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Improved Training of Wasserstein GANs

Ishaan Gulrajani, Faruk Ahmed, Martin Arjovsky, Vincent Dumoulin, Aaron Courville

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are powerful generative models, but suffer from training instability. The recently proposed Wasserstein GAN (WGAN) makes significant progress toward stable training of GANs, but can still generate low-quality samples or fail to converge in some settings. We find that these training failures are often due to the use of weight clipping in WGAN to enforce a Lipschitz constraint on the critic, which can lead to pathological behavior. We propose an alternative method for enforcing the Lipschitz constraint: instead of clipping weights, penalize the norm of the gradient of the critic with respect to its input. Our proposed method converges faster and generates higher-quality samples than WGAN with weight clipping. Finally, our method enables very stable GAN training: for the first time, we can train a wide variety of GAN architectures with almost no hyperparameter tuning, including 101-layer ResNets and language models over discrete data.

Captured tweets and retweets: 55

BEGAN: Boundary Equilibrium Generative Adversarial Networks

David Berthelot, Tom Schumm, Luke Metz

We propose a new equilibrium enforcing method paired with a loss derived from the Wasserstein distance for training auto-encoder based Generative Adversarial Networks. This method balances the generator and discriminator during training. Additionally, it provides a new approximate convergence measure, fast and stable training and high visual quality. We also derive a way of controlling the trade-off between image diversity and visual quality. We focus on the image generation task, setting a new milestone in visual quality, even at higher resolutions. This is achieved while using a relatively simple model architecture and a standard training procedure.

Captured tweets and retweets: 2

Finding News Citations for Wikipedia

Besnik Fetahu, Katja Markert, Wolfgang Nejdl, Avishek Anand

An important editing policy in Wikipedia is to provide citations for added statements in Wikipedia pages, where statements can be arbitrary pieces of text, ranging from a sentence to a paragraph. In many cases citations are either outdated or missing altogether. In this work we address the problem of finding and updating news citations for statements in entity pages. We propose a two-stage supervised approach for this problem. In the first step, we construct a classifier to find out whether statements need a news citation or other kinds of citations (web, book, journal, etc.). In the second step, we develop a news citation algorithm for Wikipedia statements, which recommends appropriate citations from a given news collection. Apart from IR techniques that use the statement to query the news collection, we also formalize three properties of an appropriate citation, namely: (i) the citation should entail the Wikipedia statement, (ii) the statement should be central to the citation, and (iii) the citation should be from an authoritative source. We perform an extensive evaluation of both steps, using 20 million articles from a real-world news collection. Our results are quite promising, and show that we can perform this task with high precision and at scale.

Captured tweets and retweets: 9

Tacotron: A Fully End-to-End Text-To-Speech Synthesis Model

Yuxuan Wang, RJ Skerry-Ryan, Daisy Stanton, Yonghui Wu, Ron J. Weiss, Navdeep Jaitly, Zongheng Yang, Ying Xiao, Zhifeng Chen, Samy Bengio, Quoc Le, Yannis Agiomyrgiannakis, Rob Clark, Rif A. Saurous

A text-to-speech synthesis system typically consists of multiple stages, such as a text analysis frontend, an acoustic model and an audio synthesis module. Building these components often requires extensive domain expertise and may contain brittle design choices. In this paper, we present Tacotron, an end-to-end generative text-to-speech model that synthesizes speech directly from characters. Given <text, audio> pairs, the model can be trained completely from scratch with random initialization. We present several key techniques to make the sequence-to-sequence framework perform well for this challenging task. Tacotron achieves a 3.82 subjective 5-scale mean opinion score on US English, outperforming a production parametric system in terms of naturalness. In addition, since Tacotron generates speech at the frame level, it's substantially faster than sample-level autoregressive methods.

