Title

Topic

  • ‘Improved Learning-Augmented Algorithms for k-Means and k-Medians Clustering’

    “We consider the problem of clustering in the learning-augmented setting. We are given a data set in d-dimensional Euclidean space, and a label for each data point given by a predictor indicating what subsets of points should be clustered together. … For a dataset of size m, we propose a deterministic k-means algorithm that produces centers with aimproved bound on the clustering cost compared to the previous randomized state-of-the-art algorithm while preserving the O(dm log m) runtime.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at Open Review.

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  • ‘Scheduling Under Non-Uniform Job and Machine Delays’

    “We study the problem of scheduling precedence-constrained jobs on heterogenous machines in the presence of non-uniform job and machine communication delays. We are given a set of n unit size precedence-ordered jobs, and a set of m related machines each with size m_i (machine i can execute at most m_i jobs at any time). … The objective is to construct a schedule that minimizes makespan, … the maximum completion time over all jobs. We consider schedules which allow duplication of jobs as well as schedules which do not.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Dagstuhl Research Online…

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  • ‘ThreadLock: Native Principal Isolation Through Memory Protection Keys’

    “Inter-process isolation has been deployed in operating systems for decades, but secure intra-process isolation remains an active research topic. Achieving secure intra-process isolation within an operating system process is notoriously difficult. However, viable solutions that securely consolidate workloads into the same process have the potential to be extremely valuable. In this work, we present native principal isolation, a technique to restrict threads’ access to process memory by enforcing intra-process security policies defined over a program’s application binary interface (ABI).” Find the paper and full list of authors in the 2023 ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security proceedings.

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  • ‘Social AI and the Challenges of the Human-AI Ecosystem’

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    “The rise of large-scale socio-technical systems in which humans interact with artificial intelligence (AI) systems (including assistants and recommenders, in short AIs) multiplies the opportunity for the emergence of collective phenomena and tipping points, with unexpected, possibly unintended, consequences. … We propose to build the foundations of Social AI at the intersection of Complex Systems, Network Science and AI. In this perspective paper, we discuss the main open questions in Social AI, outlining possible technical and scientific challenges and suggesting research avenues.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • Grant from Broad Institute to combat antibiotic failure

    Titled “Attacking Failure of Antibiotic Treatment by Targeting Antimicrobial Resistance Enabler Cell-States,” professor of biology Edward Geisinger writes that “This project aims to uncover the genetic mechanisms that underlie antibiotic treatment failure in hospital-acquired bacterial infections. We will analyze ‘enabler’ mutations and phenotypes that promote antibiotic tolerance and act as stepping stones for the development of antibiotic resistance and treatment failure. A major focus is the pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii, which causes hospital-acquired diseases including pneumonia and sepsis that have become increasingly difficult to treat.”

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  • Grant from National Institutes of Health to combat drug-resistant pathogens

    The project, titled “Repurposing Gram-Positive Antibiotics for Gram-Negative Bacteria Using Antibiotic Adjuvants,” studies “The multidrug-resistant (MDR) sepsis pathogen Acinetobacter baumanni,” writes professor of biology Edward Geisinger. “Current treatment options for infections with these bacteria are extremely limited. Our research examines a class of small molecules called antibiotic adjuvants that greatly boost the activity of several existing antibiotics against A. baumanniim, with the goal of developing new combination approaches to treat MDR infections.”

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  • Régine Jean-Charles interviews Nana Akosua Hanson on Ghanaian feminist futures

    Régine Jean Charles, professor of africana studies and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, interviewed “feminist activist, journalist and founder of Let’s Talk Consent” Nana Akosua Hanson in Accra, Ghana, “during International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.” Highlights of their talk include gender justice in the media and journalism feeds, what a “feminist revolution” in Ghana might look like and Hanson’s own “feminist evolution/awakening/coming into consciousness.”

