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  1. In this paper, we consider the parallel implementation of an already-trained deep model on multiple processing nodes (a.k.a. workers). Specifically, we investigate as to how a deep model should be divided into several parallel sub-models, each of which is executed efficiently by a worker. Since latency due to synchronization and data transfer among workers negatively impacts the performance of the parallel implementation, it is desirable to have minimum interdependency among parallel sub-models. To achieve this goal, we propose to rearrange the neurons in the neural network, partition them (without changing the general topology of the neural network), and modify the weights such that the interdependency among sub-models is minimized under the computations and communications constraints of the workers while minimizing its impact on the performance of the model. We propose RePurpose, a layer-wise model restructuring and pruning technique that guarantees the performance of the overall parallelized model. To efficiently apply RePurpose, we propose an approach based on L0 optimization and the Munkres assignment algorithm. We show that, compared to the existing methods, RePurpose significantly improves the efficiency of the distributed inference via parallel implementation, both in terms of communication and computational complexity. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024
  2. The actor-critic RL is widely used in various robotic control tasks. By viewing the actor-critic RL from the perspective of variational inference (VI), the policy network is trained to obtain the approximate posterior of actions given the optimality criteria. However, in practice, the actor-critic RL may yield suboptimal policy estimates due to the amortization gap and insufficient exploration. In this work, inspired by the previous use of Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC) in VI, we propose to integrate the policy network of actor-critic RL with HMC, which is termed as Hamiltonian Policy. As such we propose to evolve actions from the base policy according to HMC, and our proposed method has many benefits. First, HMC can improve the policy distribution to better approximate the posterior and hence reduce the amortization gap. Second, HMC can also guide the exploration more to the regions of action spaces with higher Q values, enhancing the exploration efficiency. Further, instead of directly applying HMC into RL, we propose a new leapfrog operator to simulate the Hamiltonian dynamics. Finally, in safe RL problems, we find that the proposed method can not only improve the achieved return, but also reduce safety constraint violations by discarding potentially unsafe actions. With comprehensive empirical experiments on continuous control baselines, including MuJoCo and PyBullet Roboschool, we show that the proposed approach is a data-efficient and easy-to-implement improvement over previous actor-critic methods. 
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  3. Teaching a deep reinforcement learning (RL) agent to follow instructions in multi-task environments is a challenging problem. We consider that user defines every task by a linear temporal logic (LTL) formula. However, some causal dependencies in complex environments may be unknown to the user in advance. Hence, when human user is specifying instructions, the robot cannot solve the tasks by simply following the given instructions. In this work, we propose a hierarchical reinforcement learning (HRL) framework in which a symbolic transition model is learned to efficiently produce high-level plans that can guide the agent efficiently solve different tasks. Specifically, the symbolic transition model is learned by inductive logic programming (ILP) to capture logic rules of state transitions. By planning over the product of the symbolic transition model and the automaton derived from the LTL formula, the agent can resolve causal dependencies and break a causally complex problem down into a sequence of simpler low-level sub-tasks. We evaluate the proposed framework on three environments in both discrete and continuous domains, showing advantages over previous representative methods. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    In this paper, we study Joint Source-Channel Coding (JSCC) for distributed analog functional compression over both Gaussian Multiple Access Channel (MAC) and AWGN channels. Notably, we propose a deep neural network based solution for learning encoders and decoders. We propose three methods of increasing performance. The first one frames the problem as an autoencoder; the second one incorporates the power constraint in the objective by using a Lagrange multiplier; the third method derives the objective from the information bottleneck principle. We show that all proposed methods are variational approximations to upper bounds on the indirect rate-distortion problem’s minimization objective. Further, we show that the third method is the variational approximation of a tighter upper bound compared to the other two. Finally, we show empirical performance results for image classification. We compare with existing work and showcase the performance improvement yielded by the proposed methods. 
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