Captured tweets and retweets: 2

Scaling the Scattering Transform: Deep Hybrid Networks

Edouard Oyallon, Eugene Belilovsky, Sergey Zagoruyko

We use the scattering network as a generic and fixed initialization of the first layers of a supervised hybrid deep network. We show that early layers do not necessarily need to be learned, providing the best results to-date with pre-defined representations while being competitive with Deep CNNs. Using a shallow cascade of 1x1 convolutions, which encodes scattering coefficients that correspond to spatial windows of very small sizes, permits to obtain AlexNet accuracy on the imagenet ILSVRC2012. We demonstrate that this local encoding explicitly learns in-variance w.r.t. rotations. Combining scattering networks with a modern ResNet, we achieve a single-crop top 5 error of 11.4% on imagenet ILSVRC2012, comparable to the Resnet-18 architecture, while utilizing only 10 layers. We also find that hybrid architectures can yield excellent performance in the small sample regime, exceeding their end-to-end counterparts, through their ability to incorporate geometrical priors. We demonstrate this on subsets of the CIFAR-10 dataset and by setting a new state-of-the-art on the STL-10 dataset.

Captured tweets and retweets: 2

Sequence-to-Sequence Models Can Directly Transcribe Foreign Speech

Ron J. Weiss, Jan Chorowski, Navdeep Jaitly, Yonghui Wu, Zhifeng Chen

We present a recurrent encoder-decoder deep neural network architecture that directly translates speech in one language into text in another. The model does not explicitly transcribe the speech into text in the source language, nor does it require supervision from the ground truth source language transcription during training. We apply a slightly modified sequence-to-sequence with attention architecture that has previously been used for speech recognition and show that it can be repurposed for this more complex task, illustrating the power of attention-based models. A single model trained end-to-end obtains state-of-the-art performance on the Fisher Callhome Spanish-English speech translation task, outperforming a cascade of independently trained sequence-to-sequence speech recognition and machine translation models by 1.8 BLEU points on the Fisher test set. In addition, we find that making use of the training data in both languages by multi-task training sequence-to-sequence speech translation and recognition models with a shared encoder network can improve performance by a further 1.4 BLEU points.

Captured tweets and retweets: 13

One-Shot Imitation Learning

Yan Duan, Marcin Andrychowicz, Bradly Stadie, Jonathan Ho, Jonas Schneider, Ilya Sutskever, Pieter Abbeel, Wojciech Zaremba

Imitation learning has been commonly applied to solve different tasks in isolation. This usually requires either careful feature engineering, or a significant number of samples. This is far from what we desire: ideally, robots should be able to learn from very few demonstrations of any given task, and instantly generalize to new situations of the same task, without requiring task-specific engineering. In this paper, we propose a meta-learning framework for achieving such capability, which we call one-shot imitation learning. Specifically, we consider the setting where there is a very large set of tasks, and each task has many instantiations. For example, a task could be to stack all blocks on a table into a single tower, another task could be to place all blocks on a table into two-block towers, etc. In each case, different instances of the task would consist of different sets of blocks with different initial states. At training time, our algorithm is presented with pairs of demonstrations for a subset of all tasks. A neural net is trained that takes as input one demonstration and the current state (which initially is the initial state of the other demonstration of the pair), and outputs an action with the goal that the resulting sequence of states and actions matches as closely as possible with the second demonstration. At test time, a demonstration of a single instance of a new task is presented, and the neural net is expected to perform well on new instances of this new task. The use of soft attention allows the model to generalize to conditions and tasks unseen in the training data. We anticipate that by training this model on a much greater variety of tasks and settings, we will obtain a general system that can turn any demonstrations into robust policies that can accomplish an overwhelming variety of tasks. Videos available at

Captured tweets and retweets: 5

Mask R-CNN

Kaiming He, Georgia Gkioxari, Piotr Dollár, Ross Girshick

We present a conceptually simple, flexible, and general framework for object instance segmentation. Our approach efficiently detects objects in an image while simultaneously generating a high-quality segmentation mask for each instance. The method, called Mask R-CNN, extends Faster R-CNN by adding a branch for predicting an object mask in parallel with the existing branch for bounding box recognition. Mask R-CNN is simple to train and adds only a small overhead to Faster R-CNN, running at 5 fps. Moreover, Mask R-CNN is easy to generalize to other tasks, e.g., allowing us to estimate human poses in the same framework. We show top results in all three tracks of the COCO suite of challenges, including instance segmentation, bounding-box object detection, and person keypoint detection. Without tricks, Mask R-CNN outperforms all existing, single-model entries on every task, including the COCO 2016 challenge winners. We hope our simple and effective approach will serve as a solid baseline and help ease future research in instance-level recognition. Code will be made available.

