Collaborating Authors

Constraint-Based Reasoning

MILP, pseudo-boolean, and OMT solvers for optimal fault-tolerant placements of relay nodes in mission critical wireless networks Artificial Intelligence

In critical infrastructures like airports, much care has to be devoted in protecting radio communication networks from external electromagnetic interference. Protection of such mission-critical radio communication networks is usually tackled by exploiting radiogoniometers: at least three suitably deployed radiogoniometers, and a gateway gathering information from them, permit to monitor and localise sources of electromagnetic emissions that are not supposed to be present in the monitored area. Typically, radiogoniometers are connected to the gateway through relay nodes. As a result, some degree of fault-tolerance for the network of relay nodes is essential in order to offer a reliable monitoring. On the other hand, deployment of relay nodes is typically quite expensive. As a result, we have two conflicting requirements: minimise costs while guaranteeing a given fault-tolerance. In this paper, we address the problem of computing a deployment for relay nodes that minimises the relay node network cost while at the same time guaranteeing proper working of the network even when some of the relay nodes (up to a given maximum number) become faulty (fault-tolerance). We show that, by means of a computation-intensive pre-processing on a HPC infrastructure, the above optimisation problem can be encoded as a 0/1 Linear Program, becoming suitable to be approached with standard Artificial Intelligence reasoners like MILP, PB-SAT, and SMT/OMT solvers. Our problem formulation enables us to present experimental results comparing the performance of these three solving technologies on a real case study of a relay node network deployment in areas of the Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome, Italy.

Efficiently Explaining CSPs with Unsatisfiable Subset Optimization Artificial Intelligence

We build on a recently proposed method for explaining solutions of constraint satisfaction problems. An explanation here is a sequence of simple inference steps, where the simplicity of an inference step is measured by the number and types of constraints and facts used, and where the sequence explains all logical consequences of the problem. We build on these formal foundations and tackle two emerging questions, namely how to generate explanations that are provably optimal (with respect to the given cost metric) and how to generate them efficiently. To answer these questions, we develop 1) an implicit hitting set algorithm for finding optimal unsatisfiable subsets; 2) a method to reduce multiple calls for (optimal) unsatisfiable subsets to a single call that takes constraints on the subset into account, and 3) a method for re-using relevant information over multiple calls to these algorithms. The method is also applicable to other problems that require finding cost-optimal unsatiable subsets. We specifically show that this approach can be used to effectively find sequences of optimal explanation steps for constraint satisfaction problems like logic grid puzzles.

Planning to Fairly Allocate: Probabilistic Fairness in the Restless Bandit Setting Artificial Intelligence

Restless and collapsing bandits are commonly used to model constrained resource allocation in settings featuring arms with action-dependent transition probabilities, such as allocating health interventions among patients [Whittle, 1988; Mate et al., 2020]. However, state-of-the-art Whittle-index-based approaches to this planning problem either do not consider fairness among arms, or incentivize fairness without guaranteeing it [Mate et al., 2021]. Additionally, their optimality guarantees only apply when arms are indexable and threshold-optimal. We demonstrate that the incorporation of hard fairness constraints necessitates the coupling of arms, which undermines the tractability, and by extension, indexability of the problem. We then introduce ProbFair, a probabilistically fair stationary policy that maximizes total expected reward and satisfies the budget constraint, while ensuring a strictly positive lower bound on the probability of being pulled at each timestep. We evaluate our algorithm on a real-world application, where interventions support continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy adherence among obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients, as well as simulations on a broader class of synthetic transition matrices.

Gradient Disaggregation: Breaking Privacy in Federated Learning by Reconstructing the User Participant Matrix Artificial Intelligence

We show that aggregated model updates in federated learning may be insecure. An untrusted central server may disaggregate user updates from sums of updates across participants given repeated observations, enabling the server to recover privileged information about individual users' private training data via traditional gradient inference attacks. Our method revolves around reconstructing participant information (e.g: which rounds of training users participated in) from aggregated model updates by leveraging summary information from device analytics commonly used to monitor, debug, and manage federated learning systems. Our attack is parallelizable and we successfully disaggregate user updates on settings with up to thousands of participants. We quantitatively and qualitatively demonstrate significant improvements in the capability of various inference attacks on the disaggregated updates. Our attack enables the attribution of learned properties to individual users, violating anonymity, and shows that a determined central server may undermine the secure aggregation protocol to break individual users' data privacy in federated learning.

A Hybrid APM-CPGSO Approach for Constraint Satisfaction Problem Solving: Application to Remote Sensing Artificial Intelligence

Constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) has been actively used for modeling and solving a wide range of complex real-world problems. However, it has been proven that developing efficient methods for solving CSP, especially for large problems, is very difficult and challenging. Existing complete methods for problem-solving are in most cases unsuitable. Therefore, proposing hybrid CSP-based methods for problem-solving has been of increasing interest in the last decades. This paper aims at proposing a novel approach that combines incomplete and complete CSP methods for problem-solving. The proposed approach takes advantage of the group search algorithm (GSO) and the constraint propagation (CP) methods to solve problems related to the remote sensing field. To the best of our knowledge, this paper represents the first study that proposes a hybridization between an improved version of GSO and CP in the resolution of complex constraint-based problems. Experiments have been conducted for the resolution of object recognition problems in satellite images. Results show good performances in terms of convergence and running time of the proposed CSP-based method compared to existing state-of-the-art methods.

