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Few-shot Autoregressive Density Estimation: Towards Learning to Learn Distributions

Scott Reed, Yutian Chen, Thomas Paine, Aäron van den Oord, S. M. Ali Eslami, Danilo Rezende, Oriol Vinyals, Nando de Freitas

Deep autoregressive models have shown state-of-the-art performance in density estimation for natural images on large-scale datasets such as ImageNet. However, such models require many thousands of gradient-based weight updates and unique image examples for training. Ideally, the models would rapidly learn visual concepts from only a handful of examples, similar to the manner in which humans learns across many vision tasks. In this paper, we show how 1) neural attention and 2) meta learning techniques can be used in combination with autoregressive models to enable effective few-shot density estimation. Our proposed modifications to PixelCNN result in state-of-the art few-shot density estimation on the Omniglot dataset. Furthermore, we visualize the learned attention policy and find that it learns intuitive algorithms for simple tasks such as image mirroring on ImageNet and handwriting on Omniglot without supervision. Finally, we extend the model to natural images and demonstrate few-shot image generation on the Stanford Online Products dataset.

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Dynamic Routing Between Capsules

Sara Sabour, Nicholas Frosst, Geoffrey E Hinton

A capsule is a group of neurons whose activity vector represents the instantiation parameters of a specific type of entity such as an object or object part. We use the length of the activity vector to represent the probability that the entity exists and its orientation to represent the instantiation paramters. Active capsules at one level make predictions, via transformation matrices, for the instantiation parameters of higher-level capsules. When multiple predictions agree, a higher level capsule becomes active. We show that a discrimininatively trained, multi-layer capsule system achieves state-of-the-art performance on MNIST and is considerably better than a convolutional net at recognizing highly overlapping digits. To achieve these results we use an iterative routing-by-agreement mechanism: A lower-level capsule prefers to send its output to higher level capsules whose activity vectors have a big scalar product with the prediction coming from the lower-level capsule.

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Listening to the World Improves Speech Command Recognition

Brian McMahan, Delip Rao

We study transfer learning in convolutional network architectures applied to the task of recognizing audio, such as environmental sound events and speech commands. Our key finding is that not only is it possible to transfer representations from an unrelated task like environmental sound classification to a voice-focused task like speech command recognition, but also that doing so improves accuracies significantly. We also investigate the effect of increased model capacity for transfer learning audio, by first validating known results from the field of Computer Vision of achieving better accuracies with increasingly deeper networks on two audio datasets: UrbanSound8k and the newly released Google Speech Commands dataset. Then we propose a simple multiscale input representation using dilated convolutions and show that it is able to aggregate larger contexts and increase classification performance. Further, the models trained using a combination of transfer learning and multiscale input representations need only 40% of the training data to achieve similar accuracies as a freshly trained model with 100% of the training data. Finally, we demonstrate a positive interaction effect for the multiscale input and transfer learning, making a case for the joint application of the two techniques.

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Smooth and Sparse Optimal Transport

Mathieu Blondel, Vivien Seguy, Antoine Rolet

Entropic regularization is quickly emerging as a new standard in optimal transport (OT). It enables to cast the OT computation as a differentiable and unconstrained convex optimization problem, which can be efficiently solved using the Sinkhorn algorithm. However, entropy keeps the transportation plan strictly positive and therefore completely dense, unlike unregularized OT. This lack of sparsity can be problematic in applications where the transportation plan itself is of interest. In this paper, we explore regularizing the primal and dual OT formulations with a strongly convex term, which corresponds to relaxing the dual and primal constraints with smooth approximations. We show how to incorporate squared $2$-norm and group lasso regularizations within that framework, leading to sparse and group-sparse transportation plans. On the theoretical side, we bound the approximation error introduced by regularizing the primal and dual formulations. Our results suggest that, for the regularized primal, the approximation error can often be smaller with squared $2$-norm than with entropic regularization. We showcase our proposed framework on the task of color transfer.

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Generalization in Deep Learning

Kenji Kawaguchi, Leslie Pack Kaelbling, Yoshua Bengio

With a direct analysis of neural networks, this paper presents a mathematically tight generalization theory to partially address an open problem regarding the generalization of deep learning. Unlike previous bound-based theory, our main theory is quantitatively as tight as possible for every dataset individually, while producing qualitative insights competitively. Our results give insight into why and how deep learning can generalize well, despite its large capacity, complexity, possible algorithmic instability, nonrobustness, and sharp minima, answering to an open question in the literature. We also discuss limitations of our results and propose additional open problems.