Captured tweets and retweets: 110

Learning Cooperative Visual Dialog Agents with Deep Reinforcement Learning

Abhishek Das, Satwik Kottur, José M. F. Moura, Stefan Lee, Dhruv Batra

We introduce the first goal-driven training for visual question answering and dialog agents. Specifically, we pose a cooperative 'image guessing' game between two agents -- Qbot and Abot -- who communicate in natural language dialog so that Qbot can select an unseen image from a lineup of images. We use deep reinforcement learning (RL) to learn the policies of these agents end-to-end -- from pixels to multi-agent multi-round dialog to game reward. We demonstrate two experimental results. First, as a 'sanity check' demonstration of pure RL (from scratch), we show results on a synthetic world, where the agents communicate in ungrounded vocabulary, i.e., symbols with no pre-specified meanings (X, Y, Z). We find that two bots invent their own communication protocol and start using certain symbols to ask/answer about certain visual attributes (shape/color/size). Thus, we demonstrate the emergence of grounded language and communication among 'visual' dialog agents with no human supervision at all. Second, we conduct large-scale real-image experiments on the VisDial dataset, where we pretrain with supervised dialog data and show that the RL 'fine-tuned' agents significantly outperform SL agents. Interestingly, the RL Qbot learns to ask questions that Abot is good at, ultimately resulting in more informative dialog and a better team.

Captured tweets and retweets: 2

A Study of Complex Deep Learning Networks on High Performance, Neuromorphic, and Quantum Computers

Thomas E. Potok, Catherine Schuman, Steven R. Young, Robert M. Patton, Federico Spedalieri, Jeremy Liu, Ke-Thia Yao, Garrett Rose, Gangotree Chakma

Current Deep Learning approaches have been very successful using convolutional neural networks (CNN) trained on large graphical processing units (GPU)-based computers. Three limitations of this approach are: 1) they are based on a simple layered network topology, i.e., highly connected layers, without intra-layer connections; 2) the networks are manually configured to achieve optimal results, and 3) the implementation of neuron model is expensive in both cost and power. In this paper, we evaluate deep learning models using three different computing architectures to address these problems: quantum computing to train complex topologies, high performance computing (HPC) to automatically determine network topology, and neuromorphic computing for a low-power hardware implementation. We use the MNIST dataset for our experiment, due to input size limitations of current quantum computers. Our results show the feasibility of using the three architectures in tandem to address the above deep learning limitations. We show a quantum computer can find high quality values of intra-layer connections weights, in a tractable time as the complexity of the network increases; a high performance computer can find optimal layer-based topologies; and a neuromorphic computer can represent the complex topology and weights derived from the other architectures in low power memristive hardware.

Captured tweets and retweets: 1

Learning to Discover Cross-Domain Relations with Generative Adversarial Networks

Taeksoo Kim, Moonsu Cha, Hyunsoo Kim, Jungkwon Lee, Jiwon Kim

While humans easily recognize relations between data from different domains without any supervision, learning to automatically discover them is in general very challenging and needs many ground-truth pairs that illustrate the relations. To avoid costly pairing, we address the task of discovering cross-domain relations given unpaired data. We propose a method based on generative adversarial networks that learns to discover relations between different domains (DiscoGAN). Using the discovered relations, our proposed network successfully transfers style from one domain to another while preserving key attributes such as orientation and face identity.

Captured tweets and retweets: 1

DeepVel: deep learning for the estimation of horizontal velocities at the solar surface

A. Asensio Ramos, I. S. Requerey, N. Vitas

Many phenomena taking place in the solar photosphere are controlled by plasma motions. Although the line-of-sight component of the velocity can be estimated using the Doppler effect, we do not have direct spectroscopic access to the components that are perpendicular to the line-of-sight. These components are typically estimated using methods based on local correlation tracking. We have designed DeepVel, an end-to-end deep neural network that produces an estimation of the velocity at every single pixel and at every time step and at three different heights in the atmosphere from just two consecutive continuum images. We confront DeepVel with local correlation tracking, pointing out that they give very similar results in the time- and spatially-averaged cases. We use the network to study the evolution in height of the horizontal velocity field in fragmenting granules, supporting the buoyancy-braking mechanism for the formation of integranular lanes in these granules. We also show that DeepVel can capture very small vortices, so that we can potentially expand the scaling cascade of vortices to very small sizes and durations.

