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Xu Han

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Traffic Sign Interpretation in Real Road Scene

Nov 28, 2023
Chuang Yang, Kai Zhuang, Mulin Chen, Haozhao Ma, Xu Han, Tao Han, Changxing Guo, Han Han, Bingxuan Zhao, Qi Wang

Most existing traffic sign-related works are dedicated to detecting and recognizing part of traffic signs individually, which fails to analyze the global semantic logic among signs and may convey inaccurate traffic instruction. Following the above issues, we propose a traffic sign interpretation (TSI) task, which aims to interpret global semantic interrelated traffic signs (e.g.,~driving instruction-related texts, symbols, and guide panels) into a natural language for providing accurate instruction support to autonomous or assistant driving. Meanwhile, we design a multi-task learning architecture for TSI, which is responsible for detecting and recognizing various traffic signs and interpreting them into a natural language like a human. Furthermore, the absence of a public TSI available dataset prompts us to build a traffic sign interpretation dataset, namely TSI-CN. The dataset consists of real road scene images, which are captured from the highway and the urban way in China from a driver's perspective. It contains rich location labels of texts, symbols, and guide panels, and the corresponding natural language description labels. Experiments on TSI-CN demonstrate that the TSI task is achievable and the TSI architecture can interpret traffic signs from scenes successfully even if there is a complex semantic logic among signs. The TSI-CN dataset and the source code of the TSI architecture will be publicly available after the revision process.

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Smart Agent-Based Modeling: On the Use of Large Language Models in Computer Simulations

Nov 22, 2023
Zengqing Wu, Run Peng, Xu Han, Shuyuan Zheng, Yixin Zhang, Chuan Xiao

Computer simulations offer a robust toolset for exploring complex systems across various disciplines. A particularly impactful approach within this realm is Agent-Based Modeling (ABM), which harnesses the interactions of individual agents to emulate intricate system dynamics. ABM's strength lies in its bottom-up methodology, illuminating emergent phenomena by modeling the behaviors of individual components of a system. Yet, ABM has its own set of challenges, notably its struggle with modeling natural language instructions and common sense in mathematical equations or rules. This paper seeks to transcend these boundaries by integrating Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT into ABM. This amalgamation gives birth to a novel framework, Smart Agent-Based Modeling (SABM). Building upon the concept of smart agents -- entities characterized by their intelligence, adaptability, and computation ability -- we explore in the direction of utilizing LLM-powered agents to simulate real-world scenarios with increased nuance and realism. In this comprehensive exploration, we elucidate the state of the art of ABM, introduce SABM's potential and methodology, and present three case studies (source codes available at, demonstrating the SABM methodology and validating its effectiveness in modeling real-world systems. Furthermore, we cast a vision towards several aspects of the future of SABM, anticipating a broader horizon for its applications. Through this endeavor, we aspire to redefine the boundaries of computer simulations, enabling a more profound understanding of complex systems.

* Source codes are available at 
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MAVEN-Arg: Completing the Puzzle of All-in-One Event Understanding Dataset with Event Argument Annotation

Nov 15, 2023
Xiaozhi Wang, Hao Peng, Yong Guan, Kaisheng Zeng, Jianhui Chen, Lei Hou, Xu Han, Yankai Lin, Zhiyuan Liu, Ruobing Xie, Jie Zhou, Juanzi Li

