## Poster Session 9

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Wed 27 Apr 6:30 p.m. PDT — 8:30 p.m. PDT

Abstract:

Chat is not available.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Know Thyself: Transferable Visual Control Policies Through Robot-Awareness

Edward Hu · Kun Huang · Oleh Rybkin · Dinesh Jayaraman

Training visual control policies from scratch on a new robot typically requires generating large amounts of robot-specific data. How might we leverage data previously collected on another robot to reduce or even completely remove this need for robot-specific data? We propose a "robot-aware control" paradigm that achieves this by exploiting readily available knowledge about the robot. We then instantiate this in a robot-aware model-based RL policy by training modular dynamics models that couple a transferable, robot-aware world dynamics module with a robot-specific, potentially analytical, robot dynamics module. This also enables us to set up visual planning costs that separately consider the robot agent and the world. Our experiments on tabletop manipulation tasks with simulated and real robots demonstrate that these plug-in improvements dramatically boost the transferability of visual model-based RL policies, even permitting zero-shot transfer of visual manipulation skills onto new robots. Project website: https://edwardshu.com/rac

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### How to Robustify Black-Box ML Models? A Zeroth-Order Optimization Perspective

Yimeng Zhang · Yuguang Yao · Jinghan Jia · Jinfeng Yi · Mingyi Hong · Shiyu Chang · Sijia Liu

The lack of adversarial robustness has been recognized as an important issue for state-of-the-art machine learning (ML) models, e.g., deep neural networks (DNNs). Thereby, robustifying ML models against adversarial attacks is now a major focus of research. However, nearly all existing defense methods, particularly for robust training, made the white-box assumption that the defender has the access to the details of an ML model (or its surrogate alternatives if available), e.g., its architectures and parameters. Beyond existing works, in this paper we aim to address the problem of black-box defense: How to robustify a black-box model using just input queries and output feedback? Such a problem arises in practical scenarios, where the owner of the predictive model is reluctant to share model information in order to preserve privacy. To this end, we propose a general notion of defensive operation that can be applied to black-box models, and design it through the lens of denoised smoothing (DS), a ﬁrst-order (FO) certiﬁed defense technique. To allow the design of merely using model queries, we further integrate DS with the zeroth-order (gradient-free) optimization. However, a direct implementation of zeroth-order (ZO) optimization suffers a high variance of gradient estimates, and thus leads to ineffective defense. To tackle this problem, we next propose to prepend an autoencoder (AE) to a given (black-box) model so that DS can be trained using variance-reduced ZO optimization. We term the eventual defense as ZO-AE-DS. In practice, we empirically show that ZO-AE-DS can achieve improved accuracy, certiﬁed robustness, and query complexity over existing baselines. And the effectiveness of our approach is justiﬁed under both image classiﬁcation and image reconstruction tasks.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Bridging Recommendation and Marketing via Recurrent Intensity Modeling

Yifei Ma · Ge Liu · Anoop Deoras

This paper studies some unexplored connections between personalized recommendation and marketing systems. Obviously, the two systems are different, in two main ways. Firstly, personalized item-recommendation (ItemRec) is user-centric, whereas marketing recommends the best user-state segments (UserRec) on behalf of its item providers. (We treat different temporal states of the same user as separate marketing opportunities.) To overcome this difference, we realize a novel connection to Marked-Temporal Point Processes (MTPPs), where we view both problems as different projections from a unified temporal intensity model for all user-item pairs. In this way, we derive Recurrent Intensity Models (RIMs) as unifying extensions from recurrent ItemRec models, though the connection can be more general. The second difference is in the temporal domains where they operate. While recommendation happens in real-time as each user appears, marketers often aim to reach a certain percentage of audience in the distribution of all user-states in a period of time. We formulate both considerations into a constrained optimization problem we call online match (OnlnMtch) and derive a Dual algorithm based on dual decomposition. Dual allows us to make ItemRec decisions in real time, while satisfying long-term marketing constraints in expectation. Finally, our connections between recommendation and marketing lead to novel applications. We run experiments where we use marketing as an alternative to cold-start item exploration, by setting a positive minimal-exposure constraint for every item over the user-state distribution in a future period of time. Our experiments are scalable to infinite streams of user-states and open-sourced.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Online Hyperparameter Meta-Learning with Hypergradient Distillation

Hae Beom Lee · Hayeon Lee · JaeWoong Shin · Eunho Yang · Timothy Hospedales · Sung Ju Hwang

Many gradient-based meta-learning methods assume a set of parameters that do not participate in inner-optimization, which can be considered as hyperparameters. Although such hyperparameters can be optimized using the existing gradient-based hyperparameter optimization (HO) methods, they suffer from the following issues. Unrolled differentiation methods do not scale well to high-dimensional hyperparameters or horizon length, Implicit Function Theorem (IFT) based methods are restrictive for online optimization, and short horizon approximations suffer from short horizon bias. In this work, we propose a novel HO method that can overcome these limitations, by approximating the second-order term with knowledge distillation. Specifically, we parameterize a single Jacobian-vector product (JVP) for each HO step and minimize the distance from the true second-order term. Our method allows online optimization and also is scalable to the hyperparameter dimension and the horizon length. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on three different meta-learning methods and two benchmark datasets.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### EViT: Expediting Vision Transformers via Token Reorganizations

Youwei Liang · Chongjian GE · Zhan Tong · Yibing Song · Jue Wang · Pengtao Xie

Vision Transformers (ViTs) take all the image patches as tokens and construct multi-head self-attention (MHSA) among them. Complete leverage of these image tokens brings redundant computations since not all the tokens are attentive in MHSA. Examples include that tokens containing semantically meaningless or distractive image backgrounds do not positively contribute to the ViT predictions. In this work, we propose to reorganize image tokens during the feed-forward process of ViT models, which is integrated into ViT during training. For each forward inference, we identify the attentive image tokens between MHSA and FFN (i.e., feed-forward network) modules, which is guided by the corresponding class token attention. Then, we reorganize image tokens by preserving attentive image tokens and fusing inattentive ones to expedite subsequent MHSA and FFN computations. To this end, our method EViT improves ViTs from two perspectives. First, under the same amount of input image tokens, our method reduces MHSA and FFN computation for efficient inference. For instance, the inference speed of DeiT-S is increased by 50% while its recognition accuracy is decreased by only 0.3% for ImageNet classification. Second, by maintaining the same computational cost, our method empowers ViTs to take more image tokens as input for recognition accuracy improvement, where the image tokens are from higher resolution images. An example is that we improve the recognition accuracy of DeiT-S by 1% for ImageNet classification at the same computational cost of a vanilla DeiT-S. Meanwhile, our method does not introduce more parameters to ViTs. Experiments on the standard benchmarks show the effectiveness of our method. The code is available at https://github.com/youweiliang/evit

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Node Feature Extraction by Self-Supervised Multi-scale Neighborhood Prediction

Eli Chien · Wei-Cheng Chang · Cho-Jui Hsieh · Hsiang-Fu Yu · Jiong Zhang · Olgica Milenkovic · Inderjit Dhillon

Learning on graphs has attracted significant attention in the learning community due to numerous real-world applications. In particular, graph neural networks (GNNs), which take \emph{numerical} node features and graph structure as inputs, have been shown to achieve state-of-the-art performance on various graph-related learning tasks. Recent works exploring the correlation between numerical node features and graph structure via self-supervised learning have paved the way for further performance improvements of GNNs. However, methods used for extracting numerical node features from \emph{raw data} are still \emph{graph-agnostic} within standard GNN pipelines. This practice is sub-optimal as it prevents one from fully utilizing potential correlations between graph topology and node attributes. To mitigate this issue, we propose a new self-supervised learning framework, Graph Information Aided Node feature exTraction (GIANT). GIANT makes use of the eXtreme Multi-label Classification (XMC) formalism, which is crucial for fine-tuning the language model based on graph information, and scales to large datasets. We also provide a theoretical analysis that justifies the use of XMC over link prediction and motivates integrating XR-Transformers, a powerful method for solving XMC problems, into the GIANT framework. We demonstrate the superior performance of GIANT over the standard GNN pipeline on Open Graph Benchmark datasets: For example, we improve the accuracy of the top-ranked method GAMLP from $68.25\%$ to $69.67\%$, SGC from $63.29\%$ to $66.10\%$ and MLP from $47.24\%$ to $61.10\%$ on the ogbn-papers100M dataset by leveraging GIANT.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### RelViT: Concept-guided Vision Transformer for Visual Relational Reasoning

Xiaojian Ma · Weili Nie · Zhiding Yu · Huaizu Jiang · Chaowei Xiao · Yuke Zhu · Song-Chun Zhu · Anima Anandkumar

Reasoning about visual relationships is central to how humans interpret the visual world. This task remains challenging for current deep learning algorithms since it requires addressing three key technical problems jointly: 1) identifying object entities and their properties, 2) inferring semantic relations between pairs of entities, and 3) generalizing to novel object-relation combinations, i.e., systematic generalization. In this work, we use vision transformers (ViTs) as our base model for visual reasoning and make better use of concepts defined as object entities and their relations to improve the reasoning ability of ViTs. Specifically, we introduce a novel concept-feature dictionary to allow flexible image feature retrieval at training time with concept keys. This dictionary enables two new concept-guided auxiliary tasks: 1) a global task for promoting relational reasoning, and 2) a local task for facilitating semantic object-centric correspondence learning. To examine the systematic generalization of visual reasoning models, we introduce systematic splits for the standard HICO and GQA benchmarks. We show the resulting model, Concept-guided Vision Transformer (or RelViT for short) significantly outperforms prior approaches on HICO and GQA by 16% and 13% in the original split, and by 43% and 18% in the systematic split. Our ablation analyses also reveal our model's compatibility with multiple ViT variants and robustness to hyper-parameters.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### LEARNING GUARANTEES FOR GRAPH CONVOLUTIONAL NETWORKS ON THE STOCHASTIC BLOCK MODEL

Wei Lu

An abundance of neural network models and algorithms for diverse tasks on graphs have been developed in the past five years. However, very few provable guarantees have been available for the performance of graph neural network models. This state of affairs is in contrast with the steady progress on the theoretical underpinnings of traditional dense and convolutional neural networks. In this paper we present the first provable guarantees for one of the best-studied families of graph neural network models, Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs), for semi- supervised community detection tasks. We show that with high probability over the initialization and training data, a GCN will efficiently learn to detect communities on graphs drawn from a stochastic block model. Our proof relies on a fine-grained analysis of the training dynamics in order to overcome the complexity of a non-convex optimization landscape with many poorly-performing local minima.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Learning Weakly-supervised Contrastive Representations

Yao-Hung Hubert Tsai · Tianqin Li · Weixin Liu · Peiyuan Liao · Ruslan Salakhutdinov · Louis-Philippe Morency