Captured tweets and retweets: 1

Sharp Minima Can Generalize For Deep Nets

Laurent Dinh, Razvan Pascanu, Samy Bengio, Yoshua Bengio

Despite their overwhelming capacity to overfit, deep learning architectures tend to generalize relatively well to unseen data, allowing them to be deployed in practice. However, explaining why this is the case is still an open area of research. One standing hypothesis that is gaining popularity, e.g. Hochreiter & Schmidhuber (1997); Keskar et al. (2017), is that the flatness of minima of the loss function found by stochastic gradient based methods results in good generalization. This paper argues that most notions of flatness are problematic for deep models and can not be directly applied to explain generalization. Specifically, when focusing on deep networks with rectifier units, we can exploit the particular geometry of parameter space induced by the inherent symmetries that these architectures exhibit to build equivalent models corresponding to arbitrarily sharper minima. Furthermore, if we allow to reparametrize a function, the geometry of its parameters can change drastically without affecting its generalization properties.

Captured tweets and retweets: 2

Online Human-Bot Interactions: Detection, Estimation, and Characterization

Onur Varol, Emilio Ferrara, Clayton A. Davis, Filippo Menczer, Alessandro Flammini

Increasing evidence suggests that a growing amount of social media content is generated by autonomous entities known as social bots. In this work we present a framework to detect such entities on Twitter. We leverage more than a thousand features extracted from public data and meta-data about users: friends, tweet content and sentiment, network patterns, and activity time series. We benchmark the classification framework by using a publicly available dataset of Twitter bots. This training data is enriched by a manually annotated collection of active Twitter users that include both humans and bots of varying sophistication. Our models yield high accuracy and agreement with each other and can detect bots of different nature. Our estimates suggest that between 9% and 15% of active Twitter accounts are bots. Characterizing ties among accounts, we observe that simple bots tend to interact with bots that exhibit more human-like behaviors. Analysis of content flows reveals retweet and mention strategies adopted by bots to interact with different target groups. Using clustering analysis, we characterize several subclasses of accounts, including spammers, self promoters, and accounts that post content from connected applications.

Captured tweets and retweets: 8

A World of Difference: Divergent Word Interpretations among People

Tianran Hu, Ruihua Song, Maya Abtahian, Philip Ding, Xing Xie, Jiebo Luo

Divergent word usages reflect differences among people. In this paper, we present a novel angle for studying word usage divergence -- word interpretations. We propose an approach that quantifies semantic differences in interpretations among different groups of people. The effectiveness of our approach is validated by quantitative evaluations. Experiment results indicate that divergences in word interpretations exist. We further apply the approach to two well studied types of differences between people -- gender and region. The detected words with divergent interpretations reveal the unique features of specific groups of people. For gender, we discover that certain different interests, social attitudes, and characters between males and females are reflected in their divergent interpretations of many words. For region, we find that specific interpretations of certain words reveal the geographical and cultural features of different regions.

Captured tweets and retweets: 1

Robust Adversarial Reinforcement Learning

Lerrel Pinto, James Davidson, Rahul Sukthankar, Abhinav Gupta

Deep neural networks coupled with fast simulation and improved computation have led to recent successes in the field of reinforcement learning (RL). However, most current RL-based approaches fail to generalize since: (a) the gap between simulation and real world is so large that policy-learning approaches fail to transfer; (b) even if policy learning is done in real world, the data scarcity leads to failed generalization from training to test scenarios (e.g., due to different friction or object masses). Inspired from H-infinity control methods, we note that both modeling errors and differences in training and test scenarios can be viewed as extra forces/disturbances in the system. This paper proposes the idea of robust adversarial reinforcement learning (RARL), where we train an agent to operate in the presence of a destabilizing adversary that applies disturbance forces to the system. The jointly trained adversary is reinforced -- that is, it learns an optimal destabilization policy. We formulate the policy learning as a zero-sum, minimax objective function. Extensive experiments in multiple environments (InvertedPendulum, HalfCheetah, Swimmer, Hopper and Walker2d) conclusively demonstrate that our method (a) improves training stability; (b) is robust to differences in training/test conditions; and c) outperform the baseline even in the absence of the adversary.

