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Symbolic Automata extend classical automata by using symbolic alphabets instead of finite ones. Most of the classical automata algorithms rely on the alphabet being finite, and generalizing them to the symbolic setting is not a trivial task. In this paper we study the problem of minimizing symbolic automata. We formally define and prove the basic properties of minimality in the symbolic setting, and lift classical minimization algorithms (Huffman-Moore’s and Hopcroft’s algorithms) to symbolic automata....
##### Publication details
Date: 1 January 2014
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: ACM
Monadic predicates play a prominent role in many decidable cases, including decision procedures for symbolic automata. We are here interested in discovering whether a formula can be rewritten into a Boolean combination of monadic predicates. Our setting is quantifier-free formulas over a decidable background theory, such as arithmetic and we here develop a semi-decision procedure for extracting a monadic decomposition of a formula when it exists.
##### Publication details
Date: 1 December 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: Easychair
This paper summarizes the results of our recent investigations into how information propagates, how people assimilate information, and how people form relationships to gain information in Internet-centric social settings. It includes key ideas related to the role of the nature of information items in information diffusion as well as the notion of receptivity on part of the receiver and how it affects information assimilation and opinion formation. It describes a system that incorporates availability,...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 November 2013
Type: TechReport
Publisher: Microsoft Technical Report
Number: MSR-TR-2013-115
Gold HITs --- Human Intelligence Tasks with known answers --- are commonly used to measure worker performance and data quality in industrial applications of crowdsourcing. We suggest adaptive exploration as a promising approach for automated, scalable Gold HIT creation. We substantiate this with initial experiments in a stylized model.
##### Publication details
Date: 22 October 2013
Type: TechReport
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2013-106
We present study navigator, an algorithmically-generated aid for enhancing the experience of studying from electronic textbooks. The study navigator for a section of the book consists of helpful concept references for understanding this section. Each concept reference is a pair consisting of a concept phrase explained elsewhere and the link to the section in which it has been explained. We propose a novel reader model for textbooks and an algorithm for generating the study navigator based on this model. We...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 October 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: ACM
A great deal of effort has been spent on both trying to specify software requirements and on ensuring that software actually matches these requirements. A wide range of techniques that includes theorem proving, model checking, type-based analysis, static analysis, runtime monitoring, and the like have been proposed. However, in many areas adoption of these techniques remains spotty. In fact, obtaining a specification or a precise notion of correctness is in many cases quite elusive. For many tasks, even...
##### Publication details
Date: 26 September 2013
Type: TechReport
Number: MSR-TR-2013-94
Computing driving directions has motivated many shortest path algorithms based on preprocessing. Given a graph, the preprocessing stage computes a modest amount of auxiliary data, which is then used to speed up on-line queries. The best algorithms have storage overhead comparable to the graph size and answer queries very fast, while examining a small fraction of the graph. In this paper we complement the experimental evidence with the first rigorous proofs of efficiency for some of the algorithms developed...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 September 2013
Type: TechReport
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2013-91
Motivated by the problem of avoiding duplication in storage systems, Bellare, Keelveedhi, and Ristenpart have recently put forward the notion of Message-Locked Encryption (MLE) schemes which subsumes convergent encryption and its variants. Such schemes do not rely on permanent secret keys, but rather encrypt messages using keys derived from the messages themselves. We strengthen the notions of security proposed by Bellare et al. by considering plaintext distributions that may depend on the public...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 August 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: Springer Verlag
With the explosive growth of social networks, many applications are increasingly harnessing the pulse of online crowds for a variety of tasks such as marketing, advertising, and opinion mining. An important example is the wisdom of crowd effect that has been well studied for such tasks when the crowd is non-interacting. However, these studies don't explicitly address the network effects in social networks. A key difference in this setting is the presence of social influences that arise from these...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 August 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: ACM International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
We present study navigator, an algorithmically-generated aid for enhancing the experience of studying from electronic textbooks. The study navigator for a section of the book consists of helpful concept references for understanding this section. Each concept reference is a pair consisting of a concept phrase explained elsewhere and the link to the section in which it has been explained. We propose a novel reader model for textbooks and an algorithm for generating the study navigator based on this model. We...
##### Publication details
Date: 15 July 2013
Type: TechReport
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2013-68
We develop the first constructive algorithms for compiling single-qubit unitary gates into circuits over the universal V basis. The V basis is an alternative universal basis to the more commonly studied {H,T} basis. We propose two classical algorithms for quantum circuit compilation: the first algorithm has expected polynomial time (in precision log(1/epsilon)) and offers a depth/precision guarantee that improves upon state-of-the-art methods for compiling into the {H,T} basis by factors ranging from 1.86...