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  • Stephens argues that Federal Reserve is ‘misguided’ on climate change

    In an opinion piece co-authored with campaigner Akiksha Chatterji, professor of sustainability science and policy Jennie C. Stephens argues that the Federal Reserve must take a stance on climate change, and that its refusal to be “a climate policymaker” (according to Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell) is “a potentially dangerous and misguided view.” The Federal Reserve, Chatterji and Stephens say, has an obligation to deploy “tools [that] range from quickly finalizing and strengthening the Fed’s proposed climate-risk guidance for large banks, to taking bolder action like requiring banks to hold more capital in proportion to climate risk and eventually setting outright limits on fossil fuel lending.”

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  • Making AI more secure with privacy-preserving machine learning

    “Electrical and computer engineering assistant professor Xiaolin Xu, in collaboration with Wujie Wen from Lehigh University and Caiwen Ding from the University of Connecticut, was awarded a $1.2M NSF grant for ‘Accelerating Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning as a Service: From Algorithm to Hardware.'”

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  • NSF CAREER Award to protect AI-enabled systems from attack

    “Electrical and computer engineering assistant professor Xiaolin Xu was awarded a $600,000 NSF CAREER Award for ‘Securing Reconfigurable Hardware Accelerator for Machine Learning: Threats and Defenses.'”

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  • Securing scientific cyberinfrastructures from advanced attacks

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    “Electrical and computer engineering assistant professor Xiaolin Xu is leading a $1.2 million NSF grant, in collaboration with professor of electrical and computer engineering Miriam Leeser and Mike Zink from the University of Massachusetts, for ‘CAREFREE: Cloud infrAstructure ResiliencE of the Future foR tEstbeds, accelerators and nEtworks.'”

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  • ‘Asian Students in American Higher Education: Negotiating Multilingual Identities in the Era of Superdiversity and Nationalism’

    “This study focused on the experiences of three Asian undergraduate students at a private urban institution in the United States. The findings indicate that the participants’ racial, cultural and linguistic identities are dynamic and complex, echoing features indicated by the concept of superdiversity. Yet, under the influences of the rising nationalism and the strong grip of monolingualism, participants have been constantly under the pressure from English-only ideologies and the so-called forever-foreigner stereotype against Asian Americans. This study sheds light on rethinking higher education teaching and learning from the perspectives of marginalized students in the era simultaneously featuring superdiversity and nationalism.”

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  • ‘Toward Dangerous US Unilateralism on Solar Geoengineering’

    “The National Academies Report on solar geoengineering … has already set into motion a major, federally coordinated national research program in the United States to develop this dangerous technology. … Scientists and researchers are not the ones who will be making decisions on deployment, so research and development should not proceed without integrating broader international perspectives. If the US government does not pause to establish effective international governance and public participation … then the NAS report will have … opened the door for the US to unilaterally shape and advance … solar geoengineering.” Find the paper and full list of…

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  • ‘Flourishing in the Everyday: Moving Beyond Damage-Centered Design in HCI for BIPOC Communities’

    “Research and design in human-computer interaction centers problem-solving, causing a downstream effect of framing work with and for marginalized communities predominantly from the lens of deficit and damage. … However, we observe an additional need to center positive aspects of humanity, such as joy, pleasure, rest, and cultural heritage, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. In this paper, we present three case studies of existing technologies that center BIPOC flourishing to provide an alternative path for HCI.” Find the paper and the full list of authors in the 2023 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference proceedings.

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  • ‘That’s a Tough Call: Studying the Challenges of Call Graph Construction for WebAssembly’

    “WebAssembly is a low-level bytecode format that powers applications and libraries running in browsers, on the server side, and in standalone runtimes. Call graphs are at the core of many interprocedural static analysis and optimization techniques. However, WebAssembly poses some unique challenges for static call graph construction. … This paper presents the first systematic study of WebAssembly-specific challenges for static call graph construction and of the state-of-the-art in call graph analysis.” Find the paper and the full list of authors in the Proceedings of the 32nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis.

