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"Topic": models, code, and papers

Dictionary-based Low-Rank Approximations and the Mixed Sparse Coding problem

Nov 24, 2021
Jeremy E. Cohen

Constrained tensor and matrix factorization models allow to extract interpretable patterns from multiway data. Therefore identifiability properties and efficient algorithms for constrained low-rank approximations are nowadays important research topics. This work deals with columns of factor matrices of a low-rank approximation being sparse in a known and possibly overcomplete basis, a model coined as Dictionary-based Low-Rank Approximation (DLRA). While earlier contributions focused on finding factor columns inside a dictionary of candidate columns, i.e. one-sparse approximations, this work is the first to tackle DLRA with sparsity larger than one. I propose to focus on the sparse-coding subproblem coined Mixed Sparse-Coding (MSC) that emerges when solving DLRA with an alternating optimization strategy. Several algorithms based on sparse-coding heuristics (greedy methods, convex relaxations) are provided to solve MSC. The performance of these heuristics is evaluated on simulated data. Then, I show how to adapt an efficient MSC solver based on the LASSO to compute Dictionary-based Matrix Factorization and Canonical Polyadic Decomposition in the context of hyperspectral image processing and chemometrics. These experiments suggest that DLRA extends the modeling capabilities of low-rank approximations, helps reducing estimation variance and enhances the identifiability and interpretability of estimated factors.

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A Broad Ensemble Learning System for Drifting Stream Classification

Oct 07, 2021
Sepehr Bakhshi, Pouya Ghahramanian, Hamed Bonab, Fazli Can

Data stream classification has become a major research topic due to the increase in temporal data. One of the biggest hurdles of data stream classification is the development of algorithms that deal with evolving data, also known as concept drifts. As data changes over time, static prediction models lose their validity. Adapting to concept drifts provides more robust and better performing models. The Broad Learning System (BLS) is an effective broad neural architecture recently developed for incremental learning. BLS cannot provide instant response since it requires huge data chunks and is unable to handle concept drifts. We propose a Broad Ensemble Learning System (BELS) for stream classification with concept drift. BELS uses a novel updating method that greatly improves best-in-class model accuracy. It employs a dynamic output ensemble layer to address the limitations of BLS. We present its mathematical derivation, provide comprehensive experiments with 11 datasets that demonstrate the adaptability of our model, including a comparison of our model with BLS, and provide parameter and robustness analysis on several drifting streams, showing that it statistically significantly outperforms seven state-of-the-art baselines. We show that our proposed method improves on average 44% compared to BLS, and 29% compared to other competitive baselines.

* Submitted to IEEE TKDE 

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GNN is a Counter? Revisiting GNN for Question Answering

Oct 07, 2021
Kuan Wang, Yuyu Zhang, Diyi Yang, Le Song, Tao Qin

Question Answering (QA) has been a long-standing research topic in AI and NLP fields, and a wealth of studies have been conducted to attempt to equip QA systems with human-level reasoning capability. To approximate the complicated human reasoning process, state-of-the-art QA systems commonly use pre-trained language models (LMs) to access knowledge encoded in LMs together with elaborately designed modules based on Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) to perform reasoning over knowledge graphs (KGs). However, many problems remain open regarding the reasoning functionality of these GNN-based modules. Can these GNN-based modules really perform a complex reasoning process? Are they under- or over-complicated for QA? To open the black box of GNN and investigate these problems, we dissect state-of-the-art GNN modules for QA and analyze their reasoning capability. We discover that even a very simple graph neural counter can outperform all the existing GNN modules on CommonsenseQA and OpenBookQA, two popular QA benchmark datasets which heavily rely on knowledge-aware reasoning. Our work reveals that existing knowledge-aware GNN modules may only carry out some simple reasoning such as counting. It remains a challenging open problem to build comprehensive reasoning modules for knowledge-powered QA.

