Research papers and code for "Xiao Liu":
With the rapid development of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), various network models that show strong computing power and impressive expressive power are proposed. However, there is no comprehensive informational interpretation of DNNs from the perspective of information theory. Due to the nonlinear function and the uncertain number of layers and neural units used in the DNNs, the network structure shows nonlinearity and complexity. With the typical DNNs named Convolutional Arithmetic Circuits (ConvACs), the complex DNNs can be converted into mathematical formula. Thus, we can use rigorous mathematical theory especially the information theory to analyse the complicated DNNs. In this paper, we propose a novel information scaling law scheme that can interpret the network's inner organization by information theory. First, we show the informational interpretation of the activation function. Secondly, we prove that the information entropy increases when the information is transmitted through the ConvACs. Finally, we propose the information scaling law of ConvACs through making a reasonable assumption.

* 7 pages, 5 figures
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Liquidation is the process of selling a large number of shares of one stock sequentially within a given time frame, taking into consideration the costs arising from market impact and a trader's risk aversion. The main challenge in optimizing liquidation is to find an appropriate modeling system that can incorporate the complexities of the stock market and generate practical trading strategies. In this paper, we propose to use multi-agent deep reinforcement learning model, which better captures high-level complexities comparing to various machine learning methods, such that agents can learn how to make the best selling decisions. First, we theoretically analyze the Almgren and Chriss model and extend its fundamental mechanism so it can be used as the multi-agent trading environment. Our work builds the foundation for future multi-agent environment trading analysis. Secondly, we analyze the cooperative and competitive behaviours between agents by adjusting the reward functions for each agent, which overcomes the limitation of single-agent reinforcement learning algorithms. Finally, we simulate trading and develop an optimal trading strategy with practical constraints by using a reinforcement learning method, which shows the capabilities of reinforcement learning methods in solving realistic liquidation problems.

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We propose PANDA, an AdaPtive Noise Augmentation technique to regularize estimating and constructing undirected graphical models (UGMs). PANDA iteratively solves MLEs given noise augmented data in the regression-based framework until convergence to achieve the designed regularization effects. The augmented noises can be designed to achieve various regularization effects on graph estimation, including the bridge, elastic net, adaptive lasso, and SCAD penalization; it can also offer group lasso and fused ridge when some nodes belong to the same group. We establish theoretically that the noise-augmented loss functions and its minimizer converge almost surely to the expected penalized loss function and its minimizer, respectively. We derive the asymptotic distributions for the regularized regression coefficients through PANDA in GLMs, based on which, the inferences for the parameters can be obtained simultaneously with variable selection. Our empirical results suggest the inferences achieve nominal or near-nominal coverage and are far more efficient compared to some existing post-selection procedures. On the algorithm level, PANDA can be easily programmed in any standard software without resorting to complicated optimization techniques. We show the non-inferior performance of PANDA in constructing graphs of different types in simulation studies and also apply PANDA to the autism spectrum disorder data to construct a mixed-node graph.

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We consider open domain event extraction, the task of extracting unconstraint types of events from news clusters. A novel latent variable neural model is constructed, which is scalable to very large corpus. A dataset is collected and manually annotated, with task-specific evaluation metrics being designed. Results show that the proposed unsupervised model gives better performance compared to the state-of-the-art method for event schema induction.

* accepted by ACL 2019
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Recent advances, such as GPT and BERT, have shown success in incorporating a pre-trained transformer language model and fine-tuning operation to improve downstream NLP systems. However, this framework still has some fundamental problems in effectively incorporating supervised knowledge from other related tasks. In this study, we investigate a transferable BERT (TransBERT) training framework, which can transfer not only general language knowledge from large-scale unlabeled data but also specific kinds of knowledge from various semantically related supervised tasks, for a target task. Particularly, we propose utilizing three kinds of transfer tasks, including natural language inference, sentiment classification, and next action prediction, to further train BERT based on a pre-trained model. This enables the model to get a better initialization for the target task. We take story ending prediction as the target task to conduct experiments. The final result, an accuracy of 91.8%, dramatically outperforms previous state-of-the-art baseline methods. Several comparative experiments give some helpful suggestions on how to select transfer tasks. Error analysis shows what are the strength and weakness of BERT-based models for story ending prediction.

* Accepted and to appear in IJCAI 2019
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Hierarchical text classification has many real-world applications. However, labeling a large number of documents is costly. In practice, we can use semi-supervised learning or weakly supervised learning (e.g., dataless classification) to reduce the labeling cost. In this paper, we propose a path cost-sensitive learning algorithm to utilize the structural information and further make use of unlabeled and weakly-labeled data. We use a generative model to leverage the large amount of unlabeled data and introduce path constraints into the learning algorithm to incorporate the structural information of the class hierarchy. The posterior probabilities of both unlabeled and weakly labeled data can be incorporated with path-dependent scores. Since we put a structure-sensitive cost to the learning algorithm to constrain the classification consistent with the class hierarchy and do not need to reconstruct the feature vectors for different structures, we can significantly reduce the computational cost compared to structural output learning. Experimental results on two hierarchical text classification benchmarks show that our approach is not only effective but also efficient to handle the semi-supervised and weakly supervised hierarchical text classification.

