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Paving the Roadway for Safety of Automated Vehicles: An Empirical Study on Testing Challenges

May 09, 2017
Alessia Knauss, Jan Schröder, Christian Berger, Henrik Eriksson

The technology in the area of automated vehicles is gaining speed and promises many advantages. However, with the recent introduction of conditionally automated driving, we have also seen accidents. Test protocols for both, conditionally automated (e.g., on highways) and automated vehicles do not exist yet and leave researchers and practitioners with different challenges. For instance, current test procedures do not suffice for fully automated vehicles, which are supposed to be completely in charge for the driving task and have no driver as a back up. This paper presents current challenges of testing the functionality and safety of automated vehicles derived from conducting focus groups and interviews with 26 participants from five countries having a background related to testing automotive safety-related topics.We provide an overview of the state-of-practice of testing active safety features as well as challenges that needs to be addressed in the future to ensure safety for automated vehicles. The major challenges identified through the interviews and focus groups, enriched by literature on this topic are related to 1) virtual testing and simulation, 2) safety, reliability, and quality, 3) sensors and sensor models, 4) required scenario complexity and amount of test cases, and 5) handover of responsibility between the driver and the vehicle.

* 8 pages 

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Knowledge Reduction and Discovery based on Demarcation Information

May 27, 2004
Yuguo He

Knowledge reduction, includes attribute reduction and value reduction, is an important topic in rough set literature. It is also closely relevant to other fields, such as machine learning and data mining. In this paper, an algorithm called TWI-SQUEEZE is proposed. It can find a reduct, or an irreducible attribute subset after two scans. Its soundness and computational complexity are given, which show that it is the fastest algorithm at present. A measure of variety is brought forward, of which algorithm TWI-SQUEEZE can be regarded as an application. The author also argues the rightness of this measure as a measure of information, which can make it a unified measure for "differentiation, a concept appeared in cognitive psychology literature. Value reduction is another important aspect of knowledge reduction. It is interesting that using the same algorithm we can execute a complete value reduction efficiently. The complete knowledge reduction, which results in an irreducible table, can therefore be accomplished after four scans of table. The byproducts of reduction are two classifiers of different styles. In this paper, various cases and models will be discussed to prove the efficiency and effectiveness of the algorithm. Some topics, such as how to integrate user preference to find a local optimal attribute subset will also be discussed.

* 93 pages with 46 figures 

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Modeling Human Behavior Part I -- Learning and Belief Approaches

May 13, 2022
Andrew Fuchs, Andrea Passarella, Marco Conti

There is a clear desire to model and comprehend human behavior. Trends in research covering this topic show a clear assumption that many view human reasoning as the presupposed standard in artificial reasoning. As such, topics such as game theory, theory of mind, machine learning, etc. all integrate concepts which are assumed components of human reasoning. These serve as techniques to attempt to both replicate and understand the behaviors of humans. In addition, next generation autonomous and adaptive systems will largely include AI agents and humans working together as teams. To make this possible, autonomous agents will require the ability to embed practical models of human behavior, which allow them not only to replicate human models as a technique to "learn", but to to understand the actions of users and anticipate their behavior, so as to truly operate in symbiosis with them. The main objective of this paper it to provide a succinct yet systematic review of the most important approaches in two areas dealing with quantitative models of human behaviors. Specifically, we focus on (i) techniques which learn a model or policy of behavior through exploration and feedback, such as Reinforcement Learning, and (ii) directly model mechanisms of human reasoning, such as beliefs and bias, without going necessarily learning via trial-and-error.

