We strongly believe in open source and giving to our community. We work directly with researchers in academia and seek out new perspectives with our intern and fellowship programs. We generalize our solutions and release them to the world as open source projects. We host discussions and publish our results.


HotCloud '15, 7th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing, Santa Clara July 2015

The Importance of Features for Statistical Anomaly Detection

David Goldberg, Yinan Shan

The theme of this paper is that anomaly detection splits into two parts: developing the right features, and then feeding these features into a statistical system that detects anomalies in the features. Most literature on anomaly detection focuses on the second part. Our goal is to illustrate the importance of the first part. We do this with two real-life examples of anomaly detectors in use at eBay.

WWW '17 Perth Australia April 2017

Drawing Sound Conclusions from Noisy Judgments

David Goldberg, Andrew Trotman, Xiao Wang, Wei Min, Zongru Wan

The quality of a search engine is typically evaluated using hand-labeled data sets, where the labels indicate the relevance of documents to queries. Often the number of labels needed is too large to be created by the best annotators, and so less accurate labels (e.g. from crowdsourcing) must be used. This introduces errors in the labels, and thus errors in standard precision metrics (such as P@k and DCG); the lower the quality of the judge, the more errorful the labels, consequently the more inaccurate the metric. We introduce equations and algorithms that can adjust the metrics to the values they would have had if there were no annotation errors.

This is especially important when two search engines are compared by comparing their metrics. We give examples where one engine appeared to be statistically significantly better than the other, but the effect disappeared after the metrics were corrected for annotation error. In other words the evidence supporting a statistical difference was illusory, and caused by a failure to account for annotation error.

Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2017

Neural Machine Translation Leveraging Phrase-based Models in a Hybrid Search

Leonard Dahlmann, Evgeny Matusov, Pavel Petrushkov, Shahram Khadivi

In this paper, we introduce a hybrid search for attention-based neural machine translation (NMT). A target phrase learned with statistical MT models extends a hypothesis in the NMT beam search when the attention of the NMT model focuses on the source words translated by this phrase. Phrases added in this way are scored with the NMT model, but also with SMT features including phrase-level translation probabilities and a target language model. Experimental results on German->English news domain and English->Russian ecommerce domain translation tasks show that using phrase-based models in NMT search improves MT quality by up to 2.3% BLEU absolute as compared to a strong NMT baseline.

Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA), Oct. 2016

Guided Alignment Training for Topic-Aware Neural Machine Translation

Wenhu Chen, Evgeny Matusov, Shahram Khadivi, Jan-Thorsten Peter

In this paper, we propose an effective way for biasing the attention mechanism of a sequence-to-sequence neural machine translation (NMT) model towards the well-studied statistical word alignment models. We show that our novel guided alignment training approach improves translation quality on real-life e-commerce texts consisting of product titles and descriptions, overcoming the problems posed by many unknown words and a large type/token ratio. We also show that meta-data associated with input texts such as topic or category information can significantly improve translation quality when used as an additional signal to the decoder part of the network. With both novel features, the BLEU score of the NMT system on a product title set improves from 18.6 to 21.3%. Even larger MT quality gains are obtained through domain adaptation of a general domain NMT system to e-commerce data. The developed NMT system also performs well on the IWSLT speech translation task, where an ensemble of four variant systems outperforms the phrase-based baseline by 2.1% BLEU absolute.

Information Systems 60: 34-49 (2016)

Aggregated 2D range queries on clustered points.

Nieves R. Brisaboa, Guillermo de Bernardo, Roberto Konow, Gonzalo Navarro, Diego Seco

Efficient processing of aggregated range queries on two-dimensional grids is a common requirement in information retrieval and data mining systems, for example in Geographic Information Systems and OLAP cubes. We introduce a technique to represent grids supporting aggregated range queries that requires little space when the data points in the grid are clustered, which is common in practice. We show how this general technique can be used to support two important types of aggregated queries, which are ranked range queries and counting range queries. Our experimental evaluation shows that this technique can speed up aggregated queries up to more than an order of magnitude, with a small space overhead.

CERI 2016: 14

Fast compressed-based strategies for author profiling of social media texts

Francisco Claude, Roberto Konow, Susana Ladra

Given a text, it may be useful to determine the age, gender, native language, nationality, personality and other demographic attributes of its author. This task is called author profiling, and has been studied by different areas, especially from linguistics and natural language processing, by extracting different content- and style-based features from training documents and then using various machine learning approaches.

