AAAI.2023 - IAAI

Total: 41

#1 Accurate Detection of Weld Seams for Laser Welding in Real-World Manufacturing [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Rabia Ali ; Muhammad Sarmad ; Jawad Tayyub ; Alexander Vogel

Welding is a fabrication process used to join or fuse two mechanical parts. Modern welding machines have automated lasers that follow a pre-defined weld seam path between the two parts to create a bond. Previous efforts have used simple computer vision edge detectors to automatically detect the weld seam edge on an image at the junction of two metals to be welded. However, these systems lack reliability and accuracy resulting in manual human verification of the detected edges. This paper presents a neural network architecture that automatically detects the weld seam edge between two metals with high accuracy. We augment this system with a pre-classifier that filters out anomalous workpieces (e.g., incorrect placement). Finally, we justify our design choices by evaluating against several existing deep network pipelines as well as proof through real-world use. We also describe in detail the process of deploying this system in a real-world shop floor including evaluation and monitoring. We make public a large, well-labeled laser seam dataset to perform deep learning-based edge detection in industrial settings.

#2 Blending Advertising with Organic Content in E-commerce via Virtual Bids [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Carlos Carrion ; Zenan Wang ; Harikesh Nair ; Xianghong Luo ; Yulin Lei ; Peiqin Gu ; Xiliang Lin ; Wenlong Chen ; Junsheng Jin ; Fanan Zhu ; Changping Peng ; Yongjun Bao ; Zhangang Lin ; Weipeng Yan ; Jingping Shao

It has become increasingly common that sponsored content (i.e., paid ads) and non-sponsored content are jointly displayed to users, especially on e-commerce platforms. Thus, both of these contents may interact together to influence their engagement behaviors. In general, sponsored content helps brands achieve their marketing goals and provides ad revenue to the platforms. In contrast, non-sponsored content contributes to the long-term health of the platform through increasing users' engagement. A key conundrum to platforms is learning how to blend both of these contents allowing their interactions to be considered and balancing these business objectives. This paper proposes a system built for this purpose and applied to product detail pages of JD.COM, an e-commerce company. This system achieves three objectives: (a) Optimization of competing business objectives via Virtual Bids allowing the expressiveness of the valuation of the platform for these objectives. (b) Modeling the users' click behaviors considering explicitly the influence exerted by the sponsored and non-sponsored content displayed alongside through a deep learning approach. (c) Consideration of a Vickrey-Clarke-Groves (VCG) Auction design compatible with the allocation of ads and its induced externalities. Experiments are presented demonstrating the performance of the proposed system. Moreover, our approach is fully deployed and serves all traffic through JD.COM's mobile application.

#3 Efficient Training of Large-Scale Industrial Fault Diagnostic Models through Federated Opportunistic Block Dropout [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Yuanyuan Chen ; Zichen Chen ; Sheng Guo ; Yansong Zhao ; Zelei Liu ; Pengcheng Wu ; Chengyi Yang ; Zengxiang Li ; Han Yu

Artificial intelligence (AI)-empowered industrial fault diagnostics is important in ensuring the safe operation of industrial applications. Since complex industrial systems often involve multiple industrial plants (possibly belonging to different companies or subsidiaries) with sensitive data collected and stored in a distributed manner, collaborative fault diagnostic model training often needs to leverage federated learning (FL). As the scale of the industrial fault diagnostic models are often large and communication channels in such systems are often not exclusively used for FL model training, existing deployed FL model training frameworks cannot train such models efficiently across multiple institutions. In this paper, we report our experience developing and deploying the Federated Opportunistic Block Dropout (FedOBD) approach for industrial fault diagnostic model training. By decomposing large-scale models into semantic blocks and enabling FL participants to opportunistically upload selected important blocks in a quantized manner, it significantly reduces the communication overhead while maintaining model performance. Since its deployment in ENN Group in February 2022, FedOBD has served two coal chemical plants across two cities in China to build industrial fault prediction models. It helped the company reduce the training communication overhead by over 70% compared to its previous AI Engine, while maintaining model performance at over 85% test F1 score. To our knowledge, it is the first successfully deployed dropout-based FL approach.

