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Creators/Authors contains: "Zhang, Zheng"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Random dropout has become a standard regularization technique in artificial neural networks (ANNs), but it is currently unknown whether an analogous mechanism exists in biological neural networks (BioNNs). If it does, its structure is likely to be optimized by hundreds of millions of years of evolution, which may suggest novel dropout strategies in large-scale ANNs. We propose that the brain serotonergic fibers (axons) meet some of the expected criteria because of their ubiquitous presence, stochastic structure, and ability to grow throughout the individual’s lifespan. Since the trajectories of serotonergic fibers can be modeled as paths of anomalous diffusion processes, in this proof-of-concept study we investigated a dropout algorithm based on the superdiffusive fractional Brownian motion (FBM). The results demonstrate that serotonergic fibers can potentially implement a dropout-like mechanism in brain tissue, supporting neuroplasticity. They also suggest that mathematical theories of the structure and dynamics of serotonergic fibers can contribute to the design of dropout algorithms in ANNs.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 4, 2023
  3. Abstract

    A promising alternative to comprehensively performing genomics experiments is to, instead, perform a subset of experiments and use computational methods to impute the remainder. However, identifying the best imputation methods and what measures meaningfully evaluate performance are open questions. We address these questions by comprehensively analyzing 23 methods from the ENCODE Imputation Challenge. We find that imputation evaluations are challenging and confounded by distributional shifts from differences in data collection and processing over time, the amount of available data, and redundancy among performance measures. Our analyses suggest simple steps for overcoming these issues and promising directions for more robust research.

  4. A major challenge in many machine learning tasks is that the model expressive power depends on model size. Low-rank tensor methods are an efficient tool for handling the curse of dimensionality in many large-scale machine learning models. The major challenges in training a tensor learning model include how to process the high-volume data, how to determine the tensor rank automatically, and how to estimate the uncertainty of the results. While existing tensor learning focuses on a specific task, this paper proposes a generic Bayesian framework that can be employed to solve a broad class of tensor learning problems such as tensor completion, tensor regression, and tensorized neural networks. We develop a low-rank tensor prior for automatic rank determination in nonlinear problems. Our method is implemented with both stochastic gradient Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (SGHMC) and Stein Variational Gradient Descent (SVGD). We compare the automatic rank determination and uncertainty quantification of these two solvers. We demonstrate that our proposed method can determine the tensor rank automatically and can quantify the uncertainty of the obtained results. We validate our framework on tensor completion tasks and tensorized neural network training tasks.
  5. Despite its benefits for children’s skill development and parent-child bonding, many parents do not often engage in interactive storytelling by having story-related dialogues with their child due to limited availability or challenges in coming up with appropriate questions. While recent advances made AI generation of questions from stories possible, the fully-automated approach excludes parent involvement, disregards educational goals, and underoptimizes for child engagement. Informed by need-finding interviews and participatory design (PD) results, we developed StoryBuddy, an AI-enabled system for parents to create interactive storytelling experiences. StoryBuddy’s design highlighted the need for accommodating dynamic user needs between the desire for parent involvement and parent-child bonding and the goal of minimizing parent intervention when busy. The PD revealed varied assessment and educational goals of parents, which StoryBuddy addressed by supporting configuring question types and tracking child progress. A user study validated StoryBuddy’s usability and suggested design insights for future parent-AI collaboration systems.