Xu, Pengcheng Zhou, Yujian He, Junlong Liu

In the regression problem, L1 and L2 are the most commonly used loss functions, which produce mean predictions with different biases. However, the predictions are neither robust nor adequate enough since they only capture a few conditional distributions instead of the whole distribution, especially for small datasets. To address this problem, we proposed arbitrary quantile modeling to regulate the prediction, which achieved better performance compared to traditional loss functions. More specifically, a new distribution regression method, Deep Distribution Regression (DDR), is proposed to estimate arbitrary quantiles of the response variable. Our DDR method consists of two models: a Q model, which predicts the corresponding value for arbitrary quantile, and an F model, which predicts the corresponding quantile for arbitrary value. Furthermore, the duality between Q and F models enables us to design a novel loss function for joint training and perform a dual inference mechanism. Our experiments demonstrate that our DDR-joint and DDR-disjoint methods outperform previous methods such as AdaBoost, random forest, LightGBM, and neural networks both in terms of mean and quantile prediction.

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Yenson Lau, Qing Qu, Han-Wen Kuo, Pengcheng Zhou, Yuqian Zhang, John Wright

Short-and-sparse deconvolution (SaSD) is the problem of extracting localized, recurring motifs in signals with spatial or temporal structure. Variants of this problem arise in applications such as image deblurring, microscopy, neural spike sorting, and more. The problem is challenging in both theory and practice, as natural optimization formulations are nonconvex. Moreover, practical deconvolution problems involve smooth motifs (kernels) whose spectra decay rapidly, resulting in poor conditioning and numerical challenges. This paper is motivated by recent theoretical advances, which characterize the optimization landscape of a particular nonconvex formulation of SaSD. This is used to derive a $provable$ algorithm which exactly solves certain non-practical instances of the SaSD problem. We leverage the key ideas from this theory (sphere constraints, data-driven initialization) to develop a $practical$ algorithm, which performs well on data arising from a range of application areas. We highlight key additional challenges posed by the ill-conditioning of real SaSD problems, and suggest heuristics (acceleration, continuation, reweighting) to mitigate them. Experiments demonstrate both the performance and generality of the proposed method.

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E. Kelly Buchanan, Ian Kinsella, Ding Zhou, Rong Zhu, Pengcheng Zhou, Felipe Gerhard, John Ferrante, Ying Ma, Sharon Kim, Mohammed Shaik, Yajie Liang, Rongwen Lu, Jacob Reimer, Paul Fahey, Taliah Muhammad, Graham Dempsey, Elizabeth Hillman, Na Ji, Andreas Tolias, Liam Paninski

Calcium imaging has revolutionized systems neuroscience, providing the ability to image large neural populations with single-cell resolution. The resulting datasets are quite large, which has presented a barrier to routine open sharing of this data, slowing progress in reproducible research. State of the art methods for analyzing this data are based on non-negative matrix factorization (NMF); these approaches solve a non-convex optimization problem, and are effective when good initializations are available, but can break down in low-SNR settings where common initialization approaches fail. Here we introduce an approach to compressing and denoising functional imaging data. The method is based on a spatially-localized penalized matrix decomposition (PMD) of the data to separate (low-dimensional) signal from (temporally-uncorrelated) noise. This approach can be applied in parallel on local spatial patches and is therefore highly scalable, does not impose non-negativity constraints or require stringent identifiability assumptions (leading to significantly more robust results compared to NMF), and estimates all parameters directly from the data, so no hand-tuning is required. We have applied the method to a wide range of functional imaging data (including one-photon, two-photon, three-photon, widefield, somatic, axonal, dendritic, calcium, and voltage imaging datasets): in all cases, we observe ~2-4x increases in SNR and compression rates of 20-300x with minimal visible loss of signal, with no adjustment of hyperparameters; this in turn facilitates the process of demixing the observed activity into contributions from individual neurons. We focus on two challenging applications: dendritic calcium imaging data and voltage imaging data in the context of optogenetic stimulation. In both cases, we show that our new approach leads to faster and much more robust extraction of activity from the data.

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