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  1. Abstract

    Climate change is closely monitored and numerous studies reports increasing air temperature and weather extremes across the globe. As a direct consequence of the increase of global temperature, the increased heat stress is becoming a global threat to public health. While most climate change and epidemiological studies focus on air temperature to explain the increasing risks, heat strain can be predicted using comprehensive indices such as Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). The Asia–Pacific region is prone to thermal stress and the high population densities in the region impose high health risk. This study evaluated the air temperature and UTCI trends between 1990 and 2019 and found significant increasing trends for air temperature for the whole region while the increases of UTCI are not as pronounced and mainly found in the northern part of the region. These results indicate that even though air temperature is increasing, the risks of heat stress when assessed using UTCI may be alleviated by other factors. The associations between El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and heat stress was evaluated on a seasonal level and the strongest regional responses were found during December-January (DJF) and March–May (MAM).

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2025
  3. Despite recent progress in Multiple Object Tracking (MOT), several obstacles such as occlusions, similar objects, and complex scenes remain an open challenge. Meanwhile, a systematic study of the cost-performance tradeoff for the popular tracking-by-detection paradigm is still lacking. This paper introduces SMILEtrack, an innovative object tracker that effectively addresses these challenges by integrating an efficient object detector with a Siamese network-based Similarity Learning Module (SLM). The technical contributions of SMILETrack are twofold. First, we propose an SLM that calculates the appearance similarity between two objects, overcoming the limitations of feature descriptors in Separate Detection and Embedding (SDE) models. The SLM incorporates a Patch Self-Attention (PSA) block inspired by the vision Transformer, which generates reliable features for accurate similarity matching. Second, we develop a Similarity Matching Cascade (SMC) module with a novel GATE function for robust object matching across consecutive video frames, further enhancing MOT performance. Together, these innovations help SMILETrack achieve an improved trade-off between the cost (e.g., running speed) and performance (e.g., tracking accuracy) over several existing state-of-the-art benchmarks, including the popular BYTETrack method. SMILETrack outperforms BYTETrack by 0.4-0.8 MOTA and 2.1-2.2 HOTA points on MOT17 and MOT20 datasets. Code is available at http://github.com/pingyang1117/SMILEtrack_official.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 25, 2025
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  5. The offline reinforcement learning (RL) problem is often motivated by the need to learn data-driven decision policies in financial, legal and healthcare applications. However, the learned policy could retain sensitive information of individuals in the training data (e.g., treatment and outcome of patients), thus susceptible to various privacy risks. We design offline RL algorithms with differential privacy guarantees which provably prevent such risks. These algorithms also enjoy strong instance-dependent learning bounds under both tabular and linear Markov Decision Process (MDP) settings. Our theory and simulation suggest that the privacy guarantee comes at (almost) no drop in utility comparing to the non-private counterpart for a medium-size dataset. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 7, 2024
  6. In the arena of privacy-preserving machine learning, differentially private stochastic gradient descent (DP-SGD) has outstripped the objective perturbation mechanism in popularity and interest. Though unrivaled in versatility, DP-SGD requires a non-trivial privacy overhead (for privately tuning the model’s hyperparameters) and a computational complexity which might be extravagant for simple models such as linear and logistic regression. This paper revamps the objective perturbation mechanism with tighter privacy analyses and new computational tools that boost it to perform competitively with DP-SGD on unconstrained convex generalized linear problems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 7, 2024
  7. Abstract

    Achieving spin-pinning at the interface of hetero-bilayer ferromagnet/antiferromagnet structures in conventional exchange bias systems can be challenging due to difficulties in interface control and the weakening of spin-pinning caused by poor interface quality. In this work, we propose an alternative approach to stabilize the exchange interaction at the interface of an uncompensated antiferromagnet by utilizing a gradient of interlayer exchange coupling. We demonstrate this exchange interaction through a designed field training protocol in the odd-layer topological antiferromagnet MnBi2Te4. Our results reveal a remarkable field-trained exchange bias of up to ~ 400 mT, which exhibits high repeatability and can be easily reset by a large training field. Notably, this field-trained exchange bias effect persists even with zero-field initialization, presenting a stark contrast to the traditional field-cooled exchange bias. The highly tunable exchange bias observed in this single antiferromagnet compound, without the need for an additional magnetic layer, provides valuable insight into the exchange interaction mechanism. These findings pave the way for the systematic design of topological antiferromagnetic spintronics.

     
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  8. Data valuation, a growing field that aims at quantifying the usefulness of individual data sources for training machine learning (ML) models, faces notable yet often overlooked privacy challenges. This paper studies these challenges with a focus on KNN-Shapley, one of the most practical data valuation methods nowadays. We first emphasize the inherent privacy risks of KNN-Shapley, and demonstrate the significant technical challenges in adapting KNN-Shapley to accommodate differential privacy (DP). To overcome these challenges, we introduce TKNN-Shapley, a refined variant of KNN-Shapley that is privacy-friendly, allowing for straightforward modifications to incorporate DP guarantee (DP-TKNN-Shapley). We show that DP-TKNN-Shapley has several advantages and offers a superior privacy-utility tradeoff compared to naively privatized KNN-Shapley. Moreover, even non-private TKNN-Shapley matches KNN-Shapley's performance in discerning data quality. Overall, our findings suggest that TKNN-Shapley is a promising alternative to KNN-Shapley, particularly for real-world applications involving sensitive data. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 7, 2024
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  10. We propose an autonomous quantum error correction scheme using squeezed cat (SC) code against excitation loss in continuous-variable systems. Through reservoir engineering, we show that a structured dissipation can stabilize a two-component SC while autonomously correcting the errors. The implementation of such dissipation only requires low-order nonlinear couplings among three bosonic modes or between a bosonic mode and a qutrit. While our proposed scheme is device independent, it is readily implementable with current experimental platforms such as superconducting circuits and trapped-ion systems. Compared to the stabilized cat, the stabilized SC has a much lower dominant error rate and a significantly enhanced noise bias. Furthermore, the bias-preserving operations for the SC have much lower error rates. In combination, the stabilized SC leads to substantially better logical performance when concatenating with an outer discrete-variable code. The surface-SC scheme achieves more than one order of magnitude increase in the threshold ratio between the loss rate κ1 and the engineered dissipation rate κ2. Under a practical noise ratio κ1/κ2 = 10−3, the repetition-SC scheme can reach a 10−15 logical error rate even with a small mean excitation number of 4, which already suffices for practically useful quantum algorithms. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024