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Title: Learning and Sampling of Atomic Interventions from Observations

We study the problem of efficiently estimating the effect of an intervention on a single variable using observational samples. Our goal is to give algorithms with polynomial time and sample complexity in a non-parametric setting. Tian and Pearl (AAAI ’02) have exactly characterized the class of causal graphs for which causal effects of atomic interventions can be identified from observational data. We make their result quantitative. Suppose 𝒫 is a causal model on a set V of n observable variables with respect to a given causal graph G, and let do(x) be an identifiable intervention on a variable X. We show that assuming that G has bounded in-degree and bounded c-components (k) and that the observational distribution satisfies a strong positivity condition: (i) [Evaluation] There is an algorithm that outputs with probability 2/3 an evaluator for a distribution P^ that satisfies TV(P(V | do(x)), P^(V)) < eps using m=O (n/eps^2) samples from P and O(mn) time. The evaluator can return in O(n) time the probability P^(v) for any assignment v to V. (ii) [Sampling] There is an algorithm that outputs with probability 2/3 a sampler for a distribution P^ that satisfies TV(P(V | do(x)), P^(V)) < eps using m=O (n/eps^2) samples from P and O(mn) time. The sampler returns an iid sample from P^ with probability 1 in O(n) time. We extend our techniques to estimate P(Y | do(x)) for a subset Y of variables of interest. We also show lower bounds for the sample complexity, demonstrating that our sample complexity has optimal dependence on the parameters n and eps, as well as if k=1 on the strong positivity parameter. more »« less

Lu, Zhenjian; Oliveira, Igor C.; Zimand, Marius(
, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022))

Mikołaj Bojańczyk and Emanuela Merelli and David P. Woodruff
(Ed.)

The classical coding theorem in Kolmogorov complexity states that if an n-bit string x is sampled
with probability δ by an algorithm with prefix-free domain then K(x) ≤ log(1/δ) + O(1). In a recent
work, Lu and Oliveira [31] established an unconditional time-bounded version of this result, by
showing that if x can be efficiently sampled with probability δ then rKt(x) = O(log(1/δ)) + O(log n),
where rKt denotes the randomized analogue of Levin’s Kt complexity. Unfortunately, this result is
often insufficient when transferring applications of the classical coding theorem to the time-bounded
setting, as it achieves a O(log(1/δ)) bound instead of the information-theoretic optimal log(1/δ).
Motivated by this discrepancy, we investigate optimal coding theorems in the time-bounded
setting. Our main contributions can be summarised as follows.
• Efficient coding theorem for rKt with a factor of 2. Addressing a question from [31],
we show that if x can be efficiently sampled with probability at least δ then rKt(x) ≤ (2 + o(1)) ·
log(1/δ) +O(log n). As in previous work, our coding theorem is efficient in the sense that it provides
a polynomial-time probabilistic algorithm that, when given x, the code of the sampler, and δ, it
outputs, with probability ≥ 0.99, a probabilistic representation of x that certifies this rKt complexity
bound.
• Optimality under a cryptographic assumption. Under a hypothesis about the security of
cryptographic pseudorandom generators, we show that no efficient coding theorem can achieve a
bound of the form rKt(x) ≤ (2 − o(1)) · log(1/δ) + poly(log n). Under a weaker assumption, we
exhibit a gap between efficient coding theorems and existential coding theorems with near-optimal
parameters.
• Optimal coding theorem for pKt and unconditional Antunes-Fortnow. We consider pKt
complexity [17], a variant of rKt where the randomness is public and the time bound is fixed. We
observe the existence of an optimal coding theorem for pKt, and employ this result to establish an
unconditional version of a theorem of Antunes and Fortnow [5] which characterizes the worst-case
running times of languages that are in average polynomial-time over all P-samplable distributions.