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HyperENTM: Evolving Scalable Neural Turing Machines through HyperNEAT

Jakob Merrild, Mikkel Angaju Rasmussen, Sebastian Risi

Recent developments within memory-augmented neural networks have solved sequential problems requiring long-term memory, which are intractable for traditional neural networks. However, current approaches still struggle to scale to large memory sizes and sequence lengths. In this paper we show how access to memory can be encoded geometrically through a HyperNEAT-based Neural Turing Machine (HyperENTM). We demonstrate that using the indirect HyperNEAT encoding allows for training on small memory vectors in a bit-vector copy task and then applying the knowledge gained from such training to speed up training on larger size memory vectors. Additionally, we demonstrate that in some instances, networks trained to copy bit-vectors of size 9 can be scaled to sizes of 1,000 without further training. While the task in this paper is simple, these results could open up the problems amendable to networks with external memories to problems with larger memory vectors and theoretically unbounded memory sizes.

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Emergent Translation in Multi-Agent Communication

Jason Lee, Kyunghyun Cho, Jason Weston, Douwe Kiela

While most machine translation systems to date are trained on large parallel corpora, humans learn language in a different way: by being grounded in an environment and interacting with other humans. In this work, we propose a communication game where two agents, native speakers of their own respective languages, jointly learn to solve a visual referential task. We find that the ability to understand and translate a foreign language emerges as a means to achieve shared goals. The emergent translation is interactive and multimodal, and crucially does not require parallel corpora, but only monolingual, independent text and corresponding images. Our proposed translation model achieves this by grounding the source and target languages into a shared visual modality, and outperforms several baselines on both word-level and sentence-level translation tasks. Furthermore, we show that agents in a multilingual community learn to translate better and faster than in a bilingual communication setting.

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Optimizing Long Short-Term Memory Recurrent Neural Networks Using Ant Colony Optimization to Predict Turbine Engine Vibration

AbdElRahman ElSaid, Travis Desell, Fatima El Jamiy, James Higgins, Brandon Wild

This article expands on research that has been done to develop a recurrent neural network (RNN) capable of predicting aircraft engine vibrations using long short-term memory (LSTM) neurons. LSTM RNNs can provide a more generalizable and robust method for prediction over analytical calculations of engine vibration, as analytical calculations must be solved iteratively based on specific empirical engine parameters, making this approach ungeneralizable across multiple engines. In initial work, multiple LSTM RNN architectures were proposed, evaluated and compared. This research improves the performance of the most effective LSTM network design proposed in the previous work by using a promising neuroevolution method based on ant colony optimization (ACO) to develop and enhance the LSTM cell structure of the network. A parallelized version of the ACO neuroevolution algorithm has been developed and the evolved LSTM RNNs were compared to the previously used fixed topology. The evolved networks were trained on a large database of flight data records obtained from an airline containing flights that suffered from excessive vibration. Results were obtained using MPI (Message Passing Interface) on a high performance computing (HPC) cluster, evolving 1000 different LSTM cell structures using 168 cores over 4 days. The new evolved LSTM cells showed an improvement of 1.35%, reducing prediction error from 5.51% to 4.17% when predicting excessive engine vibrations 10 seconds in the future, while at the same time dramatically reducing the number of weights from 21,170 to 11,810.

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Rainbow: Combining Improvements in Deep Reinforcement Learning

Matteo Hessel, Joseph Modayil, Hado van Hasselt, Tom Schaul, Georg Ostrovski, Will Dabney, Dan Horgan, Bilal Piot, Mohammad Azar, David Silver

The deep reinforcement learning community has made several independent improvements to the DQN algorithm. However, it is unclear which of these extensions are complementary and can be fruitfully combined. This paper examines six extensions to the DQN algorithm and empirically studies their combination. Our experiments show that the combination provides state-of-the-art performance on the Atari 2600 benchmark, both in terms of data efficiency and final performance. We also provide results from a detailed ablation study that shows the contribution of each component to overall performance.

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AISHELL-1: An Open-Source Mandarin Speech Corpus and A Speech Recognition Baseline

Hui Bu, Jiayu Du, Xingyu Na, Bengu Wu, Hao Zheng

An open-source Mandarin speech corpus called AISHELL-1 is released. It is by far the largest corpus which is suitable for conducting the speech recognition research and building speech recognition systems for Mandarin. The recording procedure, including audio capturing devices and environments are presented in details. The preparation of the related resources, including transcriptions and lexicon are described. The corpus is released with a Kaldi recipe. Experimental results implies that the quality of audio recordings and transcriptions are promising.