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  • ‘Systematic Comparisons Between Lyme Disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome in the U.S. With Administrative Claims Data’

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    “Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) is used to describe Lyme disease patients who have the infection cleared by antibiotic but then experienced persisting symptoms of pain, fatigue, or cognitive impairment. Currently, little is known about the cause or epidemiology of PTLDS. … We conducted a data-driven study with a large nationwide administrative dataset, which consists of more than 98 billion billing and 1.4 billion prescription records between 2008 and 2016, to identify unique aspects of PTLDS that could have diagnostic and etiologic values.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at EBioMedicine.

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  • ‘New Sampling Lower Bounds via the Separator’

    “Suppose that a target distribution can be approximately sampled by a low-depth decision tree, or more generally by an efficient cell-probe algorithm. It is shown to be possible to restrict the input to the sampler so that its output distribution is still not too far from the target distribution, and at the same time many output coordinates are almost pairwise independent. This new tool is then used to obtain several new sampling lower bounds and separations, including a separation between AC0 and low-depth decision trees, and a hierarchy theorem for sampling.”

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  • ‘On Correlation Bounds Against Polynomials’

    “We study the fundamental challenge of exhibiting explicit functions that have small correlation with low-degree polynomials over 𝔽₂. Our main contributions include: …2) We propose a new approach for proving correlation bounds with the central ‘mod functions.’ …3) We prove our conjecture for quadratic polynomials. … We express correlation in terms of directional derivatives and analyze it by slowly restricting the direction.4) We make partial progress on the conjecture for cubic polynomials, in particular proving tight correlation bounds for cubic polynomials whose degree-3 part is symmetric.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the Dagstuhl Research Online Publication Server.

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  • ‘Integrating Symmetry into Differentiable Planning with Steerable Convolutions’

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    “In this paper, we study a principled approach on incorporating group symmetry into end-to-end differentiable planning algorithms and explore the benefits of symmetry in planning. To achieve this, we draw inspiration from equivariant convolution networks and model the path planning problem as a set of signals over grids.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at Open Review.

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  • ‘Symmetries, Flat Minima and the Conserved Quantities of Gradient Flow’

    “Empirical studies of the loss landscape of deep networks have revealed that many local minima are connected through low-loss valleys. Yet, little is known about the theoretical origin of such valleys. We present a general framework for finding continuous symmetries in the parameter space, which carve out low-loss valleys. Our framework uses equivariances of the activation functions and can be applied to different layer architectures.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at Open Review.

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  • ‘The Surprising Effectiveness of Equivariant Models in Domains With Latent Symmetry’

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    “Extensive work has demonstrated that equivariant neural networks can significantly improve sample efficiency and generalization by enforcing an inductive bias in the network architecture. These applications typically assume that the domain symmetry is fully described by explicit transformations of the model inputs and outputs. However, many real-life applications contain only latent or partial symmetries which cannot be easily described by simple transformations of the input. … We discover, surprisingly, that imposing equivariance constraints that do not exactly match the domain symmetry is very helpful in learning the true symmetry.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Open Review.

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  • ‘Equivariant Single View Pose Prediction via Induced and Restricted Representations’

    “Learning about the three-dimensional world from two-dimensional images is a fundamental problem in computer vision. An ideal neural network architecture for such tasks would leverage the fact that objects can be rotated and translated in three dimensions to make predictions about novel images. However, imposing SO(3)-equivariance on two-dimensional inputs is difficult because the group of three-dimensional rotations does not have a natural action on the two-dimensional plane. … We show that an algorithm that learns a three-dimensional representation of the world from two dimensional images must satisfy certain geometric consistency properties.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Location-Independent GNSS Relay Attacks: A Lazy Attacker’s Guide to Bypassing Navigation Message Authentication’

    “In this work, we demonstrate the possibility of spoofing a GNSS receiver to arbitrary locations without modifying the navigation messages. … Prior work required an adversary to record the GNSS signals at the intended spoofed location and relay them to the victim receiver. Our attack demonstrates the ability of an adversary to receive signals close to the victim receiver and in real-time generate spoofing signals for an arbitrary location without modifying the navigation message contents.” Find the paper and full list of authors in the 16th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks proceedings.