Brown, G.; Hopkins, S.; Smith, A.(
, The Thirty Sixth Annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT))

We present a fast, differentially private algorithm for high-dimensional covariance-aware mean estimation with nearly optimal sample complexity. Only exponential-time estimators were previously known to achieve this guarantee. Given n samples from a (sub-)Gaussian distribution with unknown mean μ and covariance Σ, our (ϵ,δ)-differentially private estimator produces μ~ such that ∥μ−μ~∥Σ≤α as long as n≳dα2+dlog1/δ√αϵ+dlog1/δϵ. The Mahalanobis error metric ∥μ−μ^∥Σ measures the distance between μ^ and μ relative to Σ; it characterizes the error of the sample mean. Our algorithm runs in time O~(ndω−1+nd/\eps), where ω<2.38 is the matrix multiplication exponent.We adapt an exponential-time approach of Brown, Gaboardi, Smith, Ullman, and Zakynthinou (2021), giving efficient variants of stable mean and covariance estimation subroutines that also improve the sample complexity to the nearly optimal bound above.Our stable covariance estimator can be turned to private covariance estimation for unrestricted subgaussian distributions. With n≳d3/2 samples, our estimate is accurate in spectral norm. This is the first such algorithm using n=o(d2) samples, answering an open question posed by Alabi et al. (2022). With n≳d2 samples, our estimate is accurate in Frobenius norm. This leads to a fast, nearly optimal algorithm for private learning of unrestricted Gaussian distributions in TV distance.Duchi, Haque, and Kuditipudi (2023) obtained similar results independently and concurrently.

Diakonikolas, Ilias; Gouleakis, Themis; Peebles, John; Price, Eric(
, 45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Automata)

We study the problem of testing identity against a given distribution with a focus on the high confidence regime. More precisely, given samples from an unknown distribution p over n elements, an explicitly given distribution q, and parameters 0< epsilon, delta < 1, we wish to distinguish, with probability at least 1-delta, whether the distributions are identical versus epsilon-far in total variation distance. Most prior work focused on the case that delta = Omega(1), for which the sample complexity of identity testing is known to be Theta(sqrt{n}/epsilon^2). Given such an algorithm, one can achieve arbitrarily small values of delta via black-box amplification, which multiplies the required number of samples by Theta(log(1/delta)). We show that black-box amplification is suboptimal for any delta = o(1), and give a new identity tester that achieves the optimal sample complexity. Our new upper and lower bounds show that the optimal sample complexity of identity testing is Theta((1/epsilon^2) (sqrt{n log(1/delta)} + log(1/delta))) for any n, epsilon, and delta. For the special case of uniformity testing, where the given distribution is the uniform distribution U_n over the domain, our new tester is surprisingly simple: to test whether p = U_n versus d_{TV} (p, U_n) >= epsilon, we simply threshold d_{TV}({p^}, U_n), where {p^} is the empirical probability distribution. The fact that this simple "plug-in" estimator is sample-optimal is surprising, even in the constant delta case. Indeed, it was believed that such a tester would not attain sublinear sample complexity even for constant values of epsilon and delta. An important contribution of this work lies in the analysis techniques that we introduce in this context. First, we exploit an underlying strong convexity property to bound from below the expectation gap in the completeness and soundness cases. Second, we give a new, fast method for obtaining provably correct empirical estimates of the true worst-case failure probability for a broad class of uniformity testing statistics over all possible input distributions - including all previously studied statistics for this problem. We believe that our novel analysis techniques will be useful for other distribution testing problems as well.

Ghazi, Badih; Kamath, Pritish; Sudan, Madhu(
, Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science)

We present decidability results for a sub-class
of “non-interactive” simulation problems, a well-studied
class of problems in information theory. A non-interactive
simulation problem is specified by two distributions P(x, y)
and Q(u, v): The goal is to determine if two players, Alice
and Bob, that observe sequences Xn and Y n respectively
where {(Xi, Yi)}n
i=1 are drawn i.i.d. from P(x, y) can
generate pairs U and V respectively (without communicating
with each other) with a joint distribution that is
arbitrarily close in total variation to Q(u, v). Even when
P and Q are extremely simple: e.g., P is uniform on the
triples {(0, 0), (0, 1), (1, 0)} and Q is a “doubly symmetric
binary source”, i.e., U and V are uniform ±1 variables
with correlation say 0.49, it is open if P can simulate Q.
In this work, we show that whenever P is a distribution
on a finite domain and Q is a 2 × 2 distribution, then
the non-interactive simulation problem is decidable: specifically,
given δ > 0 the algorithm runs in time bounded by
some function of P and δ and either gives a non-interactive
simulation protocol that is δ-close to Q or asserts that no
protocol gets O(δ)-close to Q. The main challenge to such
a result is determining explicit (computable) convergence
bounds on the number n of samples that need to be drawn
from P(x, y) to get δ-close to Q. We invoke contemporary
results from the analysis of Boolean functions such as the
invariance principle and a regularity lemma to obtain such
explicit bounds.

