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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Road network design, as an important part of landscape modeling, shows a great significance in automatic driving, video game development, and disaster simulation. To date, this task remains labor‐intensive, tedious and time‐consuming. Many improved techniques have been proposed during the last two decades. Nevertheless, most of the state‐of‐the‐art methods still encounter problems of intuitiveness, usefulness and/or interactivity. As a rapid deviation from the conventional road design, this paper advocates an improved road modeling framework for automatic and interactive road production driven by geographical maps (including elevation, water, vegetation maps). Our method integrates the capability of flexible image generation models with powerful transformer architecture to afford a vectorized road network. We firstly construct a dataset that includes road graphs, density map and their corresponding geographical maps. Secondly, we develop a density map generation network based on image translation model with an attention mechanism to predict a road density map. The usage of density map facilitates faster convergence and better performance, which also serves as the input for road graph generation. Thirdly, we employ the transformer architecture to evolve density maps to road graphs. Our comprehensive experimental results have verified the efficiency, robustness and applicability of our newly‐proposed framework for road design.

     
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  3. Serverless computing has become increasingly popular for cloud applications, due to its compelling properties of high-level abstractions, lightweight runtime, high elasticity and pay-per-use billing. In this revolutionary computing paradigm shift, challenges arise when adapting data analytics applications to the serverless environment, due to the lack of support for efficient state sharing, which attract ever-growing research attention. In this paper, we aim to exploit the advantages of task level orchestration and fine-grained resource provisioning for data analytics on serverless platforms, with the hope of fulfilling the promise of serverless deployment to the maximum extent. To this end, we present ACTS, an autonomous cost-efficient task orchestration framework for serverless analytics. ACTS judiciously schedules and coordinates function tasks to mitigate cold-start latency and state sharing overhead. In addition, ACTS explores the optimization space of fine-grained workload distribution and function resource configuration for cost efficiency. We have deployed and implemented ACTS on AWS Lambda, evaluated with various data analytics workloads. Results from extensive experiments demonstrate that ACTS achieves up to 98% monetary cost reduction while maintaining superior job completion time performance, in comparison with the state-of-the-art baselines. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 19, 2024
  4. Overconfidence is a common issue for deep neural networks, limiting their deployment in real-world applications. To better estimate confidence, existing methods mostly focus on fully-supervised scenarios and rely on training labels. In this paper, we propose the first confidence estimation method for a semi-supervised setting, when most training labels are unavailable. We stipulate that even with limited training labels, we can still reasonably approximate the confidence of model on unlabeled samples by inspecting the prediction consistency through the training process. We use training consistency as a surrogate function and propose a consistency ranking loss for confidence estimation. On both image classification and segmentation tasks, our method achieves state-of-the-art performances in confidence estimation. Furthermore, we show the benefit of the proposed method through a downstream active learning task. 
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  5. Outside laboratory conditions and human-made structures, animals rarely encounter flat surfaces. Instead, natural substrates are uneven surfaces with height variation that ranges from the microscopic scale to the macroscopic scale. For walking animals (which we define as encompassing any form of legged movement across the ground, such as walking, running, galloping, etc.), such substrate ‘roughness’ influences locomotion in a multitude of ways across scales, from roughness that influences how each toe or foot contacts the ground, to larger obstacles that animals must move over or navigate around. Historically, the unpredictability and variability of natural environments has limited the ability to collect data on animal walking biomechanics. However, recent technical advances, such as more sensitive and portable cameras, biologgers, laboratory tools to fabricate rough terrain, as well as the ability to efficiently store and analyze large variable datasets, have expanded the opportunity to study how animals move under naturalistic conditions. As more researchers endeavor to assess walking over rough terrain, we lack a consistent approach to quantifying roughness and contextualizing these findings. This Review summarizes existing literature that examines non-human animals walking on rough terrain and presents a metric for characterizing the relative substrate roughness compared with animal size. This framework can be applied across terrain and body scales, facilitating direct comparisons of walking over rough surfaces in animals ranging in size from ants to elephants. 
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  6. Telikepalli Kavitha and Kurt Mehlhorn (Ed.)
    We present a very simple and intuitive algorithm to find balanced sparse cuts in a graph via shortest-paths. Our algorithm combines a new multiplicative-weights framework for solving unit-weight multi-commodity flows with standard ball growing arguments. Using Dijkstra's algorithm for computing the shortest paths afresh every time gives a very simple algorithm that runs in time Õ(m^2/ø) and finds an Õ(ø)-sparse balanced cut, when the given graph has a ø-sparse balanced cut. Combining our algorithm with known deterministic data-structures for answering approximate All Pairs Shortest Paths (APSP) queries under increasing edge weights (decremental setting), we obtain a simple deterministic algorithm that finds m^{o(1)}ø-sparse balanced cuts in m^{1+o(1)}/ø time. Our deterministic almost-linear time algorithm matches the state-of-the-art in randomized and deterministic settings up to subpolynomial factors, while being significantly simpler to understand and analyze, especially compared to the only almost-linear time deterministic algorithm, a recent breakthrough by Chuzhoy-Gao-Li-Nanongkai- Peng-Saranurak (FOCS 2020). 
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  7. Jonathan Berry, David Shmoys (Ed.)
    n 2013, Cuturi [9] introduced the SINKHORN algorithm for matrix scaling as a method to compute solutions to regularized optimal transport problems. In this paper, aiming at a better convergence rate for a high accuracy solution, we work on understanding the SINKHORN algorithm under regularization scheduling, and thus modify it with a mechanism that adaptively doubles the regularization parameter η periodically. We prove that such modified version of SINKHORN has an exponential convergence rate as iteration complexity depending on log(l/ɛ) instead of ɛ-o(1) from previous analyses [1, 9] in the optimal transport problems with integral supply and demand. Furthermore, with cost and capacity scaling procedures, the general optimal transport problem can be solved with a logarithmic dependence on 1/ɛ as well. 
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