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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 22, 2025
  2. Transfer learning leverages feature representations of deep neural networks (DNNs) pretrained on source tasks with rich data to empower effective finetuning on downstream tasks. However, the pre-trained models are often prohibitively large for delivering generalizable representations, which limits their deployment on edge devices with constrained resources. To close this gap, we propose a new transfer learning pipeline, which leverages our finding that robust tickets can transfer better, i.e., subnetworks drawn with properly induced adversarial robustness can win better transferability over vanilla lottery ticket subnetworks. Extensive experiments and ablation studies validate that our proposed transfer learning pipeline can achieve enhanced accuracy-sparsity trade-offs across both diverse downstream tasks and sparsity patterns, further enriching the lottery ticket hypothesis. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 9, 2024
  3. Vision transformers (ViTs) have recently set off a new wave in neural architecture design thanks to their record-breaking performance in various vision tasks. In parallel, to fulfill the goal of deploying ViTs into real-world vision applications, their robustness against potential malicious attacks has gained increasing attention. In particular, recent works show that ViTs are more robust against adversarial attacks as compared with convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and conjecture that this is because ViTs focus more on capturing global interactions among different input/feature patches, leading to their improved robustness to local perturbations imposed by adversarial attacks. In this work, we ask an intriguing question: “Under what kinds of perturbations do ViTs become more vulnerable learners compared to CNNs?” Driven by this question, we first conduct a comprehensive experiment regarding the robustness of both ViTs and CNNs under various existing adversarial attacks to understand the underlying reason favoring their robustness. Based on the drawn insights, we then propose a dedicated attack framework, dubbed Patch-Fool, that fools the self-attention mechanism by attacking its basic component (i.e., a single patch) with a series of attention-aware optimization techniques. Interestingly, our Patch-Fool framework shows for the first time that ViTs are not necessarily more robust than CNNs against adversarial perturbations. In particular, we find that ViTs are more vulnerable learners compared with CNNs against our Patch-Fool attack which is consistent across extensive experiments, and the observations from Sparse/Mild Patch-Fool, two variants of Patch-Fool, indicate an intriguing insight that the perturbation density and strength on each patch seem to be the key factors that influence the robustness ranking between ViTs and CNNs. It can be expected that our Patch-Fool framework will shed light on both future architecture designs and training schemes for robustifying ViTs towards their real-world deployment. Our codes are available at https://github.com/RICE-EIC/Patch-Fool. 
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  4. Low precision deep neural network (DNN) training is one of the most effective techniques for boosting DNNs’ training efficiency, as it trims down the training cost from the finest bit level. While existing works mostly fix the model precision during the whole training process, a few pioneering works have shown that dynamic precision schedules help NNs converge to a better accuracy while leading to a lower training cost than their static precision training counterparts. However, existing dynamic low precision training methods rely on manually designed precision schedules to achieve advantageous efficiency and accuracy trade-offs, limiting their more comprehensive practical applications and achievable performance. To this end, we propose LDP, a Learnable Dynamic Precision DNN training framework that can automatically learn a temporally and spatially dynamic precision schedule during training towards optimal accuracy and efficiency trade-offs. It is worth noting that LDP-trained DNNs are by nature efficient during inference. Further more, we visualize the resulting temporal and spatial precision schedule and distribution of LDP trained DNNs on different tasks to better understand the corresponding DNNs’ characteristics at different training stages and DNN layers both during and after training, drawing insights for promoting further innovations. Extensive experiments and ablation studies (seven networks, five datasets, and three tasks) show that the proposed LDP consistently outperforms state-of-the-art (SOTA) low precision DNN training techniques in terms of training efficiency and achieved accuracy trade-offs. For example, in addition to having the advantage of being automated, our LDP achieves a 0.31% higher accuracy with a 39.1% lower computational cost when training ResNet-20 on CIFAR-10 as compared with the best SOTA method. 
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  5. White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a very large dsDNA virus. The accepted shape of the WSSV virion has been as ellipsoidal, with a tail-like extension. However, due to the scarcity of reliable references, the pathogenesis and morphogenesis of WSSV are not well understood. Here, we used transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) to address some knowledge gaps. We concluded that mature WSSV virions with a stout oval-like shape do not have tail-like extensions. Furthermore, there were two distinct ends in WSSV nucleocapsids: a portal cap and a closed base. A C14 symmetric structure of the WSSV nucleocapsid was also proposed, according to our Cryo-EM map. Immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) revealed that VP664 proteins, the main components of the 14 assembly units, form a ring-like architecture. Moreover, WSSV nucleocapsids were also observed to undergo unique helical dissociation. Based on these new results, we propose a novel morphogenetic pathway of WSSV. 
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  6. We present a first-of-its-kind ultra-compact intelligent camera system, dubbed i-FlatCam, including a lensless camera with a computational (Comp.) chip. It highlights (1) a predict-then-focus eye tracking pipeline for boosted efficiency without compromising the accuracy, (2) a unified compression scheme for single-chip processing and improved frame rate per second (FPS), and (3) dedicated intra-channel reuse design for depth-wise convolutional layers (DW-CONV) to increase utilization. i-FlatCam demonstrates the first eye tracking pipeline with a lensless camera and achieves 3.16 degrees of accuracy, 253 FPS, 91.49 µJ/Frame, and 6.7mm×8.9mm×1.2mm camera form factor, paving the way for next-generation Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) devices. 
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