Divergences or similarity measures between probability distributions have become a very useful tool for studying different aspects of statistical objects such as time series, networks and images. Notably not every divergence provides identical results when applied to the same problem. Therefore it is convenient to have the widest possible set of divergences to be applied to the problems under study. Besides this choice an essential step in the analysis of every statistical object is the mapping of each one of their representing values into an alphabet of symbols conveniently chosen. In this work we attack both problems, that is, the choice of a family of divergences and the way to do the map into a symbolic sequence. For advancing in the first task we work with the family of divergences known as the Burbea-Rao centroids (BRC) and for the second one we proceed by mapping the original object into a symbolic sequence through the use of ordinal patterns. Finally we apply our proposals to analyse simulated and real time series and to real textured images. The main conclusion of our work is that the best BRC, at least in the studied cases, is the Jensen Shannon divergence, besides the fact that it verifies some interesting formal properties.
Signed and directed networks are ubiquitous in real-world applications. However, there has been relatively little work proposing spectral graph neural networks (GNNs) for such networks. Here we introduce a signed directed Laplacian matrix, which we call the magnetic signed Laplacian, as a natural generalization of both the signed Laplacian on signed graphs and the magnetic Laplacian on directed graphs. We then use this matrix to construct a novel efficient spectral GNN architecture and conduct extensive experiments on both node clustering and link prediction tasks. In these experiments, we consider tasks related to signed information, tasks related to directional information, and tasks related to both signed and directional information. We demonstrate that our proposed spectral GNN is effective for incorporating both signed and directional information, and attains leading performance on a wide range of data sets. Additionally, we provide a novel synthetic network model, which we refer to as the Signed Directed Stochastic Block Model, and a number of novel real-world data sets based on lead-lag relationships in financial time series.
We study a double robust Bayesian inference procedure on the average treatment effect (ATE) under unconfoundedness. Our Bayesian approach involves a correction term for prior distributions adjusted by the propensity score. We prove asymptotic equivalence of our Bayesian estimator and efficient frequentist estimators by establishing a new semiparametric Bernstein-von Mises theorem under double robustness; i.e., the lack of smoothness of conditional mean functions can be compensated by high regularity of the propensity score and vice versa. Consequently, the resulting Bayesian point estimator internalizes the bias correction as the frequentist-type doubly robust estimator, and the Bayesian credible sets form confidence intervals with asymptotically exact coverage probability. In simulations, we find that this corrected Bayesian procedure leads to significant bias reduction of point estimation and accurate coverage of confidence intervals, especially when the dimensionality of covariates is large relative to the sample size and the underlying functions become complex. We illustrate our method in an application to the National Supported Work Demonstration.
Due mostly to its application to cognitive radio networks, multiplayer bandits gained a lot of interest in the last decade. A considerable progress has been made on its theoretical aspect. However, the current algorithms are far from applicable and many obstacles remain between these theoretical results and a possible implementation of multiplayer bandits algorithms in real cognitive radio networks. This survey contextualizes and organizes the rich multiplayer bandits literature. In light of the existing works, some clear directions for future research appear. We believe that a further study of these different directions might lead to theoretical algorithms adapted to real-world situations.
Crop phenology is crucial information for crop yield estimation and agricultural management. Traditionally, phenology has been observed from the ground; however Earth observation, weather and soil data have been used to capture the physiological growth of crops. In this work, we propose a new approach for the within-season phenology estimation for cotton at the field level. For this, we exploit a variety of Earth observation vegetation indices (derived from Sentinel-2) and numerical simulations of atmospheric and soil parameters. Our method is unsupervised to address the ever-present problem of sparse and scarce ground truth data that makes most supervised alternatives impractical in real-world scenarios. We applied fuzzy c-means clustering to identify the principal phenological stages of cotton and then used the cluster membership weights to further predict the transitional phases between adjacent stages. In order to evaluate our models, we collected 1,285 crop growth ground observations in Orchomenos, Greece. We introduced a new collection protocol, assigning up to two phenology labels that represent the primary and secondary growth stage in the field and thus indicate when stages are transitioning. Our model was tested against a baseline model that allowed to isolate the random agreement and evaluate its true competence. The results showed that our model considerably outperforms the baseline one, which is promising considering the unsupervised nature of the approach. The limitations and the relevant future work are thoroughly discussed. The ground observations are formatted in an ready-to-use dataset and will be available at https://github.com/Agri-Hub/cotton-phenology-dataset upon publication.