* Part 1 of our review (see Modeling Human Behavior Part II - Cognitive approaches and Uncertainty) relating to learning and modeling behavior. This work was partially funded by the following projects. European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme: HumaneAI-Net (No 952026). CHIST-ERA program: SAI project (grant CHIST-ERA-19-XAI-010, funded by MUR, grant number not yet available) 

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Robotic Grasping from Classical to Modern: A Survey

Feb 08, 2022
Hanbo Zhang, Jian Tang, Shiguang Sun, Xuguang Lan

Robotic Grasping has always been an active topic in robotics since grasping is one of the fundamental but most challenging skills of robots. It demands the coordination of robotic perception, planning, and control for robustness and intelligence. However, current solutions are still far behind humans, especially when confronting unstructured scenarios. In this paper, we survey the advances of robotic grasping, starting from the classical formulations and solutions to the modern ones. By reviewing the history of robotic grasping, we want to provide a complete view of this community, and perhaps inspire the combination and fusion of different ideas, which we think would be helpful to touch and explore the essence of robotic grasping problems. In detail, we firstly give an overview of the analytic methods for robotic grasping. After that, we provide a discussion on the recent state-of-the-art data-driven grasping approaches rising in recent years. With the development of computer vision, semantic grasping is being widely investigated and can be the basis of intelligent manipulation and skill learning for autonomous robotic systems in the future. Therefore, in our survey, we also briefly review the recent progress in this topic. Finally, we discuss the open problems and the future research directions that may be important for the human-level robustness, autonomy, and intelligence of robots.

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MigrationsKB: A Knowledge Base of Public Attitudes towards Migrations and their Driving Factors

Aug 17, 2021
Yiyi Chen, Harald Sack, Mehwish Alam

With the increasing trend in the topic of migration in Europe, the public is now more engaged in expressing their opinions through various platforms such as Twitter. Understanding the online discourses is therefore essential to capture the public opinion. The goal of this study is the analysis of social media platform to quantify public attitudes towards migrations and the identification of different factors causing these attitudes. The tweets spanning from 2013 to Jul-2021 in the European countries which are hosts to immigrants are collected, pre-processed, and filtered using advanced topic modeling technique. BERT-based entity linking and sentiment analysis, and attention-based hate speech detection are performed to annotate the curated tweets. Moreover, the external databases are used to identify the potential social and economic factors causing negative attitudes of the people about migration. To further promote research in the interdisciplinary fields of social science and computer science, the outcomes are integrated into a Knowledge Base (KB), i.e., MigrationsKB which significantly extends the existing models to take into account the public attitudes towards migrations and the economic indicators. This KB is made public using FAIR principles, which can be queried through SPARQL endpoint. Data dumps are made available on Zenodo.

* 19 pages, 11 figures 

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Derivative-Free Reinforcement Learning: A Review

Feb 10, 2021
Hong Qian, Yang Yu

Reinforcement learning is about learning agent models that make the best sequential decisions in unknown environments. In an unknown environment, the agent needs to explore the environment while exploiting the collected information, which usually forms a sophisticated problem to solve. Derivative-free optimization, meanwhile, is capable of solving sophisticated problems. It commonly uses a sampling-and-updating framework to iteratively improve the solution, where exploration and exploitation are also needed to be well balanced. Therefore, derivative-free optimization deals with a similar core issue as reinforcement learning, and has been introduced in reinforcement learning approaches, under the names of learning classifier systems and neuroevolution/evolutionary reinforcement learning. Although such methods have been developed for decades, recently, derivative-free reinforcement learning exhibits attracting increasing attention. However, recent survey on this topic is still lacking. In this article, we summarize methods of derivative-free reinforcement learning to date, and organize the methods in aspects including parameter updating, model selection, exploration, and parallel/distributed methods. Moreover, we discuss some current limitations and possible future directions, hoping that this article could bring more attentions to this topic and serve as a catalyst for developing novel and efficient approaches.

* This article has been accepted by Frontiers of Computer Science in 2020 

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What comprises a good talking-head video generation?: A Survey and Benchmark

May 07, 2020
Lele Chen, Guofeng Cui, Ziyi Kou, Haitian Zheng, Chenliang Xu

Over the years, performance evaluation has become essential in computer vision, enabling tangible progress in many sub-fields. While talking-head video generation has become an emerging research topic, existing evaluations on this topic present many limitations. For example, most approaches use human subjects (e.g., via Amazon MTurk) to evaluate their research claims directly. This subjective evaluation is cumbersome, unreproducible, and may impend the evolution of new research. In this work, we present a carefully-designed benchmark for evaluating talking-head video generation with standardized dataset pre-processing strategies. As for evaluation, we either propose new metrics or select the most appropriate ones to evaluate results in what we consider as desired properties for a good talking-head video, namely, identity preserving, lip synchronization, high video quality, and natural-spontaneous motion. By conducting a thoughtful analysis across several state-of-the-art talking-head generation approaches, we aim to uncover the merits and drawbacks of current methods and point out promising directions for future work. All the evaluation code is available at:

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Promotion of Answer Value Measurement with Domain Effects in Community Question Answering Systems

Jun 01, 2019
Binbin Jin, Enhong Chen, Hongke Zhao, Zhenya Huang, Qi Liu, Hengshu Zhu, Shui Yu

In the area of community question answering (CQA), answer selection and answer ranking are two tasks which are applied to help users quickly access valuable answers. Existing solutions mainly exploit the syntactic or semantic correlation between a question and its related answers (Q&A), where the multi-facet domain effects in CQA are still underexplored. In this paper, we propose a unified model, Enhanced Attentive Recurrent Neural Network (EARNN), for both answer selection and answer ranking tasks by taking full advantages of both Q&A semantics and multi-facet domain effects (i.e., topic effects and timeliness). Specifically, we develop a serialized LSTM to learn the unified representations of Q&A, where two attention mechanisms at either sentence-level or word-level are designed for capturing the deep effects of topics. Meanwhile, the emphasis of Q&A can be automatically distinguished. Furthermore, we design a time-sensitive ranking function to model the timeliness in CQA. To effectively train EARNN, a question-dependent pairwise learning strategy is also developed. Finally, we conduct extensive experiments on a real-world dataset from Quora. Experimental results validate the effectiveness and interpretability of our proposed EARNN model.

* Accepted by IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics: Systems 

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Controversy Detection: a Text and Graph Neural Network Based Approach

Dec 03, 2021
Samy Benslimane, Jérome Azé, Sandra Bringay, Maximilien Servajean, Caroline Mollevi

Controversial content refers to any content that attracts both positive and negative feedback. Its automatic identification, especially on social media, is a challenging task as it should be done on a large number of continuously evolving posts, covering a large variety of topics. Most of the existing approaches rely on the graph structure of a topic-discussion and/or the content of messages. This paper proposes a controversy detection approach based on both graph structure of a discussion and text features. Our proposed approach relies on Graph Neural Network (gnn) to encode the graph representation (including its texts) in an embedding vector before performing a graph classification task. The latter will classify the post as controversial or not. Two controversy detection strategies are proposed. The first one is based on a hierarchical graph representation learning. Graph user nodes are embedded hierarchically and iteratively to compute the whole graph embedding vector. The second one is based on the attention mechanism, which allows each user node to give more or less importance to its neighbors when computing node embeddings. We conduct experiments to evaluate our approach using different real-world datasets. Conducted experiments show the positive impact of combining textual features and structural information in terms of performance.

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Vaccine skepticism detection by network embedding

Oct 20, 2021
Ferenc Béres, Rita Csoma, Tamás Vilmos Michaletzky, András A. Benczúr

We demonstrate the applicability of network embedding to vaccine skepticism, a controversial topic of long-past history. With the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak at the end of 2019, the topic is more important than ever. Only a year after the first international cases were registered, multiple vaccines were developed and passed clinical testing. Besides the challenges of development, testing, and logistics, another factor that might play a significant role in the fight against the pandemic are people who are hesitant to get vaccinated, or even state that they will refuse any vaccine offered to them. Two groups of people commonly referred to as a) pro-vaxxer, those who support vaccinating people b) vax-skeptic, those who question vaccine efficacy or the need for general vaccination against Covid-19. It is very difficult to tell exactly how many people share each of these views. It is even more difficult to understand all the reasoning why vax-skeptic opinions are getting more popular. In this work, our intention was to develop techniques that are able to efficiently differentiate between pro-vaxxer and vax-skeptic content. After multiple data preprocessing steps, we analyzed the tweet text as well as the structure of user interactions on Twitter. We deployed several node embedding and community detection models that scale well for graphs with millions of edges.

* Extended abstract for Complex Networks 2021 (CNA21) conference 
* The data and the source code are available on GitHub: 

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