Meta-learning empowers artificial intelligence to increase its efficiency by learning how to learn. Unlocking this potential involves overcoming a challenging meta-optimisation problem. We propose an algorithm that tackles this problem by letting the meta-learner teach itself. The algorithm first bootstraps a target from the meta-learner, then optimises the meta-learner by minimising the distance to that target under a chosen (pseudo-)metric. Focusing on meta-learning with gradients, we establish conditions that guarantee performance improvements and show that metric can be used to control meta-optimisation. Meanwhile, the bootstrapping mechanism can extend the effective meta-learning horizon without requiring backpropagation through all updates. We achieve a new state-of-the art for model-free agents on the Atari ALE benchmark and demonstrate that it yields both performance and efficiency gains in multi-task meta-learning. Finally, we explore how bootstrapping opens up new possibilities and find that it can meta-learn efficient exploration in an epsilon-greedy Q-learning agent - without backpropagating through the update rule.

Robustness to distribution shifts is critical for deploying machine learning models in the real world. Despite this necessity, there has been little work in defining the underlying mechanisms that cause these shifts and evaluating the robustness of algorithms across multiple, different distribution shifts. To this end, we introduce a framework that enables fine-grained analysis of various distribution shifts. We provide a holistic analysis of current state-of-the-art methods by evaluating 19 distinct methods grouped into five categories across both synthetic and real-world datasets. Overall, we train more than 85K models. Our experimental framework can be easily extended to include new methods, shifts, and datasets. We find, unlike previous work (Gulrajani & Lopez-Paz, 2021), that progress has been made over a standard ERM baseline; in particular, pretraining and augmentations (learned or heuristic) offer large gains in many cases. However, the best methods are not consistent over different datasets and shifts. We will open source our experimental framework, allowing future work to evaluate new methods over multiple shifts to obtain a more complete picture of a method's effectiveness.

Discovering relevant input features for predicting a target variable is a key scientific question. However, in many domains, such as medicine and biology, feature selection is confounded by a scarcity of labeled samples coupled with significant correlations among features. In this paper, we propose a novel deep learning approach to feature selection that addresses both challenges simultaneously. First, we pre-train the network using unlabeled samples within a self-supervised learning framework via solving pretext tasks that require the network to learn informative representations from partial feature sets. Then, we fine-tune the pre-trained network to discover relevant features using labeled samples. During both training phases, we explicitly account for the correlation structure of the input features by generating correlated gate vectors from a multivariate Bernoulli distribution. Experiments on multiple real-world datasets including clinical and omics demonstrate that our model discovers relevant features that provide superior prediction performance compared to the state-of-the-art benchmarks, in practical scenarios where there is often limited labeled data and high correlations among features.

Learning causal relationships in high-dimensional data (images, videos) is a hard task, as they are often defined on low dimensional manifolds and must be extracted from complex signals dominated by appearance, lighting, textures and also spurious correlations in the data. We present a method for learning counterfactual reasoning of physical processes in pixel space, which requires the prediction of the impact of interventions on initial conditions. Going beyond the identification of structural relationships, we deal with the challenging problem of forecasting raw video over long horizons. Our method does not require the knowledge or supervision of any ground truth positions or other object or scene properties. Our model learns and acts on a suitable hybrid latent representation based on a combination of dense features, sets of 2D keypoints and an additional latent vector per keypoint. We show that this better captures the dynamics of physical processes than purely dense or sparse representations. We introduce a new challenging and carefully designed counterfactual benchmark for predictions in pixel space and outperform strong baselines in physics-inspired ML and video prediction.

Voice conversion is a common speech synthesis task which can be solved in different ways depending on a particular real-world scenario. The most challenging one often referred to as one-shot many-to-many voice conversion consists in copying target voice from only one reference utterance in the most general case when both source and target speakers do not belong to the training dataset. We present a scalable high-quality solution based on diffusion probabilistic modeling and demonstrate its superior quality compared to state-of-the-art one-shot voice conversion approaches. Moreover, focusing on real-time applications, we investigate general principles which can make diffusion models faster while keeping synthesis quality at a high level. As a result, we develop a novel Stochastic Differential Equations solver suitable for various diffusion model types and generative tasks as shown through empirical studies and justify it by theoretical analysis.