Understanding events in texts is a core objective of natural language understanding, which requires detecting event occurrences, extracting event arguments, and analyzing inter-event relationships. However, due to the annotation challenges brought by task complexity, a large-scale dataset covering the full process of event understanding has long been absent. In this paper, we introduce MAVEN-Arg, which augments MAVEN datasets with event argument annotations, making the first all-in-one dataset supporting event detection, event argument extraction (EAE), and event relation extraction. As an EAE benchmark, MAVEN-Arg offers three main advantages: (1) a comprehensive schema covering 162 event types and 612 argument roles, all with expert-written definitions and examples; (2) a large data scale, containing 98,591 events and 290,613 arguments obtained with laborious human annotation; (3) the exhaustive annotation supporting all task variants of EAE, which annotates both entity and non-entity event arguments in document level. Experiments indicate that MAVEN-Arg is quite challenging for both fine-tuned EAE models and proprietary large language models (LLMs). Furthermore, to demonstrate the benefits of an all-in-one dataset, we preliminarily explore a potential application, future event prediction, with LLMs. MAVEN-Arg and our code can be obtained from

* Working in progress 
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Bayesian Conditional Diffusion Models for Versatile Spatiotemporal Turbulence Generation

Nov 14, 2023
Han Gao, Xu Han, Xiantao Fan, Luning Sun, Li-Ping Liu, Lian Duan, Jian-Xun Wang

Turbulent flows have historically presented formidable challenges to predictive computational modeling. Traditional numerical simulations often require vast computational resources, making them infeasible for numerous engineering applications. As an alternative, deep learning-based surrogate models have emerged, offering data-drive solutions. However, these are typically constructed within deterministic settings, leading to shortfall in capturing the innate chaotic and stochastic behaviors of turbulent dynamics. We introduce a novel generative framework grounded in probabilistic diffusion models for versatile generation of spatiotemporal turbulence. Our method unifies both unconditional and conditional sampling strategies within a Bayesian framework, which can accommodate diverse conditioning scenarios, including those with a direct differentiable link between specified conditions and generated unsteady flow outcomes, and scenarios lacking such explicit correlations. A notable feature of our approach is the method proposed for long-span flow sequence generation, which is based on autoregressive gradient-based conditional sampling, eliminating the need for cumbersome retraining processes. We showcase the versatile turbulence generation capability of our framework through a suite of numerical experiments, including: 1) the synthesis of LES simulated instantaneous flow sequences from URANS inputs; 2) holistic generation of inhomogeneous, anisotropic wall-bounded turbulence, whether from given initial conditions, prescribed turbulence statistics, or entirely from scratch; 3) super-resolved generation of high-speed turbulent boundary layer flows from low-resolution data across a range of input resolutions. Collectively, our numerical experiments highlight the merit and transformative potential of the proposed methods, making a significant advance in the field of turbulence generation.

* 37 pages, 31 figures 
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Variator: Accelerating Pre-trained Models with Plug-and-Play Compression Modules

Oct 24, 2023
Chaojun Xiao, Yuqi Luo, Wenbin Zhang, Pengle Zhang, Xu Han, Yankai Lin, Zhengyan Zhang, Ruobing Xie, Zhiyuan Liu, Maosong Sun, Jie Zhou

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Pre-trained language models (PLMs) have achieved remarkable results on NLP tasks but at the expense of huge parameter sizes and the consequent computational costs. In this paper, we propose Variator, a parameter-efficient acceleration method that enhances computational efficiency through plug-and-play compression plugins. Compression plugins are designed to reduce the sequence length via compressing multiple hidden vectors into one and trained with original PLMs frozen. Different from traditional model acceleration methods, which compress PLMs to smaller sizes, Variator offers two distinct advantages: (1) In real-world applications, the plug-and-play nature of our compression plugins enables dynamic selection of different compression plugins with varying acceleration ratios based on the current workload. (2) The compression plugin comprises a few compact neural network layers with minimal parameters, significantly saving storage and memory overhead, particularly in scenarios with a growing number of tasks. We validate the effectiveness of Variator on seven datasets. Experimental results show that Variator can save 53% computational costs using only 0.9% additional parameters with a performance drop of less than 2%. Moreover, when the model scales to billions of parameters, Variator matches the strong performance of uncompressed PLMs.

