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Papers


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Professor Forcing: A New Algorithm for Training Recurrent Networks

Alex Lamb, Anirudh Goyal, Ying Zhang, Saizheng Zhang, Aaron Courville, Yoshua Bengio

The Teacher Forcing algorithm trains recurrent networks by supplying observed sequence values as inputs during training and using the network's own one-step-ahead predictions to do multi-step sampling. We introduce the Professor Forcing algorithm, which uses adversarial domain adaptation to encourage the dynamics of the recurrent network to be the same when training the network and when sampling from the network over multiple time steps. We apply Professor Forcing to language modeling, vocal synthesis on raw waveforms, handwriting generation, and image generation. Empirically we find that Professor Forcing acts as a regularizer, improving test likelihood on character level Penn Treebank and sequential MNIST. We also find that the model qualitatively improves samples, especially when sampling for a large number of time steps. This is supported by human evaluation of sample quality. Trade-offs between Professor Forcing and Scheduled Sampling are discussed. We produce T-SNEs showing that Professor Forcing successfully makes the dynamics of the network during training and sampling more similar.

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Operator Variational Inference

Rajesh Ranganath, Jaan Altosaar, Dustin Tran, David M. Blei

Variational inference is an umbrella term for algorithms which cast Bayesian inference as optimization. Classically, variational inference uses the Kullback-Leibler divergence to define the optimization. Though this divergence has been widely used, the resultant posterior approximation can suffer from undesirable statistical properties. To address this, we reexamine variational inference from its roots as an optimization problem. We use operators, or functions of functions, to design variational objectives. As one example, we design a variational objective with a Langevin-Stein operator. We develop a black box algorithm, operator variational inference (OPVI), for optimizing any operator objective. Importantly, operators enable us to make explicit the statistical and computational tradeoffs for variational inference. We can characterize different properties of variational objectives, such as objectives that admit data subsampling---allowing inference to scale to massive data---as well as objectives that admit variational programs---a rich class of posterior approximations that does not require a tractable density. We illustrate the benefits of OPVI on a mixture model and a generative model of images.

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Scaling Memory-Augmented Neural Networks with Sparse Reads and Writes

Jack W Rae, Jonathan J Hunt, Tim Harley, Ivo Danihelka, Andrew Senior, Greg Wayne, Alex Graves, Timothy P Lillicrap

Neural networks augmented with external memory have the ability to learn algorithmic solutions to complex tasks. These models appear promising for applications such as language modeling and machine translation. However, they scale poorly in both space and time as the amount of memory grows --- limiting their applicability to real-world domains. Here, we present an end-to-end differentiable memory access scheme, which we call Sparse Access Memory (SAM), that retains the representational power of the original approaches whilst training efficiently with very large memories. We show that SAM achieves asymptotic lower bounds in space and time complexity, and find that an implementation runs $1,\!000\times$ faster and with $3,\!000\times$ less physical memory than non-sparse models. SAM learns with comparable data efficiency to existing models on a range of synthetic tasks and one-shot Omniglot character recognition, and can scale to tasks requiring $100,\!000$s of time steps and memories. As well, we show how our approach can be adapted for models that maintain temporal associations between memories, as with the recently introduced Differentiable Neural Computer.

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Cross-Modal Scene Networks

Yusuf Aytar, Lluis Castrejon, Carl Vondrick, Hamed Pirsiavash, Antonio Torralba

People can recognize scenes across many different modalities beyond natural images. In this paper, we investigate how to learn cross-modal scene representations that transfer across modalities. To study this problem, we introduce a new cross-modal scene dataset. While convolutional neural networks can categorize scenes well, they also learn an intermediate representation not aligned across modalities, which is undesirable for cross-modal transfer applications. We present methods to regularize cross-modal convolutional neural networks so that they have a shared representation that is agnostic of the modality. Our experiments suggest that our scene representation can help transfer representations across modalities for retrieval. Moreover, our visualizations suggest that units emerge in the shared representation that tend to activate on consistent concepts independently of the modality.

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SoundNet: Learning Sound Representations from Unlabeled Video

Yusuf Aytar, Carl Vondrick, Antonio Torralba

We learn rich natural sound representations by capitalizing on large amounts of unlabeled sound data collected in the wild. We leverage the natural synchronization between vision and sound to learn an acoustic representation using two-million unlabeled videos. Unlabeled video has the advantage that it can be economically acquired at massive scales, yet contains useful signals about natural sound. We propose a student-teacher training procedure which transfers discriminative visual knowledge from well established visual recognition models into the sound modality using unlabeled video as a bridge. Our sound representation yields significant performance improvements over the state-of-the-art results on standard benchmarks for acoustic scene/object classification. Visualizations suggest some high-level semantics automatically emerge in the sound network, even though it is trained without ground truth labels.

