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Many real-world applications can be described as large-scale games of imperfect information. To deal with these challenging domains, prior work has focused on computing Nash equilibria in a handcrafted abstraction of the domain. In this paper we introduce the first scalable end-to-end approach to learning approximate Nash equilibria without prior domain knowledge. Our method combines fictitious self-play with deep reinforcement learning. When applied to Leduc poker, Neural Fictitious Self-Play (NFSP) approached a Nash equilibrium, whereas common reinforcement learning methods diverged. In Limit Texas Holdem, a poker game of real-world scale, NFSP learnt a strategy that approached the performance of state-of-the-art, superhuman algorithms based on significant domain expertise.

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Model-free reinforcement learning has been successfully applied to a range of challenging problems, and has recently been extended to handle large neural network policies and value functions. However, the sample complexity of model-free algorithms, particularly when using high-dimensional function approximators, tends to limit their applicability to physical systems. In this paper, we explore algorithms and representations to reduce the sample complexity of deep reinforcement learning for continuous control tasks. We propose two complementary techniques for improving the efficiency of such algorithms. First, we derive a continuous variant of the Q-learning algorithm, which we call normalized adantage functions (NAF), as an alternative to the more commonly used policy gradient and actor-critic methods. NAF representation allows us to apply Q-learning with experience replay to continuous tasks, and substantially improves performance on a set of simulated robotic control tasks. To further improve the efficiency of our approach, we explore the use of learned models for accelerating model-free reinforcement learning. We show that iteratively refitted local linear models are especially effective for this, and demonstrate substantially faster learning on domains where such models are applicable.

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We suggest a compositional vector representation of parse trees that relies on a recursive combination of recurrent-neural network encoders. To demonstrate its effectiveness, we use the representation as the backbone of a greedy, bottom-up dependency parser, achieving state-of-the-art accuracies for English and Chinese, without relying on external word embeddings. The parser's implementation is available for download at the first author's webpage.

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Most learning algorithms are not invariant to the scale of the function that is being approximated. We propose to adaptively normalize the targets used in learning. This is useful in value-based reinforcement learning, where the magnitude of appropriate value approximations can change over time when we update the policy of behavior. Our main motivation is prior work on learning to play Atari games, where the rewards were all clipped to a predetermined range. This clipping facilitates learning across many different games with a single learning algorithm, but a clipped reward function can result in qualitatively different behavior. Using the adaptive normalization we can remove this domain-specific heuristic without diminishing overall performance.

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Despite progress in perceptual tasks such as image classification, computers still perform poorly on cognitive tasks such as image description and question answering. Cognition is core to tasks that involve not just recognizing, but reasoning about our visual world. However, models used to tackle the rich content in images for cognitive tasks are still being trained using the same datasets designed for perceptual tasks. To achieve success at cognitive tasks, models need to understand the interactions and relationships between objects in an image. When asked "What vehicle is the person riding?", computers will need to identify the objects in an image as well as the relationships riding(man, carriage) and pulling(horse, carriage) in order to answer correctly that "the person is riding a horse-drawn carriage". In this paper, we present the Visual Genome dataset to enable the modeling of such relationships. We collect dense annotations of objects, attributes, and relationships within each image to learn these models. Specifically, our dataset contains over 100K images where each image has an average of 21 objects, 18 attributes, and 18 pairwise relationships between objects. We canonicalize the objects, attributes, relationships, and noun phrases in region descriptions and questions answer pairs to WordNet synsets. Together, these annotations represent the densest and largest dataset of image descriptions, objects, attributes, relationships, and question answers.

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We show that every packing of congruent regular pentagons in the Euclidean plane has density at most $(5-\sqrt5)/3$, which is about 0.92. More specifically, this article proves the pentagonal ice-ray conjecture of Henley (1986), and Kuperberg and Kuperberg (1990), which asserts that an optimal packing of congruent regular pentagons in the plane is a double lattice, formed by aligned vertical columns of upward pointing pentagons alternating with aligned vertical columns of downward pointing pentagons. The strategy is based on estimates of the areas of Delaunay triangles. Our strategy reduces the pentagonal ice-ray conjecture to area minimization problems that involve at most four Delaunay triangles. These minimization problems are solved by computer. The computer-assisted portions of the proof use techniques such as interval arithmetic, automatic differentiation, and a meet-in-the-middle algorithm.

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Learning efficient representations for concepts has been proven to be an important basis for many applications such as machine translation or document classification. Proper representations of medical concepts such as diagnosis, medication, procedure codes and visits will have broad applications in healthcare analytics. However, in Electronic Health Records (EHR) the visit sequences of patients include multiple concepts (diagnosis, procedure, and medication codes) per visit. This structure provides two types of relational information, namely sequential order of visits and co-occurrence of the codes within each visit. In this work, we propose Med2Vec, which not only learns distributed representations for both medical codes and visits from a large EHR dataset with over 3 million visits, but also allows us to interpret the learned representations confirmed positively by clinical experts. In the experiments, Med2Vec displays significant improvement in key medical applications compared to popular baselines such as Skip-gram, GloVe and stacked autoencoder, while providing clinically meaningful interpretation.