#4 AmnioML: Amniotic Fluid Segmentation and Volume Prediction with Uncertainty Quantification [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Daniel Csillag ; Lucas Monteiro Paes ; Thiago Ramos ; João Vitor Romano ; Rodrigo Schuller ; Roberto B. Seixas ; Roberto I. Oliveira ; Paulo Orenstein

Accurately predicting the volume of amniotic fluid is fundamental to assessing pregnancy risks, though the task usually requires many hours of laborious work by medical experts. In this paper, we present AmnioML, a machine learning solution that leverages deep learning and conformal prediction to output fast and accurate volume estimates and segmentation masks from fetal MRIs with Dice coefficient over 0.9. Also, we make available a novel, curated dataset for fetal MRIs with 853 exams and benchmark the performance of many recent deep learning architectures. In addition, we introduce a conformal prediction tool that yields narrow predictive intervals with theoretically guaranteed coverage, thus aiding doctors in detecting pregnancy risks and saving lives. A successful case study of AmnioML deployed in a medical setting is also reported. Real-world clinical benefits include up to 20x segmentation time reduction, with most segmentations deemed by doctors as not needing any further manual refinement. Furthermore, AmnioML's volume predictions were found to be highly accurate in practice, with mean absolute error below 56mL and tight predictive intervals, showcasing its impact in reducing pregnancy complications.

#5 A Robust and Scalable Stacked Ensemble for Day-Ahead Forecasting of Distribution Network Losses [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Gunnar Grotmol ; Eivind Hovdegård Furdal ; Nisha Dalal ; Are Løkken Ottesen ; Ella-Lovise Hammervold Rørvik ; Martin Mølnå ; Gleb Sizov ; Odd Erik Gundersen

Accurate day-ahead nominations of grid losses in electrical distribution networks are important to reduce the societal cost of these losses. We present a modification of the CatBoost ensemble-based system for day-ahead grid loss prediction detailed in Dalal et al. (2020), making four main changes. Base models predict on the log-space of the target, to ensure non-negative predictions. The model ensemble is changed to include different model types, for increased ensemble variance. Feature engineering is applied to consumption and weather forecasts, to improve base model performance. Finally, a non-negative least squares-based stacking method that uses as many available models as possible for each prediction is introduced, to achieve an improved model selection that is robust to missing data. When deployed for over three months in 2022, the resulting system reduced mean absolute error by 10.7% compared to the system from Dalal et al. (2020), a reduction from 5.05 to 4.51 MW. With no tuning of machine learning parameters, the system was also extended to three new grids, where it achieved similar relative error as on the old grids. Our system is robust and easily scalable, and our proposed stacking method could provide improved performance in applications outside grid loss.

#6 Developing the Wheel Image Similarity Application with Deep Metric Learning: Hyundai Motor Company Case [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Kyung Pyo Kang ; Ga Hyeon Jeong ; Jeong Hoon Eom ; Soon Beom Kwon ; Jae Hong Park

The global automobile market experiences quick changes in design preferences. In response to the demand shifts, manufacturers now try to apply new technologies to bring a novel design to market faster. In this paper, we introduce a novel application that performs a similarity verification task of wheel designs using an AI model and cloud computing technology. At Jan 2022, we successfully implemented the application to the wheel design process of Hyundai Motor Company’s design team and shortened the similarity verification time by 90% to a maximum of 10 minutes. We believe that this study is the first to build a wheel image database and empirically prove that the cross-entropy loss does similar tasks as the pairwise losses do in the embedding space. As a result, we successfully automated Hyundai Motor’s verification task of wheel design similarity. With a few clicks, the end-users in Hyundai Motor could take advantage of our application.