In this paper we address the author profiling task by using several compression-inspired strategies. More specifically, we generate different models to identify the age and the gender of the author of a given document without analysing or extracting specific features from the textual content, making them style-oblivious approaches.

We compare and analyse their behaviour over datasets of different nature. Our results show that by using simple compression-inspired techniques we are able to obtain very competitive results in terms of accuracy and we are orders of magnitude faster for the evaluation phase when compared to other state-of-the-art complex and resource-demanding techniques.

WACV, March, 2016

Fashion Apparel Detection: The Role of Deep Convolutional Neural Network and Pose-dependent Priors

Kota Hara, Vignesh Jagadeesh, Robinson Piramuthu

In this work, we propose and address a new computer vision task, which we call fashion item detection, where the aim is to detect various fashion items a person in the image is wearing or carrying. The types of fashion items we consider in this work include hat, glasses, bag, pants, shoes and so on.

The detection of fashion items can be an important first step of various e-commerce applications for fashion industry. Our method is based on state-of-the-art object detection method which combines object proposal methods with a Deep Convolutional Neural Network.

Since the locations of fashion items are in strong correlation with the locations of body joints positions, we incorporate contextual information from body poses in order to improve the detection performance. Through the experiments, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Washinton DC, 27-30 Oct. 2014

Astro: A Predictive Model for Anomaly Detection and Feedback-based Scheduling on Hadoop

Chaitali Gupta, Mayank Bansal, Tzu-Cheng Chuang, Ranjan Sinha, Sami Ben-romdhane

The sheer growth in data volume and Hadoop cluster size make it a significant challenge to diagnose and locate problems in a production-level cluster environment efficiently and within a short period of time. Often times, the distributed monitoring systems are not capable of detecting a problem well in advance when a large-scale Hadoop cluster starts to deteriorate i n performance or becomes unavailable. Thus, inc o m i n g workloads, scheduled between the time when cluster starts to deteriorate and the time when the problem is identified, suffer from longer execution times. As a result, both reliability and throughput of the cluster reduce significantly. In this paper, we address this problem by proposing a system called Astro, which consists of a predictive model and an extension to the Hadoop scheduler. The predictive model in Astro takes into account a rich set of cluster behavioral information that are collected by monitoring processes and model them using machine learning algorithms to predict future behavior of the cluster. The Astro predictive model detects anomalies in the cluster and also identifies a ranked set of metrics that have contributed the most towards the problem. The Astro scheduler uses the prediction outcome and the list of metrics to decide whether it needs to move and reduce workloads from the problematic cluster nodes or to prevent additional workload allocations to them, in order to improve both throughput and reliability of the cluster. The results demonstrate that the Astro scheduler improves usage of cluster compute resources significantly by 64.23% compared to traditional Hadoop. Furthermore, the runtime of the benchmark application reduced by 26.68% during the time of anomaly, thus improving the cluster throughput.

Santa Clara, Oct. 29 2015-Nov. 1 2015

Eagle: User Profile-based Anomaly Detection for Securing Hadoop Clusters

Chaitali Gupta, Ranjan Sinha, Yong Zhang

Existing Big data analytics platforms, such as Hadoop, lack support for user activity monitoring. Several diagnostic tools such as Ganglia, Ambari, and Cloudera Manager are available to monitor health of a cluster, however, they do not provide algorithms to detect security threats or perform user activity monitoring. Hence, there is a need to develop a scalable system that can detect malicious user activities, especially in real-time, so that appropriate actions can be taken against the user. At eBay, we developed such a system named Eagle, which collects audit logs from Hadoop clusters and applications running on them, analyzes users behavior, generates profiles per user of the system, and predicts anomalous user activities based on their prior profiles. Eagle is a highly scalable system, capable of monitoring multiple eBay clusters in real-time. It includes machine-learning algorithms that create user profiles based on the user's history of activities. As far as we know, this is the first activity monitoring system on the Hadoop-ecosystem for the detection of intrusion-related activities using behavior-based profiles of users. When a user performs any operation in the cluster, Eagle matches current user action against his prior activity pattern and raises alarm if it suspects anomalous action. We investigate two machine-learning algorithms: density estimation, and principal component analysis (PCA). In this paper, we introduce the Eagle system, discuss the algorithms in detail, and show performance results. We demonstrate that the sensitivity of the density estimation algorithm is 93%, however the sensitivity of our system increases by 4.94% (on average) to 98% (approximately) by using an ensemble of the two algorithms during anomaly detection.

Mathematics in Image Formation and Processing, July 2000

Statistical proximal point methods for image reconstruction

A.O. Hero, S. Crétien and Robinson Piramuthu