We argue that a form of the valuable information provided by the auxiliary information is its implied data clustering information. For instance, considering hashtags as auxiliary information, we can hypothesize that an Instagram image will be semantically more similar with the same hashtags. With this intuition, we present a two-stage weakly-supervised contrastive learning approach. The first stage is to cluster data according to its auxiliary information. The second stage is to learn similar representations within the same cluster and dissimilar representations for data from different clusters. Our empirical experiments suggest the following three contributions. First, compared to conventional self-supervised representations, the auxiliary-information-infused representations bring the performance closer to the supervised representations, which use direct downstream labels as supervision signals. Second, our approach performs the best in most cases, when comparing our approach with other baseline representation learning methods that also leverage auxiliary data information. Third, we show that our approach also works well with unsupervised constructed clusters (e.g., no auxiliary information), resulting in a strong unsupervised representation learning approach.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)

Tsz Him Cheung · Dit-Yan Yeung

Data augmentation is an effective way to improve the generalization capability of modern deep learning models. However, the underlying augmentation methods mostly rely on handcrafted operations. Moreover, an augmentation policy useful to one dataset may not transfer well to other datasets. Therefore, Automated Data Augmentation (AutoDA) methods, like \textit{AutoAugment} and \textit{Population-based Augmentation}, have been proposed recently to automate the process of searching for optimal augmentation policies. However, the augmentation policies found are not adaptive to the dataset used, hindering the effectiveness of these AutoDA methods. In this paper, we propose a novel AutoDA method called \texttt{AdaAug} to efficiently learn adaptive augmentation policies in a class-dependent and potentially instance-dependent manner. Our experiments show that the adaptive augmentation policies learned by our method transfer well to unseen datasets such as the Oxford Flowers, Oxford-IIT Pets, FGVC Aircraft, and Stanford Cars datasets when compared with other AutoDA baselines. In addition, our method also achieves state-of-the-art performance on the CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN datasets.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Stein Latent Optimization for Generative Adversarial Networks

Uiwon Hwang · Heeseung Kim · Dahuin Jung · Hyemi Jang · Hyungyu Lee · Sungroh Yoon

Generative adversarial networks (GANs) with clustered latent spaces can perform conditional generation in a completely unsupervised manner. In the real world, the salient attributes of unlabeled data can be imbalanced. However, most of existing unsupervised conditional GANs cannot cluster attributes of these data in their latent spaces properly because they assume uniform distributions of the attributes. To address this problem, we theoretically derive Stein latent optimization that provides reparameterizable gradient estimations of the latent distribution parameters assuming a Gaussian mixture prior in a continuous latent space. Structurally, we introduce an encoder network and novel unsupervised conditional contrastive loss to ensure that data generated from a single mixture component represent a single attribute. We confirm that the proposed method, named Stein Latent Optimization for GANs (SLOGAN), successfully learns balanced or imbalanced attributes and achieves state-of-the-art unsupervised conditional generation performance even in the absence of attribute information (e.g., the imbalance ratio). Moreover, we demonstrate that the attributes to be learned can be manipulated using a small amount of probe data.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)

Oliver Bryniarski · Nabeel Hingun · Pedro Pachuca · Vincent Wang · Nicholas Carlini

Evading adversarial example detection defenses requires finding adversarial examples that must simultaneously (a) be misclassified by the model and (b) be detected as non-adversarial. We find that existing attacks that attempt to satisfy multiple simultaneous constraints often over-optimize against one constraint at the cost of satisfying another. We introduce Selective Projected Gradient Descent and Orthogonal Projected Gradient Descent, improved attack techniques to generate adversarial examples that avoid this problem by orthogonalizing the gradients when running standard gradient-based attacks. We use our technique to evade four state-of-the-art detection defenses, reducing their accuracy to 0% while maintaining a 0% detection rate.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### QDrop: Randomly Dropping Quantization for Extremely Low-bit Post-Training Quantization

Xiuying Wei · Ruihao Gong · Yuhang Li · Xianglong Liu · fengwei yu

Recently, post-training quantization (PTQ) has driven much attention to produce efficient neural networks without long-time retraining. Despite the low cost, current PTQ works always fail under the extremely low-bit setting. In this study, we pioneeringly confirm that properly incorporating activation quantization into the PTQ reconstruction benefits the final accuracy. To deeply understand the inherent reason, a theoretical framework is established, which inspires us that the flatness of the optimized low-bit model on calibration and test data is crucial. Based on the conclusion, a simple yet effective approach dubbed as \textsc{QDrop} is proposed, which randomly drops the quantization of activations during reconstruction. Extensive experiments on various tasks including computer vision (image classification, object detection) and natural language processing (text classification and question answering) prove its superiority. With \textsc{QDrop}, the limit of PTQ is pushed to the 2-bit activation for the first time and the accuracy boost can be up to 51.49\%. Without bells and whistles, \textsc{QDrop} establishes a new state of the art for PTQ.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Mention Memory: incorporating textual knowledge into Transformers through entity mention attention

Michiel de Jong · Yury Zemlyanskiy · Nicholas FitzGerald · Fei Sha · William Cohen

Natural language understanding tasks such as open-domain question answering often require retrieving and assimilating factual information from multiple sources. We propose to address this problem by integrating a semi-parametric representation of a large text corpus into a Transformer model as a source of factual knowledge. Specifically, our method represents knowledge with mention memory'', a table of dense vector representations of every entity mention in a corpus. The proposed model - TOME - is a Transformer that accesses the information through internal memory layers in which each entity mention in the input passage attends to the mention memory. This approach enables synthesis of and reasoning over many disparate sources of information within a single Transformer model. In experiments using a memory of 150 million Wikipedia mentions, TOME achieves strong performance on several open-domain knowledge-intensive tasks, including the claim verification benchmarks HoVer and FEVER and several entity-based QA benchmarks. We also show that the model learns to attend to informative mentions without any direct supervision. Finally we demonstrate that the model can generalize to new unseen entities by updating the memory without retraining.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Particle Stochastic Dual Coordinate Ascent: Exponential convergent algorithm for mean field neural network optimization

Kazusato Oko · Taiji Suzuki · Atsushi Nitanda · Denny Wu

We introduce Particle-SDCA, a gradient-based optimization algorithm for two-layer neural networks in the mean field regime that achieves exponential convergence rate in regularized empirical risk minimization. The proposed algorithm can be regarded as an infinite dimensional extension of Stochastic Dual Coordinate Ascent (SDCA) in the probability space: we exploit the convexity of the dual problem, for which the coordinate-wise proximal gradient method can be applied. Our proposed method inherits advantages of the original SDCA, including (i) exponential convergence (with respect to the outer iteration steps), and (ii) better dependency on the sample size and condition number than the full-batch gradient method. One technical challenge in implementing the SDCA update is the intractable integral over the entire parameter space at every step. To overcome this limitation, we propose a tractable \textit{particle method} that approximately solves the dual problem, and an importance re-weighted technique to reduce the computational cost. The convergence rate of our method is verified by numerical experiments.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Learned Simulators for Turbulence

Kimberly Stachenfeld · Drummond Fielding · Dmitrii Kochkov · Miles Cranmer · Tobias Pfaff · Jonathan Godwin · Can Cui · Shirley Ho · Peter Battaglia · Alvaro Sanchez Gonzalez

Turbulence simulation with classical numerical solvers requires high-resolution grids to accurately resolve dynamics. Here we train learned simulators at low spatial and temporal resolutions to capture turbulent dynamics generated at high resolution. We show that our proposed model can simulate turbulent dynamics more accurately than classical numerical solvers at the comparably low resolutions across various scientifically relevant metrics. Our model is trained end-to-end from data and is capable of learning a range of challenging chaotic and turbulent dynamics at low resolution, including trajectories generated by the state-of-the-art Athena++ engine. We show that our simpler, general-purpose architecture outperforms various more specialized, turbulence-specific architectures from the learned turbulence simulation literature. In general, we see that learned simulators yield unstable trajectories; however, we show that tuning training noise and temporal downsampling solves this problem. We also find that while generalization beyond the training distribution is a challenge for learned models, training noise, added loss constraints, and dataset augmentation can help. Broadly, we conclude that our learned simulator outperforms traditional solvers run on coarser grids, and emphasize that simple design choices can offer stability and robust generalization.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### C-Planning: An Automatic Curriculum for Learning Goal-Reaching Tasks

Tianjun Zhang · Benjamin Eysenbach · Ruslan Salakhutdinov · Sergey Levine · Joseph E Gonzalez

Goal-conditioned reinforcement learning (RL) has shown great success recently at solving a wide range of tasks(e.g., navigation, robotic manipulation). However, learning to reach distant goals remains a central challenge to the field, and the task is particularly hard without any offline data, expert demonstrations, and reward shaping. In this paper, we propose to solve the distant goal-reaching task by using search at training time to generate a curriculum of intermediate states. Specifically, we introduce the algorithm Classifier-Planning (C-Planning) by framing the learning of the goal-conditioned policies as variational inference. C-Planning naturally follows expectation maximization (EM): the E-step corresponds to planning an optimal sequence of waypoints using graph search, while the M-step aims to learn a goal-conditioned policy to reach those waypoints. One essential difficulty of designing such an algorithm is accurately modeling the distribution over way-points to sample from. In C-Planning, we propose to sample the waypoints using contrastive methods to learn a value function. Unlike prior methods that combine goal-conditioned RL with graph search, ours performs search only during training and not testing, significantly decreasing the compute costs of deploying the learned policy. Empirically, we demonstrate that our method not only improves the sample efficiency of prior methods but also successfully solves temporally extended navigation and manipulation tasks, where prior goal-conditioned RL methods (including those based on graph search) fail to solve.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### SGD Can Converge to Local Maxima

Liu Ziyin · Botao Li · James Simon · Masahito Ueda

Previous works on stochastic gradient descent (SGD) often focus on its success. In this work, we construct worst-case optimization problems illustrating that, when not in the regimes that the previous works often assume, SGD can exhibit many strange and potentially undesirable behaviors. Specifically, we construct landscapes and data distributions such that (1) SGD converges to local maxima, (2) SGD escapes saddle points arbitrarily slowly, (3) SGD prefers sharp minima over flat ones, and (4) AMSGrad converges to local maxima. We also realize results in a minimal neural network-like example. Our results highlight the importance of simultaneously analyzing the minibatch sampling, discrete-time updates rules, and realistic landscapes to understand the role of SGD in deep learning.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Large Language Models Can Be Strong Differentially Private Learners

