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  1. Over the last two decades, robust optimization has emerged as a popular means to address decision-making problems affected by uncertainty. This includes single-stage and multi-stage problems involving real-valued and/or binary decisions and affected by exogenous (decision-independent) and/or endogenous (decision-dependent) uncertain parameters. Robust optimization techniques rely on duality theory potentially augmented with approximations to transform a (semi-)infinite optimization problem to a finite program, the robust counterpart. Whereas writing down the model for a robust optimization problem is usually a simple task, obtaining the robust counterpart requires expertise. To date, very few solutions are available that can facilitate the modeling and solution of such problems. This has been a major impediment to their being put to practical use. In this paper, we propose ROC++, an open-source C++ based platform for automatic robust optimization, applicable to a wide array of single-stage and multi-stage robust problems with both exogenous and endogenous uncertain parameters, that is easy to both use and extend. It also applies to certain classes of stochastic programs involving continuously distributed uncertain parameters and endogenous uncertainty. Our platform naturally extends existing off-the-shelf deterministic optimization platforms and offers ROPy, a Python interface in the form of a callable library, and the ROB file format for storing and sharing robust problems. We showcase the modeling power of ROC++ on several decision-making problems of practical interest. Our platform can help streamline the modeling and solution of stochastic and robust optimization problems for both researchers and practitioners. It comes with detailed documentation to facilitate its use and expansion. The latest version of ROC++ can be downloaded from https://sites.google.com/usc.edu/robust-opt-cpp/ . Summary of Contribution: The paper “ROC++: Robust Optimization in C++” proposes a new open-source C++ based platform for modeling, automatically reformulating, and solving robust optimization problems. ROC++ can address both single-stage and multi-stage problems involving exogenous and/or endogenous uncertain parameters and real- and/or binary-valued adaptive variables. The ROC++ modeling language is similar to the one provided for the deterministic case by state-of-the-art deterministic optimization solvers. ROC++ comes with detailed documentation to facilitate its use and expansion. It also offers ROPy, a Python interface in the form of a callable library. The latest version of ROC++ can be downloaded from https://sites.google.com/usc.edu/robust-opt-cpp/ . History: Accepted by Ted Ralphs, Area Editor for Software Tools. Funding: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1763108. This support is gratefully acknowledged. Supplemental Material: The software that supports the findings of this study is available within the paper and its Supplementary Information ( https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/suppl/10.1287/ijoc.2022.1209 ) or is available from the IJOC GitHub software repository ( https://github.com/INFORMSJoC ) at ( https://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6360996 ). 
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  4. Recently, a new trend of exploring sparsity for accelerating neural network training has emerged, embracing the paradigm of training on the edge. This paper proposes a novel Memory-Economic Sparse Training (MEST) framework targeting for accurate and fast execution on edge devices. The proposed MEST framework consists of enhancements by Elastic Mutation (EM) and Soft Memory Bound (&S) that ensure superior accuracy at high sparsity ratios. Different from the existing works for sparse training, this current work reveals the importance of sparsity schemes on the performance of sparse training in terms of accuracy as well as training speed on real edge devices. On top of that, the paper proposes to employ data efficiency for further acceleration of sparse training. Our results suggest that unforgettable examples can be identified in-situ even during the dynamic exploration of sparsity masks in the sparse training process, and therefore can be removed for further training speedup on edge devices. Comparing with state-of-the-art (SOTA) works on accuracy, our MEST increases Top-1 accuracy significantly on ImageNet when using the same unstructured sparsity scheme. Systematical evaluation on accuracy, training speed, and memory footprint are conducted, where the proposed MEST framework consistently outperforms representative SOTA works. A reviewer strongly against our work based on his false assumptions and misunderstandings. On top of the previous submission, we employ data efficiency for further acceleration of sparse training. And we explore the impact of model sparsity, sparsity schemes, and sparse training algorithms on the number of removable training examples. Our codes are publicly available at: https://github.com/boone891214/MEST. 
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