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January 5, 2021 Nirbhay Modhe, Prithvijit Chattopadhyay, Mohit Sharma, Abhishek Das, Devi Parikh, Dhruv Batra, Ramakrishna Vedantam
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IR-VIC: Unsupervised Discovery of Sub-goals for Transfer in RL

We propose a novel framework to identify subgoals useful for exploration in sequential decision making tasks under partial observability.
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January 1, 2021 Mahmoud Assran, Michael Rabbat
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Asynchronous Gradient-Push

We consider a multi-agent framework for distributed optimization where each agent has access to a local smooth strongly convex function, and the collective goal is to achieve consensus on the parameters that minimize the sum of the agents’ local functions. We propose an algorithm wherein each agent operates asynchronously and independently of the other agents.
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November 3, 2020 Lefteris Kokoris Kogias, Dahlia Malkhi, Alexander Spiegelman
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Asynchronous Distributed Key Generation for ComputationallySecure Randomness, Consensus, and Threshold Signatures

In this paper, we present the first Asynchronous Distributed Key Generation (ADKG) algorithm which is also the first distributed key generation algorithm that can generate cryptographic keys with a dual (𝑓, 2𝑓 + 1)−threshold (where 𝑓 is the number of faulty parties).
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November 1, 2020 Mathieu Baudet, George Danezis, Alberto Sonnino
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FastPay: High-Performance Byzantine Fault Tolerant Settlement

FastPay allows a set of distributed authorities, some of which are Byzantine, to maintain a high-integrity and availability settlement system for pre-funded payments. It can be used to settle payments in a native unit of value (crypto-currency), or as a financial side-infrastructure to support retail payments in fiat currencies. FastPay is based on Byzantine Consistent Broadcast as its core primitive, foregoing the expenses of full atomic commit channels (consensus).
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October 26, 2020 Yangyang Shi, Yongqiang Wang, Chunyang Wu, Christian Fuegen, Frank Zhang, Duc Le, Ching-Feng Yeh, Michael L. Seltzer
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Weak-Attention Suppression For Transformer Based Speech Recognition

In this paper, we propose Weak-Attention Suppression (WAS), a method that dynamically induces sparsity in attention probabilities. We demonstrate that WAS leads to consistent Word Error Rate (WER) improvement over strong transformer baselines.
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October 23, 2020 Sarah Azouvi, George Danezis, Valeria Nikolaenko
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Winkle: Foiling Long-Range Attacks in Proof-of-Stake Systems

Winkle protects any validator-based byzantine fault tolerant consensus mechanisms, such as those used in modern Proof-of-Stake blockchains, against long-range attacks where old validators’ signature keys get compromised. Winkle is a decentralized secondary layer of client-based validation, where a client includes a single additional field into a transaction that they sign: a hash of the previously sequenced block.
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October 22, 2020 Kostas Chalkias, François Garillot, Valeria Nikolaenko
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Taming the many EdDSAs

This paper analyses security of concrete instantiations of EdDSA by identifying exploitable inconsistencies between standardization recommendations and Ed25519 implementations. We mainly focus on current ambiguity regarding signature verification equations, binding and malleability guarantees, and incompatibilities between randomized batch and single verification.
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October 21, 2020 Emma Zhong, Kevin Cheang, Shaz Qadeer, Wolfgang Grieskamp, Sam Blackshear, Junkil Park, Yoni Zohar, Clark Barrett, David Dill
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The Move Prover

The Libra blockchain is designed to store billions of dollars in assets, so the security of code that executes transactions is important. The Libra blockchain has a new language for implementing transactions, called “Move.” This paper describes the Move Prover, an automatic formal verification system for Move.
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October 17, 2020 Sulav Malla, Qingyuan Deng, Zoh Ebrahimzadeh, Joe Gasperetti, Sajal Jain, Parimala Kondety, Thiara Ortiz, Debra Vieira
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Coordinated Priority-aware Charging of Distributed Batteries in Oversubscribed Data Centers

The problem caused by simultaneous recharging of batteries in a data center has not been extensively studied and no real-world solutions have been proposed in the literature. In this paper, we identify the problem due to battery recharging with case studies from Facebook’s data centers. We describe the solutions we have developed to coordinate charging of batteries without exceeding the circuit breaker power limit.
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October 17, 2020 Justin Cheng, Moira Burke, Bethany de Gant
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Country Differences in Social Comparison on Social Media

Social comparison is a common focus in discussions of online social media use and differences in its frequency, causes, and outcomes may arise from country or cultural differences. To understand how these differences play a role in experiences of social comparison on Facebook, a survey of 37,729 people across 18 countries was paired with respondents’ activity on Facebook.
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