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Title: Towards Real Time Team Optimization
Teams can be often viewed as a dynamic system where the team configuration evolves over time (e.g., new members join the team; existing members leave the team; the skills of the members improve over time). Consequently, the performance of the team might be changing due to such team dynamics. A natural question is how to plan the (re-)staffing actions (e.g., recruiting a new team member) at each time step so as to maximize the expected cumulative performance of the team. In this paper, we address the problem of real-time team optimization by intelligently selecting the best candidates towards increasing the similarity between the current team and the high-performance teams according to the team configuration at each time-step. The key idea is to formulate it as a Markov Decision process (MDP) problem and leverage recent advances in reinforcement learning to optimize the team dynamically. The proposed method bears two main advantages, including (1) dynamics, being able to model the dynamics of the team to optimize the initial team towards the direction of a high-performance team via performance feedback; (2) efficacy, being able to handle the large state/action space via deep reinforcement learning based value estimation. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the more » proposed method through extensive empirical evaluations. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1947135 1651203 1715385
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10159175
Journal Name:
IEEE BigData
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1008 to 1017
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Obeid, Iyad ; Selesnick, Ivan ; Picone, Joseph (Ed.)
    The Temple University Hospital Seizure Detection Corpus (TUSZ) [1] has been in distribution since April 2017. It is a subset of the TUH EEG Corpus (TUEG) [2] and the most frequently requested corpus from our 3,000+ subscribers. It was recently featured as the challenge task in the Neureka 2020 Epilepsy Challenge [3]. A summary of the development of the corpus is shown below in Table 1. The TUSZ Corpus is a fully annotated corpus, which means every seizure event that occurs within its files has been annotated. The data is selected from TUEG using a screening process that identifies files most likely to contain seizures [1]. Approximately 7% of the TUEG data contains a seizure event, so it is important we triage TUEG for high yield data. One hour of EEG data requires approximately one hour of human labor to complete annotation using the pipeline described below, so it is important from a financial standpoint that we accurately triage data. A summary of the labels being used to annotate the data is shown in Table 2. Certain standards are put into place to optimize the annotation process while not sacrificing consistency. Due to the nature of EEG recordings, some recordsmore »start off with a segment of calibration. This portion of the EEG is instantly recognizable and transitions from what resembles lead artifact to a flat line on all the channels. For the sake of seizure annotation, the calibration is ignored, and no time is wasted on it. During the identification of seizure events, a hard “3 second rule” is used to determine whether two events should be combined into a single larger event. This greatly reduces the time that it takes to annotate a file with multiple events occurring in succession. In addition to the required minimum 3 second gap between seizures, part of our standard dictates that no seizure less than 3 seconds be annotated. Although there is no universally accepted definition for how long a seizure must be, we find that it is difficult to discern with confidence between burst suppression or other morphologically similar impressions when the event is only a couple seconds long. This is due to several reasons, the most notable being the lack of evolution which is oftentimes crucial for the determination of a seizure. After the EEG files have been triaged, a team of annotators at NEDC is provided with the files to begin data annotation. An example of an annotation is shown in Figure 1. A summary of the workflow for our annotation process is shown in Figure 2. Several passes are performed over the data to ensure the annotations are accurate. Each file undergoes three passes to ensure that no seizures were missed or misidentified. The first pass of TUSZ involves identifying which files contain seizures and annotating them using our annotation tool. The time it takes to fully annotate a file can vary drastically depending on the specific characteristics of each file; however, on average a file containing multiple seizures takes 7 minutes to fully annotate. This includes the time that it takes to read the patient report as well as traverse through the entire file. Once an event has been identified, the start and stop time for the seizure is stored in our annotation tool. This is done on a channel by channel basis resulting in an accurate representation of the seizure spreading across different parts of the brain. Files that do not contain any seizures take approximately 3 minutes to complete. Even though there is no annotation being made, the file is still carefully examined to make sure that nothing was overlooked. In addition to solely scrolling through a file from start to finish, a file is often examined through different lenses. Depending on the situation, low pass filters are used, as well as increasing the amplitude of certain channels. These techniques are never used in isolation and are meant to further increase our confidence that nothing was missed. Once each file in a given set has been looked at