Shawki, N.; Elseify, T.; Cap, T.; Shah, V.; Obeid, I.; Picone, J.(
, Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB))

Obeid, Iyad
Selesnick
(Ed.)

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a popular clinical monitoring tool used for diagnosing brain-related disorders such as epilepsy [1]. As monitoring EEGs in a critical-care setting is an expensive and tedious task, there is a great interest in developing real-time EEG monitoring tools to improve patient care quality and efficiency [2]. However, clinicians require automatic seizure detection tools that provide decisions with at least 75% sensitivity and less than 1 false alarm (FA) per 24 hours [3]. Some commercial tools recently claim to reach such performance levels, including the Olympic Brainz Monitor [4] and Persyst 14 [5].
In this abstract, we describe our efforts to transform a high-performance offline seizure detection system [3] into a low latency real-time or online seizure detection system. An overview of the system is shown in Figure 1. The main difference between an online versus offline system is that an online system should always be causal and has minimum latency which is often defined by domain experts. The offline system, shown in Figure 2, uses two phases of deep learning models with postprocessing [3]. The channel-based long short term memory (LSTM) model (Phase 1 or P1) processes linear frequency cepstral coefficients (LFCC) [6] features from each EEG channel separately. We use the hypotheses generated by the P1 model and create additional features that carry information about the detected events and their confidence. The P2 model uses these additional features and the LFCC features to learn the temporal and spatial aspects of the EEG signals using a hybrid convolutional neural network (CNN) and LSTM model. Finally, Phase 3 aggregates the results from both P1 and P2 before applying a final postprocessing step.
The online system implements Phase 1 by taking advantage of the Linux piping mechanism, multithreading techniques, and multi-core processors. To convert Phase 1 into an online system, we divide the system into five major modules: signal preprocessor, feature extractor, event decoder, postprocessor, and visualizer. The system reads 0.1-second frames from each EEG channel and sends them to the feature extractor and the visualizer. The feature extractor generates LFCC features in real time from the streaming EEG signal. Next, the system computes seizure and background probabilities using a channel-based LSTM model and applies a postprocessor to aggregate the detected events across channels. The system then displays the EEG signal and the decisions simultaneously using a visualization module. The online system uses C++, Python, TensorFlow, and PyQtGraph in its implementation.
The online system accepts streamed EEG data sampled at 250 Hz as input. The system begins processing the EEG signal by applying a TCP montage [8]. Depending on the type of the montage, the EEG signal can have either 22 or 20 channels. To enable the online operation, we send 0.1-second (25 samples) length frames from each channel of the streamed EEG signal to the feature extractor and the visualizer. Feature extraction is performed sequentially on each channel. The signal preprocessor writes the sample frames into two streams to facilitate these modules. In the first stream, the feature extractor receives the signals using stdin. In parallel, as a second stream, the visualizer shares a user-defined file with the signal preprocessor. This user-defined file holds raw signal information as a buffer for the visualizer. The signal preprocessor writes into the file while the visualizer reads from it. Reading and writing into the same file poses a challenge. The visualizer can start reading while the signal preprocessor is writing into it. To resolve this issue, we utilize a file locking mechanism in the signal preprocessor and visualizer. Each of the processes temporarily locks the file, performs its operation, releases the lock, and tries to obtain the lock after a waiting period. The file locking mechanism ensures that only one process can access the file by prohibiting other processes from reading or writing while one process is modifying the file [9].
The feature extractor uses circular buffers to save 0.3 seconds or 75 samples from each channel for extracting 0.2-second or 50-sample long center-aligned windows. The module generates 8 absolute LFCC features where the zeroth cepstral coefficient is replaced by a temporal domain energy term. For extracting the rest of the features, three pipelines are used. The differential energy feature is calculated in a 0.9-second absolute feature window with a frame size of 0.1 seconds. The difference between the maximum and minimum temporal energy terms is calculated in this range. Then, the first derivative or the delta features are calculated using another 0.9-second window. Finally, the second derivative or delta-delta features are calculated using a 0.3-second window [6]. The differential energy for the delta-delta features is not included. In total, we extract 26 features from the raw sample windows which add 1.1 seconds of delay to the system.
We used the Temple University Hospital Seizure Database (TUSZ) v1.2.1 for developing the online system [10]. The statistics for this dataset are shown in Table 1. A channel-based LSTM model was trained using the features derived from the train set using the online feature extractor module. A window-based normalization technique was applied to those features. In the offline model, we scale features by normalizing using the maximum absolute value of a channel [11] before applying a sliding window approach. Since the online system has access to a limited amount of data, we normalize based on the observed window. The model uses the feature vectors with a frame size of 1 second and a window size of 7 seconds. We evaluated the model using the offline P1 postprocessor to determine the efficacy of the delayed features and the window-based normalization technique. As shown by the results of experiments 1 and 4 in Table 2, these changes give us a comparable performance to the offline model. The online event decoder module utilizes this trained model for computing probabilities for the seizure and background classes. These posteriors are then postprocessed to remove spurious detections.
