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Papers


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Inherent Trade-Offs in the Fair Determination of Risk Scores

Jon Kleinberg, Sendhil Mullainathan, Manish Raghavan

Recent discussion in the public sphere about algorithmic classification has involved tension between competing notions of what it means for a probabilistic classification to be fair to different groups. We formalize three fairness conditions that lie at the heart of these debates, and we prove that except in highly constrained special cases, there is no method that can satisfy these three conditions simultaneously. Moreover, even satisfying all three conditions approximately requires that the data lie in an approximate version of one of the constrained special cases identified by our theorem. These results suggest some of the ways in which key notions of fairness are incompatible with each other, and hence provide a framework for thinking about the trade-offs between them.

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Multi-Residual Networks

Masoud Abdi, Saeid Nahavandi

In this article, we take one step toward understanding the learning behavior of deep residual networks, and supporting the hypothesis that deep residual networks are exponential ensembles by construction. We examine the effective range of ensembles by introducing multi-residual networks that significantly improve classification accuracy of residual networks. The multi-residual networks increase the number of residual functions in the residual blocks. This is shown to improve the accuracy of the residual network when the network is deeper than a threshold. Based on a series of empirical studies on CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 datasets, the proposed multi-residual network yield $6\%$ and $10\%$ improvement with respect to the residual networks with identity mappings. Comparing with other state-of-the-art models, the proposed multi-residual network obtains a test error rate of $3.92\%$ on CIFAR-10 that outperforms all existing models.

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Playing FPS Games with Deep Reinforcement Learning

Guillaume Lample, Devendra Singh Chaplot

Advances in deep reinforcement learning have allowed autonomous agents to perform well on Atari games, often outperforming humans, using only raw pixels to make their decisions. However, most of these games take place in 2D environments that are fully observable to the agent. In this paper, we present the first architecture to tackle 3D environments in first-person shooter games, that involve partially observable states. Typically, deep reinforcement learning methods only utilize visual input for training. We present a method to augment these models to exploit game feature information such as the presence of enemies or items, during the training phase. Our model is trained to simultaneously learn these features along with minimizing a Q-learning objective, which is shown to dramatically improve the training speed and performance of our agent. Our architecture is also modularized to allow different models to be independently trained for different phases of the game. We show that the proposed architecture substantially outperforms built-in AI agents of the game as well as humans in deathmatch scenarios.

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SeqGAN: Sequence Generative Adversarial Nets with Policy Gradient

Lantao Yu, Weinan Zhang, Jun Wang, Yong Yu

As a new way of training generative models, Generative Adversarial Nets (GAN) that uses a discriminative model to guide the training of the generative model has enjoyed considerable success in generating real-valued data. However, it has limitations when the goal is for generating sequences of discrete tokens. A major reason lies in that the discrete outputs from the generative model make it difficult to pass the gradient update from the discriminative model to the generative model. Also, the discriminative model can only assess a complete sequence, while for a partially generated sequence, it is non-trivial to balance its current score and the future one once the entire sequence has been generated. In this paper, we propose a sequence generation framework, called SeqGAN, to solve the problems. Modeling the data generator as a stochastic policy in reinforcement learning (RL), SeqGAN bypasses the generator differentiation problem by directly performing gradient policy update. The RL reward signal comes from the GAN discriminator judged on a complete sequence, and is passed back to the intermediate state-action steps using Monte Carlo search. Extensive experiments on synthetic data and real-world tasks demonstrate significant improvements over strong baselines.

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Gradient Descent Learns Linear Dynamical Systems

Moritz Hardt, Tengyu Ma, Benjamin Recht

We prove that gradient descent efficiently converges to the global optimizer of the maximum likelihood objective of an unknown linear time-invariant dynamical system from a sequence of noisy observations generated by the system. Even though the objective function is non-convex, we provide polynomial running time and sample complexity bounds under strong but natural assumptions. Linear systems identification has been studied for many decades, yet, to the best of our knowledge, these are the first polynomial guarantees for the problem we consider.