#7 NewsPanda: Media Monitoring for Timely Conservation Action [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Sedrick Scott Keh ; Zheyuan Ryan Shi ; David J. Patterson ; Nirmal Bhagabati ; Karun Dewan ; Areendran Gopala ; Pablo Izquierdo ; Debojyoti Mallick ; Ambika Sharma ; Pooja Shrestha ; Fei Fang

Non-governmental organizations for environmental conservation have a significant interest in monitoring conservation-related media and getting timely updates about infrastructure construction projects as they may cause massive impact to key conservation areas. Such monitoring, however, is difficult and time-consuming. We introduce NewsPanda, a toolkit which automatically detects and analyzes online articles related to environmental conservation and infrastructure construction. We fine-tune a BERT-based model using active learning methods and noise correction algorithms to identify articles that are relevant to conservation and infrastructure construction. For the identified articles, we perform further analysis, extracting keywords and finding potentially related sources. NewsPanda has been successfully deployed by the World Wide Fund for Nature teams in the UK, India, and Nepal since February 2022. It currently monitors over 80,000 websites and 1,074 conservation sites across India and Nepal, saving more than 30 hours of human efforts weekly. We have now scaled it up to cover 60,000 conservation sites globally.

#8 Trustworthy Residual Vehicle Value Prediction for Auto Finance [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Mihye Kim ; Jimyung Choi ; Jaehyun Kim ; Wooyoung Kim ; Yeonung Baek ; Gisuk Bang ; Kwangwoon Son ; Yeonman Ryou ; Kee-Eung Kim

The residual value (RV) of a vehicle refers to its estimated worth at some point in the future. It is a core component in every auto financial product, used to determine the credit lines and the leasing rates. As such, an accurate prediction of RV is critical for the auto finance industry, since it can pose a risk of revenue loss by over-prediction or make the financial product incompetent by under-prediction. Although there are a number of prior studies on training machine learning models on a large amount of used car sales data, we had to cope with real-world operational requirements such as compliance with regulations (i.e. monotonicity of output with respect to a subset of features) and generalization to unseen input (i.e. new and rare car models). In this paper, we describe how we coped with these practical challenges and created value for our business at Hyundai Capital Services, the top auto financial service provider in Korea.

#9 A Dataset and Baseline Approach for Identifying Usage States from Non-intrusive Power Sensing with MiDAS IoT-Based Sensors [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Bharath Muppasani ; Cheyyur Jaya Anand ; Chinmayi Appajigowda ; Biplav Srivastava ; Lokesh Johri

The state identification problem seeks to identify power usage patterns of any system, like buildings or factories, of interest. In this challenge paper, we make power usage dataset available from 8 institutions in manufacturing, education and medical institutions from the US and India, and an initial unsupervised machine learning based solution as a baseline for the community to accelerate research in this area.

#10 Real-Time Detection of Robotic Traffic in Online Advertising [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Anand Muralidhar ; Sharad Chitlangia ; Rajat Agarwal ; Muneeb Ahmed

Detecting robotic traffic at scale on online ads needs an approach that is scalable, comprehensive, precise, and can rapidly respond to changing traffic patterns. In this paper we describe SLIDR or SLIce-Level Detection of Robots, a real-time deep neural network model trained with weak supervision to identify invalid clicks on online ads. We ensure fairness across different traffic slices by formulating a convex optimization problem that allows SLIDR to achieve optimal performance on individual traffic slices with a budget on overall false positives. SLIDR has been deployed since 2021 and safeguards advertiser campaigns on Amazon against robots clicking on ads on the e-commerce site. We describe some of the important lessons learned by deploying SLIDR that include guardrails that prevent updates of anomalous models and disaster recovery mechanisms to mitigate or correct decisions made by a faulty model.