Xuechen Li · Florian Tramer · Percy Liang · Tatsunori Hashimoto

Differentially Private (DP) learning has seen limited success for building large deep learning models of text, and straightforward attempts at applying Differentially Private Stochastic Gradient Descent (DP-SGD) to NLP tasks have resulted in large performance drops and high computational overhead.We show that this performance drop can be mitigated with (1) the use of large pretrained language models; (2) non-standard hyperparameters that suit DP optimization; and (3) fine-tuning objectives which are aligned with the pretraining procedure.With the above, we obtain NLP models that outperform state-of-the-art DP-trained models under the same privacy budget and strong non-private baselines---by directly fine-tuning pretrained models with DP optimization on moderately-sized corpora. To address the computational challenge of running DP-SGD with large Transformers, we propose a memory saving technique that allows clipping in DP-SGD to run without instantiating per-example gradients for any linear layer in the model. The technique enables privately training Transformers with almost the same memory cost as non-private training at a modest run-time overhead. Contrary to conventional wisdom that DP optimization fails at learning high-dimensional models (due to noise that scales with dimension) empirical results reveal that private learning with pretrained language models tends to not suffer from dimension-dependent performance degradation.Code to reproduce results can be found at https://github.com/lxuechen/private-transformers.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Pre-training Molecular Graph Representation with 3D Geometry

Shengchao Liu · Hanchen Wang · Weiyang Liu · Joan Lasenby · Hongyu Guo · Jian Tang

Molecular graph representation learning is a fundamental problem in modern drug and material discovery. Molecular graphs are typically modeled by their 2D topological structures, but it has been recently discovered that 3D geometric information plays a more vital role in predicting molecular functionalities. However, the lack of 3D information in real-world scenarios has significantly impeded the learning of geometric graph representation. To cope with this challenge, we propose the Graph Multi-View Pre-training (GraphMVP) framework where self-supervised learning (SSL) is performed by leveraging the correspondence and consistency between 2D topological structures and 3D geometric views. GraphMVP effectively learns a 2D molecular graph encoder that is enhanced by richer and more discriminative 3D geometry. We further provide theoretical insights to justify the effectiveness of GraphMVP. Finally, comprehensive experiments show that GraphMVP can consistently outperform existing graph SSL methods. Code is available on GitHub: https://github.com/chao1224/GraphMVP.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### PipeGCN: Efficient Full-Graph Training of Graph Convolutional Networks with Pipelined Feature Communication

Cheng Wan · Youjie Li · Cameron Wolfe · Anastasios Kyrillidis · Nam Sung Kim · Yingyan Lin

Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs) is the state-of-the-art method for learning graph-structured data, and training large-scale GCNs requires distributed training across multiple accelerators such that each accelerator is able to hold a partitioned subgraph. However, distributed GCN training incurs prohibitive overhead of communicating node features and feature gradients among partitions for every GCN layer during each training iteration, limiting the achievable training efficiency and model scalability. To this end, we propose PipeGCN, a simple yet effective scheme that hides the communication overhead by pipelining inter-partition communication with intra-partition computation. It is non-trivial to pipeline for efficient GCN training, as communicated node features/gradients will become stale and thus can harm the convergence, negating the pipeline benefit. Notably, little is known regarding the convergence rate of GCN training with both stale features and stale feature gradients. This work not only provides a theoretical convergence analysis but also finds the convergence rate of PipeGCN to be close to that of the vanilla distributed GCN training without any staleness. Furthermore, we develop a smoothing method to further improve PipeGCN's convergence. Extensive experiments show that PipeGCN can largely boost the training throughput (1.7×~28.5×) while achieving the same accuracy as its vanilla counterpart and existing full-graph training methods. The code is available at https://github.com/RICE-EIC/PipeGCN.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Patch-Fool: Are Vision Transformers Always Robust Against Adversarial Perturbations?

Yonggan Fu · Shunyao Zhang · Shang Wu · Cheng Wan · Yingyan Lin

Vision transformers (ViTs) have recently set off a new wave in neural architecture design thanks to their record-breaking performance in various vision tasks. In parallel, to fulfill the goal of deploying ViTs into real-world vision applications, their robustness against potential malicious attacks has gained increasing attention. In particular, recent works show that ViTs are more robust against adversarial attacks as compared with convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and conjecture that this is because ViTs focus more on capturing global interactions among different input/feature patches, leading to their improved robustness to local perturbations imposed by adversarial attacks. In this work, we ask an intriguing question: "Under what kinds of perturbations do ViTs become more vulnerable learners compared to CNNs?" Driven by this question, we first conduct a comprehensive experiment regarding the robustness of both ViTs and CNNs under various existing adversarial attacks to understand the underlying reason favoring their robustness. Based on the drawn insights, we then propose a dedicated attack framework, dubbed Patch-Fool, that fools the self-attention mechanism by attacking its basic component (i.e., a single patch) with a series of attention-aware optimization techniques. Interestingly, our Patch-Fool framework shows for the first time that ViTs are not necessarily more robust than CNNs against adversarial perturbations. In particular, we find that ViTs are more vulnerable learners compared with CNNs against our Patch-Fool attack which is consistent across extensive experiments, and the observations from Sparse/Mild Patch-Fool, two variants of Patch-Fool, indicate an intriguing insight that the perturbation density and strength on each patch seem to be the key factors that influence the robustness ranking between ViTs and CNNs. It can be expected that our Patch-Fool framework will shed light on both future architecture designs and training schemes for robustifying ViTs towards their real-world deployment. Our codes are available at https://github.com/RICE-EIC/Patch-Fool.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Path Auxiliary Proposal for MCMC in Discrete Space

Haoran Sun · Hanjun Dai · Wei Xia · Arun Ramamurthy

Energy-based Model (EBM) offers a powerful approach for modeling discrete structure, but both inference and learning of EBM are hard as it involves sampling from discrete distributions. Recent work shows Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) with the informed proposal is a powerful tool for such sampling. However, an informed proposal only allows local updates as it requires evaluating all energy changes in the neighborhood.In this work, we present a path auxiliary algorithm that uses a composition of local moves to efficiently explore large neighborhoods. We also give a fast version of our algorithm that only queries the evaluation of energy function twice for each proposal via linearization of the energy function. Empirically, we show that our path auxiliary algorithms considerably outperform other generic samplers on various discrete models for sampling, inference, and learning. Our method can also be used to train deep EBMs for high-dimensional discrete data.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Neural Solvers for Fast and Accurate Numerical Optimal Control

Federico Berto · Stefano Massaroli · Michael Poli · Jinkyoo Park

Synthesizing optimal controllers for dynamical systems often involves solving optimization problems with hard real-time constraints. These constraints determine the class of numerical methods that can be applied: computationally expensive but accurate numerical routines are replaced by fast and inaccurate methods, trading inference time for solution accuracy. This paper provides techniques to improve the quality of optimized control policies given a fixed computational budget. We achieve the above via a hypersolvers approach, which hybridizes a differential equation solver and a neural network. The performance is evaluated in direct and receding-horizon optimal control tasks in both low and high dimensions, where the proposed approach shows consistent Pareto improvements in solution accuracy and control performance.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Optimization inspired Multi-Branch Equilibrium Models

Mingjie Li · Yisen Wang · Xingyu Xie · Zhouchen Lin

Works have shown the strong connections between some implicit models and optimization problems. However, explorations on such relationships are limited. Most works pay attention to some common mathematical properties, such as sparsity. In this work, we propose a new type of implicit model inspired by the designing of the systems' hidden objective functions, called the Multi-branch Optimization induced Equilibrium networks~(MOptEqs). The model architecture is designed based on modelling the hidden objective function for the multi-resolution recognition task. Furthermore, we also propose a new training strategy inspired by our understandings of the hidden objective function. In this manner, the proposed model can better utilize the hierarchical patterns for recognition tasks and retain the abilities for interpreting the whole structure as trying to obtain the minima of the problem's goal. Comparing with the state-of-the-art models, our MOptEqs not only enjoys better explainability but are also superior to MDEQ with less parameter consumption and better performance on practical tasks. Furthermore, we also implement various experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of our new methods and explore the applicability of the model's hidden objective function.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Meta Learning Low Rank Covariance Factors for Energy Based Deterministic Uncertainty

Jeff Willette · Hae Beom Lee · Juho Lee · Sung Ju Hwang

Numerous recent works utilize bi-Lipschitz regularization of neural network layers to preserve relative distances between data instances in the feature spaces of each layer. This distance sensitivity with respect to the data aids in tasks such as uncertainty calibration and out-of-distribution (OOD) detection. In previous works, features extracted with a distance sensitive model are used to construct feature covariance matrices which are used in deterministic uncertainty estimation or OOD detection. However, in cases where there is a distribution over tasks, these methods result in covariances which are sub-optimal, as they may not leverage all of the meta information which can be shared among tasks. With the use of an attentive set encoder, we propose to meta learn either diagonal or diagonal plus low-rank factors to efficiently construct task specific covariance matrices. Additionally, we propose an inference procedure which utilizes scaled energy to achieve a final predictive distribution which is well calibrated under a distributional dataset shift.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Is Fairness Only Metric Deep? Evaluating and Addressing Subgroup Gaps in Deep Metric Learning

Natalie Dullerud · Karsten Roth · Kimia Hamidieh · Nicolas Papernot · Marzyeh Ghassemi

Deep metric learning (DML) enables learning with less supervision through its emphasis on the similarity structure of representations. There has been much work on improving generalization of DML in settings like zero-shot retrieval, but little is known about its implications for fairness. In this paper, we are the first to evaluate state-of-the-art DML methods trained on imbalanced data, and to show the negative impact these representations have on minority subgroup performance when used for downstream tasks. In this work, we first define fairness in DML through an analysis of three properties of the representation space -- inter-class alignment, intra-class alignment, and uniformity -- and propose \textit{\textbf{finDML}}, the \textit{\textbf{f}}airness \textit{\textbf{i}}n \textit{\textbf{n}}on-balanced \textit{\textbf{DML}} benchmark to characterize representation fairness. Utilizing \textit{finDML}, we find bias in DML representations to propagate to common downstream classification tasks. Surprisingly, this bias is propagated even when training data in the downstream task is re-balanced. To address this problem, we present Partial Attribute De-correlation (\textit{\textbf{\pad}}) to disentangle feature representations from sensitive attributes and reduce performance gaps between subgroups in both embedding space and downstream metrics.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### A Theory of Tournament Representations