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Real-Time Single Image and Video Super-Resolution Using an Efficient Sub-Pixel Convolutional Neural Network

Wenzhe Shi, Jose Caballero, Ferenc Huszár, Johannes Totz, Andrew P. Aitken, Rob Bishop, Daniel Rueckert, Zehan Wang

Recently, several models based on deep neural networks have achieved great success in terms of both reconstruction accuracy and computational performance for single image super-resolution. In these methods, the low resolution (LR) input image is upscaled to the high resolution (HR) space using a single filter, commonly bicubic interpolation, before reconstruction. This means that the super-resolution (SR) operation is performed in HR space. We demonstrate that this is sub-optimal and adds computational complexity. In this paper, we present the first convolutional neural network (CNN) capable of real-time SR of 1080p videos on a single K2 GPU. To achieve this, we propose a novel CNN architecture where the feature maps are extracted in the LR space. In addition, we introduce an efficient sub-pixel convolution layer which learns an array of upscaling filters to upscale the final LR feature maps into the HR output. By doing so, we effectively replace the handcrafted bicubic filter in the SR pipeline with more complex upscaling filters specifically trained for each feature map, whilst also reducing the computational complexity of the overall SR operation. We evaluate the proposed approach using images and videos from publicly available datasets and show that it performs significantly better (+0.15dB on Images and +0.39dB on Videos) and is an order of magnitude faster than previous CNN-based methods.

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Style Imitation and Chord Invention in Polyphonic Music with Exponential Families

Gaëtan Hadjeres, Jason Sakellariou, François Pachet

Modeling polyphonic music is a particularly challenging task because of the intricate interplay between melody and harmony. A good model should satisfy three requirements: statistical accuracy (capturing faithfully the statistics of correlations at various ranges, horizontally and vertically), flexibility (coping with arbitrary user constraints), and generalization capacity (inventing new material, while staying in the style of the training corpus). Models proposed so far fail on at least one of these requirements. We propose a statistical model of polyphonic music, based on the maximum entropy principle. This model is able to learn and reproduce pairwise statistics between neighboring note events in a given corpus. The model is also able to invent new chords and to harmonize unknown melodies. We evaluate the invention capacity of the model by assessing the amount of cited, re-discovered, and invented chords on a corpus of Bach chorales. We discuss how the model enables the user to specify and enforce user-defined constraints, which makes it useful for style-based, interactive music generation.

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What You Get Is What You See: A Visual Markup Decompiler

Yuntian Deng, Anssi Kanervisto, Alexander M. Rush

Building on recent advances in image caption generation and optical character recognition (OCR), we present a general-purpose, deep learning-based system to decompile an image into presentational markup. While this task is a well-studied problem in OCR, our method takes an inherently different, data-driven approach. Our model does not require any knowledge of the underlying markup language, and is simply trained end-to-end on real-world example data. The model employs a convolutional network for text and layout recognition in tandem with an attention-based neural machine translation system. To train and evaluate the model, we introduce a new dataset of real-world rendered mathematical expressions paired with LaTeX markup, as well as a synthetic dataset of web pages paired with HTML snippets. Experimental results show that the system is surprisingly effective at generating accurate markup for both datasets. While a standard domain-specific LaTeX OCR system achieves around 25% accuracy, our model reproduces the exact rendered image on 75% of examples.