Fine-tuning large pretrained language models on downstream tasks has become the de-facto learning paradigm in NLP. However, conventional approaches fine-tune all the parameters of the pretrained model, which becomes prohibitive as the model size and the number of tasks grow. Recent work has proposed a variety of parameter-efficient transfer learning methods that only fine-tune a small number of (extra) parameters to attain strong performance. While effective, the critical ingredients for success and the connections among the various methods are poorly understood. In this paper, we break down the design of state-of-the-art parameter-efficient transfer learning methods and present a unified framework that establishes connections between them. Specifically, we re-frame them as modifications to specific hidden states in pretrained models, and define a set of design dimensions along which different methods vary, such as the function to compute the modification and the position to apply the modification. Through comprehensive empirical studies across machine translation, text summarization, language understanding, and text classification benchmarks, we utilize the unified view to identify important design choices in previous methods. Furthermore, our unified framework enables the transfer of design elements across different approaches, and as a result we are able to instantiate new parameter-efficient fine-tuning methods that tune less parameters than previous methods while being more effective, achieving comparable results to fine-tuning all parameters on all four tasks.

We present an empirical study of scaling properties of encoder-decoder Transformer models used in neural machine translation (NMT). We show that cross-entropy loss as a function of model size follows a certain scaling law. Specifically (i) We propose a formula which describes the scaling behavior of cross-entropy loss as a bivariate function of encoder and decoder size, and show that it gives accurate predictions under a variety of scaling approaches and languages; we show that the total number of parameters alone is not sufficient for such purposes. (ii) We observe different power law exponents when scaling the decoder vs scaling the encoder, and provide recommendations for optimal allocation of encoder/decoder capacity based on this observation. (iii) We also report that the scaling behavior of the model is acutely influenced by composition bias of the train/test sets, which we define as any deviation from naturally generated text (either via machine generated or human translated text). We observe that natural text on the target side enjoys scaling, which manifests as successful reduction of the cross-entropy loss. (iv) Finally, we investigate the relationship between the cross-entropy loss and the quality of the generated translations. We find two different behaviors, depending on the nature of the test data. For test sets which were originally translated from target language to source language, both loss and BLEU score improve as model size increases. In contrast, for test sets originally translated from source language to target language, the loss improves, but the BLEU score stops improving after a certain threshold. We release generated text from all models used in this study.

In model-free deep reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms, using noisy value estimates to supervise policy evaluation and optimization is detrimental to the sample efficiency. As this noise is heteroscedastic, its effects can be mitigated using uncertainty-based weights in the optimization process. Previous methods rely on sampled ensembles, which do not capture all aspects of uncertainty. We provide a systematic analysis of the sources of uncertainty in the noisy supervision that occurs in RL, and introduce inverse-variance RL, a Bayesian framework which combines probabilistic ensembles and Batch Inverse Variance weighting. We propose a method whereby two complementary uncertainty estimation methods account for both the Q-value and the environment stochasticity to better mitigate the negative impacts of noisy supervision. Our results show significant improvement in terms of sample efficiency on discrete and continuous control tasks.

Score-based generative models (SGMs) have demonstrated remarkable synthesis quality. SGMs rely on a diffusion process that gradually perturbs the data towards a tractable distribution, while the generative model learns to denoise. The complexity of this denoising task is, apart from the data distribution itself, uniquely determined by the diffusion process. We argue that current SGMs employ overly simplistic diffusions, leading to unnecessarily complex denoising processes, which limit generative modeling performance. Based on connections to statistical mechanics, we propose a novel critically-damped Langevin diffusion (CLD) and show that CLD-based SGMs achieve superior performance. CLD can be interpreted as running a joint diffusion in an extended space, where the auxiliary variables can be considered "velocities" that are coupled to the data variables as in Hamiltonian dynamics. We derive a novel score matching objective for CLD and show that the model only needs to learn the score function of the conditional distribution of the velocity given data, an easier task than learning scores of the data directly. We also derive a new sampling scheme for efficient synthesis from CLD-based diffusion models. We find that CLD outperforms previous SGMs in synthesis quality for similar network architectures and sampling compute budgets. We show that our novel sampler for CLD significantly outperforms solvers such as Euler--Maruyama. Our framework provides new insights into score-based denoising diffusion models and can be readily used for high-resolution image synthesis.

