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Rateless Codes for Near-Perfect Load Balancing in Distributed Matrix-Vector Multiplication

Communications of the ACM

Large-scale machine learning and data mining applications require computer systems to perform massive matrix-vector and matrix-matrix multiplication operations that need to be parallelized across multiple nodes. The presence of straggling nodes--computing nodes that unpredictably slow down or fail--is a major bottleneck in such distributed computations. Ideal load balancing strategies that dynamically allocate more tasks to faster nodes require knowledge or monitoring of node speeds as well as the ability to quickly move data. Recently proposed fixed-rate erasure coding strategies can handle unpredictable node slowdown, but they ignore partial work done by straggling nodes, thus resulting in a lot of redundant computation. We propose a rateless fountain coding strategy that achieves the best of both worlds--we prove that its latency is asymptotically equal to ideal load balancing, and it performs asymptotically zero redundant computations. Our idea is to create linear combinations of the m rows of the matrix and assign these encoded rows to different worker nodes. The original matrix-vector product can be decoded as soon as slightly more than m row-vector products are collectively finished by the nodes. Evaluation on parallel and distributed computing yields as much as three times speedup over uncoded schemes. Matrix-vector multiplications form the core of a plethora of scientific computing and machine learning applications that include solving partial differential equations, forward and back propagation in neural networks, computing the PageRank of graphs, etcetera. In the age of Big Data, most of these applications involve multiplying extremely large matrices and vectors and the computations cannot be performed efficiently on a single machine. This has motivated the development of several algorithms that seek to speed up matrix-vector multiplication by distributing the computation across multiple computing nodes.


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9 Completely Free Statistics Courses for Data Science

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This is a complete Free course for statistics. In this course, you will learn how to estimate parameters of a population using sample statistics, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals, t-tests and ANOVA, correlation and regression, and chi-squared test. This course is taught by industry professionals and you will learn by doing various exercises.


Adversarial Framework with Certified Robustness for Time-Series Domain via Statistical Features

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Time-series data arises in many real-world applications (e.g., mobile health) and deep neural networks (DNNs) have shown great success in solving them. Despite their success, little is known about their robustness to adversarial attacks. In this paper, we propose a novel adversarial framework referred to as Time-Series Attacks via STATistical Features (TSA-STAT). To address the unique challenges of time-series domain, TSA-STAT employs constraints on statistical features of the time-series data to construct adversarial examples. Optimized polynomial transformations are used to create attacks that are more effective (in terms of successfully fooling DNNs) than those based on additive perturbations. We also provide certified bounds on the norm of the statistical features for constructing adversarial examples. Our experiments on diverse real-world benchmark datasets show the effectiveness of TSA-STAT in fooling DNNs for time-series domain and in improving their robustness.


Papers to Read on using Artificial Inteligence with Rainfall

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Abstract: We propose a didactic approach to use the Machine Learning protocol in order to perform weather forecast. This study is motivated by the possibility to apply this method to predict weather conditions in proximity of the Etna and Stromboli volcanic areas, located in Sicily (south Italy). Here the complex orography may significantly influence the weather conditions due to Stau and Foehn effects, with possible impact on the air traffic of the nearby Catania and Reggio Calabria airports. We first introduce a simple thermodynamic approach, suited to provide information on temperature and pressure when the Stau and Foehn effect takes place. In order to gain information to the rainfall accumulation, the Machine Learning approach is presented: according to this protocol, the model is able to learn'' from a set of input data which are the meteorological conditions (in our case dry, light rain, moderate rain and heavy rain) associated to the rainfall, measured in mm.


Marginal Distance and Hilbert-Schmidt Covariances-Based Independence Tests for Multivariate Functional Data

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

We study the pairwise and mutual independence testing problem for multivariate functional data. Using a basis representation of functional data, we reduce this problem to testing the independence of multivariate data, which may be high-dimensional. For pairwise independence, we apply tests based on distance and Hilbert-Schmidt covariances as well as their marginal versions, which aggregate these covariances for coordinates of random processes. In the case of mutual independence, we study asymmetric and symmetric aggregating measures of pairwise dependence. A theoretical justification of the test procedures is established. In extensive simulation studies and examples based on a real economic data set, we investigate and compare the performance of the tests in terms of size control and power. An important finding is that tests based on distance and Hilbert-Schmidt covariances are usually more powerful than their marginal versions under linear dependence, while the reverse is true under non-linear dependence.