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Quantitative Evaluation of Gender Bias in Astronomical Publications from Citation Counts

Neven Caplar, Sandro Tacchella, Simon Birrer

We analyze the role of first (leading) author gender on the number of citations that a paper receives, on the publishing frequency and on the self-citing tendency. We consider a complete sample of over 200,000 publications from 1950 to 2015 from five major astronomy journals. We determine the gender of the first author for over 70% of all publications. The fraction of papers which have a female first author has increased from less than 5% in the 1960s to about 25% today. We find that the increase of the fraction of papers authored by females is slowest in the most prestigious journals such as Science and Nature. Furthermore, female authors write 19$\pm$7% fewer papers in seven years following their first paper than their male colleagues. At all times papers with male first authors receive more citations than papers with female first authors. This difference has been decreasing with time and amounts to $\sim$6% measured over the last 30 years. To account for the fact that the properties of female and male first author papers differ intrinsically, we use a random forest algorithm to control for the non-gender specific properties of these papers which include seniority of the first author, number of references, total number of authors, year of publication, publication journal, field of study and region of the first author's institution. We show that papers authored by females receive 10.4$\pm$0.9% fewer citations than what would be expected if the papers with the same non-gender specific properties were written by the male authors. Finally, we also find that female authors in our sample tend to self-cite more, but that this effect disappears when controlled for non-gender specific variables.

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Learning Scalable Deep Kernels with Recurrent Structure

Maruan Al-Shedivat, Andrew Gordon Wilson, Yunus Saatchi, Zhiting Hu, Eric P. Xing

Many applications in speech, robotics, finance, and biology deal with sequential data, where ordering matters and recurrent structures are common. However, this structure cannot be easily captured by standard kernel functions. To model such structure, we propose expressive closed-form kernel functions for Gaussian processes. The resulting model, GP-LSTM, fully encapsulates the inductive biases of long short-term memory (LSTM) recurrent networks, while retaining the non-parametric probabilistic advantages of Gaussian processes. We learn the properties of the proposed kernels by optimizing the Gaussian process marginal likelihood using a new provably convergent semi-stochastic procedure and exploit the structure of these kernels for fast and scalable training and prediction. We demonstrate state-of-the-art performance on several benchmarks, and thoroughly investigate a consequential autonomous driving application, where the predictive uncertainties provided by GP-LSTM are uniquely valuable.

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Detecting People in Artwork with CNNs

Nicholas Westlake, Hongping Cai, Peter Hall

CNNs have massively improved performance in object detection in photographs. However research into object detection in artwork remains limited. We show state-of-the-art performance on a challenging dataset, People-Art, which contains people from photos, cartoons and 41 different artwork movements. We achieve this high performance by fine-tuning a CNN for this task, thus also demonstrating that training CNNs on photos results in overfitting for photos: only the first three or four layers transfer from photos to artwork. Although the CNN's performance is the highest yet, it remains less than 60\% AP, suggesting further work is needed for the cross-depiction problem. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46604-0_57

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Can Active Memory Replace Attention?

Łukasz Kaiser, Samy Bengio

Several mechanisms to focus attention of a neural network on selected parts of its input or memory have been used successfully in deep learning models in recent years. Attention has improved image classification, image captioning, speech recognition, generative models, and learning algorithmic tasks, but it had probably the largest impact on neural machine translation. Recently, similar improvements have been obtained using alternative mechanisms that do not focus on a single part of a memory but operate on all of it in parallel, in a uniform way. Such mechanism, which we call active memory, improved over attention in algorithmic tasks, image processing, and in generative modelling. So far, however, active memory has not improved over attention for most natural language processing tasks, in particular for machine translation. We analyze this shortcoming in this paper and propose an extended model of active memory that matches existing attention models on neural machine translation and generalizes better to longer sentences. We investigate this model and explain why previous active memory models did not succeed. Finally, we discuss when active memory brings most benefits and where attention can be a better choice.

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Mask-off: Synthesizing Face Images in the Presence of Head-mounted Displays

Yajie Zhao, Qingguo Xu, Xinyu Huang, Ruigang Yang

A head-mounted display (HMD) could be an important component of augmented reality system. However, as the upper face region is seriously occluded by the device, the user experience could be affected in applications such as telecommunication and multi-player video games. In this paper, we first present a novel experimental setup that consists of two near-infrared (NIR) cameras to point to the eye regions and one visible-light RGB camera to capture the visible face region. The main purpose of this paper is to synthesize realistic face images without occlusions based on the images captured by these cameras. To this end, we propose a novel synthesis framework that contains four modules: 3D head reconstruction, face alignment and tracking, face synthesis, and eye synthesis. In face synthesis, we propose a novel algorithm that can robustly align and track a personalized 3D head model given a face that is severely occluded by the HMD. In eye synthesis, in order to generate accurate eye movements and dynamic wrinkle variations around eye regions, we propose another novel algorithm to colorize the NIR eye images and further remove the "red eye" effects caused by the colorization. Results show that both hardware setup and system framework are robust to synthesize realistic face images in video sequences.

