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  1. Abstract We present a detailed prompt emission and early optical afterglow analysis of the two very-high-energy (VHE) detected bursts GRB 201015A and GRB 201216C, and their comparison with a subset of similar bursts. Time-resolved spectral analysis of multistructured GRB 201216C using the Bayesian binning algorithm revealed that during the entire duration of the burst, the low-energy spectral index ( α pt ) remained below the limit of the synchrotron line of death. However, statistically some of the bins supported the additional thermal component. Additionally, the evolution of spectral parameters showed that both the peak energy ( E p ) and α pt tracked the flux. These results were further strengthened using the values of the physical parameters obtained by synchrotron modeling of the data. Our earliest optical observations of both bursts using the F/Photometric Robotic Atmospheric Monitor Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos and Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System robotic telescopes displayed a smooth bump in their early optical light curves, consistent with the onset of the afterglow due to synchrotron emission from an external forward shock. Using the observed optical peak, we constrained the initial bulk Lorentz factors of GRB 201015A and GRB 201216C to Γ 0 = 204 and Γ 0 = 310, respectively. The present early optical observations are the earliest known observations constraining outflow parameters and our analysis indicate that VHE detected bursts could have a diverse range of observed luminosity within the detectable redshift range of present VHE facilities. 
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  2. Increasing concerns and regulations about data privacy and sparsity necessitate the study of privacy-preserving, decentralized learning methods for natural language processing (NLP) tasks. Federated learning (FL) provides promising approaches for a large number of clients (e.g., personal devices or organizations) to collaboratively learn a shared global model to benefit all clients while allowing users to keep their data locally. Despite interest in studying FL methods for NLP tasks, a systematic comparison and analysis is lacking in the literature. Herein, we present the FedNLP, a benchmarking framework for evaluating federated learning methods on four different task formulations: text classification, sequence tagging, question answering, and seq2seq. We propose a universal interface between Transformer-based language models (e.g., BERT, BART) and FL methods (e.g., FedAvg, FedOPT, etc.) under various non-IID partitioning strategies. Our extensive experiments with FedNLP provide empirical comparisons between FL methods and helps us better understand the inherent challenges of this direction. The comprehensive analysis points to intriguing and exciting future research aimed at developing FL methods for NLP tasks. 
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  3. ABSTRACT We report on detailed multiwavelength observations and analysis of the very bright and long GRB 210619B, detected by the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor installed on the International Space Station and the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) on-board the Fermi mission. Our main goal is to understand the radiation mechanisms and jet composition of GRB 210619B. With a measured redshift of z = 1.937, we find that GRB 210619B falls within the 10 most luminous bursts observed by Fermi so far. The energy-resolved prompt emission light curve of GRB 210619B exhibits an extremely bright hard emission pulse followed by softer/longer emission pulses. The low-energy photon index (αpt) values obtained using the time-resolved spectral analysis of the burst suggest a transition between the thermal (during harder pulse) to non-thermal (during softer pulse) outflow. We examine the correlation between spectral parameters and find that both peak energy and αpt exhibit the flux tracking pattern. The late time broad-band photometric data set can be explained within the framework of the external forward shock model with νm < νc < νx (where νm, νc, and νx are the synchrotron peak, cooling-break, and X-ray frequencies, respectively) spectral regime supporting a rarely observed hard electron energy index (p < 2). We find moderate values of host extinction of E(B − V) = 0.14 ± 0.01 mag for the small magellanic cloud extinction law. In addition, we also report late-time optical observations with the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio de Canarias placing deep upper limits for the host galaxy (z = 1.937), favouring a faint, dwarf host for the burst. 
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  4. Abstract Multi-pulsed GRB 190530A, detected by the GBM and LAT onboard Fermi, is the sixth most fluent GBM burst detected so far. This paper presents the timing, spectral, and polarimetric analysis of the prompt emission observed using AstroSat and Fermi to provide insight into the prompt emission radiation mechanisms. The time-integrated spectrum shows conclusive proof of two breaks due to peak energy and a second lower energy break. Time-integrated (55.43 ± 21.30 %) as well as time-resolved polarization measurements, made by the Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) onboard AstroSat, show a hint of high degree of polarization. The presence of a hint of high degree of polarization and the values of low energy spectral index (αpt) do not run over the synchrotron limit for the first two pulses, supporting the synchrotron origin in an ordered magnetic field. However, during the third pulse, αpt exceeds the synchrotron line of death in few bins, and a thermal signature along with the synchrotron component in the time-resolved spectra is observed. Furthermore, we also report the earliest optical observations constraining afterglow polarization using the MASTER (P < 1.3 %) and the redshift measurement (z= 0.9386) obtained with the 10.4m GTC telescopes. The broadband afterglow can be described with a forward shock model for an ISM-like medium with a wide jet opening angle. We determine a circumburst density of n0 ∼ 7.41, kinetic energy EK ∼ 7.24 × 1054 erg, and radiated γ-ray energy Eγ, iso ∼ 6.05 × 1054 erg, respectively. 
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