once, the annotators start the review process. The reviewer checks a file and comments any changes that they recommend. This takes about 3 minutes per seizure containing file, which is significantly less time than the first pass. After each file has been commented on, the third pass commences. This step takes about 5 minutes per seizure file and requires the reviewer to accept or reject the changes that the second reviewer suggested. Since tangible changes are made to the annotation using the annotation tool, this step takes a bit longer than the previous one. Assuming 18% of the files contain seizures, a set of 1,000 files takes roughly 127 work hours to annotate. Before an annotator contributes to the data interpretation pipeline, they are trained for several weeks on previous datasets. A new annotator is able to be trained using data that resembles what they would see under normal circumstances. An additional benefit of using released data to train is that it serves as a means of constantly checking our work. If a trainee stumbles across an event that was not previously annotated, it is promptly added, and the data release is updated. It takes about three months to train an annotator to a point where their annotations can be trusted. Even though we carefully screen potential annotators during the hiring process, only about 25% of the annotators we hire survive more than one year doing this work. To ensure that the annotators are consistent in their annotations, the team conducts an interrater agreement evaluation periodically to ensure that there is a consensus within the team. The annotation standards are discussed in Ochal et al. [4]. An extended discussion of interrater agreement can be found in Shah et al. [5]. The most recent release of TUSZ, v1.5.2, represents our efforts to review the quality of the annotations for two upcoming challenges we hosted: an internal deep learning challenge at IBM [6] and the Neureka 2020 Epilepsy Challenge [3]. One of the biggest changes that was made to the annotations was the imposition of a stricter standard for determining the start and stop time of a seizure. Although evolution is still included in the annotations, the start times were altered to start when the spike-wave pattern becomes distinct as opposed to merely when the signal starts to shift from background. This cuts down on background that was mislabeled as a seizure. For seizure end times, all post ictal slowing that was included was removed. The recent release of v1.5.2 did not include any additional data files. Two EEG files had been added because, originally, they were corrupted in v1.5.1 but were able to be retrieved and added for the latest release. The progression from v1.5.0 to v1.5.1 and later to v1.5.2, included the re-annotation of all of the EEG files in order to develop a confident dataset regarding seizure identification. Starting with v1.4.0, we have also developed a blind evaluation set that is withheld for use in competitions. The annotation team is currently working on the next release for TUSZ, v1.6.0, which is expected to occur in August 2020. It will include new data from 2016 to mid-2019. This release will contain 2,296 files from 2016 as well as several thousand files representing the remaining data through mid-2019. In addition to files that were obtained with our standard triaging process, a part of this release consists of EEG files that do not have associated patient reports. Since actual seizure events are in short supply, we are mining a large chunk of data for which we have EEG recordings but no reports. Some of this data contains interesting seizure events collected during long-term EEG sessions or data collected from patients with a history of frequent seizures. It is being mined to increase the number of files in the corpus that have at least one seizure event. We expect v1.6.0 to be released before IEEE SPMB 2020. The TUAR Corpus is an open-source database that is currently available for use by any registered member of our consortium. To register and receive access, please follow the instructions provided at this web page: https://www.isip.piconepress.com/projects/tuh_eeg/html/downloads.shtml. The data is located here: https://www.isip.piconepress.com/projects/tuh_eeg/downloads/tuh_eeg_artifact/v2.0.0/.« less
  2. A major challenge in real-world reinforcement learning (RL) is the sparsity of reward feedback. Often, what is available is an intuitive but sparse reward function that only indicates whether the task is completed partially or fully. However, the lack of carefully designed, fine grain feedback implies that most existing RL algorithms fail to learn an acceptable policy in a reasonable time frame. This is because of the large number of exploration actions that the policy has to perform before it gets any useful feedback that it can learn from. In this work, we address this challenging problem by developing an algorithm that exploits the offline demonstration data generated by a sub-optimal behavior policy for faster and efficient online RL in such sparse reward settings. The proposed algorithm, which we call the Learning Online with Guidance Offline (LOGO) algorithm, merges a policy improvement step with an additional policy guidance step by using the offline demonstration data. The key idea is that by obtaining guidance from - not imitating - the offline data, LOGO orients its policy in the manner of the sub-optimal policy, while yet being able to learn beyond and approach optimality. We provide a theoretical analysis of our algorithm,more »and provide a lower bound on the performance improvement in each learning episode. We also extend our algorithm to the even more challenging incomplete observation setting, where the demonstration data contains only a censored version of the true state observation. We demonstrate the superior performance of our algorithm over state-of-the-art approaches on a number of benchmark environments with sparse rewards and censored state. Further, we demonstrate the value of our approach via implementing LOGO on a mobile robot for trajectory tracking and obstacle avoidance, where it shows excellent performance.« less