Arun Rajkumar · Vishnu Veerathu · Abdul Mir

Real-world tournaments are almost always intransitive. Recent works have noted that parametric models which assume $d$ dimensional node representations can effectively model intransitive tournaments. However, nothing is known about the structure of the class of tournaments that arise out of any fixed $d$ dimensional representations. In this work, we develop a novel theory for understanding parametric tournament representations. Our first contribution is to structurally characterize the class of tournaments that arise out of $d$ dimensional representations. We do this by showing that these tournament classes have forbidden configurations that must necessarily be a union of flip classes, a novel way to partition the set of all tournaments. We further characterize rank $2$ tournaments completely by showing that the associated forbidden flip class contains just $2$ tournaments. Specifically, we show that the rank $2$ tournaments are equivalent to locally transitive tournaments. This insight allows us to show that the minimum feedback arc set problem on this tournament class can be solved using the standard Quicksort procedure. We also exhibit specific forbidden configurations for rank $4$ tournaments. For a general rank $d$ tournament class, we show that the flip class associated with a coned-doubly regular tournament of size $\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{d})$ must be a forbidden configuration. To answer a dual question, using a celebrated result of Froster, we show a lower bound of $\Theta(\sqrt{n})$ on the minimum dimension needed to represent all tournaments on $n$ nodes. For any given tournament, we show a novel upper bound on the smallest representation dimension that depends on the least size of the number of unique nodes in any feedback arc set of the flip class associated with a tournament. We show how our results also shed light on the upper bound of sign-rank of matrices.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Learning with Noisy Labels Revisited: A Study Using Real-World Human Annotations

Jiaheng Wei · Zhaowei Zhu · Hao Cheng · Tongliang Liu · Gang Niu · Yang Liu

Existing research on learning with noisy labels mainly focuses on synthetic label noise. The synthetic noise, though has clean structures which greatly enabled statistical analyses, often fails to model the real-world noise patterns. The recent literature has observed several efforts to offer real-world noisy datasets, e.g., Food-101N, WebVision, and Clothing1M. Yet the existing efforts suffer from two caveats: firstly, the lack of ground-truth verification makes it hard to theoretically study the property and treatment of real-world label noise. Secondly, these efforts are often of large scales, which may result in unfair comparisons of robust methods within reasonable and accessible computation power. To better understand real-world label noise, it is important to establish controllable, easy-to-use, and moderate-sized real-world noisy datasets with both ground-truth and noisy labels. This work presents two new benchmark datasets, which we name as CIFAR-10N, CIFAR-100N (jointly we call them CIFAR-N), equipping the training datasets of CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 with human-annotated real-world noisy labels we collected from Amazon Mechanical Turk. We quantitatively and qualitatively show that real-world noisy labels follow an instance-dependent pattern rather than the classically assumed and adopted ones (e.g., class-dependent label noise). We then initiate an effort to benchmarking a subset of the existing solutions using CIFAR-10N and CIFAR-100N. We further proceed to study the memorization of correct and wrong predictions, which further illustrates the difference between human noise and class-dependent synthetic noise. We show indeed the real-world noise patterns impose new and outstanding challenges as compared to synthetic label noise. These observations require us to rethink the treatment of noisy labels, and we hope the availability of these two datasets would facilitate the development and evaluation of future learning with noisy label solutions. The corresponding datasets and the leaderboard are available at http://noisylabels.com.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Pseudo-Labeled Auto-Curriculum Learning for Semi-Supervised Keypoint Localization

Can Wang · Sheng Jin · Yingda Guan · Wentao Liu · Chen Qian · Ping Luo · Wanli Ouyang

Localizing keypoints of an object is a basic visual problem. However, supervised learning of a keypoint localization network often requires a large amount of data, which is expensive and time-consuming to obtain. To remedy this, there is an ever-growing interest in semi-supervised learning (SSL), which leverages a small set of labeled data along with a large set of unlabeled data. Among these SSL approaches, pseudo-labeling (PL) is one of the most popular. PL approaches apply pseudo-labels to unlabeled data, and then train the model with a combination of the labeled and pseudo-labeled data iteratively. The key to the success of PL is the selection of high-quality pseudo-labeled samples. Previous works mostly select training samples by manually setting a single confidence threshold. We propose to automatically select reliable pseudo-labeled samples with a series of dynamic thresholds, which constitutes a learning curriculum.Extensive experiments on five keypoint localization benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed approach significantly outperforms the previous state-of-the-art SSL approaches.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Pretrained Language Model in Continual Learning: A Comparative Study

Tongtong Wu · Massimo Caccia · Zhuang Li · Yuan-Fang Li · Guilin Qi · Gholamreza Haffari

Continual learning (CL) is a setting in which a model learns from a stream of incoming data while avoiding to forget previously learned knowledge. Pre-trained language models (PLMs) have been successfully employed in continual learning of different natural language problems. With the rapid development of many continual learning methods and PLMs, understanding and disentangling their interactions become essential for continued improvement of continual learning performance. In this paper, we thoroughly compare the continual learning performance over the combination of 5 PLMs and 4 CL approaches on 3 benchmarks in 2 typical incremental settings. Our extensive experimental analyses reveal interesting performance differences across PLMs and across CL methods. Furthermore, our representativeness probing analyses dissect PLMs’ performance characteristics in a layer-wise and task-wise manner, uncovering the extent to which their inner layers suffer from forgetting, and the effect of different CL approaches on each layer. Finally, our observations and analyses open up a number of important research questions that will inform and guide the design of effective continual learning techniques.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Contrastive Clustering to Mine Pseudo Parallel Data for Unsupervised Translation

Xuan-Phi Nguyen · Hongyu Gong · Yun Tang · Changhan Wang · Philipp Koehn · Shafiq Joty

Modern unsupervised machine translation systems mostly train their models by generating synthetic parallel training data from large unlabeled monolingual corpora of different languages through various means, such as iterative back-translation. However, there may exist small amount of actual parallel data hidden in the sea of unlabeled data, which has not been exploited. We develop a new fine-tuning objective, called Language-Agnostic Constraint for SwAV loss, or LAgSwAV, which enables a pre-trained model to extract such pseudo-parallel data from the monolingual corpora in a fully unsupervised manner. We then propose an effective strategy to utilize the obtained synthetic data to augment unsupervised machine translation. Our method achieves the state of the art in the WMT'14 English-French, WMT'16 German-English and English-Romanian bilingual unsupervised translation tasks, with 40.2, 36.8, 37.0 BLEU, respectively. We also achieve substantial improvements in the FLoRes low-resource English-Nepali and English-Sinhala unsupervised tasks with 5.3 and 5.4 BLEU, respectively.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Convergent and Efficient Deep Q Learning Algorithm

Zhikang T Wang · Masahito Ueda

Despite the empirical success of the deep Q network (DQN) reinforcement learning algorithm and its variants, DQN is still not well understood and it does not guarantee convergence. In this work, we show that DQN can indeed diverge and cease to operate in realistic settings. Although there exist gradient-based convergent methods, we show that they actually have inherent problems in learning dynamics which cause them to fail even for simple tasks. To overcome these problems, we propose a convergent DQN algorithm (C-DQN) that is guaranteed to converge and can work with large discount factors (0.9998). It learns robustly in difficult settings and can learn several difficult games in the Atari 2600 benchmark that DQN fails to solve.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### On the Convergence of the Monte Carlo Exploring Starts Algorithm for Reinforcement Learning

Che Wang · Shuhan Yuan · Kai Shao · Keith Ross

A simple and natural algorithm for reinforcement learning (RL) is Monte Carlo Exploring Starts (MCES), where the Q-function is estimated by averaging the Monte Carlo returns, and the policy is improved by choosing actions that maximize the current estimate of the Q-function. Exploration is performed by "exploring starts", that is, each episode begins with a randomly chosen state and action, and then follows the current policy to the terminal state. In the classic book on RL by Sutton & Barto (2018), it is stated that establishing convergence for the MCES algorithm is one of the most important remaining open theoretical problems in RL. However, the convergence question for MCES turns out to be quite nuanced. Bertsekas & Tsitsiklis (1996) provide a counter-example showing that the MCES algorithm does not necessarily converge. Tsitsiklis (2002) further shows that if the original MCES algorithm is modified so that the Q-function estimates are updated at the same rate for all state-action pairs, and the discount factor is strictly less than one, then the MCES algorithm converges. In this paper we make headway with the original and more efficient MCES algorithm given in Sutton et al. (1998), establishing almost sure convergence for Optimal Policy Feed-Forward MDPs, which are MDPs whose states are not revisited within any episode when using an optimal policy. Such MDPs include a large class of environments such as all deterministic environments and all episodic environments with a timestep or any monotonically changing values as part of the state. Different from the previous proofs using stochastic approximations, we introduce a novel inductive approach, which is very simple and only makes use of the strong law of large numbers.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Concurrent Adversarial Learning for Large-Batch Training

LIU YONG · Xiangning Chen · Minhao Cheng · Cho-Jui Hsieh · Yang You

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Symbolic Learning to Optimize: Towards Interpretability and Scalability

Wenqing Zheng · Tianlong Chen · Ting-Kuei Hu · Zhangyang Wang

Recent studies on Learning to Optimize (L2O) suggest a promising path to automating and accelerating the optimization procedure for complicated tasks. Existing L2O models parameterize optimization rules by neural networks, and learn those numerical rules via meta-training. However, they face two common pitfalls: (1) scalability: the numerical rules represented by neural networks create extra memory overhead for applying L2O models, and limits their applicability to optimizing larger tasks; (2) interpretability: it is unclear what each L2O model has learned in its black-box optimization rule, nor is it straightforward to compare different L2O models in an explainable way. To avoid both pitfalls, this paper proves the concept that we can "kill two birds by one stone", by introducing the powerful tool of symbolic regression to L2O. In this paper, we establish a holistic symbolic representation and analysis framework for L2O, which yields a series of insights for learnable optimizers. Leveraging our findings, we further propose a lightweight L2O model that can be meta-trained on large-scale problems and outperformed human-designed and tuned optimizers. Our work is set to supply a brand-new perspective to L2O research. Codes are available at: https://github.com/VITA-Group/Symbolic-Learning-To-Optimize.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Eigencurve: Optimal Learning Rate Schedule for SGD on Quadratic Objectives with Skewed Hessian Spectrums

Rui Pan · Haishan Ye · Tong Zhang

Learning rate schedulers have been widely adopted in training deep neural networks. Despite their practical importance, there is a discrepancy between its practice and its theoretical analysis. For instance, it is not known what schedules of SGD achieve best convergence, even for simple problems such as optimizing quadratic objectives. In this paper, we propose Eigencurve, the first family of learning rate schedules that can achieve minimax optimal convergence rates (up to a constant) for SGD on quadratic objectives when the eigenvalue distribution of the underlying Hessian matrix is skewed. The condition is quite common in practice. Experimental results show that Eigencurve can significantly outperform step decay in image classification tasks on CIFAR-10, especially when the number of epochs is small. Moreover, the theory inspires two simple learning rate schedulers for practical applications that can approximate eigencurve. For some problems, the optimal shape of the proposed schedulers resembles that of cosine decay, which sheds light to the success of cosine decay for such situations. For other situations, the proposed schedulers are superior to cosine decay.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Meta-Imitation Learning by Watching Video Demonstrations