Characterizing the separation power of graph neural networks (GNNs) provides an understanding of their limitations for graph learning tasks. Results regarding separation power are, however, usually geared at specific GNNs architectures, and tools for understanding arbitrary GNN architectures are generally lacking. We provide an elegant way to easily obtain bounds on the separation power of GNNs in terms of the Weisfeiler-Leman (WL) tests, which have become the yardstick to measure the separation power of GNNs. The crux is to view GNNs as expressions in a procedural tensor language describing the computations in the layers of the GNNs. Then, by a simple analysis of the obtained expressions, in terms of the number of indexes used and the nesting depth of summations, bounds on the separation power in terms of the WL-tests readily follow. Furthermore, the tensor language point of view allows for the derivation of universality results for classes of GNNs in a natural way. Our approach provides a toolbox with which GNN architecture designers can analyze the separation power of their GNNs, without needing to know the intricacies of the WL-tests. We also provide insights in what is needed to boost the separation power of GNNs.

This paper studies node classification in the inductive setting, i.e., aiming to learn a model on labeled training graphs and generalize it to infer node labels on unlabeled test graphs. This problem has been extensively studied with graph neural networks (GNNs) by learning effective node representations, as well as traditional structured prediction methods for modeling the structured output of node labels, e.g., conditional random fields (CRFs). In this paper, we present a new approach called the Structured Markov Network (SMN), which combines the advantages of both worlds. SMN defines flexible potential functions of CRFs with GNNs. However, learning such a model is nontrivial as it involves optimizing a maximin game with high-cost inference. Inspired by the underlying connection between the joint and marginal distributions defined by Markov networks, we propose to solve an approximate version of the optimization problem as proxy, which yields a near-optimal solution, making learning more efficient. Extensive experiments on two settings show our approach outperforms many competitive baselines.

Understanding the implicit bias of Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) is one of the key challenges in deep learning, especially for overparametrized models, where the local minimizers of the loss function $L$ can form a manifold. Intuitively, with a sufficiently small learning rate $\eta$, SGD tracks Gradient Descent (GD) until it gets close to such manifold, where the gradient noise prevents further convergence. In such regime, Blanc et al. (2020) proved that SGD with label noise locally decreases a regularizer-like term, the sharpness of loss, $\text{tr}[\nabla^2 L]$. The current paper gives a general framework for such analysis by adapting ideas from Katzenberger (1991). It allows in principle a complete characterization for the regularization effect of SGD around such manifold---i.e., the "implicit bias"---using a stochastic differential equation (SDE) describing the limiting dynamics of the parameters, which is determined jointly by the loss function and the noise covariance. This yields some new results: (1) a *global* analysis of the implicit bias valid for $\eta^{-2}$ steps, in contrast to the local analysis of Blanc et al. (2020) that is only valid for $\eta^{-1.6}$ steps and (2) allowing *arbitrary* noise covariance. As an application, we show with arbitrary large initialization, label noise SGD can always escape the kernel regime and only requires $O(\kappa\ln d)$ samples for learning an $\kappa$-sparse overparametrized linear model in $\mathbb{R}^d$ (Woodworth et al., 2020), while GD initialized in the kernel regime requires $\Omega(d)$ samples. This upper bound is minimax optimal and improves the previous $\widetilde{O}(\kappa^2)$ upper bound (HaoChen et al., 2020).

Most graph neural networks (GNNs) use the message passing paradigm, in which node features are propagated on the input graph. Recent works pointed to the distortion of information flowing from distant nodes as a factor limiting the efficiency of message passing for tasks relying on long-distance interactions. This phenomenon, referred to as 'over-squashing', has been heuristically attributed to graph bottlenecks where the number of $k$-hop neighbors grows rapidly with $k$. We provide a precise description of the over-squashing phenomenon in GNNs and analyze how it arises from bottlenecks in the graph. For this purpose, we introduce a new edge-based combinatorial curvature and prove that negatively curved edges are responsible for the over-squashing issue. We also propose and experimentally test a curvature-based graph rewiring method to alleviate the over-squashing.