The online postprocessor receives and saves 8 seconds of class posteriors in a buffer for further processing. It applies multiple heuristic filters (e.g., probability threshold) to make an overall decision by combining events across the channels. These filters evaluate the average confidence, the duration of a seizure, and the channels where the seizures were observed. The postprocessor delivers the label and confidence to the visualizer. The visualizer starts to display the signal as soon as it gets access to the signal file, as shown in Figure 1 using the “Signal File” and “Visualizer” blocks. Once the visualizer receives the label and confidence for the latest epoch from the postprocessor, it overlays the decision and color codes that epoch. The visualizer uses red for seizure with the label SEIZ and green for the background class with the label BCKG. Once the streaming finishes, the system saves three files: a signal file in which the sample frames are saved in the order they were streamed, a time segmented event (TSE) file with the overall decisions and confidences, and a hypotheses (HYP) file that saves the label and confidence for each epoch. The user can plot the signal and decisions using the signal and HYP files with only the visualizer by enabling appropriate options.
For comparing the performance of different stages of development, we used the test set of TUSZ v1.2.1 database. It contains 1015 EEG records of varying duration. The any-overlap performance [12] of the overall system shown in Figure 2 is 40.29% sensitivity with 5.77 FAs per 24 hours. For comparison, the previous state-of-the-art model developed on this database performed at 30.71% sensitivity with 6.77 FAs per 24 hours [3]. The individual performances of the deep learning phases are as follows: Phase 1’s (P1) performance is 39.46% sensitivity and 11.62 FAs per 24 hours, and Phase 2 detects seizures with 41.16% sensitivity and 11.69 FAs per 24 hours. We trained an LSTM model with the delayed features and the window-based normalization technique for developing the online system. Using the offline decoder and postprocessor, the model performed at 36.23% sensitivity with 9.52 FAs per 24 hours. The trained model was then evaluated with the online modules. The current performance of the overall online system is 45.80% sensitivity with 28.14 FAs per 24 hours.
Table 2 summarizes the performances of these systems. The performance of the online system deviates from the offline P1 model because the online postprocessor fails to combine the events as the seizure probability fluctuates during an event. The modules in the online system add a total of 11.1 seconds of delay for processing each second of the data, as shown in Figure 3. In practice, we also count the time for loading the model and starting the visualizer block. When we consider these facts, the system consumes 15 seconds to display the first hypothesis. The system detects seizure onsets with an average latency of 15 seconds.
Implementing an automatic seizure detection model in real time is not trivial. We used a variety of techniques such as the file locking mechanism, multithreading, circular buffers, real-time event decoding, and signal-decision plotting to realize the system. A video demonstrating the system is available at: https://www.isip.piconepress.com/projects/nsf_pfi_tt/resources/videos/realtime_eeg_analysis/v2.5.1/video_2.5.1.mp4. The final conference submission will include a more detailed analysis of the online performance of each module.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Research reported in this publication was most recently supported by the National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation award number IIP-1827565 and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program (PA CURE). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official views of any of these organizations.
REFERENCES
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[2] A. C. Bridi, T. Q. Louro, and R. C. L. Da Silva, “Clinical Alarms in intensive care: implications of alarm fatigue for the safety of patients,” Rev. Lat. Am. Enfermagem, vol. 22, no. 6, p. 1034, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1590/0104-1169.3488.2513.
[3] M. Golmohammadi, V. Shah, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Deep Learning Approaches for Automatic Seizure Detection from Scalp Electroencephalograms,” in Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology: Emerging Trends in Research and Applications, 1st ed., I. Obeid, I. Selesnick, and J. Picone, Eds. New York, New York, USA: Springer, 2020, pp. 233–274. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-36844-9_8.
[4] “CFM Olympic Brainz Monitor.” [Online]. Available: https://newborncare.natus.com/products-services/newborn-care-products/newborn-brain-injury/cfm-olympic-brainz-monitor. [Accessed: 17-Jul-2020].
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Bhattacharyya, Arnab, Gayen, Sutanu, Kandasamy, Saravanan, Maran, Ashwin, and Vinodchandran, N. V. Learning and Sampling of Atomic Interventions from Observations. Retrieved from https://par.nsf.gov/biblio/10483411. Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning .

Bhattacharyya, Arnab, Gayen, Sutanu, Kandasamy, Saravanan, Maran, Ashwin, & Vinodchandran, N. V. Learning and Sampling of Atomic Interventions from Observations. Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning, (). Retrieved from https://par.nsf.gov/biblio/10483411.

Bhattacharyya, Arnab, Gayen, Sutanu, Kandasamy, Saravanan, Maran, Ashwin, and Vinodchandran, N. V.
"Learning and Sampling of Atomic Interventions from Observations". Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning (). Country unknown/Code not available: PMLR. https://par.nsf.gov/biblio/10483411.

@article{osti_10483411,
place = {Country unknown/Code not available},
title = {Learning and Sampling of Atomic Interventions from Observations},
url = {https://par.nsf.gov/biblio/10483411},
abstractNote = {We study the problem of efficiently estimating the effect of an intervention on a single variable using observational samples. Our goal is to give algorithms with polynomial time and sample complexity in a non-parametric setting. Tian and Pearl (AAAI ’02) have exactly characterized the class of causal graphs for which causal effects of atomic interventions can be identified from observational data. We make their result quantitative. Suppose 𝒫 is a causal model on a set V of n observable variables with respect to a given causal graph G, and let do(x) be an identifiable intervention on a variable X. We show that assuming that G has bounded in-degree and bounded c-components (k) and that the observational distribution satisfies a strong positivity condition: (i) [Evaluation] There is an algorithm that outputs with probability 2/3 an evaluator for a distribution P^ that satisfies TV(P(V | do(x)), P^(V)) < eps using m=O (n/eps^2) samples from P and O(mn) time. The evaluator can return in O(n) time the probability P^(v) for any assignment v to V. (ii) [Sampling] There is an algorithm that outputs with probability 2/3 a sampler for a distribution P^ that satisfies TV(P(V | do(x)), P^(V)) < eps using m=O (n/eps^2) samples from P and O(mn) time. The sampler returns an iid sample from P^ with probability 1 in O(n) time. We extend our techniques to estimate P(Y | do(x)) for a subset Y of variables of interest. We also show lower bounds for the sample complexity, demonstrating that our sample complexity has optimal dependence on the parameters n and eps, as well as if k=1 on the strong positivity parameter.},
journal = {Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning},
publisher = {PMLR},
author = {Bhattacharyya, Arnab and Gayen, Sutanu and Kandasamy, Saravanan and Maran, Ashwin and Vinodchandran, N. V.},
}

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