##### Publication details
Date: 12 July 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: American Physical Society
Number: 012313
Symbolic Finite Transducers augment classic transducers with symbolic alphabets represented as parametric theories. Such extension enables succinctness and the use of potentially infinite alphabets while preserving closure and decidability properties. Extended Symbolic Finite Transducers further extend these objects by allowing transitions to read consecutive input elements in a single step. While when the alphabet is finite this extension does not add expressiveness, it does so when the alphabet is...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: Springer
We study Incentive Trees for motivating the participation of people in crowdsourcing or human tasking systems. In an Incentive Tree, each participant is rewarded for contributing to the system, as well as for soliciting new participants into the system, who then themselves contribute to it and/or themselves solicit new participants. An Incentive Tree mechanism is an algorithm that determines how much reward each individual participant receives based on all the participants’ contributions, as well as the...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: ACM
We present a 2D nearest-neighbor quantum architecture for Shor's factoring algorithm in polylogarithmic depth. Our implementation uses parallel phase estimation, constant-depth fanout and teleportation, and constant-depth carry-save modular addition. We derive asymptotic bounds on the circuit depth and width of our architecture and provide a comparison to all previous nearest-neighbor factoring implementations.
##### Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: Rinton Press
Number: 11&12
Symbolic automata theory lifts classical automata theory to rich alphabet theories. It does so by replacing an explicit alphabet with an alphabet described implicitly by a Boolean algebra. How does this lifting affect the basic algorithms that lay the foundation for modern automata theory and what is the incentive for doing this? We investigate these questions here. In our approach we use state-of-the-art constraint solving techniques for automata analysis that are both expressive and efficient, even for...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: Springer
Suppose that party A collects private information about its users, where each user's data is represented as a bit vector. Suppose that party B has a proprietary data mining algorithm that requires estimating the distance between users, such as clustering or nearest neighbors. We ask if it is possible for party A to publish some information about each user so that B can estimate the distance between users without being able to infer any private bit of a user. Our method involves projecting each user's...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Article
##### Publication details
Date: 1 June 2013
Type: Article
We show that the multiplicative weight update method provides a simple recipe for designing and analyzing optimal Bayesian Incentive Compatible (BIC) auctions, and reduces the time complexity of the problem to polynomial in parameters that depend on single agent instead of on the joint type space. We use this framework to design the first computationally efficient optimal auctions that satisfy ex-post Individual Rationality in the presence of constraints such as (hard, private) budgets and envy-freeness....
##### Publication details
Date: 1 June 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce
We present game-theoretic models of opinion formation in social networks where opinions themselves co-evolve with friendships. In these models, nodes form their opinions by maximizing agreements with friends weighted by the strength of the relationships, which in turn depend on difference in opinion with the respective friends. We define a social cost of this process by generalizing recent work of Bindel et al., FOCS 2011. We tightly bound the price of anarchy of the resulting dynamics via local smoothness...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 June 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: ACM
In this paper we propose a randomized block coordinate non-monotone gradient (RBCNMG) method for minimizing the sum of a smooth (possibly nonconvex) function and a block-separable (possibly nonconvex nonsmooth) function. At each iteration, this method randomly picks a block according to any prescribed probability distribution and typically solves several associated proximal subproblems that usually have a closed-form solution, until a certain sufficient reduction on the objective function is achieved. We...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 June 2013
Type: TechReport
Number: MSR-TR-2013-66
A symmetric shortest-path table routing is a set of paths between all pairs of nodes in a graph such that the set is closed under path reversal, each path is a shortest path in the graph, and all paths with the same destination form a tree with a sink at the destination. Such a routing can be found for any finite, connected, undirected, positive-weighted graph by “salting” the edge weights so that all the shortest salted paths are unique while each one remains a shortest path in the original graph. A...
##### Publication details
Date: 24 May 2013
Type: TechReport
Publisher: Microsoft Technical Report
Number: MSR-TR-2013-58
In this paper we analyze the randomized block-coordinate descent (RBCD) methods for minimizing the sum of a smooth convex function and a block-separable convex function. In particular, we extend Nesterov's technique (SIOPT 2012) for analyzing the RBCD method for minimizing a smooth convex function over a block-separable closed convex set to the aforementioned more general problem and obtain a sharper expected-value type of convergence rate than the one in Richtarik and Takac (Math Programming 2012). Also,...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: TechReport
Number: MSR-TR-2013-53
We report on a new kind of group conversation on Twitter that we call a group chat. These chats are periodic, synchronized group conversations focused on specific topics and they exist at a massive scale. The groups and the members of these groups are not explicitly known. Rather, members agree on a hashtag and a meeting time (e.g., 3pm Pacific Time every Wednesday) to discuss a subject of interest. Topics of these chats are numerous and varied. Some are serious: for example, there are support groups for...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: Inproceedings
Publisher: ACM
We consider solving the $\ell_1$-regularized least-squares ($\ell_1$-LS) problem in the context of sparse recovery, for applications such as compressed sensing. The standard proximal gradient method, also known as iterative soft-thresholding when applied to this problem, has low computational cost per iteration but a rather slow convergence rate. Nevertheless, when the solution is sparse, it often exhibits fast linear convergence in the final stage. We exploit the local linear convergence using a homotopy...
##### Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Number: 2
We consider optimization problems with an objective function that is the sum of two convex terms: one is smooth and given by a black-box oracle, and the other is general but with a simple, known structure. We first present an accelerated proximal gradient (APG) method for problems where the smooth part of the objective function is also strongly convex. This method incorporates an efficient line-search procedure, and achieves the optimal iteration complexity for such composite optimization problems. In case...
##### Publication details
Date: 5 April 2013
Type: TechReport
Number: MSR-TR-2013-41
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