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Learning to Quantize Deep Neural Networks: A Competitive-Collaborative Approach

with Md Fahim Faysal Khan, Vijaykrishnan Narayanan and Mehrdad Mahdavi
PreprintPreprint

Abstract

TBA.

Pareto Efficient Fairness in Supervised Learning

with Rana Forsati and Mehrdad Mahdavi
PreprintPreprint

Abstract

TBA.

Efficient Fair Principal Component Analysis

with Farzin Haddadpour, Rana Forsati, and Mehrdad Mahdavi
PreprintPreprint

Abstract

The flourishing assessments of fairness measure in machine learning algorithms have shown that dimension reduction methods such as PCA treat data from different sensitive groups unfairly. In particular, by aggregating data of different groups, the reconstruction error of the learned subspace becomes biased towards some populations that might hurt or benefit those groups inherently, leading to an unfair representation. On the other hand, alleviating the bias to protect sensitive groups in learning the optimal projection, would lead to a higher reconstruction error overall. This introduces a trade-off between sensitive groups' sacrifices and benefits, and the overall reconstruction error. In this paper, in pursuit of achieving fairness criteria in PCA, we introduce a more efficient notion of Pareto fairness, cast the Pareto fair dimensionality reduction as a multi-objective optimization problem, and propose an adaptive gradient-based algorithm to solve it. Using the notion of Pareto optimality, we can guarantee that the solution of our proposed algorithm belongs to the Pareto frontier for all groups, which achieves the optimal trade-off between those aforementioned conflicting objectives. This framework can be efficiently generalized to multiple group sensitive features, as well. We provide convergence analysis of our algorithm for both convex and non-convex objectives and show its efficacy through empirical studies on different datasets, in comparison with the state-of-the-art algorithm.

Targeted Meta-Learning for Data-driven Regularization

with Sadegh Farhang, Mehrdad Mahdavi, and James Z. Wang
Conference PapersUnder review

Abstract

TBA.

Local SGD with Periodic Averaging: Tighter Analysis and Adaptive Synchronization

with Farzin Haddadpour, Mehrdad Mahdavi, and Viveck Cadambe
Conference PapersAccepted to Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2019)

Abstract

Communication overhead is one of the key challenges that hinders the scalability of distributed optimization algorithms. In this paper, we study local distributed SGD, where data is partitioned among computation nodes, and the computation nodes perform local updates with periodically exchanging the model among the workers to perform averaging. While local SGD is empirically shown to provide promising results, a theoretical understanding of its performance remains open. In this paper, we strengthen convergence analysis for local SGD, and show that local SGD can be far less expensive and applied far more generally than current theory suggests. Specifically, we show that for loss functions that satisfy the Polyak-Kojasiewicz condition, \(O((pT)^{1/3})\) rounds of communication suffice to achieve a linear speed up, that is, an error of \(O(1/pT)\), where \(T\) is the total number of model updates at each worker. This is in contrast with previous work which required higher number of communication rounds, as well as was limited to strongly convex loss functions, for a similar asymptotic performance. We also develop an adaptive synchronization scheme that provides a general condition for linear speed up. Finally, we validate the theory with experimental results, running over AWS EC2 clouds and an internal GPUs cluster.

Targeted Meta-Learning for Critical Incident Detection in Weather Data

with Sadegh Farhang, Mehrdad Mahdavi, and James Z. Wang
Conference Papers Accepted for presentation in 36th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2019), Workshop on "Climate Change: How Can AI Help?"

Abstract

Due to imbalanced or heavy-tailed nature of weather- and climate-related datasets, the performance of standard deep learning models significantly deviates from their expected behavior on test data. Classical methods to address these issues are mostly data or application dependent, hence burdensome to tune. Meta-learning approaches, on the other hand, aim to learn hyperparameters in the learning process using different objective functions on training and validation data. However, these methods suffer from high computational complexity and are not scalable to large datasets. In this paper, we aim to apply a novel framework named as targeted meta-learning to rectify this issue, and show its efficacy in dealing with the aforementioned biases in datasets. This framework employs a small, well-crafted target dataset that resembles the desired nature of test data in order to guide the learning process in a coupled manner. We empirically show that this framework can overcome the bias issue, common to weather-related datasets, in a bow echo detection case study.