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A Plug-and-Play Method for Controlled Text Generation

Sep 20, 2021
Damian Pascual, Beni Egressy, Clara Meister, Ryan Cotterell, Roger Wattenhofer

Large pre-trained language models have repeatedly shown their ability to produce fluent text. Yet even when starting from a prompt, generation can continue in many plausible directions. Current decoding methods with the goal of controlling generation, e.g., to ensure specific words are included, either require additional models or fine-tuning, or work poorly when the task at hand is semantically unconstrained, e.g., story generation. In this work, we present a plug-and-play decoding method for controlled language generation that is so simple and intuitive, it can be described in a single sentence: given a topic or keyword, we add a shift to the probability distribution over our vocabulary towards semantically similar words. We show how annealing this distribution can be used to impose hard constraints on language generation, something no other plug-and-play method is currently able to do with SOTA language generators. Despite the simplicity of this approach, we see it works incredibly well in practice: decoding from GPT-2 leads to diverse and fluent sentences while guaranteeing the appearance of given guide words. We perform two user studies, revealing that (1) our method outperforms competing methods in human evaluations; and (2) forcing the guide words to appear in the generated text has no impact on the fluency of the generated text.

* Findings of EMNLP 2021 

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Deformation-Aware Data-Driven Grasp Synthesis

Sep 11, 2021
Tran Nguyen Le, Jens Lundell, Fares J. Abu-Dakka, Ville Kyrki

Grasp synthesis for 3D deformable objects remains a little-explored topic, most works aiming to minimize deformations. However, deformations are not necessarily harmful -- humans are, for example, able to exploit deformations to generate new potential grasps. How to achieve that on a robot is though an open question. This paper proposes an approach that uses object stiffness information in addition to depth images for synthesizing high-quality grasps. We achieve this by incorporating object stiffness as an additional input to a state-of-the-art deep grasp planning network. We also curate a new synthetic dataset of grasps on objects of varying stiffness using the Isaac Gym simulator for training the network. We experimentally validate and compare our proposed approach against the case where we do not incorporate object stiffness on a total of 2800 grasps in simulation and 420 grasps on a real Franka Emika Panda. The experimental results show significant improvement in grasp success rate using the proposed approach on a wide range of objects with varying shapes, sizes, and stiffness. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the approach can generate different grasping strategies for different stiffness values, such as pinching for soft objects and caging for hard objects. Together, the results clearly show the value of incorporating stiffness information when grasping objects of varying stiffness.

* In review for RA-L and ICRA 2022. 8 pages, 10 figures 

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Enhancing Self-Disclosure In Neural Dialog Models By Candidate Re-ranking

Sep 10, 2021
Mayank Soni, Benjamin Cowan, Vincent Wade

Neural language modelling has progressed the state-of-the-art in different downstream Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. One such area is of open-domain dialog modelling, neural dialog models based on GPT-2 such as DialoGPT have shown promising performance in single-turn conversation. However, such (neural) dialog models have been criticized for generating responses which although may have relevance to the previous human response, tend to quickly dissipate human interest and descend into trivial conversation. One reason for such performance is the lack of explicit conversation strategy being employed in human-machine conversation. Humans employ a range of conversation strategies while engaging in a conversation, one such key social strategies is Self-disclosure(SD). A phenomenon of revealing information about one-self to others. Social penetration theory (SPT) proposes that communication between two people moves from shallow to deeper levels as the relationship progresses primarily through self-disclosure. Disclosure helps in creating rapport among the participants engaged in a conversation. In this paper, Self-disclosure enhancement architecture (SDEA) is introduced utilizing Self-disclosure Topic Model (SDTM) during inference stage of a neural dialog model to re-rank response candidates to enhance self-disclosure in single-turn responses from from the model.

* 10 pages, 3 figures, 1 table 

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EmailSum: Abstractive Email Thread Summarization

Jul 30, 2021
Shiyue Zhang, Asli Celikyilmaz, Jianfeng Gao, Mohit Bansal

Recent years have brought about an interest in the challenging task of summarizing conversation threads (meetings, online discussions, etc.). Such summaries help analysis of the long text to quickly catch up with the decisions made and thus improve our work or communication efficiency. To spur research in thread summarization, we have developed an abstractive Email Thread Summarization (EmailSum) dataset, which contains human-annotated short (<30 words) and long (<100 words) summaries of 2549 email threads (each containing 3 to 10 emails) over a wide variety of topics. We perform a comprehensive empirical study to explore different summarization techniques (including extractive and abstractive methods, single-document and hierarchical models, as well as transfer and semisupervised learning) and conduct human evaluations on both short and long summary generation tasks. Our results reveal the key challenges of current abstractive summarization models in this task, such as understanding the sender's intent and identifying the roles of sender and receiver. Furthermore, we find that widely used automatic evaluation metrics (ROUGE, BERTScore) are weakly correlated with human judgments on this email thread summarization task. Hence, we emphasize the importance of human evaluation and the development of better metrics by the community. Our code and summary data have been made available at:

