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Learning long term dependencies in recurrent networks is difficult due to vanishing and exploding gradients. To overcome this difficulty, researchers have developed sophisticated optimization techniques and network architectures. In this paper, we propose a simpler solution that use recurrent neural networks composed of rectified linear units. Key to our solution is the use of the identity matrix or its scaled version to initialize the recurrent weight matrix. We find that our solution is comparable to LSTM on our four benchmarks: two toy problems involving long-range temporal structures, a large language modeling problem and a benchmark speech recognition problem.

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Distributional models that learn rich semantic word representations are a success story of recent NLP research. However, developing models that learn useful representations of phrases and sentences has proved far harder. We propose using the definitions found in everyday dictionaries as a means of bridging this gap between lexical and phrasal semantics. Neural language embedding models can be effectively trained to map dictionary definitions (phrases) to (lexical) representations of the words defined by those definitions. We present two applications of these architectures: "reverse dictionaries" that return the name of a concept given a definition or description and general-knowledge crossword question answerers. On both tasks, neural language embedding models trained on definitions from a handful of freely-available lexical resources perform as well or better than existing commercial systems that rely on significant task-specific engineering. The results highlight the effectiveness of both neural embedding architectures and definition-based training for developing models that understand phrases and sentences.

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Several variants of the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) architecture for recurrent neural networks have been proposed since its inception in 1995. In recent years, these networks have become the state-of-the-art models for a variety of machine learning problems. This has led to a renewed interest in understanding the role and utility of various computational components of typical LSTM variants. In this paper, we present the first large-scale analysis of eight LSTM variants on three representative tasks: speech recognition, handwriting recognition, and polyphonic music modeling. The hyperparameters of all LSTM variants for each task were optimized separately using random search and their importance was assessed using the powerful fANOVA framework. In total, we summarize the results of 5400 experimental runs (about 15 years of CPU time), which makes our study the largest of its kind on LSTM networks. Our results show that none of the variants can improve upon the standard LSTM architecture significantly, and demonstrate the forget gate and the output activation function to be its most critical components. We further observe that the studied hyperparameters are virtually independent and derive guidelines for their efficient adjustment.

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One long-term goal of machine learning research is to produce methods that are applicable to reasoning and natural language, in particular building an intelligent dialogue agent. To measure progress towards that goal, we argue for the usefulness of a set of proxy tasks that evaluate reading comprehension via question answering. Our tasks measure understanding in several ways: whether a system is able to answer questions via chaining facts, simple induction, deduction and many more. The tasks are designed to be prerequisites for any system that aims to be capable of conversing with a human. We believe many existing learning systems can currently not solve them, and hence our aim is to classify these tasks into skill sets, so that researchers can identify (and then rectify) the failings of their systems. We also extend and improve the recently introduced Memory Networks model, and show it is able to solve some, but not all, of the tasks.

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Parameter-specific adaptive learning rate methods are computationally efficient ways to reduce the ill-conditioning problems encountered when training large deep networks. Following recent work that strongly suggests that most of the critical points encountered when training such networks are saddle points, we find how considering the presence of negative eigenvalues of the Hessian could help us design better suited adaptive learning rate schemes. We show that the popular Jacobi preconditioner has undesirable behavior in the presence of both positive and negative curvature, and present theoretical and empirical evidence that the so-called equilibration preconditioner is comparatively better suited to non-convex problems. We introduce a novel adaptive learning rate scheme, called ESGD, based on the equilibration preconditioner. Our experiments show that ESGD performs as well or better than RMSProp in terms of convergence speed, always clearly improving over plain stochastic gradient descent.

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Interstellar is the first Hollywood movie to attempt depicting a black hole as it would actually be seen by somebody nearby. For this we developed a code called DNGR (Double Negative Gravitational Renderer) to solve the equations for ray-bundle (light-beam) propagation through the curved spacetime of a spinning (Kerr) black hole, and to render IMAX-quality, rapidly changing images. Our ray-bundle techniques were crucial for achieving IMAX-quality smoothness without flickering. This paper has four purposes: (i) To describe DNGR for physicists and CGI practitioners . (ii) To present the equations we use, when the camera is in arbitrary motion at an arbitrary location near a Kerr black hole, for mapping light sources to camera images via elliptical ray bundles. (iii) To describe new insights, from DNGR, into gravitational lensing when the camera is near the spinning black hole, rather than far away as in almost all prior studies. (iv) To describe how the images of the black hole Gargantua and its accretion disk, in the movie \emph{Interstellar}, were generated with DNGR. There are no new astrophysical insights in this accretion-disk section of the paper, but disk novices may find it pedagogically interesting, and movie buffs may find its discussions of Interstellar interesting.

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Pixel-level labelling tasks, such as semantic segmentation, play a central role in image understanding. Recent approaches have attempted to harness the capabilities of deep learning techniques for image recognition to tackle pixel-level labelling tasks. One central issue in this methodology is the limited capacity of deep learning techniques to delineate visual objects. To solve this problem, we introduce a new form of convolutional neural network that combines the strengths of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and Conditional Random Fields (CRFs)-based probabilistic graphical modelling. To this end, we formulate mean-field approximate inference for the Conditional Random Fields with Gaussian pairwise potentials as Recurrent Neural Networks. This network, called CRF-RNN, is then plugged in as a part of a CNN to obtain a deep network that has desirable properties of both CNNs and CRFs. Importantly, our system fully integrates CRF modelling with CNNs, making it possible to train the whole deep network end-to-end with the usual back-propagation algorithm, avoiding offline post-processing methods for object delineation. We apply the proposed method to the problem of semantic image segmentation, obtaining top results on the challenging Pascal VOC 2012 segmentation benchmark.

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Inspired by recent work in machine translation and object detection, we introduce an attention based model that automatically learns to describe the content of images. We describe how we can train this model in a deterministic manner using standard backpropagation techniques and stochastically by maximizing a variational lower bound. We also show through visualization how the model is able to automatically learn to fix its gaze on salient objects while generating the corresponding words in the output sequence. We validate the use of attention with state-of-the-art performance on three benchmark datasets: Flickr8k, Flickr30k and MS COCO.

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Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.

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This article demontrates that we can apply deep learning to text understanding from character-level inputs all the way up to abstract text concepts, using temporal convolutional networks (ConvNets). We apply ConvNets to various large-scale datasets, including ontology classification, sentiment analysis, and text categorization. We show that temporal ConvNets can achieve astonishing performance without the knowledge of words, phrases, sentences and any other syntactic or semantic structures with regards to a human language. Evidence shows that our models can work for both English and Chinese.

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We propose a deep learning method for single image super-resolution (SR). Our method directly learns an end-to-end mapping between the low/high-resolution images. The mapping is represented as a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) that takes the low-resolution image as the input and outputs the high-resolution one. We further show that traditional sparse-coding-based SR methods can also be viewed as a deep convolutional network. But unlike traditional methods that handle each component separately, our method jointly optimizes all layers. Our deep CNN has a lightweight structure, yet demonstrates state-of-the-art restoration quality, and achieves fast speed for practical on-line usage. We explore different network structures and parameter settings to achieve trade-offs between performance and speed. Moreover, we extend our network to cope with three color channels simultaneously, and show better overall reconstruction quality.

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