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Yuxin Chen

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Enhancing Instance-Level Image Classification with Set-Level Labels

Nov 17, 2023
Renyu Zhang, Aly A. Khan, Yuxin Chen, Robert L. Grossman

Instance-level image classification tasks have traditionally relied on single-instance labels to train models, e.g., few-shot learning and transfer learning. However, set-level coarse-grained labels that capture relationships among instances can provide richer information in real-world scenarios. In this paper, we present a novel approach to enhance instance-level image classification by leveraging set-level labels. We provide a theoretical analysis of the proposed method, including recognition conditions for fast excess risk rate, shedding light on the theoretical foundations of our approach. We conducted experiments on two distinct categories of datasets: natural image datasets and histopathology image datasets. Our experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, showcasing improved classification performance compared to traditional single-instance label-based methods. Notably, our algorithm achieves 13% improvement in classification accuracy compared to the strongest baseline on the histopathology image classification benchmarks. Importantly, our experimental findings align with the theoretical analysis, reinforcing the robustness and reliability of our proposed method. This work bridges the gap between instance-level and set-level image classification, offering a promising avenue for advancing the capabilities of image classification models with set-level coarse-grained labels.

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AutoML for Large Capacity Modeling of Meta's Ranking Systems

Nov 16, 2023
Hang Yin, Kuang-Hung Liu, Mengying Sun, Yuxin Chen, Buyun Zhang, Jiang Liu, Vivek Sehgal, Rudresh Rajnikant Panchal, Eugen Hotaj, Xi Liu, Daifeng Guo, Jamey Zhang, Zhou Wang, Shali Jiang, Huayu Li, Zhengxing Chen, Wen-Yen Chen, Jiyan Yang, Wei Wen

Web-scale ranking systems at Meta serving billions of users is complex. Improving ranking models is essential but engineering heavy. Automated Machine Learning (AutoML) can release engineers from labor intensive work of tuning ranking models; however, it is unknown if AutoML is efficient enough to meet tight production timeline in real-world and, at the same time, bring additional improvements to the strong baselines. Moreover, to achieve higher ranking performance, there is an ever-increasing demand to scale up ranking models to even larger capacity, which imposes more challenges on the efficiency. The large scale of models and tight production schedule requires AutoML to outperform human baselines by only using a small number of model evaluation trials (around 100). We presents a sampling-based AutoML method, focusing on neural architecture search and hyperparameter optimization, addressing these challenges in Meta-scale production when building large capacity models. Our approach efficiently handles large-scale data demands. It leverages a lightweight predictor-based searcher and reinforcement learning to explore vast search spaces, significantly reducing the number of model evaluations. Through experiments in large capacity modeling for CTR and CVR applications, we show that our method achieves outstanding Return on Investment (ROI) versus human tuned baselines, with up to 0.09% Normalized Entropy (NE) loss reduction or $25\%$ Query per Second (QPS) increase by only sampling one hundred models on average from a curated search space. The proposed AutoML method has already made real-world impact where a discovered Instagram CTR model with up to -0.36% NE gain (over existing production baseline) was selected for large-scale online A/B test and show statistically significant gain. These production results proved AutoML efficacy and accelerated its adoption in ranking systems at Meta.

* Hang Yin and Kuang-Hung Liu contribute equally 
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Rankitect: Ranking Architecture Search Battling World-class Engineers at Meta Scale

Nov 14, 2023
Wei Wen, Kuang-Hung Liu, Igor Fedorov, Xin Zhang, Hang Yin, Weiwei Chu, Kaveh Hassani, Mengying Sun, Jiang Liu, Xu Wang, Lin Jiang, Yuxin Chen, Buyun Zhang, Xi Liu, Dehua Cheng, Zhengxing Chen, Guang Zhao, Fangqiu Han, Jiyan Yang, Yuchen Hao, Liang Xiong, Wen-Yen Chen

