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  1. We provide a unifying framework for the design and analysis of multi-calibrated predictors. By placing the multi-calibration problem in the general setting of multi-objective learning---where learning guarantees must hold simultaneously over a set of distributions and loss functions---we exploit connections to game dynamics to achieve state-of-the-art guarantees for a diverse set of multi-calibration learning problems. In addition to shedding light on existing multi-calibration guarantees and greatly simplifying their analysis, our approach also yields improved guarantees, such as error tolerances that scale with the square-root of group size versus the constant tolerances guaranteed by prior works, and improving the complexity of k-class multi-calibration by an exponential factor of k versus Gopalan et al.. Beyond multi-calibration, we use these game dynamics to address emerging considerations in the study of group fairness and multi-distribution learning. 
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  2. As the scale of machine learning models increases, trends such as scaling laws anticipate consistent downstream improvements in predictive accuracy. However, these trends take the perspective of a single model-provider in isolation, while in reality providers often compete with each other for users. In this work, we demonstrate that competition can fundamentally alter the behavior of these scaling trends, even causing overall predictive accuracy across users to be non-monotonic or decreasing with scale. We define a model of competition for classification tasks, and use data representations as a lens for studying the impact of increases in scale. We find many settings where improving data representation quality (as measured by Bayes risk) decreases the overall predictive accuracy across users (i.e., social welfare) for a marketplace of competing model-providers. Our examples range from closed-form formulas in simple settings to simulations with pretrained representations on CIFAR-10. At a conceptual level, our work suggests that favorable scaling trends for individual model-providers need not translate to downstream improvements in social welfare in marketplaces with multiple model providers. 
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  3. We study the problem of online learning in a two-player decentralized cooperative Stackelberg game. In each round, the leader first takes an action, followed by the follower who takes their action after observing the leader’s move. The goal of the leader is to learn to minimize the cumulative regret based on the history of interactions. Differing from the traditional formulation of repeated Stackelberg games, we assume the follower is omniscient, with full knowledge of the true reward, and that they always best-respond to the leader’s actions. We analyze the sample complexity of regret minimization in this repeated Stackelberg game. We show that depending on the reward structure, the existence of the omniscient follower may change the sample complexity drastically, from constant to exponential, even for linear cooperative Stackelberg games. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  4. Competition between traditional platforms is known to improve user utility by aligning the platform's actions with user preferences. But to what extent is alignment exhibited in data-driven marketplaces? To study this question from a theoretical perspective, we introduce a duopoly market where platform actions are bandit algorithms and the two platforms compete for user participation. A salient feature of this market is that the quality of recommendations depends on both the bandit algorithm and the amount of data provided by interactions from users. This interdependency between the algorithm performance and the actions of users complicates the structure of market equilibria and their quality in terms of user utility. Our main finding is that competition in this market does not perfectly align market outcomes with user utility. Interestingly, market outcomes exhibit misalignment not only when the platforms have separate data repositories, but also when the platforms have a shared data repository. Nonetheless, the data sharing assumptions impact what mechanism drives misalignment and also affect the specific form of misalignment (e.g. the quality of the best-case and worst-case market outcomes). More broadly, our work illustrates that competition in digital marketplaces has subtle consequences for user utility that merit further investigation.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  6. A Cold Atmospheric Plasma (CAP) apparatus was designed and developed for SARS-CoV-2 killing as evaluated by pseudotyped viral infectivity assays. The reactive species generated by the plasma system was fully characterized by using Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES) measurement under given conditions such as plasma power, flow rate, and treatment time. A variety of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) were identified from plasma plume with energies of 15–72 eV in the frequency range between 500–1000 nm. Systematic virus killing experiments were carried out, and the efficacy of CAP treatment in reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral infectivity was significant following treatment for 8 s, with further enhancement of killing upon longer exposures of 15–120 s. We correlated killing efficacy with the reactive species in terms of type, intensity, energy, and frequency. These experimental results demonstrate effective cold plasma virus killing via ROS and RNS under ambient conditions. 
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