Jiayi Li · Tao Lu · Xiaoge Cao · Yinghao Cai · Shuo Wang

Meta-Imitation Learning is a promising technique for the robot to learn a new task from observing one or a few human demonstrations. However, it usually requires a significant number of demonstrations both from humans and robots during the meta-training phase, which is a laborious and hard work for data collection, especially in recording the actions and specifying the correspondence between human and robot. In this work, we present an approach of meta-imitation learning by watching video demonstrations from humans. In comparison to prior works, our approach is able to translate human videos into practical robot demonstrations and train the meta-policy with adaptive loss based on the quality of the translated data. Our approach relies only on human videos and does not require robot demonstration, which facilitates data collection and is more in line with human imitation behavior. Experiments reveal that our method achieves the comparable performance to the baseline on fast learning a set of vision-based tasks through watching a single video demonstration.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Context-Aware Sparse Deep Coordination Graphs

Tonghan Wang · Liang Zeng · Weijun Dong · Qianlan Yang · Yang Yu · Chongjie Zhang

Learning sparse coordination graphs adaptive to the coordination dynamics among agents is a long-standing problem in cooperative multi-agent learning. This paper studies this problem and proposes a novel method using the variance of payoff functions to construct context-aware sparse coordination topologies. We theoretically consolidate our method by proving that the smaller the variance of payoff functions is, the less likely action selection will change after removing the corresponding edge. Moreover, we propose to learn action representations to effectively reduce the influence of payoff functions' estimation errors on graph construction. To empirically evaluate our method, we present the Multi-Agent COordination (MACO) benchmark by collecting classic coordination problems in the literature, increasing their difficulty, and classifying them into different types. We carry out a case study and experiments on the MACO and StarCraft II micromanagement benchmark to demonstrate the dynamics of sparse graph learning, the influence of graph sparseness, and the learning performance of our method.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Scale Efficiently: Insights from Pretraining and Finetuning Transformers

Yi Tay · Mostafa Dehghani · Jinfeng Rao · William Fedus · Samira Abnar · Hyung Won Chung · SHARAN NARANG · Dani Yogatama · Ashish Vaswani · Donald Metzler

There remain many open questions pertaining to the scaling behaviour of Transformer architectures. These scaling decisions and findings can be critical, as training runs often come with an associated computational cost which have both financial and/or environmental impact. The goal of this paper is to present scaling insights from pretraining and finetuning Transformers. While Kaplan et al. presents a comprehensive study of the scaling behaviour of Transformer language models, the scope is only on the upstream (pretraining) loss. Therefore, it is still unclear if these set of findings transfer to downstream task within the context of the pretrain-finetune paradigm. The key findings of this paper are as follows: (1) we show that aside from only the model size, model shape matters for downstream fine-tuning, (2) scaling protocols operate differently at different compute regions, (3) widely adopted T5-base and T5-large sizes are Pareto-inefficient. To this end, we present improved scaling protocols whereby our redesigned models achieve similar downstream fine-tuning quality while having 50\% fewer parameters and training 40\% faster compared to the widely adopted T5-base model. We publicly release over 100 pretrained checkpoints of different T5 configurations to facilitate future research and analysis.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Cold Brew: Distilling Graph Node Representations with Incomplete or Missing Neighborhoods

Wenqing Zheng · Edward Huang · Nikhil Rao · Sumeet Katariya · Zhangyang Wang · Karthik Subbian

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have achieved state-of-the-art performance in node classification, regression, and recommendation tasks. GNNs work well when rich and high-quality connections are available. However, their effectiveness is often jeopardized in many real-world graphs in which node degrees have power-law distributions. The extreme case of this situation, where a node may have no neighbors, is called Strict Cold Start (SCS). SCS forces the prediction to rely completely on the node's own features. We propose Cold Brew, a teacher-student distillation approach to address the SCS and noisy-neighbor challenges for GNNs. We also introduce feature contribution ratio (FCR), a metric to quantify the behavior of inductive GNNs to solve SCS. We experimentally show that FCR disentangles the contributions of different graph data components and helps select the best architecture for SCS generalization. We further demonstrate the superior performance of Cold Brew on several public benchmark and proprietary e-commerce datasets, where many nodes have either very few or noisy connections. Our source code is available at https://github.com/amazon-research/gnn-tail-generalization.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Benchmarking the Spectrum of Agent Capabilities

Danijar Hafner

Evaluating the general abilities of intelligent agents requires complex simulation environments. Existing benchmarks typically evaluate only one narrow task per environment, requiring researchers to perform expensive training runs on many different environments. We introduce Crafter, an open world survival game with visual inputs that evaluates a wide range of general abilities within a single environment. Agents either learn from the provided reward signal or through intrinsic objectives and are evaluated by semantically meaningful achievements that can be unlocked during each episode, such as discovering resources and crafting tools. Consistently unlocking all achievements requires strong generalization, deep exploration, and long-term reasoning. We experimentally verify that Crafter is of appropriate difficulty to drive future research and provide baselines scores of reward agents and unsupervised agents. Furthermore, we observe sophisticated behaviors emerging from maximizing the reward signal, such as building tunnel systems, bridges, houses, and plantations. We hope that Crafter will accelerate research progress by quickly evaluating a wide spectrum of abilities.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Declarative nets that are equilibrium models

Russell Tsuchida · Suk Yee Yong · Mohammad Ali Armin · Lars Petersson · Cheng Soon Ong

Implicit layers are computational modules that output the solution to some problem depending on the input and the layer parameters. Deep equilibrium models (DEQs) output a solution to a fixed point equation. Deep declarative networks (DDNs) solve an optimisation problem in their forward pass, an arguably more intuitive, interpretable problem than finding a fixed point. We show that solving a kernelised regularised maximum likelihood estimate as an inner problem in a DDN yields a large class of DEQ architectures. Our proof uses the exponential family in canonical form, and provides a closed-form expression for the DEQ parameters in terms of the kernel. The activation functions have interpretations in terms of the derivative of the log partition function. Building on existing literature, we interpret DEQs as fine-tuned, unrolled classical algorithms, giving an intuitive justification for why DEQ models are sensible. We use our theoretical result to devise an initialisation scheme for DEQs that allows them to solve kGLMs in their forward pass at initialisation. We empirically show that this initialisation scheme improves training stability and performance over random initialisation.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### BEiT: BERT Pre-Training of Image Transformers

Hangbo Bao · Li Dong · Songhao Piao · Furu Wei

We introduce a self-supervised vision representation model BEiT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder representation from Image Transformers. Following BERT developed in the natural language processing area, we propose a masked image modeling task to pretrain vision Transformers. Specifically, each image has two views in our pre-training, i.e., image patches (such as 16 x 16 pixels), and visual tokens (i.e., discrete tokens). We first tokenize'' the original image into visual tokens. Then we randomly mask some image patches and fed them into the backbone Transformer. The pre-training objective is to recover the original visual tokens based on the corrupted image patches. After pre-training BEiT, we directly fine-tune the model parameters on downstream tasks by appending task layers upon the pretrained encoder. Experimental results on image classification and semantic segmentation show that our model achieves competitive results with previous pre-training methods.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Quantitative Performance Assessment of CNN Units via Topological Entropy Calculation

Yang Zhao · Hao Zhang

Identifying the status of individual network units is critical for understanding the mechanism of convolutional neural networks (CNNs). However, it is still challenging to reliably give a general indication of unit status, especially for units in different network models. To this end, we propose a novel method for quantitatively clarifying the status of single unit in CNN using algebraic topological tools. Unit status is indicated via the calculation of a defined topological-based entropy, called feature entropy, which measures the degree of chaos of the global spatial pattern hidden in the unit for a category. In this way, feature entropy could provide an accurate indication of status for units in different networks with diverse situations like weight-rescaling operation. Further, we show that feature entropy decreases as the layer goes deeper and shares almost simultaneous trend with loss during training. We show that by investigating the feature entropy of units on only training data, it could give discrimination between networks with different generalization ability from the view of the effectiveness of feature representations.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### TRGP: Trust Region Gradient Projection for Continual Learning

Sen Lin · Li Yang · Deliang Fan · Junshan Zhang

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Generalizing Few-Shot NAS with Gradient Matching

Shoukang Hu · Ruochen Wang · Lanqing HONG · Zhenguo Li · Cho-Jui Hsieh · Jiashi Feng

Efficient performance estimation of architectures drawn from large search spaces is essential to Neural Architecture Search. One-Shot methods tackle this challenge by training one supernet to approximate the performance of every architecture in the search space via weight-sharing, thereby drastically reducing the search cost. However, due to coupled optimization between child architectures caused by weight-sharing, One-Shot supernet's performance estimation could be inaccurate, leading to degraded search outcomes. To address this issue, Few-Shot NAS reduces the level of weight-sharing by splitting the One-Shot supernet into multiple separated sub-supernets via edge-wise (layer-wise) exhaustive partitioning. Since each partition of the supernet is not equally important, it necessitates the design of a more effective splitting criterion. In this work, we propose a gradient matching score (GM) that leverages gradient information at the shared weight for making informed splitting decisions. Intuitively, gradients from different child models can be used to identify whether they agree on how to update the shared modules, and subsequently to decide if they should share weight. Compared with exhaustive partitioning, the proposed criterion significantly reduces the branching factor per edge. This allows us to split more edges (layers) for a given budget, resulting in substantially improved performance as NAS search spaces usually include dozens of edges (layers). Extensive empirical evaluations of the proposed method on a wide range of search spaces (NASBench-201, DARTS, MobileNet Space), datasets (cifar10, cifar100, ImageNet) and search algorithms (DARTS, SNAS, RSPS, ProxylessNAS, OFA) demonstrate that it significantly outperforms its Few-Shot counterparts while surpassing previous comparable methods in terms of the accuracy of derived architectures. Our code is available at https://github.com/skhu101/GM-NAS.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Learning Continuous Environment Fields via Implicit Functions

Xueting Li · Sifei Liu · Shalini De Mello · Xiaolong Wang · Ming-Hsuan Yang · Jan Kautz

We propose a novel scene representation that encodes reaching distance -- the distance between any position in the scene to a goal along a feasible trajectory. We demonstrate that this environment field representation can directly guide the dynamic behaviors of agents in 2D mazes or 3D indoor scenes. Our environment field is a continuous representation and learned via a neural implicit function using discretely sampled training data. We showcase its application for agent navigation in 2D mazes, and human trajectory prediction in 3D indoor environments. To produce physically plausible and natural trajectories for humans, we additionally learn a generative model that predicts regions where humans commonly appear, and enforce the environment field to be defined within such regions. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed method can generate both feasible and plausible trajectories efficiently and accurately.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### On the Convergence of Certified Robust Training with Interval Bound Propagation