* ACL 2021 (15 pages) 

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Some Problems of Deployment and Navigation of Civilian Aerial Drones

Jun 24, 2021
Xiaohui Li

One of the biggest challenges is to determine the deployment and navigation of the drones to benefit the most for different applications. Many research questions have been raised about this topic. For example, drone-enabled wildlife monitoring has received much attention in recent years. Unfortunately, this approach results in significant disturbance to different species of wild animals. Moreover, with the capability of rapidly moving communication supply towards demand when required, the drone equipped with a base station, i.e., drone-cell, is becoming a promising solution for providing cellular networks to victims and rescue teams in disaster-affected areas. However, few studies have investigated the optimal deployments of multiple drone-cells with limited backhaul communication distances. In addition, the use of autonomous drones as flying interactors for many real-life applications has not been sufficiently discussed. With superior maneuverability, drone-enabled autonomous aerial interacting can potentially be used on shark attack prevention and animal herding. Nevertheless, previous studies of autonomous drones have not dealt with such applications in much detail. This report explores the solutions to all the mentioned research questions, with a particular focus on the deployment and navigation of the drones. Simulations have been conducted to verify the effectiveness of the proposed approaches. We believe that our findings in this report shed new light on the fundamental benefits of autonomous civilian drones.

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Semantics in Multi-objective Genetic Programming

May 06, 2021
Edgar Galván, Leonardo Trujillo, Fergal Stapleton

Semantics has become a key topic of research in Genetic Programming (GP). Semantics refers to the outputs (behaviour) of a GP individual when this is run on a data set. The majority of works that focus on semantic diversity in single-objective GP indicates that it is highly beneficial in evolutionary search. Surprisingly, there is minuscule research conducted in semantics in Multi-objective GP (MOGP). In this work we make a leap beyond our understanding of semantics in MOGP and propose SDO: Semantic-based Distance as an additional criteriOn. This naturally encourages semantic diversity in MOGP. To do so, we find a pivot in the less dense region of the first Pareto front (most promising front). This is then used to compute a distance between the pivot and every individual in the population. The resulting distance is then used as an additional criterion to be optimised to favour semantic diversity. We also use two other semantic-based methods as baselines, called Semantic Similarity-based Crossover and Semantic-based Crowding Distance. Furthermore, we also use the NSGA-II and the SPEA2 for comparison too. We use highly unbalanced binary classification problems and consistently show how our proposed SDO approach produces more non-dominated solutions and better diversity, leading to better statistically significant results, using the hypervolume results as evaluation measure, compared to the rest of the other four methods.

* 30 pages, 4 figures, 10 tables, journal article 

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Software Engineering for AI-Based Systems: A Survey

May 05, 2021
Silverio Martínez-Fernández, Justus Bogner, Xavier Franch, Marc Oriol, Julien Siebert, Adam Trendowicz, Anna Maria Vollmer, Stefan Wagner

AI-based systems are software systems with functionalities enabled by at least one AI component (e.g., for image- and speech-recognition, and autonomous driving). AI-based systems are becoming pervasive in society due to advances in AI. However, there is limited synthesized knowledge on Software Engineering (SE) approaches for building, operating, and maintaining AI-based systems. To collect and analyze state-of-the-art knowledge about SE for AI-based systems, we conducted a systematic mapping study. We considered 248 studies published between January 2010 and March 2020. SE for AI-based systems is an emerging research area, where more than 2/3 of the studies have been published since 2018. The most studied properties of AI-based systems are dependability and safety. We identified multiple SE approaches for AI-based systems, which we classified according to the SWEBOK areas. Studies related to software testing and software quality are very prevalent, while areas like software maintenance seem neglected. Data-related issues are the most recurrent challenges. Our results are valuable for: researchers, to quickly understand the state of the art and learn which topics need more research; practitioners, to learn about the approaches and challenges that SE entails for AI-based systems; and, educators, to bridge the gap among SE and AI in their curricula.

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