Collaborating Authors

Wang, Chao

Towards robust and domain agnostic reinforcement learning competitions Machine Learning

Reinforcement learning competitions have formed the basis for standard research benchmarks, galvanized advances in the state-of-the-art, and shaped the direction of the field. Despite this, a majority of challenges suffer from the same fundamental problems: participant solutions to the posed challenge are usually domain-specific, biased to maximally exploit compute resources, and not guaranteed to be reproducible. In this paper, we present a new framework of competition design that promotes the development of algorithms that overcome these barriers. We propose four central mechanisms for achieving this end: submission retraining, domain randomization, desemantization through domain obfuscation, and the limitation of competition compute and environment-sample budget. To demonstrate the efficacy of this design, we proposed, organized, and ran the MineRL 2020 Competition on Sample-Efficient Reinforcement Learning. In this work, we describe the organizational outcomes of the competition and show that the resulting participant submissions are reproducible, non-specific to the competition environment, and sample/resource efficient, despite the difficult competition task.

TAT-QA: A Question Answering Benchmark on a Hybrid of Tabular and Textual Content in Finance Artificial Intelligence

Hybrid data combining both tabular and textual content (e.g., financial reports) are quite pervasive in the real world. However, Question Answering (QA) over such hybrid data is largely neglected in existing research. In this work, we extract samples from real financial reports to build a new large-scale QA dataset containing both Tabular And Textual data, named TAT-QA, where numerical reasoning is usually required to infer the answer, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, counting, comparison/sorting, and the compositions. We further propose a novel QA model termed TAGOP, which is capable of reasoning over both tables and text. It adopts sequence tagging to extract relevant cells from the table along with relevant spans from the text to infer their semantics, and then applies symbolic reasoning over them with a set of aggregation operators to arrive at the final answer. TAGOPachieves 58.0% inF1, which is an 11.1% absolute increase over the previous best baseline model, according to our experiments on TAT-QA. But this result still lags far behind performance of expert human, i.e.90.8% in F1. It is demonstrated that our TAT-QA is very challenging and can serve as a benchmark for training and testing powerful QA models that address hybrid form data.

An Emotion-controlled Dialog Response Generation Model with Dynamic Vocabulary Artificial Intelligence

In response generation task, proper sentimental expressions can obviously improve the human-like level of the responses. However, for real application in online systems, high QPS (queries per second, an indicator of the flow capacity of on-line systems) is required, and a dynamic vocabulary mechanism has been proved available in improving speed of generative models. In this paper, we proposed an emotion-controlled dialog response generation model based on the dynamic vocabulary mechanism, and the experimental results show the benefit of this model.

Drug Package Recommendation via Interaction-aware Graph Induction Artificial Intelligence

Recent years have witnessed the rapid accumulation of massive electronic medical records (EMRs), which highly support the intelligent medical services such as drug recommendation. However, prior arts mainly follow the traditional recommendation strategies like collaborative filtering, which usually treat individual drugs as mutually independent, while the latent interactions among drugs, e.g., synergistic or antagonistic effect, have been largely ignored. To that end, in this paper, we target at developing a new paradigm for drug package recommendation with considering the interaction effect within drugs, in which the interaction effects could be affected by patient conditions. Specifically, we first design a pre-training method based on neural collaborative filtering to get the initial embedding of patients and drugs. Then, the drug interaction graph will be initialized based on medical records and domain knowledge. Along this line, we propose a new Drug Package Recommendation (DPR) framework with two variants, respectively DPR on Weighted Graph (DPR-WG) and DPR on Attributed Graph (DPR-AG) to solve the problem, in which each the interactions will be described as signed weights or attribute vectors. In detail, a mask layer is utilized to capture the impact of patient condition, and graph neural networks (GNNs) are leveraged for the final graph induction task to embed the package. Extensive experiments on a real-world data set from a first-rate hospital demonstrate the effectiveness of our DPR framework compared with several competitive baseline methods, and further support the heuristic study for the drug package generation task with adequate performance.

Retrieving and Reading: A Comprehensive Survey on Open-domain Question Answering Artificial Intelligence

Open-domain Question Answering (OpenQA) is an important task in Natural Language Processing (NLP), which aims to answer a question in the form of natural language based on large-scale unstructured documents. Recently, there has been a surge in the amount of research literature on OpenQA, particularly on techniques that integrate with neural Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC). While these research works have advanced performance to new heights on benchmark datasets, they have been rarely covered in existing surveys on QA systems. In this work, we review the latest research trends in OpenQA, with particular attention to systems that incorporate neural MRC techniques. Specifically, we begin with revisiting the origin and development of OpenQA systems. We then introduce modern OpenQA architecture named ``Retriever-Reader'' and analyze the various systems that follow this architecture as well as the specific techniques adopted in each of the components. We then discuss key challenges to developing OpenQA systems and offer an analysis of benchmarks that are commonly used. We hope our work would enable researchers to be informed of the recent advancement and also the open challenges in OpenQA research, so as to stimulate further progress in this field.

