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Abstract The global spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has casted a significant threat to mankind. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, predicting localized disease severity is crucial for advanced resource allocation. This paper proposes a method named COURAGE (COUnty aggRegation mixup AuGmEntation) to generate a short-term prediction of 2-week-ahead COVID-19 related deaths for each county in the United States, leveraging modern deep learning techniques. Specifically, our method adopts a self-attention model from Natural Language Processing, known as the transformer model, to capture both short-term and long-term dependencies within the time series while enjoying computational efficiency. Our model solely utilizes publicly available information for COVID-19 related confirmed cases, deaths, community mobility trends and demographic information, and can produce state-level predictions as an aggregation of the corresponding county-level predictions. Our numerical experiments demonstrate that our model achieves the state-of-the-art performance among the publicly available benchmark models.
Benefits of Overparameterized Convolutional Residual Networks: Function Approximation under Smoothness ConstraintOverparameterized neural networks enjoy great representation power on complex data, and more importantly yield sufficiently smooth output, which is crucial to their generalization and robustness. Most existing function approximation theories suggest that with sufficiently many parameters, neural networks can well approximate certain classes of functions in terms of the function value. The neural network themselves, however, can be highly nonsmooth. To bridge this gap, we take convolutional residual networks (ConvResNets) as an example, and prove that large ConvResNets can not only approximate a target function in terms of function value, but also exhibit sufficient first-order smoothness. Moreover, we extend our theory to approximating functions supported on a low-dimensional manifold. Our theory partially justifies the benefits of using deep and wide networks in practice. Numerical experiments on adversarial robust image classification are provided to support our theory.
We study the open-domain named entity recognition (NER) prob- lem under distant supervision. The distant supervision, though does not require large amounts of manual annotations, yields highly in- complete and noisy distant labels via external knowledge bases. To address this challenge, we propose a new computational framework – BOND, which leverages the power of pre-trained language models (e.g., BERT and RoBERTa) to improve the prediction performance of NER models. Specifically, we propose a two-stage training algo- rithm: In the first stage, we adapt the pre-trained language model to the NER tasks using the distant labels, which can significantly improve the recall and precision; In the second stage, we drop the distant labels, and propose a self-training approach to further improve the model performance. Thorough experiments on 5 bench- mark datasets demonstrate the superiority of BOND over existing distantly supervised NER methods. The code and distantly labeled data have been released in https://github.com/cliang1453/BOND.