#11 Dynamic Pricing with Volume Discounts in Online Settings [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Marco Mussi ; Gianmarco Genalti ; Alessandro Nuara ; Francesco Trovó ; Marcello Restelli ; Nicola Gatti

According to the main international reports, more pervasive industrial and business-process automation, thanks to machine learning and advanced analytic tools, will unlock more than 14 trillion USD worldwide annually by 2030. In the specific case of pricing problems, which constitute the class of problems we investigate in this paper, the estimated unlocked value will be about 0.5 trillion USD per year. In particular, this paper focuses on pricing in e-commerce when the objective function is profit maximization and only transaction data are available. This setting is one of the most common in real-world applications. Our work aims to find a pricing strategy that allows defining optimal prices at different volume thresholds to serve different classes of users. Furthermore, we face the major challenge, common in real-world settings, of dealing with limited data available. We design a two-phase online learning algorithm, namely PVD-B, capable of exploiting the data incrementally in an online fashion. The algorithm first estimates the demand curve and retrieves the optimal average price, and subsequently it offers discounts to differentiate the prices for each volume threshold. We ran a real-world 4-month-long A/B testing experiment in collaboration with an Italian e-commerce company, in which our algorithm PVD-B - corresponding to A configuration - has been compared with human pricing specialists - corresponding to B configuration. At the end of the experiment, our algorithm produced a total turnover of about 300 KEuros, outperforming the B configuration performance by about 55%. The Italian company we collaborated with decided to adopt our algorithm for more than 1,200 products since January 2022.

#12 An Explainable Forecasting System for Humanitarian Needs Assessment [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Rahul Nair ; Bo Madsen ; Alexander Kjærum

We present a machine learning system for forecasting forced displacement populations deployed at the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). The system, named Foresight, supports long term forecasts aimed at humanitarian response planning. It is explainable, providing evidence and context supporting the forecast. Additionally, it supports scenarios, whereby analysts are able to generate forecasts under alternative conditions. The system has been in deployment since early 2020 and powers several downstream business functions within DRC. It is central to our annual Global Displacement Report which informs our response planning. We describe the system, key outcomes, lessons learnt, along with technical limitations and challenges in deploying machine learning systems in the humanitarian sector.

#13 Industry-Scale Orchestrated Federated Learning for Drug Discovery [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Martijn Oldenhof ; Gergely Ács ; Balázs Pejó ; Ansgar Schuffenhauer ; Nicholas Holway ; Noé Sturm ; Arne Dieckmann ; Oliver Fortmeier ; Eric Boniface ; Clément Mayer ; Arnaud Gohier ; Peter Schmidtke ; Ritsuya Niwayama ; Dieter Kopecky ; Lewis Mervin ; Prakash Chandra Rathi ; Lukas Friedrich ; András Formanek ; Peter Antal ; Jordon Rahaman ; Adam Zalewski ; Wouter Heyndrickx ; Ezron Oluoch ; Manuel Stößel ; Michal Vančo ; David Endico ; Fabien Gelus ; Thaïs de Boisfossé ; Adrien Darbier ; Ashley Nicollet ; Matthieu Blottière ; Maria Telenczuk ; Van Tien Nguyen ; Thibaud Martinez ; Camille Boillet ; Kelvin Moutet ; Alexandre Picosson ; Aurélien Gasser ; Inal Djafar ; Antoine Simon ; Ádám Arany ; Jaak Simm ; Yves Moreau ; Ola Engkvist ; Hugo Ceulemans ; Camille Marini ; Mathieu Galtier

To apply federated learning to drug discovery we developed a novel platform in the context of European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project MELLODDY (grant n°831472), which was comprised of 10 pharmaceutical companies, academic research labs, large industrial companies and startups. The MELLODDY platform was the first industry-scale platform to enable the creation of a global federated model for drug discovery without sharing the confidential data sets of the individual partners. The federated model was trained on the platform by aggregating the gradients of all contributing partners in a cryptographic, secure way following each training iteration. The platform was deployed on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) multi-account architecture running Kubernetes clusters in private subnets. Organisationally, the roles of the different partners were codified as different rights and permissions on the platform and administrated in a decentralized way. The MELLODDY platform generated new scientific discoveries which are described in a companion paper.

