Observations depending on sums of random variables are common throughout many fields; however, no efficient solution is currently known for performing max-product inference on these sums of general discrete distributions (max-product inference can be used to obtain maximum a posteriori estimates). The limiting step to max-product inference is the max-convolution problem (sometimes presented in log-transformed form and denoted as "infimal convolution", "min-convolution", or "convolution on the tropical semiring"), for which no O(k log(k)) method is currently known. Here I present a O(k log(k)) numerical method for estimating the max-convolution of two nonnegative vectors (e.g., two probability mass functions), where k is the length of the larger vector. This numerical max-convolution method is then demonstrated by performing fast max-product inference on a convolution tree, a data structure for performing fast inference given information on the sum of n discrete random variables in O(n k log(n k) log(n) ) steps (where each random variable has an arbitrary prior distribution on k contiguous possible states). The numerical max-convolution method can be applied to specialized classes of hidden Markov models to reduce the runtime of computing the Viterbi path from n k^2 to n k log(k), and has potential application to the all-pairs shortest paths problem.

Namaki, Mohammad Hossain (Washington State University, Pullman) | Chowdhury, F. A. Rezaur Rahman (Washington State University, Pullman) | Islam, Md Rakibul (Washington State University, Pullman) | Doppa, Janardhan Rao (Washington State University, Pullman) | Wu, Yinghui (Washington State University, Pullman)

Querying graph structured data is a fundamental operation that enables important applications including knowledge graph search, social network analysis, and cyber-network security. However, the growing size of real-world data graphs poses severe challenges for graph databases to meet the response-time requirements of the applications. Planning the computational steps of query processing — Query Planning — is central to address these challenges. In this paper, we study the problem of learning to speedup query planning in graph databases towards the goal of improving the computational-efficiency of query processing via training queries. We present a Learning to Plan (L2P) framework that is applicable to a large class of query reasoners that follow the Threshold Algorithm (TA) approach. First, we define a generic search space over candidate query plans, and identify target search trajectories (query plans) corresponding to the training queries by performing an expensive search. Subsequently, we learn greedy search control knowledge to imitate the search behavior of the target query plans. We provide a concrete instantiation of our L2P framework for STAR, a state-of-the-art graph query reasoner. Our experiments on benchmark knowledge graphs including dbpedia, yago, and freebase show that using the query plans generated by the learned search control knowledge, we can significantly improve the speed of STAR with negligible loss in accuracy.

Zhao, Ruizhe, Vogel, Brian, Ahmed, Tanvir

Mixed precision training (MPT) is becoming a practical technique to improve the speed and energy efficiency of training deep neural networks by leveraging the fast hardware support for IEEE half-precision floating point that is available in existing GPUs. MPT is typically used in combination with a technique called loss scaling, that works by scaling up the loss value up before the start of back-propagation in order to minimize the impact of numerical underflow on training. Unfortunately, existing methods make this loss scale value a hyperparameter that needs to be tuned per-model, and a single scale cannot be adapted to different layers at different training stages. We introduce a loss scaling-based training method called adaptive loss scaling that makes MPT easier and more practical to use, by removing the need to tune a model-specific loss scale hyperparameter. We achieve this by introducing layer-wise loss scale values which are automatically computed during training to deal with underflow more effectively than existing methods. Training deep neural networks (DNNs) is well-known to be time and energy consuming, motivating the development of new methods and hardware to make training more efficient. One way to improve training efficiency is to use numerical representations that are more hardware-friendly. This is the reason that the IEEE 754 32-bit single-precision floating point format (FP32) is more widely used for training DNNs than the more precise double precision format (FP64), which is commonly used in other areas of high-performance computing.

Poupart, Pascal, Boutilier, Craig

We propose a new approach to value-directed belief state approximation for POMDPs. The value-directed model allows one to choose approximation methods for belief state monitoring that have a small impact on decision quality. Using a vector space analysis of the problem, we devise two new search procedures for selecting an approximation scheme that have much better computational properties than existing methods. Though these provide looser error bounds, we show empirically that they have a similar impact on decision quality in practice, and run up to two orders of magnitude more quickly.

Musco, Cameron, Musco, Christopher

Since being analyzed by Rokhlin, Szlam, and Tygert and popularized by Halko, Martinsson, and Tropp, randomized Simultaneous Power Iteration has become the method of choice for approximate singular value decomposition. It is more accurate than simpler sketching algorithms, yet still converges quickly for *any* matrix, independently of singular value gaps. After ~O(1/epsilon) iterations, it gives a low-rank approximation within (1+epsilon) of optimal for spectral norm error.We give the first provable runtime improvement on Simultaneous Iteration: a randomized block Krylov method, closely related to the classic Block Lanczos algorithm, gives the same guarantees in just ~O(1/sqrt(epsilon)) iterations and performs substantially better experimentally. Our analysis is the first of a Krylov subspace method that does not depend on singular value gaps, which are unreliable in practice.Furthermore, while it is a simple accuracy benchmark, even (1+epsilon) error for spectral norm low-rank approximation does not imply that an algorithm returns high quality principal components, a major issue for data applications. We address this problem for the first time by showing that both Block Krylov Iteration and Simultaneous Iteration give nearly optimal PCA for any matrix. This result further justifies their strength over non-iterative sketching methods.