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  1. The online knapsack problem is a classic online resource allocation problem in networking and operations research. Its basic version studies how to pack online arriving items of different sizes and values into a capacity-limited knapsack. In this paper, we study a general version that includes item departures, while also considering multiple knapsacks and multi-dimensional item sizes. We design a threshold-based online algorithm and prove that the algorithm can achieve order-optimal competitive ratios. Beyond worst-case performance guarantees, we also aim to achieve near-optimal average performance under typical instances. Towards this goal, we propose a data-driven online algorithm that learns within a policy-class that guarantees a worst-case performance bound. In trace-driven experiments, we show that our data-driven algorithm outperforms other benchmark algorithms in an application of online knapsack to job scheduling for cloud computing. 
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  2. Finding from a big graph those subgraphs that satisfy certain conditions is useful in many applications such as community detection and subgraph matching. These problems have a high time complexity, but existing systems that attempt to scale them are all IO-bound in execution. We propose the first truly CPU-bound distributed framework called G-thinker for subgraph finding algorithms, which adopts a task-based computation model, and which also provides a user-friendly subgraph-centric vertex-pulling API for writing distributed subgraph finding algorithms that can be easily adapted from existing serial algorithms. To utilize all CPU cores of a cluster, G-thinker features (1) a highly concurrent vertex cache for parallel task access and (2) a lightweight task scheduling approach that ensures high task throughput. These designs well overlap communication with computation to minimize the idle time of CPU cores. To further improve load balancing on graphs where the workloads of individual tasks can be drastically different due to biased graph density distribution, we propose to prioritize the scheduling of those tasks that tend to be long running for processing and decomposition, plus a timeout mechanism for task decomposition to prevent long-running straggler tasks. The idea has been integrated into a novelty algorithm for maximum clique finding (MCF) that adopts a hybrid task decomposition strategy, which significantly improves the running time of MCF on dense and large graphs: The algorithm finds a maximum clique of size 1,109 on a large and dense WikiLinks graph dataset in 70 minutes. Extensive experiments demonstrate that G-thinker achieves orders of magnitude speedup compared even with the fastest existing subgraph-centric system, and it scales well to much larger and denser real network data. G-thinker is open-sourced at http://bit.ly/gthinker with detailed documentation. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    This paper studies adversarial bandits with corruptions. In the basic adversarial bandit setting, the reward of arms is predetermined by an adversary who is oblivious to the learner’s policy. In this paper, we consider an extended setting in which an attacker sits in-between the environment and the learner, and is endowed with a limited budget to corrupt the reward of the selected arm. We have two main results. First, we derive a lower bound on the regret of any bandit algorithm that is aware of the budget of the attacker. Also, for budget-agnostic algorithms, we characterize an impossibility result demonstrating that even when the attacker has a sublinear budget, i.e., a budget growing sublinearly with time horizon T, they fail to achieve a sublinear regret. Second, we propose ExpRb, a bandit algorithm that incorporates a biased estimator and a robustness parameter to deal with corruption. We characterize the regret of ExpRb as a function of the corruption budget and show that for the case of a known corruption budget, the regret of ExpRb is tight. 
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  4. Many computationally expensive problems are solved by a divide-and-conquer algorithm: a problem over a big dataset can be recursively divided into independent tasks over smaller subsets of the dataset. We present a distributed general-purpose framework called T-thinker which effectively utilizes the CPU cores in a cluster by properly decomposing an expensive problem into smaller independent tasks for parallel computation. T-thinker well overlaps CPU processing with network communication, and its superior performance is verified over a re-engineered graph mining system G-thinker available at http://cs.uab.edu/yanda/gthinker/ 
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