Yihan Wang · Zhouxing Shi · Quanquan Gu · Cho-Jui Hsieh

Interval Bound Propagation (IBP) is so far the base of state-of-the-art methods for training neural networks with certifiable robustness guarantees when potential adversarial perturbations present, while the convergence of IBP training remains unknown in existing literature. In this paper, we present a theoretical analysis on the convergence of IBP training. With an overparameterized assumption, we analyze the convergence of IBP robust training. We show that when using IBP training to train a randomly initialized two-layer ReLU neural network with logistic loss, gradient descent can linearly converge to zero robust training error with a high probability if we have sufficiently small perturbation radius and large network width.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### DEPTS: Deep Expansion Learning for Periodic Time Series Forecasting

Wei Fan · Shun Zheng · Xiaohan Yi · Wei Cao · Yanjie Fu · Jiang Bian · Tie-Yan Liu

Periodic time series (PTS) forecasting plays a crucial role in a variety of industries to foster critical tasks, such as early warning, pre-planning, resource scheduling, etc. However, the complicated dependencies of the PTS signal on its inherent periodicity as well as the sophisticated composition of various periods hinder the performance of PTS forecasting. In this paper, we introduce a deep expansion learning framework, DEPTS, for PTS forecasting. DEPTS starts with a decoupled formulation by introducing the periodic state as a hidden variable, which stimulates us to make two dedicated modules to tackle the aforementioned two challenges. First, we develop an expansion module on top of residual learning to perform a layer-by-layer expansion of those complicated dependencies. Second, we introduce a periodicity module with a parameterized periodic function that holds sufficient capacity to capture diversified periods. Moreover, our two customized modules also have certain interpretable capabilities, such as attributing the forecasts to either local momenta or global periodicity and characterizing certain core periodic properties, e.g., amplitudes and frequencies. Extensive experiments on both synthetic data and real-world data demonstrate the effectiveness of DEPTS on handling PTS. In most cases, DEPTS achieves significant improvements over the best baseline. Specifically, the error reduction can even reach up to 20% for a few cases. All codes for this paper are publicly available.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Half-Inverse Gradients for Physical Deep Learning

Patrick Schnell · Philipp Holl · Nils Thuerey

Recent works in deep learning have shown that integrating differentiable physics simulators into the training process can greatly improve the quality of results. Although this combination represents a more complex optimization task than usual neural network training, the same gradient-based optimizers are used to minimize the loss function. However, the integrated physics solvers have a profound effect on the gradient flow as manipulating scales in magnitude and direction is an inherent property of many physical processes. Consequently, the gradient flow is often highly unbalanced and creates an environment in which existing gradient-based optimizers perform poorly. In this work, we analyze the characteristics of both physical and neural network optimizations separately to derive a new method based on a half-inversion of the Jacobian. Our approach combines principles of both classical network and physics optimizers to solve the combined optimization task. Compared to state-of-the-art neural network optimizers, our method converges more quickly and to better solutions, which we demonstrate on three complex learning problems involving nonlinear oscillators, the Schroedinger equation and the Poisson problem.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### F8Net: Fixed-Point 8-bit Only Multiplication for Network Quantization

Qing Jin · Jian Ren · Richard Zhuang · Sumant Hanumante · Zhengang Li · Zhiyu Chen · Yanzhi Wang · Kaiyuan Yang · Sergey Tulyakov

Neural network quantization is a promising compression technique to reduce memory footprint and save energy consumption, potentially leading to real-time inference. However, there is a performance gap between quantized and full-precision models. To reduce it, existing quantization approaches require high-precision INT32 or full-precision multiplication during inference for scaling or dequantization. This introduces a noticeable cost in terms of memory, speed, and required energy. To tackle these issues, we present F8Net, a novel quantization framework consisting in only ﬁxed-point 8-bit multiplication. To derive our method, we ﬁrst discuss the advantages of ﬁxed-point multiplication with different formats of ﬁxed-point numbers and study the statistical behavior of the associated ﬁxed-point numbers. Second, based on the statistical and algorithmic analysis, we apply different ﬁxed-point formats for weights and activations of different layers. We introduce a novel algorithm to automatically determine the right format for each layer during training. Third, we analyze a previous quantization algorithm—parameterized clipping activation (PACT)—and reformulate it using ﬁxed-point arithmetic. Finally, we unify the recently proposed method for quantization ﬁne-tuning and our ﬁxed-point approach to show the potential of our method. We verify F8Net on ImageNet for MobileNet V1/V2 and ResNet18/50. Our approach achieves comparable and better performance, when compared not only to existing quantization techniques with INT32 multiplication or ﬂoating point arithmetic, but also to the full-precision counterparts, achieving state-of-the-art performance.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Learning Versatile Neural Architectures by Propagating Network Codes

Mingyu Ding · Yuqi Huo · Haoyu Lu · Linjie Yang · Zhe Wang · Zhiwu Lu · Jingdong Wang · Ping Luo

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Efficient Sharpness-aware Minimization for Improved Training of Neural Networks

Jiawei Du · Hanshu Yan · Jiashi Feng · Joey T Zhou · Liangli Zhen · Rick Goh · Vincent Tan

Overparametrized Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) often achieve astounding performances, but may potentially result in severe generalization error. Recently, the relation between the sharpness of the loss landscape and the generalization error has been established by Foret et al. (2020), in which the Sharpness Aware Minimizer (SAM) was proposed to mitigate the degradation of the generalization. Unfortunately, SAM’s computational cost is roughly double that of base optimizers, such as Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD). This paper thus proposes Efficient Sharpness Aware Minimizer (ESAM), which boosts SAM’s efficiency at no cost to its generalization performance. ESAM includes two novel and efficient training strategies—StochasticWeight Perturbation and Sharpness-Sensitive Data Selection. In the former, the sharpness measure is approximated by perturbing a stochastically chosen set of weights in each iteration; in the latter, the SAM loss is optimized using only a judiciously selected subset of data that is sensitive to the sharpness. We provide theoretical explanations as to why these strategies perform well. We also show, via extensive experiments on the CIFAR and ImageNetdatasets, that ESAM enhances the efficiency over SAM from requiring 100% extra computations to 40% vis-`a-vis base optimizers, while test accuracies are preserved or even improved.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Convergent Graph Solvers

Junyoung Park · Jinhyun Choo · Jinkyoo Park

We propose the convergent graph solver (CGS), a deep learning method that learns iterative mappings to predict the properties of a graph system at its stationary state (fixed point) with guaranteed convergence. The forward propagation of CGS proceeds in three steps: (1) constructing the input-dependent linear contracting iterative maps, (2) computing the fixed points of the iterative maps, and (3) decoding the fixed points to estimate the properties. The contractivity of the constructed linear maps guarantees the existence and uniqueness of the fixed points following the Banach fixed point theorem. To train CGS efficiently, we also derive a tractable analytical expression for its gradient by leveraging the implicit function theorem. We evaluate the performance of CGS by applying it to various network-analytic and graph benchmark problems. The results indicate that CGS has competitive capabilities for predicting the stationary properties of graph systems, irrespective of whether the target systems are linear or non-linear. CGS also shows high performance for graph classification problems where the existence or the meaning of a fixed point is hard to be clearly defined, which highlights the potential of CGS as a general graph neural network architecture.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Responsible Disclosure of Generative Models Using Scalable Fingerprinting

Ning Yu · Vladislav Skripniuk · Dingfan Chen · Larry Davis · Mario Fritz

Over the past years, deep generative models have achieved a new level of performance. Generated data has become difficult, if not impossible, to be distinguished from real data. While there are plenty of use cases that benefit from this technology, there are also strong concerns on how this new technology can be misused to generate deep fakes and enable misinformation at scale. Unfortunately, current deep fake detection methods are not sustainable, as the gap between real and fake continues to close. In contrast, our work enables a responsible disclosure of such state-of-the-art generative models, that allows model inventors to fingerprint their models, so that the generated samples containing a fingerprint can be accurately detected and attributed to a source. Our technique achieves this by an efficient and scalable ad-hoc generation of a large population of models with distinct fingerprints. Our recommended operation point uses a 128-bit fingerprint which in principle results in more than 10^{38} identifiable models. Experiments show that our method fulfills key properties of a fingerprinting mechanism and achieves effectiveness in deep fake detection and attribution. Code and models are available at https://github.com/ningyu1991/ScalableGANFingerprints.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Zero-Shot Self-Supervised Learning for MRI Reconstruction

Burhaneddin Yaman · Seyed Amir Hossein Hosseini · Mehmet Akcakaya

Deep learning (DL) has emerged as a powerful tool for accelerated MRI reconstruction, but often necessitates a database of fully-sampled measurements for training. Recent self-supervised and unsupervised learning approaches enable training without fully-sampled data. However, a database of undersampled measurements may not be available in many scenarios, especially for scans involving contrast or translational acquisitions in development. Moreover, recent studies show that database-trained models may not generalize well when the unseen measurements differ in terms of sampling pattern, acceleration rate, SNR, image contrast, and anatomy. Such challenges necessitate a new methodology to enable subject-specific DL MRI reconstruction without external training datasets, since it is clinically imperative to provide high-quality reconstructions that can be used to identify lesions/disease for $\textit{every individual}$. In this work, we propose a zero-shot self-supervised learning approach to perform subject-specific accelerated DL MRI reconstruction to tackle these issues. The proposed approach partitions the available measurements from a single scan into three disjoint sets. Two of these sets are used to enforce data consistency and define loss during training for self-supervision, while the last set serves to self-validate, establishing an early stopping criterion. In the presence of models pre-trained on a database with different image characteristics, we show that the proposed approach can be combined with transfer learning for faster convergence time and reduced computational complexity.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Neural Networks as Kernel Learners: The Silent Alignment Effect

Alexander Atanasov · Blake Bordelon · Cengiz Pehlevan

Neural networks in the lazy training regime converge to kernel machines. Can neural networks in the rich feature learning regime learn a kernel machine with a data-dependent kernel? We demonstrate that this can indeed happen due to a phenomenon we term silent alignment, which requires that the tangent kernel of a network evolves in eigenstructure while small and before the loss appreciably decreases, and grows only in overall scale afterwards. We show that such an effect takes place in homogenous neural networks with small initialization and whitened data. We provide an analytical treatment of this effect in the linear network case. In general, we find that the kernel develops a low-rank contribution in the early phase of training, and then evolves in overall scale, yielding a function equivalent to a kernel regression solution with the final network's tangent kernel. The early spectral learning of the kernel depends on the depth. We also demonstrate that non-whitened data can weaken the silent alignment effect.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### The Effects of Reward Misspecification: Mapping and Mitigating Misaligned Models

