Samy Bengio

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Research Scientist at Google inc., Senior Researcher at IDIAP Research Institute from 1999-2007, PhD in computer science, University of Montreal, 1993.

  • Identity Crisis: Memorization and Generalization under Extreme Overparameterization

    We study the interplay between memorization and generalization of overparametrized networks in the extreme case of a single training example. The learning task is to predict an output which is as similar as possible to the input. We examine both fully-connected and convolutional networks that are initialized randomly and then trained to minimize the reconstruction error. The trained networks take one of the two forms: the constant function ("memorization") and the identity function ("generalization"). We show that different architectures exhibit vastly different inductive bias towards memorization and generalization. An important consequence of our study is that even in extreme cases of overparameterization, deep learning can result in proper generalization.

    02/13/2019 ∙ by Chiyuan Zhang, et al. ∙ 26 share

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  • Transfusion: Understanding Transfer Learning with Applications to Medical Imaging

    With the increasingly varied applications of deep learning, transfer learning has emerged as a critically important technique. However, the central question of how much feature reuse in transfer is the source of benefit remains unanswered. In this paper, we present an in-depth analysis of the effects of transfer, focusing on medical imaging, which is a particularly intriguing setting. Here, transfer learning is extremely popular, but data differences between pretraining and finetuing are considerable, reiterating the question of what is transferred. With experiments on two large scale medical imaging datasets, and CIFAR-10, we find transfer has almost negligible effects on performance, but significantly helps convergence speed. However, in all of these settings, convergence without transfer can be sped up dramatically by using only mean and variance statistics of the pretrained weights. Visualizing the lower layer filters shows that models trained from random initialization do not learn Gabor filters on medical images. We use CCA (canonical correlation analysis) to study the learned representations of the different models, finding that pretrained models are surprisingly similar to random initialization at higher layers. This similarity is evidenced both through model learning dynamics and a transfusion experiment, which explores the convergence speed using a subset of pretrained weights.

    02/14/2019 ∙ by Maithra Raghu, et al. ∙ 26 share

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  • Unsupervised speech representation learning using WaveNet autoencoders

    We consider the task of unsupervised extraction of meaningful latent representations of speech by applying autoencoding neural networks to speech waveforms. The goal is to learn a representation able to capture high level semantic content from the signal, e.g. phoneme identities, while being invariant to confounding low level details in the signal such as the underlying pitch contour or background noise. The behavior of autoencoder models depends on the kind of constraint that is applied to the latent representation. We compare three variants: a simple dimensionality reduction bottleneck, a Gaussian Variational Autoencoder (VAE), and a discrete Vector Quantized VAE (VQ-VAE). We analyze the quality of learned representations in terms of speaker independence, the ability to predict phonetic content, and the ability to accurately reconstruct individual spectrogram frames. Moreover, for discrete encodings extracted using the VQ-VAE, we measure the ease of mapping them to phonemes. We introduce a regularization scheme that forces the representations to focus on the phonetic content of the utterance and report performance comparable with the top entries in the ZeroSpeech 2017 unsupervised acoustic unit discovery task.

    01/25/2019 ∙ by Jan Chorowski, et al. ∙ 12 share

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  • Do Neural Networks Show Gestalt Phenomena? An Exploration of the Law of Closure

    One characteristic of human visual perception is the presence of "Gestalt phenomena," that is, that the whole is something other than the sum of its parts. A natural question is whether image-recognition networks show similar effects. Our paper investigates one particular type of Gestalt phenomenon, the law of closure, in the context of a feedforward image classification neural network (NN). This is a robust effect in human perception, but experiments typically rely on measurements (e.g., reaction time) that are not available for artificial neural nets. We describe a protocol for identifying closure effect in NNs, and report on the results of experiments with simple visual stimuli. Our findings suggest that NNs trained with natural images do exhibit closure, in contrast to networks with randomized weights or networks that have been trained on visually random data. Furthermore, the closure effect reflects something beyond good feature extraction; it is correlated with the network's higher layer features and ability to generalize.

    03/04/2019 ∙ by Been Kim, et al. ∙ 8 share

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  • Area Attention

    Existing attention mechanisms, are mostly item-based in that a model is designed to attend to a single item in a collection of items (the memory). Intuitively, an area in the memory that may contain multiple items can be worth attending to as a whole. We propose area attention: a way to attend to an area of the memory, where each area contains a group of items that are either spatially adjacent when the memory has a 2-dimensional structure, such as images, or temporally adjacent for 1-dimensional memory, such as natural language sentences. Importantly, the size of an area, i.e., the number of items in an area, can vary depending on the learned coherence of the adjacent items. By giving the model the option to attend to an area of items, instead of only a single item, we hope attention mechanisms can better capture the nature of the task. Area attention can work along multi-head attention for attending to multiple areas in the memory. We evaluate area attention on two tasks: neural machine translation and image captioning, and improve upon strong (state-of-the-art) baselines in both cases. These improvements are obtainable with a basic form of area attention that is parameter free. In addition to proposing the novel concept of area attention, we contribute an efficient way for computing it by leveraging the technique of summed area tables.