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Despite widespread adoption, machine learning models remain mostly black boxes. Understanding the reasons behind predictions is, however, quite important in assessing trust, which is fundamental if one plans to take action based on a prediction, or when choosing whether to deploy a new model. Such understanding also provides insights into the model, which can be used to transform an untrustworthy model or prediction into a trustworthy one. In this work, we propose LIME, a novel explanation technique that explains the predictions of any classifier in an interpretable and faithful manner, by learning an interpretable model locally around the prediction. We also propose a method to explain models by presenting representative individual predictions and their explanations in a non-redundant way, framing the task as a submodular optimization problem. We demonstrate the flexibility of these methods by explaining different models for text (e.g. random forests) and image classification (e.g. neural networks). We show the utility of explanations via novel experiments, both simulated and with human subjects, on various scenarios that require trust: deciding if one should trust a prediction, choosing between models, improving an untrustworthy classifier, and identifying why a classifier should not be trusted.

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For any positive integer $k$, there exist neural networks with $\Theta(k^3)$ layers, $\Theta(1)$ nodes per layer, and $\Theta(1)$ distinct parameters which can not be approximated by networks with $\mathcal{O}(k)$ layers unless they are exponentially large --- they must possess $\Omega(2^k)$ nodes. This result is proved here for a class of nodes termed "semi-algebraic gates" which includes the common choices of ReLU, maximum, indicator, and piecewise polynomial functions, therefore establishing benefits of depth against not just standard networks with ReLU gates, but also convolutional networks with ReLU and maximization gates, sum-product networks, and boosted decision trees (in this last case with a stronger separation: $\Omega(2^{k^3})$ total tree nodes are required).

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Unsupervised methods for learning distributed representations of words are ubiquitous in today's NLP research, but far less is known about the best ways to learn distributed phrase or sentence representations from unlabelled data. This paper is a systematic comparison of models that learn such representations. We find that the optimal approach depends critically on the intended application. Deeper, more complex models are preferable for representations to be used in supervised systems, but shallow log-linear models work best for building representation spaces that can be decoded with simple spatial distance metrics. We also propose two new unsupervised representation-learning objectives designed to optimise the trade-off between training time, domain portability and performance.

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We investigate a new method to augment recurrent neural networks with extra memory without increasing the number of network parameters. The system has an associative memory based on complex-valued vectors and is closely related to Holographic Reduced Representations and Long Short-Term Memory networks. Holographic Reduced Representations have limited capacity: as they store more information, each retrieval becomes noisier due to interference. Our system in contrast creates redundant copies of stored information, which enables retrieval with reduced noise. Experiments demonstrate faster learning on multiple memorization tasks.

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Attention mechanisms in neural networks have proved useful for problems in which the input and output do not have fixed dimension. Often there exist features that are locally translation invariant and would be valuable for directing the model's attention, but previous attentional architectures are not constructed to learn such features specifically. We introduce an attentional neural network that employs convolution on the input tokens to detect local time-invariant and long-range topical attention features in a context-dependent way. We apply this architecture to the problem of extreme summarization of source code snippets into short, descriptive function name-like summaries. Using those features, the model sequentially generates a summary by marginalizing over two attention mechanisms: one that predicts the next summary token based on the attention weights of the input tokens and another that is able to copy a code token as-is directly into the summary. We demonstrate our convolutional attention neural network's performance on 10 popular Java projects showing that it achieves better performance compared to previous attentional mechanisms.

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We introduce the value iteration network (VIN): a fully differentiable neural network with a `planning module' embedded within. VINs can learn to plan, and are suitable for predicting outcomes that involve planning-based reasoning, such as policies for reinforcement learning. Key to our approach is a novel differentiable approximation of the value-iteration algorithm, which can be represented as a convolutional neural network, and trained end-to-end using standard backpropagation. We evaluate VIN based policies on discrete and continuous path-planning domains, and on a natural-language based search task. We show that by learning an explicit planning computation, VIN policies generalize better to new, unseen domains.