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On Large-Batch Training for Deep Learning: Generalization Gap and Sharp Minima

Nitish Shirish Keskar, Dheevatsa Mudigere, Jorge Nocedal, Mikhail Smelyanskiy, Ping Tak Peter Tang

The stochastic gradient descent method and its variants are algorithms of choice for many Deep Learning tasks. These methods operate in a small-batch regime wherein a fraction of the training data, usually $32$--$512$ data points, is sampled to compute an approximation to the gradient. It has been observed in practice that when using a larger batch there is a significant degradation in the quality of the model, as measured by its ability to generalize. There have been some attempts to investigate the cause for this generalization drop in the large-batch regime, however the precise answer for this phenomenon is, hitherto unknown. In this paper, we present ample numerical evidence that supports the view that large-batch methods tend to converge to sharp minimizers of the training and testing functions -- and that sharp minima lead to poorer generalization. In contrast, small-batch methods consistently converge to flat minimizers, and our experiments support a commonly held view that this is due to the inherent noise in the gradient estimation. We also discuss several empirical strategies that help large-batch methods eliminate the generalization gap and conclude with a set of future research ideas and open questions.

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Photo-Realistic Single Image Super-Resolution Using a Generative Adversarial Network

Christian Ledig, Lucas Theis, Ferenc Huszar, Jose Caballero, Andrew Aitken, Alykhan Tejani, Johannes Totz, Zehan Wang, Wenzhe Shi

Despite the breakthroughs in accuracy and speed of single image super-resolution using faster and deeper convolutional neural networks, one central problem remains largely unsolved: how do we recover the finer texture details when we super-resolve at large upscaling factors? During image downsampling information is lost, making super-resolution a highly ill-posed inverse problem with a large set of possible solutions. The behavior of optimization-based super-resolution methods is therefore principally driven by the choice of objective function. Recent work has largely focussed on minimizing the mean squared reconstruction error (MSE). The resulting estimates have high peak signal-to-noise-ratio (PSNR), but they are often overly smoothed, lack high-frequency detail, making them perceptually unsatisfying. In this paper, we present super-resolution generative adversarial network (SRGAN). To our knowledge, it is the first framework capable of recovering photo-realistic natural images from 4 times downsampling. To achieve this, we propose a perceptual loss function which consists of an adversarial loss and a content loss. The adversarial loss pushes our solution to the natural image manifold using a discriminator network that is trained to differentiate between the super-resolved images and original photo-realistic images. In addition, we use a content loss function motivated by perceptual similarity instead of similarity in pixel space. Trained on 350K images using the perceptual loss function, our deep residual network was able to recover photo-realistic textures from heavily downsampled images on public benchmarks.

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Sampling Generative Networks: Notes on a Few Effective Techniques

Tom White

We introduce several techniques for sampling and visualizing the latent spaces of generative models. Replacing linear interpolation with spherical linear interpolation prevents diverging from a models prior distribution and produces sharper samples. J Diagrams and MINE grids are introduced as visualizations of manifolds created by analogies and nearest neighbors. We demonstrate two new techniques for deriving attribute vectors - bias-correct vectors with data replication and synthetic vectors with data augmentation. Most techniques are intended to be independent of model type and examples are shown on both Variational Autoencoders and Generative Adversarial Networks.

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Efficient softmax approximation for GPUs

Edouard Grave, Armand Joulin, Moustapha Cissé, David Grangier, Hervé Jégou

We propose an approximate strategy to efficiently train neural network based language models over very large vocabularies. Our approach, called adaptive softmax, circumvents the linear dependency on the vocabulary size by exploiting the unbalanced word distribution to form clusters that explicitly minimize the expectation of computational complexity. Our approach further reduces the computational cost by exploiting the specificities of modern architectures and matrix-matrix vector operations, making it particularly suited for graphical processing units. Our experiments carried out on standard benchmarks, such as EuroParl and One Billion Word, show that our approach brings a large gain in efficiency over standard approximations while achieving an accuracy close to that of the full softmax.

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Multimodal Attention for Neural Machine Translation

Ozan Caglayan, Loïc Barrault, Fethi Bougares

The attention mechanism is an important part of the neural machine translation (NMT) where it was reported to produce richer source representation compared to fixed-length encoding sequence-to-sequence models. Recently, the effectiveness of attention has also been explored in the context of image captioning. In this work, we assess the feasibility of a multimodal attention mechanism that simultaneously focus over an image and its natural language description for generating a description in another language. We train several variants of our proposed attention mechanism on the Multi30k multilingual image captioning dataset. We show that a dedicated attention for each modality achieves up to 1.6 points in BLEU and METEOR compared to a textual NMT baseline.