Trading Redundancy for Communication: Speeding up Distributed SGD for Non-convex Optimization

with Farzin Haddadpour, Mehrdad Mahdavi, and Viveck R. Cadambe
Conference Papers Accepted for presentation in 36th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2019)

Abstract

Communication overhead is one of the key challenges that hinders the scalability of dis-tributed optimization algorithms to train large neural networks. In recent years, there hasbeen a great deal of research to alleviate communication cost by compressing the gradientvector or using local updates and periodic model averaging. In this paper, we advocatethe use of redundancy towards communication-efficient distributed stochastic algorithmsfor non-convex optimization. In particular, we, both theoretically and practically, showthat by properly infusing redundancy to the training data with model averaging, it is pos-sible to significantly reduce the number of communications rounds. To be more precise,we show that redundancy reduces residual error in local averaging, thereby reaching thesame level of accuracy with fewer rounds of communication as compared with previousalgorithms. Our empirical studies on CIFAR10, CIFAR100 and ImageNet datasets ina distributed environment complement our theoretical results; they show that our algo-rithms have additional beneficial aspects including tolerance to failures, as well as greatergradient diversity compared with other algorithms.

CAPTAIN: Comprehensive Composition Assistance for Photo Taking

with Farshid Farhat and James Z. Wang
Journal Paper Work in progress.

Abstract

Many people are interested in taking astonishing photos and sharing with others. Emerging hightech hardware and software facilitate ubiquitousness and functionality of digital photography. Because composition matters in photography, researchers have leveraged some common composition techniques to assess the aesthetic quality of photos computationally. However, composition techniques developed by professionals are far more diverse than well-documented techniques can cover. We leverage the vast underexplored innovations in photography for computational composition assistance. We propose a comprehensive framework, named CAPTAIN (Composition Assistance for Photo Taking), containing integrated deep-learned semantic detectors, sub-genre categorization, artistic pose clustering, personalized aesthetics-based image retrieval, and style set matching. The framework is backed by a large dataset crawled from a photo-sharing Website with mostly photography enthusiasts and professionals. The work proposes a sequence of steps that have not been explored in the past by researchers. The work addresses personal preferences for composition through presenting a ranked-list of photographs to the user based on user-specified weights in the similarity measure. The matching algorithm recognizes the best shot among a sequence of shots with respect to the user's preferred style set. We have conducted a number of experiments on the newly proposed components and reported findings. A user study demonstrates that the work is useful to those taking photos.

Take It or Leave It: A Survey Study on Operating System Upgrade Practices

with Sadegh Farhang, Jake Weidman, Jens Grossklags, and Peng Liu
Conference Papers Proceedings of the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference 2018.

Abstract

Software upgrades play a pivotal role in enhancing software performance, and are a critical component of resolving software bugs and patching security issues. However, consumers’ eagerness to upgrade to the newest operating system is often tempered after release. In this paper, we focus on the upgrade perceptions and practices of users utilizing Microsoft Windows, with particular consideration given to the current upgrade cycle to Windows 10, which was, for a time, offered at no monetary cost to many users. To better understand the relevant factors for upgrade decisions, we deployed a structured survey, including several open-ended questions to add additional depth. We collected data from 239 Microsoft Windows users and utilized qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze user upgrade practices. Important themes include how to best notify users of upcoming upgrade opportunities, how users perceive privacy issues associated with OS upgrade decisions, and whether security constitutes a significant decision-making factor. We also explore how end-of-life dates, indicating the end of support by the vendor, are perceived by users.

Intelligent Portrait Composition Assistance Integrating Deep-learned Models and Photography Idea Retrieval

with Farshid Farhat, Sahil Mishra, and James Z. Wang
Conference Papers Proceedings of the ACM Multimedia 2017.