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  • ‘UE Security Reloaded: Developing a 5G Standalone User-Side Security Testing Framework’

    “Security flaws and vulnerabilities in cellular networks lead to severe security threats given the data-plane services that are involved, from calls to messaging and Internet access. While the 5G Standalone (SA) system is currently being deployed worldwide, practical security testing of User Equipment (UE) has only been conducted and reported publicly for 4G/LTE and earlier network generations. In this paper, we develop and present the first open-source based security testing framework for 5G SA User Equipment.” Find the paper and the full list of authors in the 16th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks proceedings.

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  • ‘Encrypted Databases Made Secure Yet Maintainable’

    “State-of-the-art encrypted databases (EDBs) can be divided into two types: one that protects the whole DBMS engine in a trusted domain, and one that protects only operators that support queries over encrypted data. Both types have limitations when dealing with malicious database administrators (DBAs). The first type either exposes the data to DBAs or makes maintenance operations difficult if the DBA role is eliminated. The second type is vulnerable to abuse of the operator interfaces; … we devise a smuggle attack that enables DBAs to secretly and effectively access data.” Find the paper and full list of authors at USENIX.

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  • ‘Boosting Multitask Learning on Graphs Through Higher-Order Task Affinities’

    “Predicting node labels on a given graph is a widely studied problem with many applications. … This paper considers predicting multiple node labeling functions on graphs simultaneously and revisits this problem from a multitask learning perspective. … Due to complex overlapping patterns, we find that negative transfer is prevalent when we apply naive multitask learning to multiple community detection, as task relationships are highly nonlinear across different node labeling. To address the challenge, we develop an algorithm to cluster tasks into groups based on a higher-order task affinity measure.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Toward Computationally-Supported Roleplaying for Perspective-Taking’

    “Designing and studying computationally-supported roleplaying for changing social perspectives of players is a complex and challenging problem. As indispensable components of roleplaying games (RPGs), narratives have the potential to promote successful perspective-taking. … We first present the design of a visual novel style RPG scenario addressing xenophobia and bullying, using an interactive narrative powered by a computational narrative engine. We then report on a usability evaluation of our interactive narrative system and an empirical evaluation of the RPG’s effectiveness in promoting successful perspective-taking through a crowdsourced online experiment.” Find the full list of authors in the International Conference on Human-Computer…

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  • ‘Summarizing, Simplifying and Synthesizing Medical Evidence Using GPT-3 (With Varying Success)’

    “Large language models, particularly GPT-3, are able to produce high quality summaries of general domain news articles in few- and zero-shot settings. However, it is unclear if such models are similarly capable in more specialized, high-stakes domains such as biomedicine. In this paper, we enlist domain experts (individuals with medical training) to evaluate summaries of biomedical articles generated by GPT-3, given zero supervision. … We design an annotation scheme for evaluating model outputs, with an emphasis on assessing the factual accuracy of generated summaries.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Multilingual Simplification of Medical Texts’

    “Automated text simplification aims to produce simple versions of complex texts. This task is especially useful in the medical domain, where the latest medical findings are typically communicated via complex and technical articles. This creates barriers for laypeople seeking access to up-to-date medical findings, consequently impeding progress on health literacy. … This work addresses this limitation via multilingual simplification, i.e., directly simplifying complex texts into simplified texts in multiple languages. We introduce MultiCochrane, the first sentence-aligned multilingual text simplification dataset for the medical domain in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Farsi.” Find the paper and full list of authors…

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  • ‘Appraising the Potential Uses and Harms of LLMs for Medical Systematic Reviews’

    “Medical systematic reviews are crucial for informing clinical decision making and healthcare policy. But producing such reviews is onerous and time-consuming. Thus, high-quality evidence synopses are not available for many questions and may be outdated even when they are available. Large language models (LLMs) are now capable of generating long-form texts, suggesting the tantalizing possibility of automatically generating literature reviews on demand. However, LLMs sometimes generate inaccurate (and potentially misleading) texts by hallucinating or omitting important information. … [Here], we seek to qualitatively characterize the potential utility and risks of LLMs.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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