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Machine learning (ML) models, e.g., state-of-the-art deep neural networks (DNNs), are vulnerable to adversarial examples: malicious inputs modified to yield erroneous model outputs, while appearing unmodified to human observers. Potential attacks include having malicious content like malware identified as legitimate or controlling vehicle behavior. Yet, all existing adversarial example attacks require knowledge of either the model internals or its training data. We introduce the first practical demonstration of an attacker controlling a remotely hosted DNN with no such knowledge. Indeed, the only capability of our black-box adversary is to observe labels given by the DNN to chosen inputs. Our attack strategy consists in training a local model to substitute for the target DNN, using inputs synthetically generated by an adversary and labeled by the target DNN. We then use the local substitute to craft adversarial examples, and find that they are misclassified by the targeted DNN. To perform a real-world and properly-blinded evaluation, we attack a DNN hosted by MetaMind, an online deep learning API. After labeling 6,400 synthetic inputs to train our substitute, we find that their DNN misclassifies adversarial examples crafted with our substitute at a rate of 84.24%. We demonstrate that our strategy generalizes to many ML techniques like logistic regression or SVMs, regardless of the ML model chosen for the substitute. We instantiate the same attack against models hosted by Amazon and Google, using logistic regression substitutes trained with only 800 label queries. They yield adversarial examples misclassified by Amazon and Google at rates of 96.19% and 88.94%. We also find that this black-box attack strategy is capable of evading defense strategies previously found to make adversarial example crafting harder.

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Image-generating machine learning models are typically trained with loss functions based on distance in the image space. This often leads to over-smoothed results. We propose a class of loss functions, which we call deep perceptual similarity metrics (DeePSiM), that mitigate this problem. Instead of computing distances in the image space, we compute distances between image features extracted by deep neural networks. This metric better reflects perceptually similarity of images and thus leads to better results. We show three applications: autoencoder training, a modification of a variational autoencoder, and inversion of deep convolutional networks. In all cases, the generated images look sharp and resemble natural images.

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In this work we explore recent advances in Recurrent Neural Networks for large scale Language Modeling, a task central to language understanding. We extend current models to deal with two key challenges present in this task: corpora and vocabulary sizes, and complex, long term structure of language. We perform an exhaustive study on techniques such as character Convolutional Neural Networks or Long-Short Term Memory, on the One Billion Word Benchmark. Our best single model significantly improves state-of-the-art perplexity from 51.3 down to 30.0 (whilst reducing the number of parameters by a factor of 20), while an ensemble of models sets a new record by improving perplexity from 41.0 down to 23.7. We also release these models for the NLP and ML community to study and improve upon.

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Recurrent neural networks are increasing popular models for sequential learning. Unfortunately, although the most effective RNN architectures are perhaps excessively complicated, extensive searches have not found simpler alternatives. This paper imports ideas from physics and functional programming into RNN design to provide guiding principles. From physics, we introduce type constraints, analogous to the constraints that forbids adding meters to seconds. From functional programming, we require that strongly-typed architectures factorize into stateless learnware and state-dependent firmware, reducing the impact of side-effects. The features learned by strongly-typed nets have a simple semantic interpretation via dynamic average-pooling on one-dimensional convolutions. We also show that strongly-typed gradients are better behaved than in classical architectures, and characterize the representational power of strongly-typed nets. Finally, experiments show that, despite being more constrained, strongly-typed architectures achieve lower training and comparable generalization error to classical architectures.

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We present Submatrix-wise Vector Embedding Learner (Swivel), a method for generating low-dimensional feature embeddings from a feature co-occurrence matrix. Swivel performs approximate factorization of the point-wise mutual information matrix via stochastic gradient descent. It uses a piecewise loss with special handling for unobserved co-occurrences, and thus makes use of all the information in the matrix. While this requires computation proportional to the size of the entire matrix, we make use of vectorized multiplication to process thousands of rows and columns at once to compute millions of predicted values. Furthermore, we partition the matrix into shards in order to parallelize the computation across many nodes. This approach results in more accurate embeddings than can be achieved with methods that consider only observed co-occurrences, and can scale to much larger corpora than can be handled with sampling methods.

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We propose sparsemax, a new activation function similar to the traditional softmax, but able to output sparse probabilities. After deriving its properties, we show how its Jacobian can be efficiently computed, enabling its use in a network trained with backpropagation. Then, we propose a new smooth and convex loss function which is the sparsemax analogue of the logistic loss. We reveal an unexpected connection between this new loss and the Huber classification loss. We obtain promising empirical results in multi-label classification problems and in attention-based neural networks for natural language inference. For the latter, we achieve a similar performance as the traditional softmax, but with a selective, more compact, attention focus.

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We propose a conceptually simple and lightweight framework for deep reinforcement learning that uses asynchronous gradient descent for optimization of deep neural network controllers. We present asynchronous variants of four standard reinforcement learning algorithms and show that parallel actor-learners have a stabilizing effect on training allowing all four methods to successfully train neural network controllers. The best performing method, an asynchronous variant of actor-critic, surpasses the current state-of-the-art on the Atari domain while training for half the time on a single multi-core CPU instead of a GPU. Furthermore, we show that asynchronous actor-critic succeeds on a wide variety of continuous motor control problems as well as on a new task of navigating random 3D mazes using a visual input.

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