#14 THMA: Tencent HD Map AI System for Creating HD Map Annotations [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Kun Tang ; Xu Cao ; Zhipeng Cao ; Tong Zhou ; Erlong Li ; Ao Liu ; Shengtao Zou ; Chang Liu ; Shuqi Mei ; Elena Sizikova ; Chao Zheng

Nowadays, autonomous vehicle technology is becoming more and more mature. Critical to progress and safety, high-definition (HD) maps, a type of centimeter-level map collected using a laser sensor, provide accurate descriptions of the surrounding environment. The key challenge of HD map production is efficient, high-quality collection and annotation of large-volume datasets. Due to the demand for high quality, HD map production requires significant manual human effort to create annotations, a very time-consuming and costly process for the map industry. In order to reduce manual annotation burdens, many artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms have been developed to pre-label the HD maps. However, there still exists a large gap between AI algorithms and the traditional manual HD map production pipelines in accuracy and robustness. Furthermore, it is also very resource-costly to build large-scale annotated datasets and advanced machine learning algorithms for AI-based HD map automatic labeling systems. In this paper, we introduce the Tencent HD Map AI (THMA) system, an innovative end-to-end, AI-based, active learning HD map labeling system capable of producing and labeling HD maps with a scale of hundreds of thousands of kilometers. In THMA, we train AI models directly from massive HD map datasets via supervised, self-supervised, and weakly supervised learning to achieve high accuracy and efficiency required by downstream users. THMA has been deployed by the Tencent Map team to provide services to downstream companies and users, serving over 1,000 labeling workers and producing more than 30,000 kilometers of HD map data per day at most. More than 90 percent of the HD map data in Tencent Map is labeled automatically by THMA, accelerating the traditional HD map labeling process by more than ten times.

#15 Increasing Impact of Mobile Health Programs: SAHELI for Maternal and Child Care [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Shresth Verma ; Gargi Singh ; Aditya Mate ; Paritosh Verma ; Sruthi Gorantla ; Neha Madhiwalla ; Aparna Hegde ; Divy Thakkar ; Manish Jain ; Milind Tambe ; Aparna Taneja

Underserved communities face critical health challenges due to lack of access to timely and reliable information. Nongovernmental organizations are leveraging the widespread use of cellphones to combat these healthcare challenges and spread preventative awareness. The health workers at these organizations reach out individually to beneficiaries; however such programs still suffer from declining engagement. We have deployed SAHELI, a system to efficiently utilize the limited availability of health workers for improving maternal and child health in India. SAHELI uses the Restless Multiarmed Bandit (RMAB) framework to identify beneficiaries for outreach. It is the first deployed application for RMABs in public health, and is already in continuous use by our partner NGO, ARMMAN. We have already reached ~100K beneficiaries with SAHELI, and are on track to serve 1 million beneficiaries by the end of 2023. This scale and impact has been achieved through multiple innovations in the RMAB model and its development, in preparation of real world data, and in deployment practices; and through careful consideration of responsible AI practices. Specifically, in this paper, we describe our approach to learn from past data to improve the performance of SAHELI’s RMAB model, the real-world challenges faced during deployment and adoption of SAHELI, and the end-to-end pipeline.