    10/23/2018 ∙ by Yang Li, et al. ∙ 4 share

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  • Sharp Minima Can Generalize For Deep Nets

    Despite their overwhelming capacity to overfit, deep learning architectures tend to generalize relatively well to unseen data, allowing them to be deployed in practice. However, explaining why this is the case is still an open area of research. One standing hypothesis that is gaining popularity, e.g. Hochreiter & Schmidhuber (1997); Keskar et al. (2017), is that the flatness of minima of the loss function found by stochastic gradient based methods results in good generalization. This paper argues that most notions of flatness are problematic for deep models and can not be directly applied to explain generalization. Specifically, when focusing on deep networks with rectifier units, we can exploit the particular geometry of parameter space induced by the inherent symmetries that these architectures exhibit to build equivalent models corresponding to arbitrarily sharper minima. Furthermore, if we allow to reparametrize a function, the geometry of its parameters can change drastically without affecting its generalization properties.

    03/15/2017 ∙ by Laurent Dinh, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Device Placement Optimization with Reinforcement Learning

    The past few years have witnessed a growth in size and computational requirements for training and inference with neural networks. Currently, a common approach to address these requirements is to use a heterogeneous distributed environment with a mixture of hardware devices such as CPUs and GPUs. Importantly, the decision of placing parts of the neural models on devices is often made by human experts based on simple heuristics and intuitions. In this paper, we propose a method which learns to optimize device placement for TensorFlow computational graphs. Key to our method is the use of a sequence-to-sequence model to predict which subsets of operations in a TensorFlow graph should run on which of the available devices. The execution time of the predicted placements is then used as the reward signal to optimize the parameters of the sequence-to-sequence model. Our main result is that on Inception-V3 for ImageNet classification, and on RNN LSTM, for language modeling and neural machine translation, our model finds non-trivial device placements that outperform hand-crafted heuristics and traditional algorithmic methods.

    06/13/2017 ∙ by Azalia Mirhoseini, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Revisiting Distributed Synchronous SGD

    Distributed training of deep learning models on large-scale training data is typically conducted with asynchronous stochastic optimization to maximize the rate of updates, at the cost of additional noise introduced from asynchrony. In contrast, the synchronous approach is often thought to be impractical due to idle time wasted on waiting for straggling workers. We revisit these conventional beliefs in this paper, and examine the weaknesses of both approaches. We demonstrate that a third approach, synchronous optimization with backup workers, can avoid asynchronous noise while mitigating for the worst stragglers. Our approach is empirically validated and shown to converge faster and to better test accuracies.

    04/04/2016 ∙ by Jianmin Chen, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Neural Combinatorial Optimization with Reinforcement Learning

    This paper presents a framework to tackle combinatorial optimization problems using neural networks and reinforcement learning. We focus on the traveling salesman problem (TSP) and train a recurrent network that, given a set of city coordinates, predicts a distribution over different city permutations. Using negative tour length as the reward signal, we optimize the parameters of the recurrent network using a policy gradient method. We compare learning the network parameters on a set of training graphs against learning them on individual test graphs. Despite the computational expense, without much engineering and heuristic designing, Neural Combinatorial Optimization achieves close to optimal results on 2D Euclidean graphs with up to 100 nodes. Applied to the KnapSack, another NP-hard problem, the same method obtains optimal solutions for instances with up to 200 items.

    11/29/2016 ∙ by Irwan Bello, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Context-aware Captions from Context-agnostic Supervision

    We introduce an inference technique to produce discriminative context-aware image captions (captions that describe differences between images or visual concepts) using only generic context-agnostic training data (captions that describe a concept or an image in isolation). For example, given images and captions of "siamese cat" and "tiger cat", we generate language that describes the "siamese cat" in a way that distinguishes it from "tiger cat". Our key novelty is that we show how to do joint inference over a language model that is context-agnostic and a listener which distinguishes closely-related concepts. We first apply our technique to a justification task, namely to describe why an image contains a particular fine-grained category as opposed to another closely-related category of the CUB-200-2011 dataset. We then study discriminative image captioning to generate language that uniquely refers to one of two semantically-similar images in the COCO dataset. Evaluations with discriminative ground truth for justification and human studies for discriminative image captioning reveal that our approach outperforms baseline generative and speaker-listener approaches for discrimination.

    01/11/2017 ∙ by Ramakrishna Vedantam, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Density estimation using Real NVP

    Unsupervised learning of probabilistic models is a central yet challenging problem in machine learning. Specifically, designing models with tractable learning, sampling, inference and evaluation is crucial in solving this task. We extend the space of such models using real-valued non-volume preserving (real NVP) transformations, a set of powerful invertible and learnable transformations, resulting in an unsupervised learning algorithm with exact log-likelihood computation, exact sampling, exact inference of latent variables, and an interpretable latent space. We demonstrate its ability to model natural images on four datasets through sampling, log-likelihood evaluation and latent variable manipulations.

    05/27/2016 ∙ by Laurent Dinh, et al. ∙ 0 share

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