* Accepted by Findings of EMNLP 
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Boosting Inference Efficiency: Unleashing the Power of Parameter-Shared Pre-trained Language Models

Oct 19, 2023
Weize Chen, Xiaoyue Xu, Xu Han, Yankai Lin, Ruobing Xie, Zhiyuan Liu, Maosong Sun, Jie Zhou

Parameter-shared pre-trained language models (PLMs) have emerged as a successful approach in resource-constrained environments, enabling substantial reductions in model storage and memory costs without significant performance compromise. However, it is important to note that parameter sharing does not alleviate computational burdens associated with inference, thus impeding its practicality in situations characterized by limited stringent latency requirements or computational resources. Building upon neural ordinary differential equations (ODEs), we introduce a straightforward technique to enhance the inference efficiency of parameter-shared PLMs. Additionally, we propose a simple pre-training technique that leads to fully or partially shared models capable of achieving even greater inference acceleration. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on both autoregressive and autoencoding PLMs, providing novel insights into more efficient utilization of parameter-shared models in resource-constrained settings.

* EMNLP 2023 Findings 
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ARM: Refining Multivariate Forecasting with Adaptive Temporal-Contextual Learning

Oct 14, 2023
Jiecheng Lu, Xu Han, Shihao Yang

Long-term time series forecasting (LTSF) is important for various domains but is confronted by challenges in handling the complex temporal-contextual relationships. As multivariate input models underperforming some recent univariate counterparts, we posit that the issue lies in the inefficiency of existing multivariate LTSF Transformers to model series-wise relationships: the characteristic differences between series are often captured incorrectly. To address this, we introduce ARM: a multivariate temporal-contextual adaptive learning method, which is an enhanced architecture specifically designed for multivariate LTSF modelling. ARM employs Adaptive Univariate Effect Learning (AUEL), Random Dropping (RD) training strategy, and Multi-kernel Local Smoothing (MKLS), to better handle individual series temporal patterns and correctly learn inter-series dependencies. ARM demonstrates superior performance on multiple benchmarks without significantly increasing computational costs compared to vanilla Transformer, thereby advancing the state-of-the-art in LTSF. ARM is also generally applicable to other LTSF architecture beyond vanilla Transformer.

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Unlock Predictable Scaling from Emergent Abilities

Oct 05, 2023
Shengding Hu, Xin Liu, Xu Han, Xinrong Zhang, Chaoqun He, Weilin Zhao, Yankai Lin, Ning Ding, Zebin Ou, Guoyang Zeng, Zhiyuan Liu, Maosong Sun

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The scientific scale-up of large language models (LLMs) necessitates a comprehensive understanding of their scaling properties. However, the existing literature on the scaling properties only yields an incomplete answer: optimization loss decreases predictably as the model size increases, in line with established scaling law; yet no scaling law for task has been established and the task performances are far from predictable during scaling. Task performances typically show minor gains on small models until they improve dramatically once models exceed a size threshold, exemplifying the ``emergent abilities''. In this study, we discover that small models, although they exhibit minor performance, demonstrate critical and consistent task performance improvements that are not captured by conventional evaluation strategies due to insufficient measurement resolution. To measure such improvements, we introduce PassUntil, an evaluation strategy through massive sampling in the decoding phase. We conduct quantitative investigations into the scaling law of task performance. Firstly, a strict task scaling law is identified, enhancing the predictability of task performances. Remarkably, we are able to predict the performance of the 2.4B model on code generation with merely 0.05\% deviation before training starts. Secondly, underpinned by PassUntil, we observe concrete evidence of emergent abilities and ascertain that they are not in conflict with the continuity of performance improvement. Their semblance to break-through is that their scaling curve cannot be fitted by standard scaling law function. We then introduce a mathematical definition for the emergent abilities. Through the definition, we refute a prevalent ``multi-step reasoning hypothesis'' regarding the genesis of emergent abilities and propose a new hypothesis with a satisfying fit to the observed scaling curve.

* 10 pages main paper, 8 pages appendix 
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