This paper explores the bottleneck of feature representations of deep neural networks (DNNs), from the perspective of the complexity of interactions between input variables encoded in DNNs. To this end, we focus on the multi-order interaction between input variables, where the order represents the complexity of interactions. We discover that a DNN is more likely to encode both too simple interactions and too complex interactions, but usually fails to learn interactions of intermediate complexity. Such a phenomenon is widely shared by different DNNs for different tasks. This phenomenon indicates a cognition gap between DNNs and human beings, and we call it a representation bottleneck. We theoretically prove the underlying reason for the representation bottleneck. Furthermore, we propose two losses to encourage and penalize the learning interactions of specific complexities, and analyze the representation capacities of interactions of different complexities.

Generalizing from observed to new related environments (out-of-distribution) is central to the reliability of classifiers. However, most classifiers fail to predict label $Y$ from input $X$ when the change in environment is due a (stochastic) input transformation $T^\text{te} \circ X'$ not observed in training, as in training we observe $T^\text{tr} \circ X'$, where $X'$ is a hidden variable. This work argues that when the transformations in train $T^\text{tr}$ and test $T^\text{te}$ are (arbitrary) symmetry transformations induced by a collection of known $m$ equivalence relations, the task of finding a robust OOD classifier can be defined as finding the simplest causal model that defines a causal connection between the target labels and the symmetry transformations that are associated with label changes. We then propose a new learning paradigm, asymmetry learning, that identifies which symmetries the classifier must break in order to correctly predict $Y$ in both train and test. Asymmetry learning performs a causal model search that, under certain identifiability conditions, finds classifiers that perform equally well in-distribution and out-of-distribution. Finally, we show how to learn counterfactually-invariant representations with asymmetry learning in two physics tasks.

We consider offline imitation learning (IL), which aims to mimic the expert's behavior
from its demonstration without further interaction with the environment.
One of the main challenges in offline IL is to deal with the narrow support of the data distribution exhibited by the expert
demonstrations that cover only a small fraction of the state and the action spaces.
As a result, offline IL algorithms that rely only on expert demonstrations are very unstable since the situation easily deviates from those
in the expert demonstrations.
In this paper, we assume additional demonstration data of unknown degrees of optimality, which we call imperfect demonstrations.
Under this setting, we propose DemoDICE, which effectively utilizes imperfect demonstrations by matching the stationary distribution of a policy with experts' distribution while penalizing its deviation from the overall demonstrations.
Compared with the recent IL algorithms that adopt adversarial minimax training objectives,
we substantially stabilize overall learning process by reducing minimax optimization to a direct convex optimization in a principled manner.
Using extensive tasks, we show that DemoDICE achieves promising results in the offline IL from expert and imperfect demonstrations.

Emphatic temporal difference (ETD) learning (Sutton et al., 2016) is a successful method to conduct the off-policy value function evaluation with function approximation. Although ETD has been shown to converge asymptotically to a desirable value function, it is well-known that ETD often encounters a large variance so that its sample complexity can increase exponentially fast with the number of iterations. In this work, we propose a new ETD method, called PER-ETD (i.e., PEriodically Restarted-ETD), which restarts and updates the follow-on trace only for a finite period for each iteration of the evaluation parameter. Further, PER-ETD features a design of the logarithmical increase of the restart period with the number of iterations, which guarantees the best trade-off between the variance and bias and keeps both vanishing sublinearly. We show that PER-ETD converges to the same desirable fixed point as ETD, but improves the exponential sample complexity of ETD to be polynomials. Our experiments validate the superior performance of PER-ETD and its advantage over ETD.

As Artificial Intelligence as a Service gains popularity, protecting well-trained models as intellectual property is becoming increasingly important. There are two common types of protection methods: ownership verification and usage authorization. In this paper, we propose Non-Transferable Learning (NTL), a novel approach that captures the exclusive data representation in the learned model and restricts the model generalization ability to certain domains. This approach provides effective solutions to both model verification and authorization. Specifically: 1) For ownership verification, watermarking techniques are commonly used but are often vulnerable to sophisticated watermark removal methods. By comparison, our NTL-based ownership verification provides robust resistance to state-of-the-art watermark removal methods, as shown in extensive experiments with 6 removal approaches over the digits, CIFAR10 & STL10, and VisDA datasets. 2) For usage authorization, prior solutions focus on authorizing specific users to access the model, but authorized users can still apply the model to any data without restriction. Our NTL-based authorization approach instead provides a data-centric protection, which we call applicability authorization, by significantly degrading the performance of the model on unauthorized data. Its effectiveness is also shown through experiments on aforementioned datasets.