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An Empirical Study of AI Population Dynamics with Million-agent Reinforcement Learning

Yaodong Yang, Lantao Yu, Yiwei Bai, Jun Wang, Weinan Zhang, Ying Wen, Yong Yu

In this paper, we conduct an empirical study on discovering the ordered collective dynamics obtained by a population of artificial intelligence (AI) agents. Our intention is to put AI agents into a simulated natural context, and then to understand their induced dynamics at the population level. In particular, we aim to verify if the principles developed in the real world could also be used in understanding an artificially-created intelligent population. To achieve this, we simulate a large-scale predator-prey world, where the laws of the world are designed by only the findings or logical equivalence that have been discovered in nature. We endow the agents with the intelligence based on deep reinforcement learning, and scale the population size up to millions. Our results show that the population dynamics of AI agents, driven only by each agent's individual self interest, reveals an ordered pattern that is similar to the Lotka-Volterra model studied in population biology. We further discover the emergent behaviors of collective adaptations in studying how the agents' grouping behaviors will change with the environmental resources. Both of the two findings could be explained by the self-organization theory in nature.

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Disguised Face Identification (DFI) with Facial KeyPoints using Spatial Fusion Convolutional Network

Amarjot Singh, Devendra Patil, G Meghana Reddy, SN Omkar

Disguised face identification (DFI) is an extremely challenging problem due to the numerous variations that can be introduced using different disguises. This paper introduces a deep learning framework to first detect 14 facial key-points which are then utilized to perform disguised face identification. Since the training of deep learning architectures relies on large annotated datasets, two annotated facial key-points datasets are introduced. The effectiveness of the facial keypoint detection framework is presented for each keypoint. The superiority of the key-point detection framework is also demonstrated by a comparison with other deep networks. The effectiveness of classification performance is also demonstrated by comparison with the state-of-the-art face disguise classification methods.

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Deep Learning for Video Game Playing

Niels Justesen, Philip Bontrager, Julian Togelius, Sebastian Risi

In this paper we review recent Deep Learning advances in the context of how they have been applied to play different types of video games such as first-person shooters, arcade games or real-time strategy games. We analyze the unique requirements that different game genres pose to a deep learning system and highlight important open challenges in the context of applying these machine learning methods to video games, such as general game playing, dealing with extremely large decision spaces and sparse rewards.

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Learning Grasping Interaction with Geometry-aware 3D Representations

Xinchen Yan, Mohi Khansari, Yunfei Bai, Jasmine Hsu, Arkanath Pathak, Abhinav Gupta, James Davidson, Honglak Lee

Learning to interact with objects in the environment is a fundamental AI problem involving perception, motion planning, and control. However, learning representations of such interactions is very challenging due to a high dimensional state space, difficulty in collecting large-scale data, and many variations of an object's visual appearance (i.e. geometry, material, texture, and illumination). We argue that knowledge of 3D geometry is at the heart of grasping interactions and propose the notion of a geometry-aware learning agent. Our key idea is constraining and regularizing interaction learning through 3D geometry prediction. Specifically, we formulate the learning process of a geometry-aware agent as a two-step procedure: First, the agent learns to construct its geometry-aware representation of the scene from 2D sensory input via generative 3D shape modeling. Finally, it learns to predict grasping outcome with its built-in geometry-aware representation. The geometry-aware representation plays a key role in relating geometry and interaction via a novel learning-free depth projection layer. Our contributions are threefold: (1) we build a grasping dataset from demonstrations in virtual reality (VR) with rich sensory and interaction annotations; (2) we demonstrate that the learned geometry-aware representation results in a more robust grasping outcome prediction compared to a baseline model; and (3) we demonstrate the benefits of the learned geometry-aware representation in grasping planning.

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Twin Networks: Using the Future as a Regularizer

Dmitriy Serdyuk, Rosemary Nan Ke, Alessandro Sordoni, Chris Pal, Yoshua Bengio

Being able to model long-term dependencies in sequential data, such as text, has been among the long-standing challenges of recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This issue is strictly related to the absence of explicit planning in current RNN architectures. More explicitly, the RNNs are trained to predict only the next token given previous ones. In this paper, we introduce a simple way of encouraging the RNNs to plan for the future. In order to accomplish this, we introduce an additional neural network which is trained to generate the sequence in reverse order, and we require closeness between the states of the forward RNN and backward RNN that predict the same token. At each step, the states of the forward RNN are required to match the future information contained in the backward states. We hypothesize that the approach eases modeling of long-term dependencies thus helping in generating more globally consistent samples. The model trained with conditional generation for a speech recognition task achieved 12\% relative improvement (CER of 6.7 compared to a baseline of 7.6).