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Unsupervised Monocular Depth Estimation with Left-Right Consistency

Clément Godard, Oisin Mac Aodha, Gabriel J. Brostow

Learning based methods have shown very promising results for the task of depth estimation in single images. However, most existing approaches treat depth prediction as a supervised regression problem and as a result, require vast quantities of corresponding ground truth depth data for training. Just recording quality depth data in a range of environments is a challenging problem. In this paper, we innovate beyond existing approaches, replacing the use of explicit depth data during training with easier-to-obtain binocular stereo footage. We propose a novel training objective that enables our convolutional neural network to learn to perform single image depth estimation, despite the absence of ground truth depth data. By exploiting epipolar geometry constraints, we generate disparity images by training our networks with an image reconstruction loss. We show that solving for image reconstruction alone results in poor quality depth images. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel training loss that enforces consistency between the disparities produced relative to both the left and right images, leading to improved performance and robustness compared to existing approaches. Our method produces state of the art results for monocular depth estimation on the KITTI driving dataset, even outperforming supervised methods that have been trained with ground truth depth.

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The Microsoft 2016 Conversational Speech Recognition System

W. Xiong, J. Droppo, X. Huang, F. Seide, M. Seltzer, A. Stolcke, D. Yu, G. Zweig

We describe Microsoft's conversational speech recognition system, in which we combine recent developments in neural-network-based acoustic and language modeling to advance the state of the art on the Switchboard recognition task. Inspired by machine learning ensemble techniques, the system uses a range of convolutional and recurrent neural networks. I-vector modeling and lattice-free MMI training provide significant gains for all acoustic model architectures. Language model rescoring with multiple forward and backward running RNNLMs, and word posterior-based system combination provide a 20% boost. The best single system uses a ResNet architecture acoustic model with RNNLM rescoring, and achieves a word error rate of 6.9% on the NIST 2000 Switchboard task. The combined system has an error rate of 6.3%, representing an improvement over previously reported results on this benchmark task.

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WaveNet: A Generative Model for Raw Audio

Aaron van den oord, Sander Dieleman, Heiga Zen, Karen Simonyan, Oriol Vinyals, Alex Graves, Nal Kalchbrenner, Andrew Senior, Koray Kavukcuoglu

This paper introduces WaveNet, a deep neural network for generating raw audio waveforms. The model is fully probabilistic and autoregressive, with the predictive distribution for each audio sample conditioned on all previous ones; nonetheless we show that it can be efficiently trained on data with tens of thousands of samples per second of audio. When applied to text-to-speech, it yields state-of-the-art performance, with human listeners rating it as significantly more natural sounding than the best parametric and concatenative systems for both English and Mandarin. A single WaveNet can capture the characteristics of many different speakers with equal fidelity, and can switch between them by conditioning on the speaker identity. When trained to model music, we find that it generates novel and often highly realistic musical fragments. We also show that it can be employed as a discriminative model, returning promising results for phoneme recognition.

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Style-Transfer via Texture-Synthesis

Michael Elad, Peyman Milanfar

Style-transfer is a process of migrating a style from a given image to the content of another, synthesizing a new image which is an artistic mixture of the two. Recent work on this problem adopting Convolutional Neural-networks (CNN) ignited a renewed interest in this field, due to the very impressive results obtained. There exists an alternative path towards handling the style-transfer task, via generalization of texture-synthesis algorithms. This approach has been proposed over the years, but its results are typically less impressive compared to the CNN ones. In this work we propose a novel style-transfer algorithm that extends the texture-synthesis work of Kwatra et. al. (2005), while aiming to get stylized images that get closer in quality to the CNN ones. We modify Kwatra's algorithm in several key ways in order to achieve the desired transfer, with emphasis on a consistent way for keeping the content intact in selected regions, while producing hallucinated and rich style in others. The results obtained are visually pleasing and diverse, shown to be competitive with the recent CNN style-transfer algorithms. The proposed algorithm is fast and flexible, being able to process any pair of content + style images.