We study how the choice of visual perspective affects learning and generalization in the context of physical manipulation from raw sensor observations. Compared with the more commonly used global third-person perspective, a hand-centric (eye-in-hand) perspective affords reduced observability, but we find that it consistently improves training efficiency and out-of-distribution generalization. These benefits require no algorithmic changes other than the perspective and hold across a variety of learning algorithms, experimental settings, and distribution shifts, albeit only when hand-centric observability is sufficient. When this is not the case, including a third-person perspective is necessary for learning, but also harms out-of-distribution generalization. To mitigate this, we propose to regularize the third-person information stream via a variational information bottleneck. On six representative manipulation tasks with varying hand-centric observability adapted from the Meta-World benchmark, this simple and broadly applicable principle results in a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning agent operating from both perspectives improving its out-of-distribution generalization on every task.

We introduce a new family of particle evolution samplers suitable for constrained domains and non-Euclidean geometries. Stein Variational Mirror Descent and Mirrored Stein Variational Gradient Descent minimize the Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence to constrained target distributions by evolving particles in a dual space defined by a mirror map. Stein Variational Natural Gradient exploits non-Euclidean geometry to more efficiently minimize the KL divergence to unconstrained targets. We derive these samplers from a new class of mirrored Stein operators and adaptive kernels developed in this work. We demonstrate that these new samplers yield accurate approximations to distributions on the simplex, deliver valid confidence intervals in post-selection inference, and converge more rapidly than prior methods in large-scale unconstrained posterior inference. Finally, we establish the convergence of our new procedures under verifiable conditions on the target distribution.

This work considers identifying parameters characterizing a physical system's dynamic motion directly from a video whose rendering configurations are inaccessible. Existing solutions require massive training data or lack generalizability to unknown rendering configurations. We propose a novel approach that marries domain randomization and differentiable rendering gradients to address this problem. Our core idea is to train a rendering-invariant state-prediction (RISP) network that transforms image differences into state differences independent of rendering configurations, e.g., lighting, shadows, or material reflectance. To train this predictor, we formulate a new loss on rendering variances using gradients from differentiable rendering. Moreover, we present an efficient, second-order method to compute the gradients of this loss, allowing it to be integrated seamlessly into modern deep learning frameworks. We evaluate our method in rigid-body and deformable-body environments using four tasks: state estimation, system identification, imitation learning, and visuomotor control, including a challenging task of emulating dexterous motion of a robotic hand from a video. Compared with existing methods, our approach achieves significantly lower errors in almost all tasks and has better generalizability among unknown rendering configurations.

Multitask learning is being increasingly adopted in applications domains like computer vision and reinforcement learning. However, optimally exploiting its advantages remains a major challenge due to the effect of negative transfer. Previous works have tracked down this issue to the disparities in gradient magnitudes and directions across tasks, when optimizing the shared network parameters. While recent work has acknowledged that negative transfer is a two-fold problem, existing approaches fall short as they only focus on either homogenizing the gradient magnitude across tasks; or greedily change the gradient directions, overlooking future conflicts. In this work, we introduce RotoGrad, an algorithm that tackles negative transfer as a whole: it jointly homogenizes gradient magnitudes and directions, while ensuring training convergence. We show that RotoGrad outperforms competing methods in complex problems, including multi-label classification in CelebA and computer vision tasks in the NYUv2 dataset.

A central goal of sequence modeling is designing a single principled model that can address sequence data across a range of modalities and tasks, particularly on long dependencies. Although conventional models including RNNs, CNNs, and Transformers have specialized variants for capturing long-range dependencies, they still struggle to scale to very long sequences of $10000$ or more steps. A promising recent approach proposed modeling sequences by simulating the fundamental state space model (SSM) \( x'(t) = Ax(t) + Bu(t), y(t) = Cx(t) + Du(t) \), and showed that for appropriate choices of the state matrix \( A \), this system could handle long-range dependencies mathematically and empirically. However, this method has prohibitive computation and memory requirements, rendering it infeasible as a general sequence modeling solution. We propose the Structured State Space (S3) model based on a new parameterization for the SSM, and show that it can be computed much more efficiently than prior approaches while preserving their theoretical strengths. Our technique involves conditioning \( A \) with a low-rank correction, allowing it to be diagonalized stably and reducing the SSM to the well-studied computation of a Cauchy kernel. S3 achieves strong empirical results across a diverse range of established benchmarks, including (i) 91\% accuracy on sequential CIFAR-10 with no data augmentation or auxiliary losses, on par with a larger 2-D ResNet, (ii) substantially closing the gap to Transformers on image and language modeling tasks, while performing generation $60\times$ faster (iii) SoTA on every task from the Long Range Arena benchmark, including solving the challenging Path-X task of length 16k that all prior work fails on, while being as efficient as all competitors.