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Image Segmentation for Fruit Detection and Yield Estimation in Apple Orchards

Suchet Bargoti, James Underwood

Ground vehicles equipped with monocular vision systems are a valuable source of high resolution image data for precision agriculture applications in orchards. This paper presents an image processing framework for fruit detection and counting using orchard image data. A general purpose image segmentation approach is used, including two feature learning algorithms; multi-scale Multi-Layered Perceptrons (MLP) and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). These networks were extended by including contextual information about how the image data was captured (metadata), which correlates with some of the appearance variations and/or class distributions observed in the data. The pixel-wise fruit segmentation output is processed using the Watershed Segmentation (WS) and Circular Hough Transform (CHT) algorithms to detect and count individual fruits. Experiments were conducted in a commercial apple orchard near Melbourne, Australia. The results show an improvement in fruit segmentation performance with the inclusion of metadata on the previously benchmarked MLP network. We extend this work with CNNs, bringing agrovision closer to the state-of-the-art in computer vision, where although metadata had negligible influence, the best pixel-wise F1-score of $0.791$ was achieved. The WS algorithm produced the best apple detection and counting results, with a detection F1-score of $0.858$. As a final step, image fruit counts were accumulated over multiple rows at the orchard and compared against the post-harvest fruit counts that were obtained from a grading and counting machine. The count estimates using CNN and WS resulted in the best performance for this dataset, with a squared correlation coefficient of $r^2=0.826$.

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Predicting First Impressions with Deep Learning

Mel McCurrie, Fernando Beletti, Lucas Parzianello, Allen Westendorp, Samuel Anthony, Walter Scheirer

Describable visual facial attributes are now commonplace in human biometrics and affective computing, with existing algorithms even reaching a sufficient point of maturity for placement into commercial products. These algorithms model objective facets of facial appearance, such as hair and eye color, expression, and aspects of the geometry of the face. A natural extension, which has not been studied to any great extent thus far, is the ability to model subjective attributes that are assigned to a face based purely on visual judgements. For instance, with just a glance, our first impression of a face may lead us to believe that a person is smart, worthy of our trust, and perhaps even our admiration - regardless of the underlying truth behind such attributes. Psychologists believe that these judgements are based on a variety of factors such as emotional states, personality traits, and other physiognomic cues. But work in this direction leads to an interesting question: how do we create models for problems where there is no ground truth, only measurable behavior? In this paper, we introduce a new convolutional neural network-based regression framework that allows us to train predictive models of crowd behavior for social attribute assignment. Over images from the AFLW face database, these models demonstrate strong correlations with human crowd ratings.

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A Learned Representation For Artistic Style

Vincent Dumoulin, Jonathon Shlens, Manjunath Kudlur

The diversity of painting styles represents a rich visual vocabulary for the construction of an image. The degree to which one may learn and parsimoniously capture this visual vocabulary measures our understanding of the higher level features of paintings, if not images in general. In this work we investigate the construction of a single, scalable deep network that can parsimoniously capture the artistic style of a diversity of paintings. We demonstrate that such a network generalizes across a diversity of artistic styles by reducing a painting to a point in an embedding space. Importantly, this model permits a user to explore new painting styles by arbitrarily combining the styles learned from individual paintings. We hope that this work provides a useful step towards building rich models of paintings and offers a window on to the structure of the learned representation of artistic style.

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Learning a Probabilistic Latent Space of Object Shapes via 3D Generative-Adversarial Modeling

Jiajun Wu, Chengkai Zhang, Tianfan Xue, William T. Freeman, Joshua B. Tenenbaum

We study the problem of 3D object generation. We propose a novel framework, namely 3D Generative Adversarial Network (3D-GAN), which generates 3D objects from a probabilistic space by leveraging recent advances in volumetric convolutional networks and generative adversarial nets. The benefits of our model are three-fold: first, the use of an adversarial criterion, instead of traditional heuristic criteria, enables the generator to capture object structure implicitly and to synthesize high-quality 3D objects; second, the generator establishes a mapping from a low-dimensional probabilistic space to the space of 3D objects, so that we can sample objects without a reference image or CAD models, and explore the 3D object manifold; third, the adversarial discriminator provides a powerful 3D shape descriptor which, learned without supervision, has wide applications in 3D object recognition. Experiments demonstrate that our method generates high-quality 3D objects, and our unsupervisedly learned features achieve impressive performance on 3D object recognition, comparable with those of supervised learning methods.

