Jingchao Ni works at Amazon Web Services (AWS).


Convolutional Transformer based Dual Discriminator Generative Adversarial Networks for Video Anomaly Detection

Detecting abnormal activities in real-world surveillance videos is an important yet challenging task as the prior knowledge about video anomalies is usually limited or unavailable. Despite that many approaches have been developed to resolve this problem, few of them can capture the normal spatio-temporal patterns effectively and efficiently. Moreover, existing works seldom explicitly consider the local consistency at frame level and global coherence of temporal dynamics in video sequences. To this end, we propose Convolutional Transformer based Dual Discriminator Generative Adversarial Networks (CT-D2GAN) to perform unsupervised video anomaly detection. Specifically, we first present a convolutional transformer to perform future frame prediction. It contains three key components, i.e., a convolutional encoder to capture the spatial information of the input video clips, a temporal self-attention module to encode the temporal dynamics, and a convolutional decoder to integrate spatio-temporal features and predict the future frame. Next, a dual discriminator based adversarial training procedure, which jointly considers an image discriminator that can maintain the local consistency at frame-level and a video discriminator that can enforce the global coherence of temporal dynamics, is employed to enhance the future frame prediction. Finally, the prediction error is used to identify abnormal video frames. Thoroughly empirical studies on three public video anomaly detection datasets, i.e., UCSD Ped2, CUHK Avenue, and Shanghai Tech Campus, demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed adversarial spatio-temporal modeling framework.

Multi-Scale One-Class Recurrent Neural Networks for Discrete Event Sequence Anomaly Detection

Discrete event sequences are ubiquitous, such as an ordered event series of process interactions in Information and Communication Technology systems. Recent years have witnessed increasing efforts in detecting anomalies with discrete event sequences. However, it remains an extremely difficult task due to several intrinsic challenges including data imbalance issues, discrete property of the events, and sequential nature of the data. To address these challenges, in this paper, we propose OC4Seq, a multi-scale one-class recurrent neural network for detecting anomalies in discrete event sequences. Specifically, OC4Seq integrates the anomaly detection objective with recurrent neural networks (RNNs) to embed the discrete event sequences into latent spaces, where anomalies can be easily detected. In addition, given that an anomalous sequence could be caused by either individual events, subsequences of events, or the whole sequence, we design a multi-scale RNN framework to capture different levels of sequential patterns simultaneously. We fully implement and evaluate OC4Seq on three real-world system log datasets. The results show that OC4Seq consistently outperforms various representative baselines by a large margin. Moreover, through both quantitative and qualitative analysis, the importance of capturing multi-scale sequential patterns for event anomaly detection is verified. To encourage reproducibility, we make the code and data publicly available.

Unsupervised Concept Representation Learning for Length-Varying Text Similarity

Measuring document similarity plays an important role in natural language processing tasks. Most existing document similarity approaches suffer from the information gap caused by context and vocabulary mismatches when comparing varying-length texts. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised concept representation learning approach to address the above issues. Specifically, we propose a novel Concept Generation Network (CGNet) to learn concept representations from the perspective of the entire text corpus. Moreover, a concept-based document matching method is proposed to leverage advances in the recognition of local phrase features and corpus-level concept features. Extensive experiments on real-world data sets demonstrate that new method can achieve a considerable improvement in comparing length-varying texts. In particular, our model achieved 6.5% better F1 Score compared to the best of the baseline models for a concept-project benchmark dataset.

Deep Multi-Instance Contrastive Learning with Dual Attention for Anomaly Precursor Detection

Prognostics or early detection of incipient faults by leveraging the monitoring time series data in complex systems is valuable to automatic system management and predictive maintenance. However, this task is challenging. First, learning the multi-dimensional heterogeneous time series data with various anomaly types is hard. Second, the precise annotation of anomaly incipient periods is lacking. Third, the interpretable tools to diagnose the precursor symptoms are lacking. Despite some recent progresses, few of the existing approaches can jointly resolve these challenges. In this paper, we propose MCDA, a deep multi-instance contrastive learning approach with dual attention, to detect anomaly precursor. MCDA utilizes multi-instance learning to model the uncertainty of precursor period and employs recurrent neural network with tensorized hidden states to extract precursor features encoded in temporal dynamics as well as the correlations between different pairs of time series. A dual attention mechanism on both temporal aspect and time series variables is developed to pinpoint the time period and the sensors the precursor symptoms are involved in. A contrastive loss is designed to address the issue that annotated anomalies are few. To the best of our knowledge, MCDA is the first method studying the problem of ‘when’ and ‘where’ for the anomaly precursor detection simultaneously. Extensive experiments on both synthetic and real datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of MCDA.

Learning to Drop: Robust Graph Neural Network via Topological Denoising

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have shown to be powerful tools for graph analytics. The key idea is to recursively propagate and aggregate information along the edges of the given graph. Despite their success, however, the existing GNNs are usually sensitive to the quality of the input graph. Real-world graphs are often noisy and contain task-irrelevant edges, which may lead to suboptimal generalization performance in the learned GNN models. In this paper, we propose PTDNet, a parameterized topological denoising network, to improve the robustness and generalization performance of GNNs by learning to drop task-irrelevant edges. PTDNet prunes task-irrelevant edges by penalizing the number of edges in the sparsified graph with parameterized networks. To take into consideration the topology of the entire graph, the nuclear norm regularization is applied to impose the low-rank constraint on the resulting sparsified graph for better generalization. PTDNet can be used as a key component in GNN models to improve their performances on various tasks, such as node classification and link prediction. Experimental studies on both synthetic and benchmark datasets show that PTDNet can improve the performance of GNNs significantly and the performance gain becomes larger for more noisy datasets.