We propose a probabilistic shape completion method extended to the continuous geometry of large-scale 3D scenes. Real-world scans of 3D scenes suffer from a considerable amount of missing data cluttered with unsegmented objects. The problem of shape completion is inherently ill-posed, and high-quality result requires scalable solutions that consider multiple possible outcomes. We employ the Generative Cellular Automata that learns the multi-modal distribution and transform the formulation to process large-scale continuous geometry. The local continuous shape is incrementally generated as sparse voxel embedding, which contains the latent code for each occupied cell. We formally derive that our training objective for the sparse voxel embedding maximizes the variational lower bound of the complete shape distribution and therefore our progressive generation constitutes a valid generative model. Experiments show that our model successfully generates diverse plausible scenes faithful to the input, especially when the input data suffers from a significant amount of missing data and previous approaches fail. We also demonstrate that our approach outperforms deterministic models even for input data with a relatively small level of incompleteness, which verifies that probabilistic formulation is crucial for high-quality geometry completion.

We introduce a new task, unsupervised vision-language (VL) grammar induction. Given an image-caption pair, the goal is to extract a shared hierarchical structure for both image and language simultaneously. We argue that such structured output, grounded in both modalities, is a clear step towards the high-level understanding of multimodal information. Besides challenges existing in conventional visually grounded grammar induction tasks, VL grammar induction requires a model to capture contextual semantics and perform a fine-grained alignment. To address these challenges, we propose a novel method, CLIORA, which constructs a shared vision-language constituency tree structure with context-dependent semantics for all possible phrases in different levels of the tree. It computes a matching score between each constituent and image region, trained via contrastive learning. It integrates two levels of fusion, namely at feature-level and at score-level, so as to allow fine-grained alignment. We introduce a new evaluation metric for VL grammar induction, CCRA, and show a 3.3% improvement over a strong baseline on Flickr30k Entities. We also evaluate our model via two derived tasks, i.e., language grammar induction and phrase grounding, and improve over the state-of-the-art for both.

Inspired by the notion that “to copy is easier than to memorize”, in this work, we introduce GNN-LM, which extends vanilla neural language model (LM) by allowing to reference similar contexts in the entire training corpus. We build a directed heterogeneous graph between an input context and its neighbors, where nodes are tokens from either the input context or the retrieved neighbor contexts, and edges represent connections between tokens. Graph neural networks (GNNs) are then leveraged to aggregate information from similar contexts to decode the token. This learning paradigm provides direct access to the reference contexts and helps improve generalization in the presence of references. We conduct comprehensive experiments to validate the effectiveness of the GNN-LM: GNNLM achieves a new state-of-the-art perplexity of 14.8 on WikiText-103 (a 4.5 point improvement over the vanilla LM model), and shows substantial improvement on One Billion Word and Enwiki8 datasets against strong baselines. In-depth ablation studies are performed to understand the mechanics of GNN-LM.

Some neurons in deep networks specialize in recognizing highly specific perceptual, structural, or semantic features of inputs. In computer vision, techniques exist for identifying neurons that respond to individual concept categories like colors, textures, and object classes. But these techniques are limited in scope, labeling only a small subset of neurons and behaviors in any network. Is a richer characterization of neuron-level computation possible? We introduce a procedure (called MILAN, for Mutual Information-guided Linguistic Annotations of Neurons) that automatically labels neurons with open-ended, compositional, natural language descriptions. Given a neuron, MILAN generates a description by searching for a natural language string that maximizes pointwise mutual information with the image regions in which the neuron is active. MILAN produces fine-grained descriptions that capture categorical, relational, and logical structure in learned features. These descriptions obtain high agreement with human-generated feature descriptions across a diverse set of model architectures and tasks, and can aid in understanding and controlling learned models. We highlight three applications of natural language neuron descriptions. First, we use MILAN for analysis, characterizing the distribution and importance of neurons selective for attribute, category, and relational information in vision models. Second, we use MILAN for auditing, surfacing neurons sensitive to protected categories like race and gender in models trained on datasets intended to obscure these features. Finally, we use MILAN for editing, improving robustness in an image classifier by deleting neurons sensitive to text features spuriously correlated with class labels.