Neural Architecture Search (NAS) has demonstrated its efficacy in computer vision and potential for ranking systems. However, prior work focused on academic problems, which are evaluated at small scale under well-controlled fixed baselines. In industry system, such as ranking system in Meta, it is unclear whether NAS algorithms from the literature can outperform production baselines because of: (1) scale - Meta ranking systems serve billions of users, (2) strong baselines - the baselines are production models optimized by hundreds to thousands of world-class engineers for years since the rise of deep learning, (3) dynamic baselines - engineers may have established new and stronger baselines during NAS search, and (4) efficiency - the search pipeline must yield results quickly in alignment with the productionization life cycle. In this paper, we present Rankitect, a NAS software framework for ranking systems at Meta. Rankitect seeks to build brand new architectures by composing low level building blocks from scratch. Rankitect implements and improves state-of-the-art (SOTA) NAS methods for comprehensive and fair comparison under the same search space, including sampling-based NAS, one-shot NAS, and Differentiable NAS (DNAS). We evaluate Rankitect by comparing to multiple production ranking models at Meta. We find that Rankitect can discover new models from scratch achieving competitive tradeoff between Normalized Entropy loss and FLOPs. When utilizing search space designed by engineers, Rankitect can generate better models than engineers, achieving positive offline evaluation and online A/B test at Meta scale.

* Wei Wen and Kuang-Hung Liu contribute equally 
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Heteroskedastic Tensor Clustering

Nov 04, 2023
Yuchen Zhou, Yuxin Chen

Tensor clustering, which seeks to extract underlying cluster structures from noisy tensor observations, has gained increasing attention. One extensively studied model for tensor clustering is the tensor block model, which postulates the existence of clustering structures along each mode and has found broad applications in areas like multi-tissue gene expression analysis and multilayer network analysis. However, currently available computationally feasible methods for tensor clustering either are limited to handling i.i.d. sub-Gaussian noise or suffer from suboptimal statistical performance, which restrains their utility in applications that have to deal with heteroskedastic data and/or low signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR). To overcome these challenges, we propose a two-stage method, named $\mathsf{High\text{-}order~HeteroClustering}$ ($\mathsf{HHC}$), which starts by performing tensor subspace estimation via a novel spectral algorithm called $\mathsf{Thresholded~Deflated\text{-}HeteroPCA}$, followed by approximate $k$-means to obtain cluster nodes. Encouragingly, our algorithm provably achieves exact clustering as long as the SNR exceeds the computational limit (ignoring logarithmic factors); here, the SNR refers to the ratio of the pairwise disparity between nodes to the noise level, and the computational limit indicates the lowest SNR that enables exact clustering with polynomial runtime. Comprehensive simulation and real-data experiments suggest that our algorithm outperforms existing algorithms across various settings, delivering more reliable clustering performance.

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Federated Natural Policy Gradient Methods for Multi-task Reinforcement Learning

Nov 01, 2023
Tong Yang, Shicong Cen, Yuting Wei, Yuxin Chen, Yuejie Chi

Federated reinforcement learning (RL) enables collaborative decision making of multiple distributed agents without sharing local data trajectories. In this work, we consider a multi-task setting, in which each agent has its own private reward function corresponding to different tasks, while sharing the same transition kernel of the environment. Focusing on infinite-horizon tabular Markov decision processes, the goal is to learn a globally optimal policy that maximizes the sum of the discounted total rewards of all the agents in a decentralized manner, where each agent only communicates with its neighbors over some prescribed graph topology. We develop federated vanilla and entropy-regularized natural policy gradient (NPG) methods under softmax parameterization, where gradient tracking is applied to the global Q-function to mitigate the impact of imperfect information sharing. We establish non-asymptotic global convergence guarantees under exact policy evaluation, which are nearly independent of the size of the state-action space and illuminate the impacts of network size and connectivity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that global convergence is established for federated multi-task RL using policy optimization. Moreover, the convergence behavior of the proposed algorithms is robust against inexactness of policy evaluation.

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Learning to Rank for Active Learning via Multi-Task Bilevel Optimization

Oct 25, 2023
Zixin Ding, Si Chen, Ruoxi Jia, Yuxin Chen

Active learning is a promising paradigm to reduce the labeling cost by strategically requesting labels to improve model performance. However, existing active learning methods often rely on expensive acquisition function to compute, extensive modeling retraining and multiple rounds of interaction with annotators. To address these limitations, we propose a novel approach for active learning, which aims to select batches of unlabeled instances through a learned surrogate model for data acquisition. A key challenge in this approach is developing an acquisition function that generalizes well, as the history of data, which forms part of the utility function's input, grows over time. Our novel algorithmic contribution is a bilevel multi-task bilevel optimization framework that predicts the relative utility -- measured by the validation accuracy -- of different training sets, and ensures the learned acquisition function generalizes effectively. For cases where validation accuracy is expensive to evaluate, we introduce efficient interpolation-based surrogate models to estimate the utility function, reducing the evaluation cost. We demonstrate the performance of our approach through extensive experiments on standard active classification benchmarks. By employing our learned utility function, we show significant improvements over traditional techniques, paving the way for more efficient and effective utility maximization in active learning applications.