* Aceepted by 2019 World Wide Web Conference (WWW19)
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In many applications of deep learning, particularly those in image restoration, it is either very difficult, prohibitively expensive, or outright impossible to obtain paired training data precisely as in the real world. In such cases, one is forced to use synthesized paired data to train the deep convolutional neural network (DCNN). However, due to the unavoidable generalization error in statistical learning, the synthetically trained DCNN often performs poorly on real world data. To overcome this problem, we propose a new general training method that can compensate for, to a large extent, the generalization errors of synthetically trained DCNNs.

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Event extraction is of practical utility in natural language processing. In the real world, it is a common phenomenon that multiple events existing in the same sentence, where extracting them are more difficult than extracting a single event. Previous works on modeling the associations between events by sequential modeling methods suffer a lot from the low efficiency in capturing very long-range dependencies. In this paper, we propose a novel Jointly Multiple Events Extraction (JMEE) framework to jointly extract multiple event triggers and arguments by introducing syntactic shortcut arcs to enhance information flow and attention-based graph convolution networks to model graph information. The experiment results demonstrate that our proposed framework achieves competitive results compared with state-of-the-art methods.

* EMNLP. 1 (2018) 1247-1256
* accepted by EMNLP 2018
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Script event prediction requires a model to predict the subsequent event given an existing event context. Previous models based on event pairs or event chains cannot make full use of dense event connections, which may limit their capability of event prediction. To remedy this, we propose constructing an event graph to better utilize the event network information for script event prediction. In particular, we first extract narrative event chains from large quantities of news corpus, and then construct a narrative event evolutionary graph (NEEG) based on the extracted chains. NEEG can be seen as a knowledge base that describes event evolutionary principles and patterns. To solve the inference problem on NEEG, we present a scaled graph neural network (SGNN) to model event interactions and learn better event representations. Instead of computing the representations on the whole graph, SGNN processes only the concerned nodes each time, which makes our model feasible to large-scale graphs. By comparing the similarity between input context event representations and candidate event representations, we can choose the most reasonable subsequent event. Experimental results on widely used New York Times corpus demonstrate that our model significantly outperforms state-of-the-art baseline methods, by using standard multiple choice narrative cloze evaluation.

* This paper has been accepted by IJCAI 2018
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Taking photos of optoelectronic displays is a direct and spontaneous way of transferring data and keeping records, which is widely practiced. However, due to the analog signal interference between the pixel grids of the display screen and camera sensor array, objectionable moir\'e (alias) patterns appear in captured screen images. As the moir\'e patterns are structured and highly variant, they are difficult to be completely removed without affecting the underneath latent image. In this paper, we propose an approach of deep convolutional neural network for demoir\'eing screen photos. The proposed DCNN consists of a coarse-scale network and a fine-scale network. In the coarse-scale network, the input image is first downsampled and then processed by stacked residual blocks to remove the moir\'e artifacts. After that, the fine-scale network upsamples the demoir\'ed low-resolution image back to the original resolution. Extensive experimental results have demonstrated that the proposed technique can efficiently remove the moir\'e patterns for camera acquired screen images; the new technique outperforms the existing ones.

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All existing image enhancement methods, such as HDR tone mapping, cannot recover A/D quantization losses due to insufficient or excessive lighting, (underflow and overflow problems). The loss of image details due to A/D quantization is complete and it cannot be recovered by traditional image processing methods, but the modern data-driven machine learning approach offers a much needed cure to the problem. In this work we propose a novel approach to restore and enhance images acquired in low and uneven lighting. First, the ill illumination is algorithmically compensated by emulating the effects of artificial supplementary lighting. Then a DCNN trained using only synthetic data recovers the missing detail caused by quantization.

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This paper presents a generic pre-processor for expediting conventional template matching techniques. Instead of locating the best matched patch in the reference image to a query template via exhaustive search, the proposed algorithm rules out regions with no possible matches with minimum computational efforts. While working on simple patch features, such as mean, variance and gradient, the fast pre-screening is highly discriminative. Its computational efficiency is gained by using a novel octagonal-star-shaped template and the inclusion-exclusion principle to extract and compare patch features. Moreover, it can handle arbitrary rotation and scaling of reference images effectively. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm greatly reduces the search space while never missing the best match.

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Point sets matching method is very important in computer vision, feature extraction, fingerprint matching, motion estimation and so on. This paper proposes a robust point sets matching method. We present an iterative algorithm that is robust to noise case. Firstly, we calculate all transformations between two points. Then similarity matrix are computed to measure the possibility that two transformation are both true. We iteratively update the matching score matrix by using the similarity matrix. By using matching algorithm on graph, we obtain the matching result. Experimental results obtained by our approach show robustness to outlier and jitter.