Alexander Pan · Kush Bhatia · Jacob Steinhardt

Reward hacking---where RL agents exploit gaps in misspecified proxy rewards---has been widely observed, but not yet systematically studied. To understand reward hacking, we construct four RL environments with different misspecified rewards. We investigate reward hacking as a function of agent capabilities: model capacity, action space resolution, and observation space noise. Typically, more capable agents are able to better exploit reward misspecifications, causing them to attain higher proxy reward and lower true reward. Moreover, we find instances of \emph{phase transitions}: capability thresholds at which the agent's behavior qualitatively shifts, leading to a sharp decrease in the true reward. Such phase transitions pose challenges to monitoring the safety of ML systems. To encourage further research on reward misspecification, address this, we propose an anomaly detection task for aberrant policies and offer several baseline detectors.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Coherence-based Label Propagation over Time Series for Accelerated Active Learning

Yooju Shin · Susik Yoon · Sundong Kim · Hwanjun Song · Jae-Gil Lee · Byung Suk Lee

Time-series data are ubiquitous these days, but lack of the labels in time-series data is regarded as a hurdle for its broad applicability. Meanwhile, active learning has been successfully adopted to reduce the labeling efforts in various tasks. Thus, this paper addresses an important issue, time-series active learning. Inspired by the temporal coherence in time-series data, where consecutive data points tend to have the same label, our label propagation framework, called TCLP, automatically assigns a queried label to the data points within an accurately estimated time-series segment, thereby significantly boosting the impact of an individual query. Compared with traditional time-series active learning, TCLP is shown to improve the classification accuracy by up to 7.1 times when only 0.8% of data points in the entire time series are queried for their labels.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Clean Images are Hard to Reblur: Exploiting the Ill-Posed Inverse Task for Dynamic Scene Deblurring

Seungjun Nah · Sanghyun Son · Jaerin Lee · Kyoung Mu Lee

The goal of dynamic scene deblurring is to remove the motion blur in a given image. Typical learning-based approaches implement their solutions by minimizing the L1 or L2 distance between the output and the reference sharp image. Recent attempts adopt visual recognition features in training to improve the perceptual quality. However, those features are primarily designed to capture high-level contexts rather than low-level structures such as blurriness. Instead, we propose a more direct way to make images sharper by exploiting the inverse task of deblurring, namely, reblurring. Reblurring amplifies the remaining blur to rebuild the original blur, however, a well-deblurred clean image with zero-magnitude blur is hard to reblur. Thus, we design two types of reblurring loss functions for better deblurring. The supervised reblurring loss at training stage compares the amplified blur between the deblurred and the sharp images. The self-supervised reblurring loss at inference stage inspects if noticeable blur remains in the deblurred. Our experimental results on large-scale benchmarks and real images demonstrate the effectiveness of the reblurring losses in improving the perceptual quality of the deblurred images in terms of NIQE and LPIPS scores as well as visual sharpness.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Neural Collapse Under MSE Loss: Proximity to and Dynamics on the Central Path

X.Y. Han · Vardan Papyan · David Donoho

The recently discovered Neural Collapse (NC) phenomenon occurs pervasively in today's deep net training paradigm of driving cross-entropy (CE) loss towards zero. During NC, last-layer features collapse to their class-means, both classifiers and class-means collapse to the same Simplex Equiangular Tight Frame, and classifier behavior collapses to the nearest-class-mean decision rule. Recent works demonstrated that deep nets trained with mean squared error (MSE) loss perform comparably to those trained with CE. As a preliminary, we empirically establish that NC emerges in such MSE-trained deep nets as well through experiments on three canonical networks and five benchmark datasets. We provide, in a Google Colab notebook, PyTorch code for reproducing MSE-NC and CE-NC: https://colab.research.google.com/github/neuralcollapse/neuralcollapse/blob/main/neuralcollapse.ipynb. The analytically-tractable MSE loss offers more mathematical opportunities than the hard-to-analyze CE loss, inspiring us to leverage MSE loss towards the theoretical investigation of NC. We develop three main contributions: (I) We show a new decomposition of the MSE loss into (A) terms directly interpretable through the lens of NC and which assume the last-layer classifier is exactly the least-squares classifier; and (B) a term capturing the deviation from this least-squares classifier. (II) We exhibit experiments on canonical datasets and networks demonstrating that term-(B) is negligible during training. This motivates us to introduce a new theoretical construct: the central path, where the linear classifier stays MSE-optimal for feature activations throughout the dynamics. (III) By studying renormalized gradient flow along the central path, we derive exact dynamics that predict NC.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### T-WaveNet: A Tree-Structured Wavelet Neural Network for Time Series Signal Analysis

Minhao LIU · Ailing Zeng · Qiuxia LAI · Ruiyuan Gao · Min Li · Jing Qin · Qiang Xu

Time series signal analysis plays an essential role in many applications, e.g., activity recognition and healthcare monitoring.Recently, features extracted with deep neural networks (DNNs) have shown to be more effective than conventional hand-crafted ones.However, most existing solutions rely solely on the network to extract information carried in the raw signal, regardless of its inherent physical and statistical properties, leading to sub-optimal performance particularly under a limited amount of training data.In this work, we propose a novel tree-structured wavelet neural network for time series signal analysis, namely \emph{T-WaveNet}, taking advantage of an inherent property of various types of signals, known as the \emph{dominant frequency range}. Specifically, with \emph{T-WaveNet}, we first conduct frequency spectrum energy analysis of the signals to get a set of dominant frequency subbands. Then, we construct a tree-structured network that iteratively decomposes the input signal into various frequency subbands with similar energies. Each node on the tree is built with an invertible neural network (INN) based wavelet transform unit. Such a disentangled representation learning method facilitates a more effective extraction of the discriminative features, as demonstrated with the comprehensive experiments on various real-life time series classification datasets.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Gradient Information Matters in Policy Optimization by Back-propagating through Model

Chongchong Li · Yue Wang · Wei Chen · Yuting Liu · Zhi-Ming Ma · Tie-Yan Liu

Model-based reinforcement learning provides an efficient mechanism to find the optimal policy by interacting with the learned environment. In addition to treating the learned environment like a black-box simulator, a more effective way to use the model is to exploit its differentiability. Such methods require the gradient information of the learned environment model when calculating the policy gradient. However, since the error of gradient is not considered in the model learning phase, there is no guarantee for the model's accuracy. To address this problem, we first analyze the convergence rate for the policy optimization methods when the policy gradient is calculated using the learned environment model. The theoretical results show that the model gradient error matters in the policy optimization phrase. Then we propose a two-model-based learning method to control the prediction error and the gradient error. We separate the different roles of these two models at the model learning phase and coordinate them at the policy optimization phase. After proposing the method, we introduce the directional derivative projection policy optimization (DDPPO) algorithm as a practical implementation to find the optimal policy. Finally, we empirically demonstrate the proposed algorithm has better sample efficiency when achieving a comparable or better performance on benchmark continuous control tasks.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Certified Robustness for Deep Equilibrium Models via Interval Bound Propagation

Colin Wei · Zico Kolter

Deep equilibrium layers (DEQs) have demonstrated promising performance and are competitive with standard explicit models on many benchmarks. However, little is known about certifying robustness for these models. Inspired by interval bound propagation (IBP), we propose the IBP-MonDEQ layer, a DEQ layer whose robustness can be verified by computing upper and lower interval bounds on the output. Our key insights are that these interval bounds can be obtained as the fixed-point solution to an IBP-inspired equilibrium equation, and furthermore, that this solution always exists and is unique when the layer obeys a certain parameterization. This fixed point can be interpreted as the result of applying IBP to an infinitely deep, weight-tied neural network, which may be of independent interest, as IBP bounds are typically unstable for deeper networks. Our empirical comparison reveals that models with IBP-MonDEQ layers can achieve comparable $\ell_{\infty}$ certified robustness to similarly-sized fully explicit networks.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Exploring extreme parameter compression for pre-trained language models

Wang Benyou · Yuxin Ren · Lifeng Shang · Xin Jiang · Qun Liu

Recent work explored the potential of large-scale Transformer-based pre-trained models, especially Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs) in natural language processing. This raises many concerns from various perspectives, e.g., financial costs and carbon emissions. Compressing PLMs like BERT with negligible performance loss for faster inference and cheaper deployment has attracted much attention. In this work, we aim to explore larger compression ratios for PLMs, among which tensor decomposition is a potential but under-investigated one. By comparing existing decomposition methods, Tucker decomposition is found to be parameter-efficient for compression. Two decomposition and reconstruction protocols are further proposed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Tucker decomposition in parameter compression.Our compressed BERT with ${1}/{7}$ parameters in Transformer layers performs on-par with, sometimes slightly better than the original BERT in GLUE benchmark. A tiny version achieves 96.7\% performance of BERT-base with ${1}/{48}$ encoder parameters (i.e., less than 2M parameters excluding the embedding layer) and \textbf{$2.7 \times$} faster on inference. To show that the proposed method is orthogonal to existing compression methods like knowledge distillation, we also explore the benefit of the proposed method on a distilled BERT.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### CDTrans: Cross-domain Transformer for Unsupervised Domain Adaptation

Tongkun Xu · Weihua Chen · Pichao WANG · Fan Wang · Li Hao · Rong Jin

Unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) aims to transfer knowledge learned from a labeled source domain to a different unlabeled target domain. Most existing UDA methods focus on learning domain-invariant feature representation, either from the domain level or category level, using convolution neural networks (CNNs)-based frameworks. One fundamental problem for the category level based UDA is the production of pseudo labels for samples in target domain, which are usually too noisy for accurate domain alignment, inevitably compromising the UDA performance. With the success of Transformer in various tasks, we find that the cross-attention in Transformer is robust to the noisy input pairs for better feature alignment, thus in this paper Transformer is adopted for the challenging UDA task. Specifically, to generate accurate input pairs, we design a two-way center-aware labeling algorithm to produce pseudo labels for target samples. Along with the pseudo labels, a weight-sharing triple-branch transformer framework is proposed to apply self-attention and cross-attention for source/target feature learning and source-target domain alignment, respectively. Such design explicitly enforces the framework to learn discriminative domain-specific and domain-invariant representations simultaneously. The proposed method is dubbed CDTrans (cross-domain transformer), and it provides one of the first attempts to solve UDA tasks with a pure transformer solution. Experiments show that our proposed method achieves the best performance on public UDA datasets, e.g. VisDA-2017 and DomainNet. Code and models are available at https://github.com/CDTrans/CDTrans.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Tracking the risk of a deployed model and detecting harmful distribution shifts