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Episodic Exploration for Deep Deterministic Policies: An Application to StarCraft Micromanagement Tasks

Nicolas Usunier, Gabriel Synnaeve, Zeming Lin, Soumith Chintala

We consider scenarios from the real-time strategy game StarCraft as new benchmarks for reinforcement learning algorithms. We propose micromanagement tasks, which present the problem of the short-term, low-level control of army members during a battle. From a reinforcement learning point of view, these scenarios are challenging because the state-action space is very large, and because there is no obvious feature representation for the state-action evaluation function. We describe our approach to tackle the micromanagement scenarios with deep neural network controllers from raw state features given by the game engine. In addition, we present a heuristic reinforcement learning algorithm which combines direct exploration in the policy space and backpropagation. This algorithm allows for the collection of traces for learning using deterministic policies, which appears much more efficient than, for example, {\epsilon}-greedy exploration. Experiments show that with this algorithm, we successfully learn non-trivial strategies for scenarios with armies of up to 15 agents, where both Q-learning and REINFORCE struggle.

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Stealing Machine Learning Models via Prediction APIs

Florian Tramèr, Fan Zhang, Ari Juels, Michael K. Reiter, Thomas Ristenpart

Machine learning (ML) models may be deemed confidential due to their sensitive training data, commercial value, or use in security applications. Increasingly often, confidential ML models are being deployed with publicly accessible query interfaces. ML-as-a-service ("predictive analytics") systems are an example: Some allow users to train models on potentially sensitive data and charge others for access on a pay-per-query basis. The tension between model confidentiality and public access motivates our investigation of model extraction attacks. In such attacks, an adversary with black-box access, but no prior knowledge of an ML model's parameters or training data, aims to duplicate the functionality of (i.e., "steal") the model. Unlike in classical learning theory settings, ML-as-a-service offerings may accept partial feature vectors as inputs and include confidence values with predictions. Given these practices, we show simple, efficient attacks that extract target ML models with near-perfect fidelity for popular model classes including logistic regression, neural networks, and decision trees. We demonstrate these attacks against the online services of BigML and Amazon Machine Learning. We further show that the natural countermeasure of omitting confidence values from model outputs still admits potentially harmful model extraction attacks. Our results highlight the need for careful ML model deployment and new model extraction countermeasures.

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Extraction of Skin Lesions from Non-Dermoscopic Images Using Deep Learning

Mohammad H. Jafari, Ebrahim Nasr-Esfahani, Nader Karimi, S. M. Reza Soroushmehr, Shadrokh Samavi, Kayvan Najarian

Melanoma is amongst most aggressive types of cancer. However, it is highly curable if detected in its early stages. Prescreening of suspicious moles and lesions for malignancy is of great importance. Detection can be done by images captured by standard cameras, which are more preferable due to low cost and availability. One important step in computerized evaluation of skin lesions is accurate detection of lesion region, i.e. segmentation of an image into two regions as lesion and normal skin. Accurate segmentation can be challenging due to burdens such as illumination variation and low contrast between lesion and healthy skin. In this paper, a method based on deep neural networks is proposed for accurate extraction of a lesion region. The input image is preprocessed and then its patches are fed to a convolutional neural network (CNN). Local texture and global structure of the patches are processed in order to assign pixels to lesion or normal classes. A method for effective selection of training patches is used for more accurate detection of a lesion border. The output segmentation mask is refined by some post processing operations. The experimental results of qualitative and quantitative evaluations demonstrate that our method can outperform other state-of-the-art algorithms exist in the literature.

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