  3. The DeepLearningEpilepsyDetectionChallenge: design, implementation, andtestofanewcrowd-sourced AIchallengeecosystem Isabell Kiral*, Subhrajit Roy*, Todd Mummert*, Alan Braz*, Jason Tsay, Jianbin Tang, Umar Asif, Thomas Schaffter, Eren Mehmet, The IBM Epilepsy Consortium◊ , Joseph Picone, Iyad Obeid, Bruno De Assis Marques, Stefan Maetschke, Rania Khalaf†, Michal Rosen-Zvi† , Gustavo Stolovitzky† , Mahtab Mirmomeni† , Stefan Harrer† * These authors contributed equally to this work † Corresponding authors: rkhalaf@us.ibm.com, rosen@il.ibm.com, gustavo@us.ibm.com, mahtabm@au1.ibm.com, sharrer@au.ibm.com ◊ Members of the IBM Epilepsy Consortium are listed in the Acknowledgements section J. Picone and I. Obeid are with Temple University, USA. T. Schaffter is with Sage Bionetworks, USA. E. Mehmet is with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. All other authors are with IBM Research in USA, Israel and Australia. Introduction This decade has seen an ever-growing number of scientific fields benefitting from the advances in machine learning technology and tooling. More recently, this trend reached the medical domain, with applications reaching from cancer diagnosis [1] to the development of brain-machine-interfaces [2]. While Kaggle has pioneered the crowd-sourcing of machine learning challenges to incentivise data scientists from around the world to advance algorithm and model design, the increasing complexity of problem statements demands of participants to be expert datamore »scientists, deeply knowledgeable in at least one other scientific domain, and competent software engineers with access to large compute resources. People who match this description are few and far between, unfortunately leading to a shrinking pool of possible participants and a loss of experts dedicating their time to solving important problems. Participation is even further restricted in the context of any challenge run on confidential use cases or with sensitive data. Recently, we designed and ran a deep learning challenge to crowd-source the development of an automated labelling system for brain recordings, aiming to advance epilepsy research. A focus of this challenge, run internally in IBM, was the development of a platform that lowers the barrier of entry and therefore mitigates the risk of excluding interested parties from participating. The challenge: enabling wide participation With the goal to run a challenge that mobilises the largest possible pool of participants from IBM (global), we designed a use case around previous work in epileptic seizure prediction [3]. In this “Deep Learning Epilepsy Detection Challenge”, participants were asked to develop an automatic labelling system to reduce the time a clinician would need to diagnose patients with epilepsy. Labelled training and blind validation data for the challenge were generously provided by Temple University Hospital (TUH) [4]. TUH also devised a novel scoring metric for the detection of seizures that was used as basis for algorithm evaluation [5]. In order to provide an experience with a low barrier of entry, we designed a generalisable challenge platform under the following principles: 1. No participant should need to have in-depth knowledge of the specific domain. (i.e. no participant should need to be a neuroscientist or epileptologist.) 2. No participant should need to be an expert data scientist. 3. No participant should need more than basic programming knowledge. (i.e. no participant should need to learn how to process fringe data formats and stream data efficiently.) 4. No participant should need to provide their own computing resources. In addition to the above, our platform should further • guide participants through the entire process from sign-up to model submission, • facilitate collaboration, and • provide instant feedback to the participants through data visualisation and intermediate online leaderboards. The platform The architecture of the platform that was designed and developed is shown in Figure 1. The entire system consists of a number of interacting components. (1) A web portal serves as the entry point to challenge participation, providing challenge information, such as timelines and challenge rules, and scientific background. The portal also facilitated the formation of teams and provided participants with an intermediate leaderboard of submitted results and a final leaderboard at the end of the challenge. (2) IBM Watson Studio [6] is the umbrella term for a number of services offered by IBM. Upon creation of a user account through the web portal, an IBM Watson Studio account was automatically created for each participant that allowed users access to IBM's Data Science Experience (DSX), the analytics engine Watson Machine Learning (WML), and IBM's Cloud Object Storage (COS) [7], all of which will be described in more detail in further sections. (3) The user interface and starter kit were hosted on IBM's Data Science Experience platform (DSX) and formed the main component for designing and testing models during the challenge. DSX allows for real-time collaboration on shared notebooks between team members. A starter kit in the form of a Python notebook, supporting the popular deep learning libraries TensorFLow [8] and PyTorch [9], was provided to all teams to guide them through the challenge