Multi-Task Recurrent Modular Networks

We consider the models of deep multi-task learning with recurrent architectures that exploit regularities across tasks to improve the performance of multiple sequence processing tasks jointly. Most existing architectures are painstakingly customized to learn task relationships for different problems, which is not flexible enough to model the dynamic task relationships and lacks generalization abilities to novel test-time scenarios. We propose multi-task recurrent modular networks (MT-RMN) that can be incorporated in any multi-task recurrent models to address the above drawbacks. MT-RMN consists of a shared encoder and multiple task-specific decoders, and recurrently operates over time. For better flexibility, it modularizes the encoder into multiple layers of sub-networks and dynamically controls the connection between these sub-networks and the decoders at different time steps, which provides the recurrent networks with varying degrees of parameter sharing for tasks with dynamic relatedness. For the generalization ability, MT-RMN aims to discover a set of generalizable sub-networks in the encoder that are assembled in different ways for different tasks. The policy networks augmented with the differentiable routers are utilized to make the binary connection decisions between the sub-networks. The experimental results on three multi-task sequence processing datasets consistently demonstrate the effectiveness of MT-RMN.

Dynamic Gaussian Mixture based Deep Generative Model For Robust Forecasting on Sparse Multivariate Time Series

Forecasting on Sparse Multivariate Time Series Forecasting on sparse multivariate time series (MTS) aims to model the predictors of future values of time series given their incomplete past, which is important for many emerging applications. However, most existing methods process MTS’s individually, and do not leverage the dynamic distributions underlying the MTS’s, leading to sub-optimal results when the sparsity is high. To address this challenge, we propose a novel generative model, which tracks the transition of latent clusters, instead of isolated feature representations, to achieve robust modeling. It is characterized by a newly designed dynamic Gaussian mixture distribution, which captures the dynamics of clustering structures, and is used for emitting time series. The generative model is parameterized by neural networks. A structured inference network is also designed for enabling inductive analysis. A gating mechanism is further introduced to dynamically tune the Gaussian mixture distributions. Extensive experimental results on a variety of real-life datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.

T2-Net: A Semi-supervised Deep Model for Turbulence Forecasting

Accurate air turbulence forecasting can help airlines avoid hazardous turbulence, guide the routes that keep passengers safe, maximize efficiency, and reduce costs. Traditional turbulence forecasting approaches heavily rely on painstakingly customized turbulence indexes, which are less effective in dynamic and complex weather conditions. The recent availability of high-resolution weather data and turbulence records allows more accurate forecasting of the turbulence in a data-driven way. However, it is a non-trivial task for developing a machine learning based turbulence forecasting system due to two challenges: (1) Complex spatio-temporal correlations, turbulence is caused by air movement with complex spatio-temporal patterns, (2) Label scarcity, very limited turbulence labels can be obtained. To this end, in this paper, we develop a unified semi-supervised framework, T2-Net, to address the above challenges. Specifically, we first build an encoder-decoder paradigm based on the convolutional LSTM to model the spatio-temporal correlations. Then, to tackle the label scarcity problem, we propose a novel Dual Label Guessing method to take advantage of massive unlabeled turbulence data. It integrates complementary signals from the main Turbulence Forecasting task and the auxiliary Turbulence Detection task to generate pseudo-labels, which are dynamically utilized as additional training data. Finally, extensive experimental results on a real-world turbulence dataset validate the superiority of our method on turbulence forecasting.

Node Classification in Temporal Graphs through Stochastic Sparsification and Temporal Structural Convolution

Node classification in temporal graphs aims to predict node labels based on historical observations. In real-world applications, temporal graphs are complex with both graph topology and node attributes evolving rapidly, which poses a high overfitting risk to existing graph learning approaches. In this paper, we propose a novel Temporal Structural Network (TSNet) model, which jointly learns temporal and structural features for node classification from the sparsified temporal graphs. We show that the proposed TSNet learns how to sparsify temporal graphs to favor the subsequent classification tasks and prevent overfitting from complex neighborhood structures. The effective local features are then extracted by simultaneous convolutions in temporal and spatial domains. Using the standard stochastic gradient descent and backpropagation techniques, TSNet iteratively optimizes sparsification and node representations for subsequent classification tasks. Experimental study on public benchmark datasets demonstrates the competitive performance of the proposed model in node classification. Besides, TSNet has the potential to help domain experts to interpret and visualize the learned models.

Robust Graph Representation Learning via Neural Sparsification

Graph representation learning serves as the core of important prediction tasks, ranging from product recommendation to fraud detection. Reallife graphs usually have complex information in the local neighborhood, where each node is described by a rich set of features and connects to dozens or even hundreds of neighbors. Despite the success of neighborhood aggregation in graph neural networks, task-irrelevant information is mixed into nodes’ neighborhood, making learned models suffer from sub-optimal generalization performance. In this paper, we present NeuralSparse, a supervised graph sparsification technique that improves generalization power by learning to remove potentially task-irrelevant edges from input graphs. Our method takes both structural and nonstructural information as input, utilizes deep neural networks to parameterize sparsification processes, and optimizes the parameters by feedback signals from downstream tasks. Under the NeuralSparse framework, supervised graph sparsification could seamlessly connect with existing graph neural networks for more robust performance. Experimental results on both benchmark and private datasets show that NeuralSparse can yield up to 7.2% improvement in testing accuracy when working with existing graph neural networks on node classification tasks.