**QuickSel**

Estimating the selectivity of a query is a key step in almost any cost-based query optimizer. Most of today’s databases rely on histograms or samples that are periodically refreshed by re-scanning the data as the underlying data changes. Since frequent scans are costly, these statistics are often stale and lead to poor selectivity estimates. As an alternative to scans, query-driven histograms have been proposed, which refine the histograms based on the actual selectivities of the observed queries. Unfortunately, these approaches are either too costly to use in practice—i.e., require an exponential number of buckets—or quickly lose their advantage as they observe more queries. For example, the state-of-the-art technique requires 318,936 buckets (and over 8 seconds of refinement overhead per query) after observing only 300 queries. In this paper, we propose a selectivity learning framework, called QuickSel, which falls into the query-driven paradigm but does not use histograms. Instead, it builds an internal model of the underlying data, which can be refined significantly faster (e.g., only 1.9 milliseconds for 300 queries). This fast refinement allows QuickSel to continuously learn from each query and yield increasingly more accurate selectivity estimates over time. Unlike query-driven histograms, QuickSel relies on a mixture model and a new optimization algorithm for training its model. Our extensive experiments on two real-world datasets confirm that, given the same target accuracy, QuickSel is on average 254.6x faster than state-of-the-art query-driven histograms, including ISOMER and STHoles. Further, given the same space budget, QuickSel is on average 57.3% and 91.1% more accurate than periodically-updated histograms and samples, respectively. … **Successive Over Relaxation (SOR)**

In a discounted reward Markov Decision Process (MDP) the objective is to find the optimal value function, i.e., the value function corresponding to an optimal policy. This problem reduces to solving a functional equation known as the Bellman equation and fixed point iteration scheme known as value iteration is utilized to obtain the solution. In [1], a successive over relaxation value iteration scheme is proposed to speed up the computation of the optimal value function. They propose a modified Bellman equation and prove the faster convergence to the optimal value function. However, in many practical applications, the model information is not known and we resort to Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms to obtain optimal policy and value function. One such popular algorithm is Q-Learning. In this paper, we propose Successive Over Relaxation (SOR) Q-Learning. We first derive a fixed point iteration for optimal Q-values based on [1] and utilize the stochastic approximation scheme to derive a learning algorithm to compute the optimal value function and an optimal policy. We then prove the convergence of the SOR Q-Learning to optimal Q-values. Finally, through numerical experiments, we show that SOR Q-Learning is faster compared to the Q-Learning algorithm. … **FML-kNN**

Efficient management and analysis of large volumes of data is a demanding task of increasing scientific and industrial importance, as the ubiquitous generation of information governs more and more aspects of human life. In this article, we introduce FML-kNN, a novel distributed processing framework for Big Data that performs probabilistic classification and regression, implemented in Apache Flink. The framework’s core is consisted of a k-nearest neighbor joins algorithm which, contrary to similar approaches, is executed in a single distributed session and is able to operate on very large volumes of data of variable granularity and dimensionality. We assess FML-kNN’s performance and scalability in a detailed experimental evaluation, in which it is compared to similar methods implemented in Apache Hadoop, Spark, and Flink distributed processing engines. The results indicate an overall superiority of our framework in all the performed comparisons. Further, we apply FML-kNN in two motivating uses cases for water demand management, against real-world domestic water consumption data. In particular, we focus on forecasting water consumption using 1-h smart meter data, and extracting consumer characteristics from water use data in the shower. We further discuss on the obtained results, demonstrating the framework’s potential in useful knowledge extraction. … **Split Batch Normalization (Split-BN)**

Recent work has shown that using unlabeled data in semi-supervised learning is not always beneficial and can even hurt generalization, especially when there is a class mismatch between the unlabeled and labeled examples. We investigate this phenomenon for image classification on the CIFAR-10 and the ImageNet datasets, and with many other forms of domain shifts applied (e.g. salt-and-pepper noise). Our main contribution is Split Batch Normalization (Split-BN), a technique to improve SSL when the additional unlabeled data comes from a shifted distribution. We achieve it by using separate batch normalization statistics for unlabeled examples. Due to its simplicity, we recommend it as a standard practice. Finally, we analyse how domain shift affects the SSL training process. In particular, we find that during training the statistics of hidden activations in late layers become markedly different between the unlabeled and the labeled examples. …

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