A Metric Space for Point Process Excitations

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

A multivariate Hawkes process enables self- and cross-excitations through a triggering matrix that behaves like an asymmetrical covariance structure, characterizing pairwise interactions between the event types. Full-rank estimation of all interactions is often infeasible in empirical settings. Models that specialize on a spatiotemporal application alleviate this obstacle by exploiting spatial locality, allowing the dyadic relationships between events to depend only on separation in time and relative distances in real Euclidean space. Here we generalize this framework to any multivariate Hawkes process, and harness it as a vessel for embedding arbitrary event types in a hidden metric space. Specifically, we propose a Hidden Hawkes Geometry (HHG) model to uncover the hidden geometry between event excitations in a multivariate point process. The low dimensionality of the embedding regularizes the structure of the inferred interactions. We develop a number of estimators and validate the model by conducting several experiments. In particular, we investigate regional infectivity dynamics of COVID-19 in an early South Korean record and recent Los Angeles confirmed cases. By additionally performing synthetic experiments on short records as well as explorations into options markets and the Ebola epidemic, we demonstrate that learning the embedding alongside a point process uncovers salient interactions in a broad range of applications.


The Application of Machine Learning Techniques for Predicting Match Results in Team Sport: A Review

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Predicting the results of matches in sport is a challenging and interesting task. In this paper, we review a selection of studies from 1996 to 2019 that used machine learning for predicting match results in team sport. Considering both invasion sports and striking/fielding sports, we discuss commonly applied machine learning algorithms, as well as common approaches related to data and evaluation. Our study considers accuracies that have been achieved across different sports, and explores whether evidence exists to support the notion that outcomes of some sports may be inherently more difficult to predict. We also uncover common themes of future research directions and propose recommendations for future researchers. Although there remains a lack of benchmark datasets (apart from in soccer), and the differences between sports, datasets and features makes between-study comparisons difficult, as we discuss, it is possible to evaluate accuracy performance in other ways. Artificial Neural Networks were commonly applied in early studies, however, our findings suggest that a range of models should instead be compared. Selecting and engineering an appropriate feature set appears to be more important than having a large number of instances. For feature selection, we see potential for greater inter-disciplinary collaboration between sport performance analysis, a sub-discipline of sport science, and machine learning.


Using Time Series Analysis to Forecast Close Approaches to the Earth by Near-Earth Objects

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If we are to be struck by an impact event resulting in human extinction, it would most likely occur in the Spring or Fall. If you were to ask 100 people what they believed the greatest risk to human civilization is I would bet the top 3 answers would be nuclear war, global pandemic and global warming/climate change. However, less than 10 years ago a meteor with a diameter of approximately 20 meters and a mass of 10,000 tons exploded 30 km over the city Chelyabinsk in Russia. Although there were no fatalities, the blast was estimated to have resulted in $30 million worth of damages and injured 1,500 people. About 100 years previously, in 1908, a meteor 50–60 meters in size exploded over Siberia with the power of a 12 megaton explosion which destroyed about 2,200 squared kilometers of forest.


Predicting Decisions in Language Based Persuasion Games

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Sender-receiver interactions, and specifically persuasion games, are widely researched in economic modeling and artificial intelligence, and serve as a solid foundation for powerful applications. However, in the classic persuasion games setting, the messages sent from the expert to the decision-maker are abstract or well-structured application-specific signals rather than natural (human) language messages, although natural language is a very common communication signal in real-world persuasion setups. This paper addresses the use of natural language in persuasion games, exploring its impact on the decisions made by the players and aiming to construct effective models for the prediction of these decisions. For this purpose, we conduct an online repeated interaction experiment. At each trial of the interaction, an informed expert aims to sell an uninformed decision-maker a vacation in a hotel, by sending her a review that describes the hotel. While the expert is exposed to several scored reviews, the decision-maker observes only the single review sent by the expert, and her payoff in case she chooses to take the hotel is a random draw from the review score distribution available to the expert only. The expert’s payoff, in turn, depends on the number of times the decision-maker chooses the hotel. We also compare the behavioral patterns in this experiment to the equivalent patterns in similar experiments where the communication is based on the numerical values of the reviews rather than the reviews’ text, and observe substantial differences which can be explained through an equilibrium analysis of the game. We consider a number of modeling approaches for our verbal communication setup, differing from each other in the model type (deep neural network (DNN) vs. linear classifier), the type of features used by the model (textual, behavioral or both) and the source of the textual features (DNN-based vs. hand-crafted). Our results demonstrate that given a prefix of the interaction sequence, our models can predict the future decisions of the decision-maker, particularly when a sequential modeling approach and hand-crafted textual features are applied. Further analysis of the hand-crafted textual features allows us to make initial observations about the aspects of text that drive decision making in our setup.