We present a full implementation of the parareal algorithm---an integration technique to solve differential equations in parallel---in the Julia programming language for a fully general, first-order, initial-value problem. We provide a brief overview of Julia---a concurrent programming language for scientific computing. Our implementation of the parareal algorithm accepts both coarse and fine integrators as functional arguments. We use Euler's method and another Runge-Kutta integration technique as the integrators in our experiments. We also present a simulation of the algorithm for purposes of pedagogy and as a tool for investigating the performance of the algorithm.

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While nonlinear stochastic partial differential equations arise naturally in spatiotemporal modeling, inference for such systems often faces two major challenges: sparse noisy data and ill-posedness of the inverse problem of parameter estimation. To overcome the challenges, we introduce a strongly regularized posterior by normalizing the likelihood and by imposing physical constraints through priors of the parameters and states. We investigate joint parameter-state estimation by the regularized posterior in a physically motivated nonlinear stochastic energy balance model (SEBM) for paleoclimate reconstruction. The high-dimensional posterior is sampled by a particle Gibbs sampler that combines MCMC with an optimal particle filter exploiting the structure of the SEBM. In tests using either Gaussian or uniform priors based on the physical range of parameters, the regularized posteriors overcome the ill-posedness and lead to samples within physical ranges, quantifying the uncertainty in estimation. Due to the ill-posedness and the regularization, the posterior of parameters presents a relatively large uncertainty, and consequently, the maximum of the posterior, which is the minimizer in a variational approach, can have a large variation. In contrast, the posterior of states generally concentrates near the truth, substantially filtering out observation noise and reducing uncertainty in the unconstrained SEBM.

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In this paper, we investigate the impact of diverse user preference on learning under the stochastic multi-armed bandit (MAB) framework. We aim to show that when the user preferences are sufficiently diverse and each arm can be optimal for certain users, the O(log T) regret incurred by exploring the sub-optimal arms under the standard stochastic MAB setting can be reduced to a constant. Our intuition is that to achieve sub-linear regret, the number of times an optimal arm being pulled should scale linearly in time; when all arms are optimal for certain users and pulled frequently, the estimated arm statistics can quickly converge to their true values, thus reducing the need of exploration dramatically. We cast the problem into a stochastic linear bandits model, where both the users preferences and the state of arms are modeled as {independent and identical distributed (i.i.d)} d-dimensional random vectors. After receiving the user preference vector at the beginning of each time slot, the learner pulls an arm and receives a reward as the linear product of the preference vector and the arm state vector. We also assume that the state of the pulled arm is revealed to the learner once its pulled. We propose a Weighted Upper Confidence Bound (W-UCB) algorithm and show that it can achieve a constant regret when the user preferences are sufficiently diverse. The performance of W-UCB under general setups is also completely characterized and validated with synthetic data.

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