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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 15, 2022
  2. COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented impact all over the world since early 2020. During this public health crisis, reliable forecasting of the disease becomes critical for resource allocation and administrative planning. The results from compartmental models such as SIR and SEIR are popularly referred by CDC and news media. With more and more COVID-19 data becoming available, we examine the following question: Can a direct data-driven approach without modeling the disease spreading dynamics outperform the well referred compartmental models and their variants? In this paper, we show the possibility. It is observed that as COVID-19 spreads at different speed andmore »scale in different geographic regions, it is highly likely that similar progression patterns are shared among these regions within different time periods. This intuition lead us to develop a new neural forecasting model, called Attention Crossing Time Series (ACTS), that makes forecasts via comparing patterns across time series obtained from multiple regions. The attention mechanism originally developed for natural language processing can be leveraged and generalized to materialize this idea. Among 13 out of 18 testings including forecasting newly con rmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths, ACTS outperforms all the leading COVID-19 forecasters highlighted by CDC.« less
  3. We consider the problem of estimating a function from n noisy samples whose discrete Total Variation (TV) is bounded by C_n. We reveal a deep connection to the seemingly disparate problem of Strongly Adaptive online learning (Daniely et al., 2015) and provide an O(n log n) time algorithm that attains the near minimax optimal rate of ~O (n^(1/3)C_n^(2/3) under squared error loss. The resulting algorithm runs online and optimally adapts to the unknown smoothness parameter Cn. This leads to a new and more versatile alternative to wavelets-based methods for (1) adaptively estimating TV bounded functions; (2) online forecasting of TVmore »bounded trends in time series.« less
  4. Adversarial learning has demonstrated good performance in the unsupervised domain adaptation setting, by learning domain-invariant representations. However, recent work has shown limitations of this approach when label distributions differ between the source and target domains. In this paper, we propose a new assumption, generalized label shift (GLS), to improve robustness against mismatched label distributions. GLS states that, conditioned on the label, there exists a representation of the input that is invariant between the source and target domains. Under GLS, we provide theoretical guarantees on the transfer performance of any classifier. We also devise necessary and sufficient conditions for GLS tomore »hold, by using an estimation of the relative class weights between domains and an appropriate reweighting of samples. Our weight estimation method could be straightforwardly and generically applied in existing domain adaptation (DA) algorithms that learn domain-invariant representations, with small computational overhead. In particular, we modify three DA algorithms, JAN, DANN and CDAN, and evaluate their performance on standard and artificial DA tasks. Our algorithms outperform the base versions, with vast improvements for large label distribution mismatches. Our code is available at https://tinyurl.com/y585xt6j.« less
  5. We consider the framework of non-stationary stochastic optimization (Besbes et al., 2015) with squared error losses and noisy gradient feedback where the dynamic regret of an online learner against a time varying comparator sequence is studied. Motivated from the theory of non-parametric regression, we introduce a new variational constraint that enforces the comparator sequence to belong to a discrete k^{th} order Total Variation ball of radius C_n. This variational constraint models comparators that have piece-wise polynomial structure which has many relevant practical applications (Tibshirani, 2014). By establishing connections to the theory of wavelet based non-parametric regression, we design a polynomialmore »time algorithm that achieves the nearly optimal dynamic regret of ~O(n^{1/(2k+3)} C_n^{2/(2k+3)}). The proposed policy is adaptive to the unknown radius C_n. Further, we show that the same policy is minimax optimal for several other non-parametric families of interest.« less