#16 MuMIC – Multimodal Embedding for Multi-Label Image Classification with Tempered Sigmoid [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Fengjun Wang ; Sarai Mizrachi ; Moran Beladev ; Guy Nadav ; Gil Amsalem ; Karen Lastmann Assaraf ; Hadas Harush Boker

Multi-label image classification is a foundational topic in various domains. Multimodal learning approaches have recently achieved outstanding results in image representation and single-label image classification. For instance, Contrastive Language-Image Pretraining (CLIP) demonstrates impressive image-text representation learning abilities and is robust to natural distribution shifts. This success inspires us to leverage multimodal learning for multi-label classification tasks, and benefit from contrastively learnt pretrained models. We propose the Multimodal Multi-label Image Classification (MuMIC) framework, which utilizes a hardness-aware tempered sigmoid based Binary Cross Entropy loss function, thus enables the optimization on multi-label objectives and transfer learning on CLIP. MuMIC is capable of providing high classification performance, handling real-world noisy data, supporting zero-shot predictions, and producing domain-specific image embeddings. In this study, a total of 120 image classes are defined, and more than 140K positive annotations are collected on approximately 60K images. The final MuMIC model is deployed on Content Intelligence Platform, and it outperforms other state-of-the-art models with 85.6% GAP@10 and 83.8% GAP on all 120 classes, as well as a 90.1% macro mAP score across 32 majority classes. We summarize the modelling choices which are extensively tested through ablation studies. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to adapt contrastively learnt multimodal pretraining for real-world multi-label image classification problems, and the innovation can be transferred to other domains.

#17 AHPA: Adaptive Horizontal Pod Autoscaling Systems on Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Zhiqiang Zhou ; Chaoli Zhang ; Lingna Ma ; Jing Gu ; Huajie Qian ; Qingsong Wen ; Liang Sun ; Peng Li ; Zhimin Tang

The existing resource allocation policy for application instances in Kubernetes cannot dynamically adjust according to the requirement of business, which would cause an enormous waste of resources during fluctuations. Moreover, the emergence of new cloud services puts higher resource management requirements. This paper discusses horizontal POD resources management in Alibaba Cloud Container Services with a newly deployed AI algorithm framework named AHPA - the adaptive horizontal pod auto-scaling system. Based on a robust decomposition forecasting algorithm and performance training model, AHPA offers an optimal pod number adjustment plan that could reduce POD resources and maintain business stability. Since being deployed in April 2021, this system has expanded to multiple customer scenarios, including logistics, social networks, AI audio and video, e-commerce, etc. Compared with the previous algorithms, AHPA solves the elastic lag problem, increasing CPU usage by 10% and reducing resource cost by more than 20%. In addition, AHPA can automatically perform flexible planning according to the predicted business volume without manual intervention, significantly saving operation and maintenance costs.

#18 eForecaster: Unifying Electricity Forecasting with Robust, Flexible, and Explainable Machine Learning Algorithms [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Zhaoyang Zhu ; Weiqi Chen ; Rui Xia ; Tian Zhou ; Peisong Niu ; Bingqing Peng ; Wenwei Wang ; Hengbo Liu ; Ziqing Ma ; Qingsong Wen ; Liang Sun

Electricity forecasting is crucial in scheduling and planning of future electric load, so as to improve the reliability and safeness of the power grid. Despite recent developments of forecasting algorithms in the machine learning community, there is a lack of general and advanced algorithms specifically considering requirements from the power industry perspective. In this paper, we present eForecaster, a unified AI platform including robust, flexible, and explainable machine learning algorithms for diversified electricity forecasting applications. Since Oct. 2021, multiple commercial bus load, system load, and renewable energy forecasting systems built upon eForecaster have been deployed in seven provinces of China. The deployed systems consistently reduce the average Mean Absolute Error (MAE) by 39.8% to 77.0%, with reduced manual work and explainable guidance. In particular, eForecaster also integrates multiple interpretation methods to uncover the working mechanism of the predictive models, which significantly improves forecasts adoption and user satisfaction.

