**vChain**

Blockchains have recently been under the spotlight due to the boom of cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications. There is an increasing demand for querying the data stored in a blockchain database. To ensure query integrity, the user can maintain the entire blockchain database and query the data locally. However, this approach is not economic, if not infeasible, because of the blockchain’s huge data size and considerable maintenance costs. In this paper, we take the first step toward investigating the problem of verifiable query processing over blockchain databases. We propose a novel framework, called vChain, that alleviates the storage and computing costs of the user and employs verifiable queries to guarantee the results’ integrity. To support verifiable Boolean range queries, we propose an accumulator-based authenticated data structure that enables dynamic aggregation over arbitrary query attributes. Two new indexes are further developed to aggregate intra-block and inter-block data records for efficient query verification. We also propose an inverted prefix tree structure to accelerate the processing of a large number of subscription queries simultaneously. Security analysis and empirical study validate the robustness and practicality of the proposed techniques. … **Regularized Multi-Embedding (RME)**

Following recent successes in exploiting both latent factor and word embedding models in recommendation, we propose a novel Regularized Multi-Embedding (RME) based recommendation model that simultaneously encapsulates the following ideas via decomposition: (1) which items a user likes, (2) which two users co-like the same items, (3) which two items users often co-liked, and (4) which two items users often co-disliked. In experimental validation, the RME outperforms competing state-of-the-art models in both explicit and implicit feedback datasets, significantly improving Recall@5 by 5.9~7.0%, NDCG@20 by 4.3~5.6%, and MAP@10 by 7.9~8.9%. In addition, under the cold-start scenario for users with the lowest number of interactions, against the competing models, the RME outperforms NDCG@5 by 20.2% and 29.4% in MovieLens-10M and MovieLens-20M datasets, respectively. Our datasets and source code are available at: https://…/RME.git. … **Stochastic Process**

In probability theory, a stochastic process, or sometimes random process (widely used) is a collection of random variables, representing the evolution of some system of random values over time. This is the probabilistic counterpart to a deterministic process (or deterministic system). Instead of describing a process which can only evolve in one way (as in the case, for example, of solutions of an ordinary differential equation), in a stochastic or random process there is some indeterminacy: even if the initial condition (or starting point) is known, there are several (often infinitely many) directions in which the process may evolve. In the simple case of discrete time, as opposed to continuous time, a stochastic process involves a sequence of random variables and the time series associated with these random variables (for example, see Markov chain, also known as discrete-time Markov chain). One approach to stochastic processes treats them as functions of one or several deterministic arguments (inputs; in most cases this will be the time parameter) whose values (outputs) are random variables: non-deterministic (single) quantities which have certain probability distributions. Random variables corresponding to various times (or points, in the case of random fields) may be completely different. The main requirement is that these different random quantities all take values in the same space (the codomain of the function). Although the random values of a stochastic process at different times may be independent random variables, in most commonly considered situations they exhibit complicated statistical correlations. Familiar examples of processes modeled as stochastic time series include stock market and exchange rate fluctuations, signals such as speech, audio and video, medical data such as a patient’s EKG, EEG, blood pressure or temperature, and random movement such as Brownian motion or random walks. Examples of random fields include static images, random terrain (landscapes), wind waves or composition variations of a heterogeneous material. A generalization, the random field, is defined by letting the variables’ parameters be members of a topological space instead of limited to real values representing time. … **CodedReduce (CR)**

We focus on the commonly used synchronous Gradient Descent paradigm for large-scale distributed learning, for which there has been a growing interest to develop efficient and robust gradient aggregation strategies that overcome two key bottlenecks: communication bandwidth and stragglers’ delays. In particular, Ring-AllReduce (RAR) design has been proposed to avoid bandwidth bottleneck at any particular node by allowing each worker to only communicate with its neighbors that are arranged in a logical ring. On the other hand, Gradient Coding (GC) has been recently proposed to mitigate stragglers in a master-worker topology by allowing carefully designed redundant allocation of the data set to the workers. We propose a joint communication topology design and data set allocation strategy, named CodedReduce (CR), that combines the best of both RAR and GC. That is, it parallelizes the communications over a tree topology leading to efficient bandwidth utilization, and carefully designs a redundant data set allocation and coding strategy at the nodes to make the proposed gradient aggregation scheme robust to stragglers. In particular, we quantify the communication parallelization gain and resiliency of the proposed CR scheme, and prove its optimality when the communication topology is a regular tree. Furthermore, we empirically evaluate the performance of our proposed CR design over Amazon EC2 and demonstrate that it achieves speedups of up to 18.9x and 7.9x, respectively over the benchmarks GC and RAR. …

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Apr 2020

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