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On Generative Agents in Recommendation

Oct 16, 2023
An Zhang, Leheng Sheng, Yuxin Chen, Hao Li, Yang Deng, Xiang Wang, Tat-Seng Chua

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Recommender systems are the cornerstone of today's information dissemination, yet a disconnect between offline metrics and online performance greatly hinders their development. Addressing this challenge, we envision a recommendation simulator, capitalizing on recent breakthroughs in human-level intelligence exhibited by Large Language Models (LLMs). We propose Agent4Rec, a novel movie recommendation simulator, leveraging LLM-empowered generative agents equipped with user profile, memory, and actions modules specifically tailored for the recommender system. In particular, these agents' profile modules are initialized using the MovieLens dataset, capturing users' unique tastes and social traits; memory modules log both factual and emotional memories and are integrated with an emotion-driven reflection mechanism; action modules support a wide variety of behaviors, spanning both taste-driven and emotion-driven actions. Each agent interacts with personalized movie recommendations in a page-by-page manner, relying on a pre-implemented collaborative filtering-based recommendation algorithm. We delve into both the capabilities and limitations of Agent4Rec, aiming to explore an essential research question: to what extent can LLM-empowered generative agents faithfully simulate the behavior of real, autonomous humans in recommender systems? Extensive and multi-faceted evaluations of Agent4Rec highlight both the alignment and deviation between agents and user-personalized preferences. Beyond mere performance comparison, we explore insightful experiments, such as emulating the filter bubble effect and discovering the underlying causal relationships in recommendation tasks. Our codes are available at

* 30 pages,14 figures 
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Constrained Bayesian Optimization with Adaptive Active Learning of Unknown Constraints

Oct 12, 2023
Fengxue Zhang, Zejie Zhu, Yuxin Chen

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Optimizing objectives under constraints, where both the objectives and constraints are black box functions, is a common scenario in real-world applications such as scientific experimental design, design of medical therapies, and industrial process optimization. One popular approach to handling these complex scenarios is Bayesian Optimization (BO). In terms of theoretical behavior, BO is relatively well understood in the unconstrained setting, where its principles have been well explored and validated. However, when it comes to constrained Bayesian optimization (CBO), the existing framework often relies on heuristics or approximations without the same level of theoretical guarantees. In this paper, we delve into the theoretical and practical aspects of constrained Bayesian optimization, where the objective and constraints can be independently evaluated and are subject to noise. By recognizing that both the objective and constraints can help identify high-confidence regions of interest (ROI), we propose an efficient CBO framework that intersects the ROIs identified from each aspect to determine the general ROI. The ROI, coupled with a novel acquisition function that adaptively balances the optimization of the objective and the identification of feasible regions, enables us to derive rigorous theoretical justifications for its performance. We showcase the efficiency and robustness of our proposed CBO framework through empirical evidence and discuss the fundamental challenge of deriving practical regret bounds for CBO algorithms.

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Quantifying Agent Interaction in Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning for Cost-efficient Generalization

Oct 11, 2023
Yuxin Chen, Chen Tang, Ran Tian, Chenran Li, Jinning Li, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Wei Zhan

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Generalization poses a significant challenge in Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL). The extent to which an agent is influenced by unseen co-players depends on the agent's policy and the specific scenario. A quantitative examination of this relationship sheds light on effectively training agents for diverse scenarios. In this study, we present the Level of Influence (LoI), a metric quantifying the interaction intensity among agents within a given scenario and environment. We observe that, generally, a more diverse set of co-play agents during training enhances the generalization performance of the ego agent; however, this improvement varies across distinct scenarios and environments. LoI proves effective in predicting these improvement disparities within specific scenarios. Furthermore, we introduce a LoI-guided resource allocation method tailored to train a set of policies for diverse scenarios under a constrained budget. Our results demonstrate that strategic resource allocation based on LoI can achieve higher performance than uniform allocation under the same computation budget.

* 12 pages, 6 figures 
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