#19 Cosmic Microwave Background Recovery: A Graph-Based Bayesian Convolutional Network Approach [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Jadie Adams ; Steven Lu ; Krzysztof M. Gorski ; Graca Rocha ; Kiri L. Wagstaff

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is a significant source of knowledge about the origin and evolution of our universe. However, observations of the CMB are contaminated by foreground emissions, obscuring the CMB signal and reducing its efficacy in constraining cosmological parameters. We employ deep learning as a data-driven approach to CMB cleaning from multi-frequency full-sky maps. In particular, we develop a graph-based Bayesian convolutional neural network based on the U-Net architecture that predicts cleaned CMB with pixel-wise uncertainty estimates. We demonstrate the potential of this technique on realistic simulated data based on the Planck mission. We show that our model ac- accurately recovers the cleaned CMB sky map and resulting angular power spectrum while identifying regions of uncertainty. Finally, we discuss the current challenges and the path forward for deploying our model for CMB recovery on real observations.

#20 Phase-Informed Bayesian Ensemble Models Improve Performance of COVID-19 Forecasts [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Aniruddha Adiga ; Gursharn Kaur ; Lijing Wang ; Benjamin Hurt ; Przemyslaw Porebski ; Srinivasan Venkatramanan ; Bryan Lewis ; Madhav V. Marathe

Despite hundreds of methods published in the literature, forecasting epidemic dynamics remains challenging yet important. The challenges stem from multiple sources, including: the need for timely data, co-evolution of epidemic dynamics with behavioral and immunological adaptations, and the evolution of new pathogen strains. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlighted these challenges; in an important article, Reich et al. did a comprehensive analysis highlighting many of these challenges. In this paper, we take another step in critically evaluating existing epidemic forecasting methods. Our methods are based on a simple yet crucial observation - epidemic dynamics go through a number of phases (waves). Armed with this understanding, we propose a modification to our deployed Bayesian ensembling case time series forecasting framework. We show that ensembling methods employing the phase information and using different weighting schemes for each phase can produce improved forecasts. We evaluate our proposed method with both the currently deployed model and the COVID-19 forecasthub models. The overall performance of the proposed model is consistent across the pandemic but more importantly, it is ranked third and first during two critical rapid growth phases in cases, regimes where the performance of most models from the CDC forecasting hub dropped significantly.

#21 Towards Hybrid Automation by Bootstrapping Conversational Interfaces for IT Operation Tasks [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Jayachandu Bandlamudi ; Kushal Mukherjee ; Prerna Agarwal ; Sampath Dechu ; Siyu Huo ; Vatche Isahagian ; Vinod Muthusamy ; Naveen Purushothaman ; Renuka Sindhgatta

Process automation has evolved from end-to-end automation of repetitive process branches to hybrid automation where bots perform some activities and humans serve other activities. In the context of knowledge-intensive processes such as IT operations, implementing hybrid automation is a natural choice where robots can perform certain mundane functions, with humans taking over the decision of when and which IT systems need to act. Recently, ChatOps, which refers to conversation-driven collaboration for IT operations, has rapidly accelerated efficiency by providing a cross-organization and cross-domain platform to resolve and manage issues as soon as possible. Hence, providing a natural language interface to bots is a logical progression to enable collaboration between humans and bots. This work presents a no-code approach to provide a conversational interface that enables human workers to collaborate with bots executing automation scripts. The bots identify the intent of users' requests and automatically orchestrate one or more relevant automation tasks to serve the request. We further detail our process of mining the conversations between humans and bots to monitor performance and identify the scope for improvement in service quality.

#22 Compressing Cross-Lingual Multi-Task Models at Qualtrics [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Daniel Campos ; Daniel Perry ; Samir Joshi ; Yashmeet Gambhir ; Wei Du ; Zhengzheng Xing ; Aaron Colak