When deployed in the real world, machine learning models inevitably encounter changes in the data distribution, and certain---but not all---distribution shifts could result in significant performance degradation. In practice, it may make sense to ignore benign shifts, under which the performance of a deployed model does not degrade substantially, making interventions by a human expert (or model retraining) unnecessary. While several works have developed tests for distribution shifts, these typically either use non-sequential methods, or detect arbitrary shifts (benign or harmful), or both. We argue that a sensible method for firing off a warning has to both (a) detect harmful shifts while ignoring benign ones, and (b) allow continuous monitoring of model performance without increasing the false alarm rate. In this work, we design simple sequential tools for testing if the difference between source (training) and target (test) distributions leads to a significant increase in a risk function of interest, like accuracy or calibration. Recent advances in constructing time-uniform confidence sequences allow efficient aggregation of statistical evidence accumulated during the tracking process. The designed framework is applicable in settings where (some) true labels are revealed after the prediction is performed, or when batches of labels become available in a delayed fashion. We demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed framework through an extensive empirical study on a collection of simulated and real datasets.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Information Gain Propagation: a New Way to Graph Active Learning with Soft Labels

Wentao Zhang · Yexin Wang · Zhenbang You · Meng Cao · Ping Huang · Jiulong Shan · Zhi Yang · Bin CUI

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have achieved great success in various tasks, but their performance highly relies on a large number of labeled nodes, which typically requires considerable human effort. GNN-based Active Learning (AL) methods are proposed to improve the labeling efficiency by selecting the most valuable nodes to label. Existing methods assume an oracle can correctly categorize all the selected nodes and thus just focus on the node selection. However, such an exact labeling task is costly, especially when the categorization is out of the domain of individual expert (oracle). The paper goes further, presenting a soft-label approach to AL on GNNs. Our key innovations are: i) relaxed queries where a domain expert (oracle) only judges the correctness of the predicted labels (a binary question) rather than identifying the exact class (a multi-class question), and ii) new criteria of maximizing information gain propagation for active learner with relaxed queries and soft labels. Empirical studies on public datasets demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art GNN-based AL methods in terms of both accuracy and labeling cost.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Efficient Learning of Safe Driving Policy via Human-AI Copilot Optimization

Quanyi Li · Zhenghao Peng · Bolei Zhou

Human intervention is an effective way to inject human knowledge into the training loop of reinforcement learning, which can bring fast learning and ensured training safety. Given the very limited budget of human intervention, it remains challenging to design when and how human expert interacts with the learning agent in the training. In this work, we develop a novel human-in-the-loop learning method called Human-AI Copilot Optimization (HACO).To allow the agent's sufficient exploration in the risky environments while ensuring the training safety, the human expert can take over the control and demonstrate how to avoid probably dangerous situations or trivial behaviors. The proposed HACO then effectively utilizes the data both from the trial-and-error exploration and human's partial demonstration to train a high-performing agent. HACO extracts proxy state-action values from partial human demonstration and optimizes the agent to improve the proxy values meanwhile reduce the human interventions. The experiments show that HACO achieves a substantially high sample efficiency in the safe driving benchmark. HACO can train agents to drive in unseen traffic scenarios with a handful of human intervention budget and achieve high safety and generalizability, outperforming both reinforcement learning and imitation learning baselines with a large margin. Code and demo video are included in the supplementary materials.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Omni-Scale CNNs: a simple and effective kernel size configuration for time series classification

Wensi Tang · Guodong Long · Lu Liu · Tianyi Zhou · Michael Blumenstein · Jing Jiang

The size of the receptive field has been one of the most important factors for One Dimensional Convolutional Neural Networks (1D-CNNs) on time series classification tasks. Large efforts have been taken to choose the appropriate receptive field size, for it has a huge influence on the performance and differs significantly for each dataset. In this paper, we propose an Omni-Scale block (OS-block) for 1D-CNNs, where the kernel sizes are set by a simple and universal rule. OS-block can efficiently cover the best size of the receptive field across different datasets. This set of kernel sizes consists of multiple prime numbers according to the length of the time series. We experimentally show 1D-CNNs built from OS-block can consistently achieve the state-of-the-art accuracy with a smaller model size on five time series benchmarks, including both univariate and multivariate data from multiple domains. Comprehensive analysis and ablation studies shed light on how our rule finds the best receptive field size and demonstrate the consistency of our OS-block for multiple 1D-CNN structures.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### How to Inject Backdoors with Better Consistency: Logit Anchoring on Clean Data

Zhiyuan Zhang · Lingjuan Lyu · Weiqiang Wang · Lichao Sun · Xu Sun

Since training a large-scale backdoored model from scratch requires a large training dataset, several recent attacks have considered to inject backdoors into a trained clean model without altering model behaviors on the clean data. Previous work finds that backdoors can be injected into a trained clean model with Adversarial Weight Perturbation (AWP), which means the variation of parameters are small in backdoor learning. In this work, we observe an interesting phenomenon that the variations of parameters are always AWPs when tuning the trained clean model to inject backdoors. We further provide theoretical analysis to explain this phenomenon. We are the first to formulate the behavior of maintaining accuracy on clean data as the consistency of backdoored models, which includes both global consistency and instance-wise consistency. We extensively analyze the effects of AWPs on the consistency of backdoored models. In order to achieve better consistency, we propose a novel anchoring loss to anchor or freeze the model behaviors on the clean data, with a theoretical guarantee.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### NODE-GAM: Neural Generalized Additive Model for Interpretable Deep Learning

Chun-Hao Chang · Rich Caruana · Anna Goldenberg

Deployment of machine learning models in real high-risk settings (e.g. healthcare) often depends not only on the model's accuracy but also on its fairness, robustness, and interpretability. Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) are a class of interpretable models with a long history of use in these high-risk domains, but they lack desirable features of deep learning such as differentiability and scalability. In this work, we propose a neural GAM (NODE-GAM) and neural GA$^2$M (NODE-GA$^2$M) that scale well and perform better than other GAMs on large datasets, while remaining interpretable compared to other ensemble and deep learning models. We demonstrate that our models find interesting patterns in the data. Lastly, we show that we are able to improve model accuracy via self-supervised pre-training, an improvement that is not possible for non-differentiable GAMs.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Beyond ImageNet Attack: Towards Crafting Adversarial Examples for Black-box Domains

Qilong Zhang · Xiaodan Li · YueFeng Chen · Jingkuan Song · Lianli Gao · Yuan He · Hui Xue'

Adversarial examples have posed a severe threat to deep neural networks due to their transferable nature. Currently, various works have paid great efforts to enhance the cross-model transferability, which mostly assume the substitute model is trained in the same domain as the target model.However, in reality, the relevant information of the deployed model is unlikely to leak.Hence, it is vital to build a more practical black-box threat model to overcome this limitation and evaluate the vulnerability of deployed models.In this paper, with only the knowledge of the ImageNet domain, we propose a Beyond ImageNet Attack (BIA) to investigate the transferability towards black-box domains (unknown classification tasks). Specifically, we leverage a generative model to learn the adversarial function for disrupting low-level features of input images. Based on this framework, we further propose two variants to narrow the gap between the source and target domains from the data and model perspectives, respectively. Extensive experiments on coarse-grained and fine-grained domains demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed methods. Notably,our methods outperform state-of-the-art approaches by up to 7.71\% (towards coarse-grained domains) and 25.91\% (towards fine-grained domains) on average. Our code is available at \url{https://github.com/Alibaba-AAIG/Beyond-ImageNet-Attack}.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### How Low Can We Go: Trading Memory for Error in Low-Precision Training

Chengrun Yang · Ziyang Wu · Jerry Chee · Christopher De Sa · Madeleine Udell

Low-precision arithmetic trains deep learning models using less energy, less memory and less time. However, we pay a price for the savings: lower precision may yield larger round-off error and hence larger prediction error. As applications proliferate, users must choose which precision to use to train a new model, and chip manufacturers must decide which precisions to manufacture. We view these precision choices as a hyperparameter tuning problem, and borrow ideas from meta-learning to learn the tradeoff between memory and error. In this paper, we introduce Pareto Estimation to Pick the Perfect Precision (PEPPP). We use matrix factorization to find non-dominated configurations (the Pareto frontier) with a limited number of network evaluations. For any given memory budget, the precision that minimizes error is a point on this frontier. Practitioners can use the frontier to trade memory for error and choose the best precision for their goals.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Charformer: Fast Character Transformers via Gradient-based Subword Tokenization

Yi Tay · Vinh Tran · Sebastian Ruder · Jai Gupta · Hyung Won Chung · Dara Bahri · Zhen Qin · Simon Baumgartner · Cong Yu · Donald Metzler

State-of-the-art models in natural language processing rely on separate rigid subword tokenization algorithms, which limit their generalization ability and adaptation to new settings. In this paper, we propose a new model inductive bias that learns a subword tokenization end-to-end as part of the model. To this end, we introduce a soft gradient-based subword tokenization module (GBST) that automatically learns latent subword representations from characters in a data-driven fashion. Concretely, GBST enumerates candidate subword blocks and learns to score them in a position-wise fashion using a block scoring network. We additionally introduce Charformer, a deep Transformer model that integrates GBST and operates on the character level. Via extensive experiments on English GLUE, multilingual, and noisy text datasets, we show that Charformer outperforms a series of competitive character-level baselines while generally performing on par and sometimes outperforming subword-based models. Additionally, Charformer is fast, improving the speed of vanilla character-level Transformers by up to while maintaining quality. We believe this work paves the way for highly performant token-free models that are trained completely end-to-end.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### $\beta$-Intact-VAE: Identifying and Estimating Causal Effects under Limited Overlap

Pengzhou Wu · Kenji Fukumizu

As an important problem in causal inference, we discuss the identification and estimation of treatment effects (TEs) under limited overlap; that is, when subjects with certain features belong to a single treatment group. We use a latent variable to model a prognostic score which is widely used in biostatistics and sufficient for TEs; i.e., we build a generative prognostic model. We prove that the latent variable recovers a prognostic score, and the model identifies individualized treatment effects. The model is then learned as $\beta$-Intact-VAE––a new type of variational autoencoder (VAE). We derive the TE error bounds that enable representations balanced for treatment groups conditioned on individualized features. The proposed method is compared with recent methods using (semi-)synthetic datasets.

Wed 27 April 18:30 - 20:30 PDT

(Poster)
##### Toward Efficient Low-Precision Training: Data Format Optimization and Hysteresis Quantization

SunWoo Lee · Jeongwoo Park · Dongsuk Jeon

As the complexity and size of deep neural networks continue to increase, low-precision training has been extensively studied in the last few years to reduce hardware overhead. Training performance is largely affected by the numeric formats representing different values in low-precision training, but finding an optimal format typically requires numerous training runs, which is a very time-consuming process. In this paper, we propose a method to efficiently find an optimal format for activations and errors without actual training. We employ this method to determine an 8-bit format suitable for training various models. In addition, we propose hysteresis quantization to suppress undesired fluctuation in quantized weights during training. This scheme enables deeply quantized training using 4-bit weights, exhibiting only 0.2% degradation for ResNet-18 trained on ImageNet.