Urban planning, which aims to design feasible land-use configurations for target areas, has become increasingly essential due to the high-speed urbanization process in the modern era. However, the traditional urban planning conducted by human designers can be a complex and onerous task. Thanks to the advancement of deep learning algorithms, researchers have started to develop automated planning techniques. While these models have exhibited promising results, they still grapple with a couple of unresolved limitations: 1) Ignoring the relationship between urban functional zones and configurations and failing to capture the relationship among different functional zones. 2) Less interpretable and stable generation process. To overcome these limitations, we propose a novel generative framework based on normalizing flows, namely Dual-stage Urban Flows (DSUF) framework. Specifically, the first stage is to utilize zone-level urban planning flows to generate urban functional zones based on given surrounding contexts and human guidance. Then we employ an Information Fusion Module to capture the relationship among functional zones and fuse the information of different aspects. The second stage is to use configuration-level urban planning flows to obtain land-use configurations derived from fused information. We design several experiments to indicate that our framework can outperform compared to other generative models for the urban planning task.
Creating an effective representation space is crucial for mitigating the curse of dimensionality, enhancing model generalization, addressing data sparsity, and leveraging classical models more effectively. Recent advancements in automated feature engineering (AutoFE) have made significant progress in addressing various challenges associated with representation learning, issues such as heavy reliance on intensive labor and empirical experiences, lack of explainable explicitness, and inflexible feature space reconstruction embedded into downstream tasks. However, these approaches are constrained by: 1) generation of potentially unintelligible and illogical reconstructed feature spaces, stemming from the neglect of expert-level cognitive processes; 2) lack of systematic exploration, which subsequently results in slower model convergence for identification of optimal feature space. To address these, we introduce an interaction-aware reinforced generation perspective. We redefine feature space reconstruction as a nested process of creating meaningful features and controlling feature set size through selection. We develop a hierarchical reinforcement learning structure with cascading Markov Decision Processes to automate feature and operation selection, as well as feature crossing. By incorporating statistical measures, we reward agents based on the interaction strength between selected features, resulting in intelligent and efficient exploration of the feature space that emulates human decision-making. Extensive experiments are conducted to validate our proposed approach.
Feature transformation aims to generate new pattern-discriminative feature space from original features to improve downstream machine learning (ML) task performances. However, the discrete search space for the optimal feature explosively grows on the basis of combinations of features and operations from low-order forms to high-order forms. Existing methods, such as exhaustive search, expansion reduction, evolutionary algorithms, reinforcement learning, and iterative greedy, suffer from large search space. Overly emphasizing efficiency in algorithm design usually sacrifices stability or robustness. To fundamentally fill this gap, we reformulate discrete feature transformation as a continuous space optimization task and develop an embedding-optimization-reconstruction framework. This framework includes four steps: 1) reinforcement-enhanced data preparation, aiming to prepare high-quality transformation-accuracy training data; 2) feature transformation operation sequence embedding, intending to encapsulate the knowledge of prepared training data within a continuous space; 3) gradient-steered optimal embedding search, dedicating to uncover potentially superior embeddings within the learned space; 4) transformation operation sequence reconstruction, striving to reproduce the feature transformation solution to pinpoint the optimal feature space.
Feature generation aims to generate new and meaningful features to create a discriminative representation space.A generated feature is meaningful when the generated feature is from a feature pair with inherent feature interaction. In the real world, experienced data scientists can identify potentially useful feature-feature interactions, and generate meaningful dimensions from an exponentially large search space, in an optimal crossing form over an optimal generation path. But, machines have limited human-like abilities.We generalize such learning tasks as self-optimizing feature generation. Self-optimizing feature generation imposes several under-addressed challenges on existing systems: meaningful, robust, and efficient generation. To tackle these challenges, we propose a principled and generic representation-crossing framework to solve self-optimizing feature generation.To achieve hashing representation, we propose a three-step approach: feature discretization, feature hashing, and descriptive summarization. To achieve reinforcement crossing, we develop a hierarchical reinforcement feature crossing approach.We present extensive experimental results to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed method. The code is available at https://github.com/yingwangyang/HRC_feature_cross.git.