With the advancement in computing and robotics, it is necessary to develop fluent and intuitive methods for interacting with digital systems, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) interfaces, and physical robotic systems. Hand motion recognition is widely used to enable these interactions. Hand configuration classification and MCP joint angle detection is important for a comprehensive reconstruction of hand motion. sEMG and other technologies have been used for the detection of hand motions. Forearm ultrasound images provide a musculoskeletal visualization that can be used to understand hand motion. Recent work has shown that these ultrasound images can be classified using machine learning to estimate discrete hand configurations. Estimating both hand configuration and MCP joint angles based on forearm ultrasound has not been addressed in the literature. In this paper, we propose a CNN based deep learning pipeline for predicting the MCP joint angles. The results for the hand configuration classification were compared by using different machine learning algorithms. SVC with different kernels, MLP, and the proposed CNN have been used to classify the ultrasound images into 11 hand configurations based on activities of daily living. Forearm ultrasound images were acquired from 6 subjects instructed to move their hands according to predefined hand configurations. Motion capture data was acquired to get the finger angles corresponding to the hand movements at different speeds. Average classification accuracy of 82.7% for the proposed CNN and over 80% for SVC for different kernels was observed on a subset of the dataset. An average RMSE of 7.35 degrees was obtained between the predicted and the true MCP joint angles. A low latency (6.25 - 9.1 Hz) pipeline has been proposed for estimating both MCP joint angles and hand configuration aimed at real-time control of human-machine interfaces.
Object-goal navigation (Object-nav) entails searching, recognizing and navigating to a target object. Object-nav has been extensively studied by the Embodied-AI community, but most solutions are often restricted to considering static objects (e.g., television, fridge, etc.). We propose a modular framework for object-nav that is able to efficiently search indoor environments for not just static objects but also movable objects (e.g. fruits, glasses, phones, etc.) that frequently change their positions due to human intervention. Our contextual-bandit agent efficiently explores the environment by showing optimism in the face of uncertainty and learns a model of the likelihood of spotting different objects from each navigable location. The likelihoods are used as rewards in a weighted minimum latency solver to deduce a trajectory for the robot. We evaluate our algorithms in two simulated environments and a real-world setting, to demonstrate high sample efficiency and reliability.
Sea-level rise and associated flood hazards pose severe risks to the millions of people globally living in coastal zones. Models representing coastal adaptation and impacts are important tools to inform the design of strategies to manage these risks. Representing the often deep uncertainties influencing these risks poses nontrivial challenges. A common uncertainty characterization approach is to use a few benchmark cases to represent the range and relative probabilities of the set of possible outcomes. This has been done in coastal adaptation studies, for example, by using low, moderate, and high percentiles of an input of interest, like sea-level changes. A key consideration is how this simplified characterization of uncertainty influences the distributions of estimated coastal impacts. Here, we show that using only a few benchmark percentiles to represent uncertainty in future sea-level change can lead to overconfident projections and underestimate high-end risks as compared to using full ensembles for sea-level change and socioeconomic parametric uncertainties. When uncertainty in future sea level is characterized by low, moderate, and high percentiles of global mean sea-level rise, estimates of high-end (95th percentile) damages are underestimated by between 18% (SSP1-2.6) and 46% (SSP5-8.5). Additionally, using the 5th and 95th percentiles of sea-level scenarios underestimates the 5-95% width of the distribution of adaptation costs by a factor ranging from about two to four, depending on SSP-RCP pathway. The resulting underestimation of the uncertainty range in adaptation costs can bias adaptation and mitigation decision-making.
The complicated architecture and high training cost of vision transformers urge the exploration of post-training quantization. However, the heavy-tailed distribution of vision transformer activations hinders the effectiveness of previous post-training quantization methods, even with advanced quantizer designs. Instead of tuning the quantizer to better fit the complicated activation distribution, this paper proposes NoisyQuant, a quantizer-agnostic enhancement for the post-training activation quantization performance of vision transformers. We make a surprising theoretical discovery that for a given quantizer, adding a fixed Uniform noisy bias to the values being quantized can significantly reduce the quantization error under provable conditions. Building on the theoretical insight, NoisyQuant achieves the first success on actively altering the heavy-tailed activation distribution with additive noisy bias to fit a given quantizer. Extensive experiments show NoisyQuant largely improves the post-training quantization performance of vision transformer with minimal computation overhead. For instance, on linear uniform 6-bit activation quantization, NoisyQuant improves SOTA top-1 accuracy on ImageNet by up to 1.7%, 1.1% and 0.5% for ViT, DeiT, and Swin Transformer respectively, achieving on-par or even higher performance than previous nonlinear, mixed-precision quantization.
Multivariate distributional forecasts have become widespread in recent years. To assess the quality of such forecasts, suitable evaluation methods are needed. In the univariate case, calibration tests based on the probability integral transform (PIT) are routinely used. However, multivariate extensions of PIT-based calibration tests face various challenges. We therefore introduce a general framework for calibration testing in the multivariate case and propose two new tests that arise from it. Both approaches use proper scoring rules and are simple to implement even in large dimensions. The first employs the PIT of the score. The second is based on comparing the expected performance of the forecast distribution (i.e., the expected score) to its actual performance based on realized observations (i.e., the realized score). The tests have good size and power properties in simulations and solve various problems of existing tests. We apply the new tests to forecast distributions for macroeconomic and financial time series data.