Abstract

Retrieving photography ideas corresponding to a given location facilitates the usage of smart cameras, where there is a high interest among amateurs and enthusiasts to take astonishing photos at anytime and in any location. Existing research captures some aesthetic techniques and retrieves useful feedbacks based on one technique. However, they are restricted to a particular technique and the retrieved results have room to improve as they can be limited to the quality of the query. There is a lack of a holistic framework to capture important aspects of a given scene and give a novice photographer informative feedback to take a better shot in his/her photography adventure. This work proposes an intelligent framework of portrait composition using our deep-learned models and image retrieval methods. A highly-rated web-crawled portrait dataset is exploited for retrieval purposes. Our framework detects and extracts ingredients of a given scene representing as a correlated hierarchical model. It then matches extracted semantics with the dataset of aesthetically composed photos to investigate a ranked list of photography ideas, and gradually optimizes the human pose and other artistic aspects of the composed scene supposed to be captured. The conducted user study demonstrates that our approach is more helpful than the other constructed feedback retrieval systems.

Skeleton Matching with Applications in Severe Weather Detection

with Farshid Farhat, Stephen Wistar, and James Z. Wang
Journal Paper Journal of Applied Soft Computing, Elsevier, 2017.

Abstract

Severe weather conditions cause enormous amount of damages around the globe. Bow echo patterns in radar images are associated with a number of these destructive conditions such as damaging winds, hail, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. They are detected manually by meteorologists. In this paper, we propose an automatic framework to detect these atterns with high accuracy by introducing novel skeletonization and shape matching approaches. In this framework, first we extract regions with high probability of occurring bow echo from radar images, and apply our skeletonization method to extract the skeleton of those regions. Next, we prune these skeletons using our innovative pruning scheme with fuzzy logic. Then, using our proposed shape descriptor, Skeleton Context, we can extract bow echo features from these skeletons in order to use them in shape matching algorithm and classification step. The output of classification indicates whether these regions are bow echo with over 97% accuracy.

Shape Matching using Skeleton Context for automated Bow Echo Detection

with Farshid Farhat, Stephen Wistar, and James Z. Wang
Conference Papers IEEE International Conference on Big Data. December 2016.

Abstract

Severe weather conditions cause enormous amount of damages around the globe. Bow echo patterns in radar images are associated with a number of these destructive conditions such as damaging winds, hail, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. They are detected manually by meteorologists. In this paper, we propose an automatic framework to detect these atterns with high accuracy by introducing novel skeletonization and shape matching approaches. In this framework, first we extract regions with high probability of occurring bow echo from radar images, and apply our skeletonization method to extract the skeleton of those regions. Next, we prune these skeletons using our innovative pruning scheme with fuzzy logic. Then, using our proposed shape descriptor, Skeleton Context, we can extract bow echo features from these skeletons in order to use them in shape matching algorithm and classification step. The output of classification indicates whether these regions are bow echo with over 97% accuracy.

Image Processing in Paintings using Multispectral Imaging

Mohammad Mahdi Kamani
Master Thesis Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, June 2015
Master Thesis; Mohammad Mahdi Kamani

Considering the tremendous development in imaging systems’ industry, today we canafford to have imaging equipment, capable of taking multispectral images in very highresolution. One of the remarkable benefits of this technology is in the realm of artsand particularly in museums. Taking advantage of the potentials of multispectral, high-quality imaging, curators will be able to probe their priceless works of art ( e.g. paintings) without putting them in danger through invasive research. Besides, one can investigateand control the transformation of these works through time by using this new imagingmethod.

Recently, Multispectral Imaging of paintings, in different frequency bands from approx-imately 300 nm to 1000 nm, has been proposed and used in some museums. Since theseimages are taken with different filters from visible light to infra-red, one might expectthat they contain some data beyond what is seen in visible light images. So these imagescontain data from beneath layers of the paintings, which can be compared with the RGBimage and result in extracting early sketches of the painter which are the basis of thosepaintings. In this project the ultimate goal is to find and extract those regions from mul-tispectral bands that cannot be seen in the RGB image. We use statistical methods andimage processing tools in order to extract those hidden objects automatically by computer.

The process will start with using a statistical tool known as canonical correlation analysisto find a projection which uncorrelates the frequency bands from 3 RGB bands. Thenwe can use canny edge detector to find edges in the resulting image bands from previoussection and in the RGB file. After that we can implement some morphological opera-tions to reduce redundant edges that represent data which can also be found in the RGBfile, or some noisy edges. At the end we implement an algorithm to find edges that canbe linked together to represent a larger object and connect them using active contours.Results show that this approach can be helpful in finding hidden layers of the paintingswhich is a stepping stone to find the method of painters in their paintings.