End-to-End Neuro-Symbolic Architecture for Image-to-Image Reasoning Tasks Artificial Intelligence

Neural models and symbolic algorithms have recently been combined for tasks requiring both perception and reasoning. Neural models ground perceptual input into a conceptual vocabulary, on which a classical reasoning algorithm is applied to generate output. A key limitation is that such neural-to-symbolic models can only be trained end-to-end for tasks where the output space is symbolic. In this paper, we study neural-symbolic-neural models for reasoning tasks that require a conversion from an image input (e.g., a partially filled sudoku) to an image output (e.g., the image of the completed sudoku). While designing such a three-step hybrid architecture may be straightforward, the key technical challenge is end-to-end training -- how to backpropagate without intermediate supervision through the symbolic component. We propose NSNnet, an architecture that combines an image reconstruction loss with a novel output encoder to generate a supervisory signal, develops update algorithms that leverage policy gradient methods for supervision, and optimizes loss using a novel subsampling heuristic. We experiment on problem settings where symbolic algorithms are easily specified: a visual maze solving task and a visual Sudoku solver where the supervision is in image form. Experiments show high accuracy with significantly less data compared to purely neural approaches.

SketchGen: Generating Constrained CAD Sketches Artificial Intelligence

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the most widely used modeling approach for technical design. The typical starting point in these designs is 2D sketches which can later be extruded and combined to obtain complex three-dimensional assemblies. Such sketches are typically composed of parametric primitives, such as points, lines, and circular arcs, augmented with geometric constraints linking the primitives, such as coincidence, parallelism, or orthogonality. Sketches can be represented as graphs, with the primitives as nodes and the constraints as edges. Training a model to automatically generate CAD sketches can enable several novel workflows, but is challenging due to the complexity of the graphs and the heterogeneity of the primitives and constraints. In particular, each type of primitive and constraint may require a record of different size and parameter types. We propose SketchGen as a generative model based on a transformer architecture to address the heterogeneity problem by carefully designing a sequential language for the primitives and constraints that allows distinguishing between different primitive or constraint types and their parameters, while encouraging our model to re-use information across related parameters, encoding shared structure. A particular highlight of our work is the ability to produce primitives linked via constraints that enables the final output to be further regularized via a constraint solver. We evaluate our model by demonstrating constraint prediction for given sets of primitives and full sketch generation from scratch, showing that our approach significantly out performs the state-of-the-art in CAD sketch generation.

Large-scale, Dynamic and Distributed Coalition Formation with Spatial and Temporal Constraints Artificial Intelligence

The Coalition Formation with Spatial and Temporal constraints Problem (CFSTP) is a multi-agent task allocation problem in which few agents have to perform many tasks, each with its deadline and workload. To maximize the number of completed tasks, the agents need to cooperate by forming, disbanding and reforming coalitions. The original mathematical programming formulation of the CFSTP is difficult to implement, since it is lengthy and based on the problematic Big-M method. In this paper, we propose a compact and easy-to-implement formulation. Moreover, we design D-CTS, a distributed version of the state-of-the-art CFSTP algorithm. Using public London Fire Brigade records, we create a dataset with $347588$ tasks and a test framework that simulates the mobilization of firefighters in dynamic environments. In problems with up to $150$ agents and $3000$ tasks, compared to DSA-SDP, a state-of-the-art distributed algorithm, D-CTS completes $3.79\% \pm [42.22\%, 1.96\%]$ more tasks, and is one order of magnitude more efficient in terms of communication overhead and time complexity. D-CTS sets the first large-scale, dynamic and distributed CFSTP benchmark.

Resource Constraints Undercut the ROI of IoT at the Edge


While IoT at the edge of the network continues to make strides, resource constraints pose ample challenges to these devices. This can enable a variety of tasks, from autonomous driving to real-time video streaming to preventative maintenance of equipment. Processing at the edge circumvents the time delays and data security challenges of centralized computing: Instead of sending data back and forth to a data center or a cloud, data is processed locally. Companies are beginning to reap the benefits of edge processing in ways they barely imagined five years ago. Consider retailers, which now use edge processing for video surveillance at the register -- not only to minimize product loss but also to target other customer services issues in checkout.

Reputation Bootstrapping for Composite Services using CP-nets Artificial Intelligence

We propose a novel framework to bootstrap the reputation of on-demand service compositions. On-demand compositions are usually context-aware and have little or no direct consumer feedback. The reputation bootstrapping of single or atomic services does not consider the topology of the composition and relationships among reputation-related factors. We apply Conditional Preference Networks (CP-nets) of reputation-related factors for component services in a composition. The reputation of a composite service is bootstrapped by the composition of CP-nets. We consider the history of invocation among component services to determine reputation-interdependence in a composition. The composition rules are constructed using the composition topology and four types of reputation-influence among component services. A heuristic-based Q-learning approach is proposed to select the optimal set of reputation-related CP-nets. Experimental results prove the efficiency of the proposed approach.