* 9 pages, 3 figures, 4 tables
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are envisioned to complement the 5G communication infrastructure in future smart cities. Hot spots easily appear in road intersections, where effective communication among vehicles is challenging. UAVs may serve as relays with the advantages of low price, easy deployment, line-of-sight links, and flexible mobility. In this paper, we study a UAV-assisted vehicular network where the UAV jointly adjusts its transmission power and bandwidth allocation under 3D flight to maximize the total throughput. First, we formulate a Markov Decision Process (MDP) problem by modeling the mobility of the UAV/vehicles and the state transitions. Secondly, we solve the target problem using a deep reinforcement learning method, namely, the deep deterministic policy gradient, and propose three solutions with different control objectives. Then we extend the proposed solutions considering of the energy consumption of 3D flight. Thirdly, in a simplified model with small state space and action space, we verify the optimality of proposed algorithms. Comparing with two baseline schemes, we demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed algorithms in a realistic model.

* 12 pages, 13 figures
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are envisioned to complement the 5G communication infrastructure in future smart cities. Hot spots easily appear in road intersections, where effective communication among vehicles is challenging. UAVs may serve as relays with the advantages of low price, easy deployment, line-of-sight links, and flexible mobility. In this paper, we study a UAV-assisted vehicular network where the UAV jointly adjusts its transmission power and bandwidth allocation under 3D flight to maximize the total throughput. First, we formulate a Markov Decision Process (MDP) problem by modeling the mobility of the UAV/vehicles and the state transitions. Secondly, we solve the target problem using a deep reinforcement learning method, namely, the deep deterministic policy gradient, and propose three solutions with different control objectives. Then we extend the proposed solutions considering of the energy consumption of 3D flight. Thirdly, in a simplified model with small state space and action space, we verify the optimality of proposed algorithms. Comparing with two baseline schemes, we demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed algorithms in a realistic model.

* 12 pages, 13 figures
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Symmetric nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF), a special but important class of the general NMF, is demonstrated to be useful for data analysis and in particular for various clustering tasks. Unfortunately, designing fast algorithms for Symmetric NMF is not as easy as for the nonsymmetric counterpart, the latter admitting the splitting property that allows efficient alternating-type algorithms. To overcome this issue, we transfer the symmetric NMF to a nonsymmetric one, then we can adopt the idea from the state-of-the-art algorithms for nonsymmetric NMF to design fast algorithms solving symmetric NMF. We rigorously establish that solving nonsymmetric reformulation returns a solution for symmetric NMF and then apply fast alternating based algorithms for the corresponding reformulated problem. Furthermore, we show these fast algorithms admit strong convergence guarantee in the sense that the generated sequence is convergent at least at a sublinear rate and it converges globally to a critical point of the symmetric NMF. We conduct experiments on both synthetic data and image clustering to support our result.

* Accepted in NIPS 2018
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In this work, we mainly study the mechanism of learning the steganographic algorithm as well as combining the learning process with adversarial learning to learn a good steganographic algorithm. To handle the problem of embedding secret messages into the specific medium, we design a novel adversarial modules to learn the steganographic algorithm, and simultaneously train three modules called generator, discriminator and steganalyzer. Different from existing methods, the three modules are formalized as a game to communicate with each other. In the game, the generator and discriminator attempt to communicate with each other using secret messages hidden in an image. While the steganalyzer attempts to analyze whether there is a transmission of confidential information. We show that through unsupervised adversarial training, the adversarial model can produce robust steganographic solutions, which act like an encryption. Furthermore, we propose to utilize supervised adversarial training method to train a robust steganalyzer, which is utilized to discriminate whether an image contains secret information. Numerous experiments are conducted on publicly available dataset to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1703.00371 by other authors
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As efficient traffic-management platforms, public vehicle (PV) systems are envisioned to be a promising approach to solving traffic congestions and pollutions for future smart cities. PV systems provide online/dynamic peer-to-peer ride-sharing services with the goal of serving sufficient number of customers with minimum number of vehicles and lowest possible cost. A key component of the PV system is the online ride-sharing scheduling strategy. In this paper, we propose an efficient path planning strategy that focuses on a limited potential search area for each vehicle by filtering out the requests that violate passenger service quality level, so that the global search is reduced to local search. We analyze the performance of the proposed solution such as reduction ratio of computational complexity. Simulations based on the Manhattan taxi data set show that, the computing time is reduced by 22% compared with the exhaustive search method under the same service quality performance.

* 12 pages
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The success of recommender systems in modern online platforms is inseparable from the accurate capture of users' personal tastes. In everyday life, large amounts of user feedback data are created along with user-item online interactions in a variety of ways, such as browsing, purchasing, and sharing. These multiple types of user feedback provide us with tremendous opportunities to detect individuals' fine-grained preferences. Different from most existing recommender systems that rely on a single type of feedback, we advocate incorporating multiple types of user-item interactions for better recommendations. Based on the observation that the underlying spectrum of user preferences is reflected in various types of interactions with items and can be uncovered by latent relational learning in metric space, we propose a unified neural learning framework, named Multi-Relational Memory Network (MRMN). It can not only model fine-grained user-item relations but also enable us to discriminate between feedback types in terms of the strength and diversity of user preferences. Extensive experiments show that the proposed MRMN model outperforms competitive state-of-the-art algorithms in a wide range of scenarios, including e-commerce, local services, and job recommendations.

* 7 pages, 4 figures, IJCAI19
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