Captured tweets and retweets: 1

Generative Compression

Shibani Santurkar, David Budden, Nir Shavit

Traditional image and video compression algorithms rely on hand-crafted encoder/decoder pairs (codecs) that lack adaptability and are agnostic to the data being compressed. Here we describe the concept of generative compression, the compression of data using generative models, and show its potential to produce more accurate and visually pleasing reconstructions at much deeper compression levels for both image and video data. We also demonstrate that generative compression is orders-of-magnitude more resilient to bit error rates (e.g. from noisy wireless channels) than traditional variable-length entropy coding schemes.

Captured tweets and retweets: 2

Count-Based Exploration with Neural Density Models

Georg Ostrovski, Marc G. Bellemare, Aaron van den Oord, Remi Munos

Bellemare et al. (2016) introduced the notion of a pseudo-count to generalize count-based exploration to non-tabular reinforcement learning. This pseudo-count is derived from a density model which effectively replaces the count table used in the tabular setting. Using an exploration bonus based on this pseudo-count and a mixed Monte Carlo update applied to a DQN agent was sufficient to achieve state-of-the-art on the Atari 2600 game Montezuma's Revenge. In this paper we consider two questions left open by their work: First, how important is the quality of the density model for exploration? Second, what role does the Monte Carlo update play in exploration? We answer the first question by demonstrating the use of PixelCNN, an advanced neural density model for images, to supply a pseudo-count. In particular, we examine the intrinsic difficulties in adapting Bellemare et al's approach when assumptions about the model are violated. The result is a more practical and general algorithm requiring no special apparatus. We combine PixelCNN pseudo-counts with different agent architectures to dramatically improve the state of the art on several hard Atari games. One surprising finding is that the mixed Monte Carlo update is a powerful facilitator of exploration in the sparsest of settings, including Montezuma's Revenge.

Captured tweets and retweets: 1

Unsupervised Image-to-Image Translation Networks

Ming-Yu Liu, Thomas Breuel, Jan Kautz

Most of the existing image-to-image translation frameworks---mapping an image in one domain to a corresponding image in another---are based on supervised learning, i.e., pairs of corresponding images in two domains are required for learning the translation function. This largely limits their applications, because capturing corresponding images in two different domains is often a difficult task. To address the issue, we propose the UNsupervised Image-to-image Translation (UNIT) framework, which is based on variational autoencoders and generative adversarial networks. The proposed framework can learn the translation function without any corresponding images in two domains. We enable this learning capability by combining a weight-sharing constraint and an adversarial training objective. Through visualization results from various unsupervised image translation tasks, we verify the effectiveness of the proposed framework. An ablation study further reveals the critical design choices. Moreover, we apply the UNIT framework to the unsupervised domain adaptation task and achieve better results than competing algorithms do in benchmark datasets.

Captured tweets and retweets: 2

The Statistical Recurrent Unit

Junier B. Oliva, Barnabas Poczos, Jeff Schneider

Sophisticated gated recurrent neural network architectures like LSTMs and GRUs have been shown to be highly effective in a myriad of applications. We develop an un-gated unit, the statistical recurrent unit (SRU), that is able to learn long term dependencies in data by only keeping moving averages of statistics. The SRU's architecture is simple, un-gated, and contains a comparable number of parameters to LSTMs; yet, SRUs perform favorably to more sophisticated LSTM and GRU alternatives, often outperforming one or both in various tasks. We show the efficacy of SRUs as compared to LSTMs and GRUs in an unbiased manner by optimizing respective architectures' hyperparameters in a Bayesian optimization scheme for both synthetic and real-world tasks.

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