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A Brief Survey of Deep Reinforcement Learning

Kai Arulkumaran, Marc Peter Deisenroth, Miles Brundage, Anil Anthony Bharath

Deep reinforcement learning is poised to revolutionise the field of AI and represents a step towards building autonomous systems with a higher level understanding of the visual world. Currently, deep learning is enabling reinforcement learning to scale to problems that were previously intractable, such as learning to play video games directly from pixels. Deep reinforcement learning algorithms are also applied to robotics, allowing control policies for robots to be learned directly from camera inputs in the real world. In this survey, we begin with an introduction to the general field of reinforcement learning, then progress to the main streams of value-based and policy-based methods. Our survey will cover central algorithms in deep reinforcement learning, including the deep $Q$-network, trust region policy optimisation, and asynchronous advantage actor-critic. In parallel, we highlight the unique advantages of deep neural networks, focusing on visual understanding via reinforcement learning. To conclude, we describe several current areas of research within the field.

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Robust Physical-World Attacks on Deep Learning Models

Ivan Evtimov, Kevin Eykholt, Earlence Fernandes, Tadayoshi Kohno, Bo Li, Atul Prakash, Amir Rahmati, Dawn Song

Although deep neural networks (DNNs) perform well in a variety of applications, they are vulnerable to adversarial examples resulting from small-magnitude perturbations added to the input data. Inputs modified in this way can be mislabeled as a target class in targeted attacks or as a random class different from the ground truth in untargeted attacks. However, recent studies have demonstrated that such adversarial examples have limited effectiveness in the physical world due to changing physical conditions--they either completely fail to cause misclassification or only work in restricted cases where a relatively complex image is perturbed and printed on paper. In this paper, we propose a general attack algorithm--Robust Physical Perturbations (RP2)-- that takes into account the numerous physical conditions and produces robust adversarial perturbations. Using a real-world example of road sign recognition, we show that adversarial examples generated using RP2 achieve high attack success rates in the physical world under a variety of conditions, including different viewpoints. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, there is currently no standardized way to evaluate physical adversarial perturbations. Therefore, we propose a two-stage evaluation methodology and tailor it to the road sign recognition use case. Our methodology captures a range of diverse physical conditions, including those encountered when images are captured from moving vehicles. We evaluate our physical attacks using this methodology and effectively fool two road sign classifiers. Using a perturbation in the shape of black and white stickers, we attack a real Stop sign, causing targeted misclassification in 100% of the images obtained in controlled lab settings and above 84% of the captured video frames obtained on a moving vehicle for one of the classifiers we attack.

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Toward Geometric Deep SLAM

Daniel DeTone, Tomasz Malisiewicz, Andrew Rabinovich

We present a point tracking system powered by two deep convolutional neural networks. The first network, MagicPoint, operates on single images and extracts salient 2D points. The extracted points are "SLAM-ready" because they are by design isolated and well-distributed throughout the image. We compare this network against classical point detectors and discover a significant performance gap in the presence of image noise. As transformation estimation is more simple when the detected points are geometrically stable, we designed a second network, MagicWarp, which operates on pairs of point images (outputs of MagicPoint), and estimates the homography that relates the inputs. This transformation engine differs from traditional approaches because it does not use local point descriptors, only point locations. Both networks are trained with simple synthetic data, alleviating the requirement of expensive external camera ground truthing and advanced graphics rendering pipelines. The system is fast and lean, easily running 30+ FPS on a single CPU.

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Voice Synthesis for in-the-Wild Speakers via a Phonological Loop

Yaniv Taigman, Lior Wolf, Adam Polyak, Eliya Nachmani

We present a new neural text to speech method that is able to transform text to speech in voices that are sampled in the wild. Unlike other text to speech systems, our solution is able to deal with unconstrained samples obtained from public speeches. The network architecture is simpler than those in the existing literature and is based on a novel shifting buffer working memory. The same buffer is used for estimating the attention, computing the output audio, and for updating the buffer itself. The input sentence is encoded using a context-free lookup table that contains one entry per character or phoneme. Lastly, the speakers are similarly represented by a short vector that can also be fitted to new speakers and variability in the generated speech is achieved by priming the buffer prior to generating the audio. Experimental results on two datasets demonstrate convincing multi-speaker and in-the-wild capabilities. In order to promote reproducibility, we release our source code and models: PyTorch code and sample audio files are available at

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On the State of the Art of Evaluation in Neural Language Models

Gábor Melis, Chris Dyer, Phil Blunsom

Ongoing innovations in recurrent neural network architectures have provided a steady influx of apparently state-of-the-art results on language modelling benchmarks. However, these have been evaluated using differing code bases and limited computational resources, which represent uncontrolled sources of experimental variation. We reevaluate several popular architectures and regularisation methods with large-scale automatic black-box hyperparameter tuning and arrive at the somewhat surprising conclusion that standard LSTM architectures, when properly regularised, outperform more recent models. We establish a new state of the art on the Penn Treebank and Wikitext-2 corpora, as well as strong baselines on the Hutter Prize dataset.

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