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Learning to Protect Communications with Adversarial Neural Cryptography

Martín Abadi, David G. Andersen

We ask whether neural networks can learn to use secret keys to protect information from other neural networks. Specifically, we focus on ensuring confidentiality properties in a multiagent system, and we specify those properties in terms of an adversary. Thus, a system may consist of neural networks named Alice and Bob, and we aim to limit what a third neural network named Eve learns from eavesdropping on the communication between Alice and Bob. We do not prescribe specific cryptographic algorithms to these neural networks; instead, we train end-to-end, adversarially. We demonstrate that the neural networks can learn how to perform forms of encryption and decryption, and also how to apply these operations selectively in order to meet confidentiality goals.

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Reasoning with Memory Augmented Neural Networks for Language Comprehension

Tsendsuren Munkhdalai, Hong Yu

Hypothesis testing is an important cognitive process that supports human reasoning. In this paper, we introduce a computational hypothesis testing approach based on memory augmented neural networks. Our approach involves a hypothesis testing loop that reconsiders and progressively refines a previously formed hypothesis in order to generate new hypotheses to test. We apply the proposed approach to language comprehension task by using Neural Semantic Encoders (NSE). Our NSE models achieve the state-of-the-art results showing an absolute improvement of 1.2% to 2.6% accuracy over previous results obtained by single and ensemble systems on standard machine comprehension benchmarks such as the Children's Book Test (CBT) and Who-Did-What (WDW) news article datasets.

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A Growing Long-term Episodic & Semantic Memory

Marc Pickett, Rami Al-Rfou, Louis Shao, Chris Tar

The long-term memory of most connectionist systems lies entirely in the weights of the system. Since the number of weights is typically fixed, this bounds the total amount of knowledge that can be learned and stored. Though this is not normally a problem for a neural network designed for a specific task, such a bound is undesirable for a system that continually learns over an open range of domains. To address this, we describe a lifelong learning system that leverages a fast, though non-differentiable, content-addressable memory which can be exploited to encode both a long history of sequential episodic knowledge and semantic knowledge over many episodes for an unbounded number of domains. This opens the door for investigation into transfer learning, and leveraging prior knowledge that has been learned over a lifetime of experiences to new domains.

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Using Fast Weights to Attend to the Recent Past

Jimmy Ba, Geoffrey Hinton, Volodymyr Mnih, Joel Z. Leibo, Catalin Ionescu

Until recently, research on artificial neural networks was largely restricted to systems with only two types of variable: Neural activities that represent the current or recent input and weights that learn to capture regularities among inputs, outputs and payoffs. There is no good reason for this restriction. Synapses have dynamics at many different time-scales and this suggests that artificial neural networks might benefit from variables that change slower than activities but much faster than the standard weights. These "fast weights" can be used to store temporary memories of the recent past and they provide a neurally plausible way of implementing the type of attention to the past that has recently proved very helpful in sequence-to-sequence models. By using fast weights we can avoid the need to store copies of neural activity patterns.

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Learning to Learn Neural Networks

Tom Bosc

Meta-learning consists in learning learning algorithms. We use a Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) based network to learn to compute on-line updates of the parameters of another neural network. These parameters are stored in the cell state of the LSTM. Our framework allows to compare learned algorithms to hand-made algorithms within the traditional train and test methodology. In an experiment, we learn a learning algorithm for a one-hidden layer Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) on non-linearly separable datasets. The learned algorithm is able to update parameters of both layers and generalise well on similar datasets.

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Semi-supervised Knowledge Transfer for Deep Learning from Private Training Data

Nicolas Papernot, Martín Abadi, Úlfar Erlingsson, Ian Goodfellow, Kunal Talwar

Some machine learning applications involve training data that is sensitive, such as the medical histories of patients in a clinical trial. A model may inadvertently and implicitly store some of its training data; careful analysis of the model may therefore reveal sensitive information. To address this problem, we demonstrate a generally applicable approach to providing strong privacy guarantees for training data. The approach combines, in a black-box fashion, multiple models trained with disjoint datasets, such as records from different subsets of users. Because they rely directly on sensitive data, these models are not published, but instead used as "teachers" for a "student" model. The student learns to predict an output chosen by noisy voting among all of the teachers, and cannot directly access an individual teacher or the underlying data or parameters. The student's privacy properties can be understood both intuitively (since no single teacher and thus no single dataset dictates the student's training) and formally, in terms of differential privacy. These properties hold even if an adversary can not only query the student but also inspect its internal workings. Compared with previous work, the approach imposes only weak assumptions on how teachers are trained: it applies to any model, including non-convex models like DNNs. We achieve state-of-the-art privacy/utility trade-offs on MNIST and SVHN thanks to an improved privacy analysis and semi-supervised learning.

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