NeuroDiff: Scalable Differential Verification of Neural Networks using Fine-Grained Approximation Machine Learning

As neural networks make their way into safety-critical systems, where misbehavior can lead to catastrophes, there is a growing interest in certifying the equivalence of two structurally similar neural networks. For example, compression techniques are often used in practice for deploying trained neural networks on computationally- and energy-constrained devices, which raises the question of how faithfully the compressed network mimics the original network. Unfortunately, existing methods either focus on verifying a single network or rely on loose approximations to prove the equivalence of two networks. Due to overly conservative approximation, differential verification lacks scalability in terms of both accuracy and computational cost. To overcome these problems, we propose NeuroDiff, a symbolic and fine-grained approximation technique that drastically increases the accuracy of differential verification while achieving many orders-of-magnitude speedup. NeuroDiff has two key contributions. The first one is new convex approximations that more accurately bound the difference neurons of two networks under all possible inputs. The second one is judicious use of symbolic variables to represent neurons whose difference bounds have accumulated significant error. We also find that these two techniques are complementary, i.e., when combined, the benefit is greater than the sum of their individual benefits. We have evaluated NeuroDiff on a variety of differential verification tasks. Our results show that NeuroDiff is up to 1000X faster and 5X more accurate than the state-of-the-art tool.

DiffRNN: Differential Verification of Recurrent Neural Networks Machine Learning

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) such as Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) networks have become popular in a variety of applications such as image processing, data classification, speech recognition, and as controllers in autonomous systems. In practical settings, there is often a need to deploy such RNNs on resource-constrained platforms such as mobile phones or embedded devices. As the memory footprint and energy consumption of such components become a bottleneck, there is interest in compressing and optimizing such networks using a range of heuristic techniques. However, these techniques do not guarantee the safety of the optimized network, e.g., against adversarial inputs, or equivalence of the optimized and original networks. To address this problem, we propose DIFFRNN, the first differential verification method for RNNs to certify the equivalence of two structurally similar neural networks. Existing work on differential verification for ReLUbased feed-forward neural networks does not apply to RNNs where nonlinear activation functions such as Sigmoid and Tanh cannot be avoided. RNNs also pose unique challenges such as handling sequential inputs, complex feedback structures, and interactions between the gates and states. In DIFFRNN, we overcome these challenges by bounding nonlinear activation functions with linear constraints and then solving constrained optimization problems to compute tight bounding boxes on nonlinear surfaces in a high-dimensional space. The soundness of these bounding boxes is then proved using the dReal SMT solver. We demonstrate the practical efficacy of our technique on a variety of benchmarks and show that DIFFRNN outperforms state-of-the-art RNN verification tools such as POPQORN.

MLR: A Two-stage Conversational Query Rewriting Model with Multi-task Learning Artificial Intelligence

Conversational context understanding aims to recognize the real intention of user from the conversation history, which is critical for building the dialogue system. However, the multi-turn conversation understanding in open domain is still quite challenging, which requires the system extracting the important information and resolving the dependencies in contexts among a variety of open topics. In this paper, we propose the conversational query rewriting model - MLR, which is a Multi-task model on sequence Labeling and query Rewriting. MLR reformulates the multi-turn conversational queries into a single turn query, which conveys the true intention of users concisely and alleviates the difficulty of the multi-turn dialogue modeling. In the model, we formulate the query rewriting as a sequence generation problem and introduce word category information via the auxiliary word category label predicting task. To train our model, we construct a new Chinese query rewriting dataset and conduct experiments on it. The experimental results show that our model outperforms compared models, and prove the effectiveness of the word category information in improving the rewriting performance.

Suphx: Mastering Mahjong with Deep Reinforcement Learning Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has achieved great success in many domains, and game AI is widely regarded as its beachhead since the dawn of AI. In recent years, studies on game AI have gradually evolved from relatively simple environments (e.g., perfect-information games such as Go, chess, shogi or two-player imperfect-information games such as heads-up Texas hold'em) to more complex ones (e.g., multi-player imperfect-information games such as multi-player Texas hold'em and StartCraft II). Mahjong is a popular multi-player imperfect-information game worldwide but very challenging for AI research due to its complex playing/scoring rules and rich hidden information. We design an AI for Mahjong, named Suphx, based on deep reinforcement learning with some newly introduced techniques including global reward prediction, oracle guiding, and run-time policy adaptation. Suphx has demonstrated stronger performance than most top human players in terms of stable rank and is rated above 99.99% of all the officially ranked human players in the Tenhou platform. This is the first time that a computer program outperforms most top human players in Mahjong.

Adversarial Multimodal Representation Learning for Click-Through Rate Prediction Machine Learning

For better user experience and business effectiveness, Click-Through Rate (CTR) prediction has been one of the most important tasks in E-commerce. Although extensive CTR prediction models have been proposed, learning good representation of items from multimodal features is still less investigated, considering an item in E-commerce usually contains multiple heterogeneous modalities. Previous works either concatenate the multiple modality features, that is equivalent to giving a fixed importance weight to each modality; or learn dynamic weights of different modalities for different items through technique like attention mechanism. However, a problem is that there usually exists common redundant information across multiple modalities. The dynamic weights of different modalities computed by using the redundant information may not correctly reflect the different importance of each modality. To address this, we explore the complementarity and redundancy of modalities by considering modality-specific and modality-invariant features differently. We propose a novel Multimodal Adversarial Representation Network (MARN) for the CTR prediction task. A multimodal attention network first calculates the weights of multiple modalities for each item according to its modality-specific features. Then a multimodal adversarial network learns modality-invariant representations where a double-discriminators strategy is introduced. Finally, we achieve the multimodal item representations by combining both modality-specific and modality-invariant representations. We conduct extensive experiments on both public and industrial datasets, and the proposed method consistently achieves remarkable improvements to the state-of-the-art methods. Moreover, the approach has been deployed in an operational E-commerce system and online A/B testing further demonstrates the effectiveness.