**Coded Partial Gradient Computation (CPGC)**

Coded computation techniques provide robustness against straggling servers in distributed computing, with the following limitations: First, they increase decoding complexity. Second, they ignore computations carried out by straggling servers; and they are typically designed to recover the full gradient, and thus, cannot provide a balance between the accuracy of the gradient and per-iteration completion time. Here we introduce a hybrid approach, called coded partial gradient computation (CPGC), that benefits from the advantages of both coded and uncoded computation schemes, and reduces both the computation time and decoding complexity. … **Asynchronous Distributed Gibbs (ADG)**

Gibbs sampling is a widely used Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method for numerically approximating integrals of interest in Bayesian statistics and other mathematical sciences. It is widely believed that MCMC methods do not extend easily to parallel implementations, as their inherently sequential nature incurs a large synchronization cost. This means that new solutions are needed to bring Bayesian analysis fully into the era of large-scale computation. In this paper, we present a novel scheme – Asynchronous Distributed Gibbs (ADG) sampling – that allows us to perform MCMC in a parallel fashion with no synchronization or locking, avoiding the typical performance bottlenecks of parallel algorithms. Our method is especially attractive in settings, such as hierarchical random-effects modeling in which each observation has its own random effect, where the problem dimension grows with the sample size. We prove convergence under some basic regularity conditions, and discuss the proof for similar parallelization schemes for other iterative algorithms. We provide three examples that illustrate some of the algorithm’s properties with respect to scaling. Because our hardware resources are bounded, we have not yet found a limit to the algorithm’s scaling, and thus its true capabilities remain unknown. … **Evaluating Quantitative Understanding Aptitude in Textual Entailment (EQUATE)**

Quantitative reasoning is an important component of reasoning that any intelligent natural language understanding system can reasonably be expected to handle. We present EQUATE (Evaluating Quantitative Understanding Aptitude in Textual Entailment), a new dataset to evaluate the ability of models to reason with quantities in textual entailment (including not only arithmetic and algebraic computation, but also other phenomena such as range comparisons and verbal reasoning with quantities). The average performance of 7 published textual entailment models on EQUATE does not exceed a majority class baseline, indicating that current models do not implicitly learn to reason with quantities. We propose a new baseline Q-REAS that manipulates quantities symbolically, achieving some success on numerical reasoning, but struggling at more verbal aspects of the task. We hope our evaluation framework will support the development of new models of quantitative reasoning in language understanding. … **Deep Weibull Model (DW-RNN)**

One of the key challenges in predictive maintenance is to predict the impending downtime of an equipment with a reasonable prediction horizon so that countermeasures can be put in place. Classically, this problem has been posed in two different ways which are typically solved independently: (1) Remaining useful life (RUL) estimation as a long-term prediction task to estimate how much time is left in the useful life of the equipment and (2) Failure prediction (FP) as a short-term prediction task to assess the probability of a failure within a pre-specified time window. As these two tasks are related, performing them separately is sub-optimal and might results in inconsistent predictions for the same equipment. In order to alleviate these issues, we propose two methods: Deep Weibull model (DW-RNN) and multi-task learning (MTL-RNN). DW-RNN is able to learn the underlying failure dynamics by fitting Weibull distribution parameters using a deep neural network, learned with a survival likelihood, without training directly on each task. While DW-RNN makes an explicit assumption on the data distribution, MTL-RNN exploits the implicit relationship between the long-term RUL and short-term FP tasks to learn the underlying distribution. Additionally, both our methods can leverage the non-failed equipment data for RUL estimation. We demonstrate that our methods consistently outperform baseline RUL methods that can be used for FP while producing consistent results for RUL and FP. We also show that our methods perform at par with baselines trained on the objectives optimized for either of the two tasks. …

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