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  1. We investigate statistical uncertainty quantification for reinforcement learning (RL) and its implications in exploration policy. Despite ever-growing literature on RL applications, fundamental questions about inference and error quantification, such as large-sample behaviors, appear to remain quite open. In this paper, we fill in the literature gap by studying the central limit theorem behaviors of estimated Q-values and value functions under various RL settings. In particular, we explicitly identify closed-form expressions of the asymptotic variances, which allow us to efficiently construct asymptotically valid confidence regions for key RL quantities. Furthermore, we utilize these asymptotic expressions to design an effective exploration strategy, which we call Q-value-based Optimal Computing Budget Allocation (Q-OCBA). The policy relies on maximizing the relative discrepancies among the Q-value estimates. Numerical experiments show superior performances of our exploration strategy than other benchmark policies. Funding: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (1720433).
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 2, 2024
  2. Abstract

    This work harnesses interpretable machine learning methods to address the challenging inverse design problem of origami-inspired systems. We established a work flow based on decision tree-random forest method to fit origami databases, containing both design features and functional performance, and to generate human-understandable decision rules for the inverse design of functional origami. First, the tree method is unique because it can handle complex interactions between categorical features and continuous features, allowing it to compare different origami patterns for a design. Second, this interpretable method can tackle multi-objective problems for designing functional origami with multiple and multi-physical performance targets. Finally, the method can extend existing shape-fitting algorithms for origami to consider non-geometrical performance. The proposed framework enables holistic inverse design of origami, considering both shape and function, to build novel reconfigurable structures for various applications such as metamaterials, deployable structures, soft robots, biomedical devices, and many more.

  3. Abstract Integrable standard and nonlocal derivative nonlinear Schrödinger equations are investigated. The direct and inverse scattering are constructed for these equations; included are both the Riemann–Hilbert and Gel’fand–Levitan–Marchenko approaches and soliton solutions. As a typical application, it is shown how these derivative NLS equations can be obtained as asymptotic limits from a nonlinear Klein–Gordon equation.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 19, 2023
  4. Spot-level parking availability information (the availability of each spot in a parking lot) is in great demand, as it can help reduce time and energy waste while searching for a parking spot. In this article, we propose a crowdsensing system called SpotE that can provide spot-level availability in a parking lot using drivers’ smartphone sensors. SpotE only requires the sensor data from drivers’ smartphones, which avoids the high cost of installing additional sensors and enables large-scale outdoor deployment. We propose a new model that can use the parking search trajectory and final destination (e.g., an exit of the parking lot) of a single driver in a parking lot to generate the probability profile that contains the probability of each spot being occupied in a parking lot. To deal with conflicting estimation results generated from different drivers, due to the variance in different drivers’ parking behaviors, a novel aggregation approach SpotE-TD is proposed. The proposed aggregation method is based on truth discovery techniques and can handle the variety in Quality of Information of different vehicles. We evaluate our proposed method through a real-life deployment study. Results show that SpotE-TD can efficiently provide spot-level parking availability information with a 20% higher accuracymore »than the state-of-the-art.« less
  5. Abstract

    Protein fold recognition is a critical step toward protein structure and function prediction, aiming at providing the most likely fold type of the query protein. In recent years, the development of deep learning (DL) technique has led to massive advances in this important field, and accordingly, the sensitivity of protein fold recognition has been dramatically improved. Most DL-based methods take an intermediate bottleneck layer as the feature representation of proteins with new fold types. However, this strategy is indirect, inefficient and conditional on the hypothesis that the bottleneck layer’s representation is assumed as a good representation of proteins with new fold types. To address the above problem, in this work, we develop a new computational framework by combining triplet network and ensemble DL. We first train a DL-based model, termed FoldNet, which employs triplet loss to train the deep convolutional network. FoldNet directly optimizes the protein fold embedding itself, making the proteins with the same fold types be closer to each other than those with different fold types in the new protein embedding space. Subsequently, using the trained FoldNet, we implement a new residue–residue contact-assisted predictor, termed FoldTR, which improves protein fold recognition. Furthermore, we propose a new ensemblemore »DL method, termed FSD_XGBoost, which combines protein fold embedding with the other two discriminative fold-specific features extracted by two DL-based methods SSAfold and DeepFR. The Top 1 sensitivity of FSD_XGBoost increases to 74.8% at the fold level, which is ~9% higher than that of the state-of-the-art method. Together, the results suggest that fold-specific features extracted by different DL methods complement with each other, and their combination can further improve fold recognition at the fold level. The implemented web server of FoldTR and benchmark datasets are publicly available at

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