Experience management is an emerging business area where organizations focus on understanding the feedback of customers and employees in order to improve their end-to-end experiences. This results in a unique set of machine learning problems to help understand how people feel, discover issues they care about, and find which actions need to be taken on data that are different in content and distribution from traditional NLP domains. In this paper, we present a case study of building text analysis applications that perform multiple classification tasks efficiently in 12 languages in the nascent business area of experience management. In order to scale up modern ML methods on experience data, we leverage cross lingual and multi-task modeling techniques to consolidate our models into a single deployment to avoid overhead. We also make use of model compression and model distillation to reduce overall inference latency and hardware cost to the level acceptable for business needs while maintaining model prediction quality. Our findings show that multi-task modeling improves task performance for a subset of experience management tasks in both XLM-R and mBert architectures. Among the compressed architectures we explored, we found that MiniLM achieved the best compression/performance tradeoff. Our case study demonstrates a speedup of up to 15.61x with 2.60% average task degradation (or 3.29x speedup with 1.71% degradation) and estimated savings of 44% over using the original full-size model. These results demonstrate a successful scaling up of text classification for the challenging new area of ML for experience management.

#23 SolderNet: Towards Trustworthy Visual Inspection of Solder Joints in Electronics Manufacturing Using Explainable Artificial Intelligence [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Hayden Gunraj ; Paul Guerrier ; Sheldon Fernandez ; Alexander Wong

In electronics manufacturing, solder joint defects are a common problem affecting a variety of printed circuit board components. To identify and correct solder joint defects, the solder joints on a circuit board are typically inspected manually by trained human inspectors, which is a very time-consuming and error-prone process. To improve both inspection efficiency and accuracy, in this work we describe an explainable deep learning-based visual quality inspection system tailored for visual inspection of solder joints in electronics manufacturing environments. At the core of this system is an explainable solder joint defect identification system called SolderNet which we design and implement with trust and transparency in mind. While several challenges remain before the full system can be developed and deployed, this study presents important progress towards trustworthy visual inspection of solder joints in electronics manufacturing.

#24 MobilePTX: Sparse Coding for Pneumothorax Detection Given Limited Training Examples [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Darryl Hannan ; Steven C. Nesbit ; Ximing Wen ; Glen Smith ; Qiao Zhang ; Alberto Goffi ; Vincent Chan ; Michael J. Morris ; John C. Hunninghake ; Nicholas E. Villalobos ; Edward Kim ; Rosina O. Weber ; Christopher J. MacLellan

Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) refers to clinician-performed and interpreted ultrasonography at the patient's bedside. Interpreting these images requires a high level of expertise, which may not be available during emergencies. In this paper, we support POCUS by developing classifiers that can aid medical professionals by diagnosing whether or not a patient has pneumothorax. We decomposed the task into multiple steps, using YOLOv4 to extract relevant regions of the video and a 3D sparse coding model to represent video features. Given the difficulty in acquiring positive training videos, we trained a small-data classifier with a maximum of 15 positive and 32 negative examples. To counteract this limitation, we leveraged subject matter expert (SME) knowledge to limit the hypothesis space, thus reducing the cost of data collection. We present results using two lung ultrasound datasets and demonstrate that our model is capable of achieving performance on par with SMEs in pneumothorax identification. We then developed an iOS application that runs our full system in less than 4 seconds on an iPad Pro, and less than 8 seconds on an iPhone 13 Pro, labeling key regions in the lung sonogram to provide interpretable diagnoses.

#25 Vessel-to-Vessel Motion Compensation with Reinforcement Learning [PDF1] [Copy] [Kimi]

Authors: Sverre Herland ; Kerstin Bach

Actuation delay poses a challenge for robotic arms and cranes. This is especially the case in dynamic environments where the robot arm or the objects it is trying to manipulate are moved by exogenous forces. In this paper, we consider the task of using a robotic arm to compensate for relative motion between two vessels at sea. We construct a hybrid controller that combines an Inverse Kinematic (IK) solver with a Reinforcement Learning (RL) agent that issues small corrections to the IK input. The solution is empirically evaluated in a simulated environment under several sea states and actuation delays. We observe that more intense waves and larger actuation delays have an adverse effect on the IK controller's ability to compensate for vessel motion. The RL agent is shown to be effective at mitigating large parts of these errors, both in the average case and in the worst case. Its modest requirement for sensory information, combined with the inherent safety in only making small adjustments, also makes it a promising approach for real-world deployment.