The objective of topic inference in research proposals aims to obtain the most suitable disciplinary division from the discipline system defined by a funding agency. The agency will subsequently find appropriate peer review experts from their database based on this division. Automated topic inference can reduce human errors caused by manual topic filling, bridge the knowledge gap between funding agencies and project applicants, and improve system efficiency. Existing methods focus on modeling this as a hierarchical multi-label classification problem, using generative models to iteratively infer the most appropriate topic information. However, these methods overlook the gap in scale between interdisciplinary research proposals and non-interdisciplinary ones, leading to an unjust phenomenon where the automated inference system categorizes interdisciplinary proposals as non-interdisciplinary, causing unfairness during the expert assignment. How can we address this data imbalance issue under a complex discipline system and hence resolve this unfairness? In this paper, we implement a topic label inference system based on a Transformer encoder-decoder architecture. Furthermore, we utilize interpolation techniques to create a series of pseudo-interdisciplinary proposals from non-interdisciplinary ones during training based on non-parametric indicators such as cross-topic probabilities and topic occurrence probabilities. This approach aims to reduce the bias of the system during model training. Finally, we conduct extensive experiments on a real-world dataset to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The experimental results demonstrate that our training strategy can significantly mitigate the unfairness generated in the topic inference task.
Feature transformation aims to reconstruct an effective representation space by mathematically refining the existing features. It serves as a pivotal approach to combat the curse of dimensionality, enhance model generalization, mitigate data sparsity, and extend the applicability of classical models. Existing research predominantly focuses on domain knowledge-based feature engineering or learning latent representations. However, these methods, while insightful, lack full automation and fail to yield a traceable and optimal representation space. An indispensable question arises: Can we concurrently address these limitations when reconstructing a feature space for a machine-learning task? Our initial work took a pioneering step towards this challenge by introducing a novel self-optimizing framework. This framework leverages the power of three cascading reinforced agents to automatically select candidate features and operations for generating improved feature transformation combinations. Despite the impressive strides made, there was room for enhancing its effectiveness and generalization capability. In this extended journal version, we advance our initial work from two distinct yet interconnected perspectives: 1) We propose a refinement of the original framework, which integrates a graph-based state representation method to capture the feature interactions more effectively and develop different Q-learning strategies to alleviate Q-value overestimation further. 2) We utilize a new optimization technique (actor-critic) to train the entire self-optimizing framework in order to accelerate the model convergence and improve the feature transformation performance. Finally, to validate the improved effectiveness and generalization capability of our framework, we perform extensive experiments and conduct comprehensive analyses.
Recently, stunning improvements on multi-channel speech separation have been achieved by neural beamformers when direction information is available. However, most of them neglect to utilize speaker's 2-dimensional (2D) location cues contained in mixture signal, which limits the performance when two sources come from close directions. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end beamforming network for 2D location guided speech separation merely given mixture signal. It first estimates discriminable direction and 2D location cues, which imply directions the sources come from in multi views of microphones and their 2D coordinates. These cues are then integrated into location-aware neural beamformer, thus allowing accurate reconstruction of two sources' speech signals. Experiments show that our proposed model not only achieves a comprehensive decent improvement compared to baseline systems, but avoids inferior performance on spatial overlapping cases.
The task of root cause analysis (RCA) is to identify the root causes of system faults/failures by analyzing system monitoring data. Efficient RCA can greatly accelerate system failure recovery and mitigate system damages or financial losses. However, previous research has mostly focused on developing offline RCA algorithms, which often require manually initiating the RCA process, a significant amount of time and data to train a robust model, and then being retrained from scratch for a new system fault. In this paper, we propose CORAL, a novel online RCA framework that can automatically trigger the RCA process and incrementally update the RCA model. CORAL consists of Trigger Point Detection, Incremental Disentangled Causal Graph Learning, and Network Propagation-based Root Cause Localization. The Trigger Point Detection component aims to detect system state transitions automatically and in near-real-time. To achieve this, we develop an online trigger point detection approach based on multivariate singular spectrum analysis and cumulative sum statistics. To efficiently update the RCA model, we propose an incremental disentangled causal graph learning approach to decouple the state-invariant and state-dependent information. After that, CORAL applies a random walk with restarts to the updated causal graph to accurately identify root causes. The online RCA process terminates when the causal graph and the generated root cause list converge. Extensive experiments on three real-world datasets with case studies demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed framework.