process. Upon instantiation, the starter kit loaded necessary python libraries and custom functions for the invisible integration with COS and WML. In dedicated spots in the notebook, participants could write custom pre-processing code, machine learning models, and post-processing algorithms. The starter kit provided instant feedback about participants' custom routines through data visualisations. Using the notebook only, teams were able to run the code on WML, making use of a compute cluster of IBM's resources. The starter kit also enabled submission of the final code to a data storage to which only the challenge team had access. (4) Watson Machine Learning provided access to shared compute resources (GPUs). Code was bundled up automatically in the starter kit and deployed to and run on WML. WML in turn had access to shared storage from which it requested recorded data and to which it stored the participant's code and trained models. (5) IBM's Cloud Object Storage held the data for this challenge. Using the starter kit, participants could investigate their results as well as data samples in order to better design custom algorithms. (6) Utility Functions were loaded into the starter kit at instantiation. This set of functions included code to pre-process data into a more common format, to optimise streaming through the use of the NutsFlow and NutsML libraries [10], and to provide seamless access to the all IBM services used. Not captured in the diagram is the final code evaluation, which was conducted in an automated way as soon as code was submitted though the starter kit, minimising the burden on the challenge organising team. Figure 1: High-level architecture of the challenge platform Measuring success The competitive phase of the "Deep Learning Epilepsy Detection Challenge" ran for 6 months. Twenty-five teams, with a total number of 87 scientists and software engineers from 14 global locations participated. All participants made use of the starter kit we provided and ran algorithms on IBM's infrastructure WML. Seven teams persisted until the end of the challenge and submitted final solutions. The best performing solutions reached seizure detection performances which allow to reduce hundred-fold the time eliptologists need to annotate continuous EEG recordings. Thus, we expect the developed algorithms to aid in the diagnosis of epilepsy by significantly shortening manual labelling time. Detailed results are currently in preparation for publication. Equally important to solving the scientific challenge, however, was to understand whether we managed to encourage participation from non-expert data scientists. Figure 2: Primary occupation as reported by challenge participants Out of the 40 participants for whom we have occupational information, 23 reported Data Science or AI as their main job description, 11 reported being a Software Engineer, and 2 people had expertise in Neuroscience. Figure 2 shows that participants had a variety of specialisations, including some that are in no way related to data science, software engineering, or neuroscience. No participant had deep knowledge and experience in data science, software engineering and neuroscience. Conclusion Given the growing complexity of data science problems and increasing dataset sizes, in order to solve these problems, it is imperative to enable collaboration between people with differences in expertise with a focus on inclusiveness and having a low barrier of entry. We designed, implemented, and tested a challenge platform to address exactly this. Using our platform, we ran a deep-learning challenge for epileptic seizure detection. 87 IBM employees from several business units including but not limited to IBM Research with a variety of skills, including sales and design, participated in this highly technical challenge.« less
  4. Obeid, Iyad ; Picone, Joseph ; Selesnick, Ivan (Ed.)
    The Neural Engineering Data Consortium (NEDC) is developing a large open source database of high-resolution digital pathology images known as the Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus (TUDP) [1]. Our long-term goal is to release one million images. We expect to release the first 100,000 image corpus by December 2020. The data is being acquired at the Department of Pathology at Temple University Hospital (TUH) using a Leica Biosystems Aperio AT2 scanner [2] and consists entirely of clinical pathology images. More information about the data and the project can be found in Shawki et al. [3]. We currently have a National Science Foundation (NSF) planning grant [4] to explore how best the community can leverage this resource. One goal of this poster presentation is to stimulate community-wide discussions about this project and determine how this valuable resource can best meet the needs of the public. The computing infrastructure required to support this database is extensive [5] and includes two HIPAA-secure computer networks, dual petabyte file servers, and Aperio’s eSlide Manager (eSM) software [6]. We currently have digitized over 50,000 slides from 2,846 patients and 2,942 clinical cases. There is an average of 12.4 slides per patient and 10.5 slides per casemore »with one report per case. The data is organized by tissue type as shown below: Filenames: tudp/v1.0.0/svs/gastro/000001/00123456/2015_03_05/0s15_12345/0s15_12345_0a001_00123456_lvl0001_s000.svs tudp/v1.0.0/svs/gastro/000001/00123456/2015_03_05/0s15_12345/0s15_12345_00123456.docx Explanation: tudp: root directory of the corpus v1.0.0: version number of the release svs: the image data type gastro: the type of tissue 000001: six-digit sequence number used to control directory complexity 00123456: 8-digit patient MRN 2015_03_05: the date the specimen was captured 0s15_12345: the clinical case name 0s15_12345_0a001_00123456_lvl0001_s000.svs: the actual image filename consisting of a repeat of the case name, a site code (e.g., 0a001), the type and depth of the cut (e.g., lvl0001) and a token number (e.g., s000) 0s15_12345_00123456.docx: the filename for the corresponding case report We currently recognize fifteen tissue types in the first installment of the corpus. The raw image data is stored in Aperio’s “.svs” format, which is a multi-layered compressed JPEG format [3,7]. Pathology reports containing a summary of how a pathologist interpreted the slide are also provided in a flat text file format. A more complete summary of the demographics of this pilot corpus will be presented at the conference. Another goal of this poster presentation is to share our experiences with the larger community since many of these details have not been adequately documented in scientific publications. There are quite a few obstacles in collecting this data that have slowed down the process and need to be discussed publicly. Our backlog of slides dates back to 1997, meaning there are a lot that need to be sifted through and discarded for peeling or cracking. Additionally, during scanning a slide can get stuck, stalling a scan session for hours, resulting in a significant loss of productivity. Over the past two years, we have accumulated significant experience with how to scan a diverse inventory of slides using the Aperio AT2 high-volume scanner. We have been working closely with the vendor to resolve many problems associated with the use of this scanner for research purposes. This scanning project began in January of 2018 when the scanner was first installed. The scanning process was slow at first since there was a learning curve with how the scanner worked and how to obtain samples from the hospital. From its start date until May of 2019 ~20,000 slides we scanned. In the past 6 months from May to November we have tripled that number and how hold ~60,000 slides in our database. This dramatic increase in productivity was due to additional undergraduate staff members and an emphasis on efficient workflow. The Aperio AT2 scans 400 slides a day, requiring at least eight hours of scan time. The efficiency of these scans can vary greatly. When our team first started, approximately 5% of slides failed the scanning process due to focal point errors. We have been able to reduce that to 1% through a variety of means: (1) best practices regarding daily and monthly recalibrations, (2) tweaking the software such as the tissue finder parameter settings, and (3) experience with how to clean and prep slides so they scan properly. Nevertheless, this is not a completely automated process, making it very difficult to reach our production targets. With a staff of three undergraduate workers spending a total of 30 hours per week, we find it difficult to scan more than 2,000 slides per week using a single scanner (400 slides per night x 5 nights per week). The main limitation in achieving this level of production is the lack of a completely automated scanning process, it takes a couple of hours to sort, clean and load slides. We have streamlined all other aspects of the workflow required to database the scanned slides so that there are no additional bottlenecks. To bridge the gap between hospital operations and research, we are using Aperio’s eSM software. Our goal is to provide pathologists access to high quality digital images of their patients’ slides. eSM is a secure website that holds the images with their metadata labels, patient report, and path to where the image is located on our file server. Although eSM includes significant infrastructure to import slides into the database using barcodes, TUH does not currently support barcode use. Therefore, we manage the data using a mixture of Python scripts and manual import functions available in eSM. The database and associated tools are based on proprietary formats developed by Aperio, making this another important point of community-wide discussion on how best to disseminate such information. Our near-term goal for the TUDP Corpus is to release 100,000 slides by December 2020. We hope to continue data collection over the next decade until we reach one million slides. We are creating two pilot corpora using the first 50,000 slides we have collected. The first corpus consists of 500 slides with a marker stain and another 500 without it. This set was designed to let people debug their basic deep learning processing flow on these high-resolution images. We discuss our preliminary experiments on this corpus and the challenges in processing these high-resolution images using deep learning in [3]. We are able to achieve a mean sensitivity of 99.0% for slides with pen marks, and 98.9% for slides without marks, using a multistage deep learning algorithm. While this dataset was very useful in initial debugging, we are in the midst of creating a new, more challenging pilot corpus using actual tissue samples annotated by experts. The task will be to detect ductal carcinoma (DCIS) or invasive breast cancer tissue. There will be approximately 1,000 images per class in this corpus. Based on the number of features annotated, we can train on a two class problem of DCIS or benign, or increase the difficulty by increasing the classes to include DCIS, benign, stroma, pink tissue, non-neoplastic etc. Those interested in the corpus or in participating in community-wide discussions should join our listserv, nedc_tuh_dpath@googlegroups.com, to be kept informed of the latest developments in this project. You can learn more from our project website: https://www.isip.piconepress.com/projects/nsf_dpath.« less
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