Musical expression requires control of both what notes that are played, and how they are performed. Conventional audio synthesizers provide detailed expressive controls, but at the cost of realism. Black-box neural audio synthesis and concatenative samplers can produce realistic audio, but have few mechanisms for control. In this work, we introduce MIDI-DDSP a hierarchical model of musical instruments that enables both realistic neural audio synthesis and detailed user control. Starting from interpretable Differentiable Digital Signal Processing (DDSP) synthesis parameters, we infer musical notes and high-level properties of their expressive performance (such as timbre, vibrato, dynamics, and articulation). This creates a 3-level hierarchy (notes, performance, synthesis) that affords individuals the option to intervene at each level, or utilize trained priors (performance given notes, synthesis given performance) for creative assistance. Through quantitative experiments and listening tests, we demonstrate that this hierarchy can reconstruct high-fidelity audio, accurately predict performance attributes for a note sequence, independently manipulate the attributes of a given performance, and as a complete system, generate realistic audio from a novel note sequence. By utilizing an interpretable hierarchy, with multiple levels of granularity, MIDI-DDSP opens the door to assistive tools to empower individuals across a diverse range of musical experience.

Supposing the $n$ training tasks and the new task are sampled from the same environment, traditional meta learning theory derives an error bound on the expected loss over the new task in terms of the empirical training loss, uniformly over the set of all hypothesis spaces. However, there is still little research on how the relatedness of these tasks can affect the full utilization of all $mn$ training data (with $m$ examples per task). In this paper, we propose to address this problem by defining a new notion of task relatedness according to the existence of the bijective transformation between two tasks. A novel generalization bound of $\mathcal{O}(\frac{1}{\sqrt{mn}})$ for meta learning is thus derived by exploiting the proposed task relatedness. Moreover, when investigating a special branch of meta learning that involves representation learning with deep neural networks, we establish spectrally-normalized bounds for both classification and regression problems. Finally, we demonstrate that the relatedness requirement between two tasks is satisfied when the sample space possesses the completeness and separability properties, validating the rationality and applicability of our proposed task-relatedness measure.

Automatic Music Transcription (AMT), inferring musical notes from raw audio, is a challenging task at the core of music understanding. Unlike Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), which typically focuses on the words of a single speaker, AMT often requires transcribing multiple instruments simultaneously, all while preserving fine-scale pitch and timing information. Further, many AMT datasets are ``low-resource'', as even expert musicians find music transcription difficult and time-consuming. Thus, prior work has focused on task-specific architectures, tailored to the individual instruments of each task. In this work, motivated by the promising results of sequence-to-sequence transfer learning for low-resource Natural Language Processing (NLP), we demonstrate that a general-purpose Transformer model can perform multi-task AMT, jointly transcribing arbitrary combinations of musical instruments across several transcription datasets. We show this unified training framework achieves high-quality transcription results across a range of datasets, dramatically improving performance for low-resource instruments (such as guitar), while preserving strong performance for abundant instruments (such as piano). Finally, by expanding the scope of AMT, we expose the need for more consistent evaluation metrics and better dataset alignment, and provide a strong baseline for this new direction of multi-task AMT.

Automatic speech recognition systems have created exciting possibilities for applications, however they also enable opportunities for systematic eavesdropping.We propose a method to camouflage a person's voice from these systems without inconveniencing the conversation between people in the room. Standard adversarial attacks are not effective in real-time streaming situations because the characteristics of the signal will have changed by the time the attack is executed. We introduce predictive adversarial attacks, which achieves real-time performance by forecasting the attack vector that will be the most effective in the future. Under real-time constraints, our method jams the established speech recognition system DeepSpeech 3.97x more than online projected gradient descent as measured through word error rate, and 6.87x more as measured through character error rate. We furthermore demonstrate our approach is practically effective in realistic environments with complex scene geometries.

A deep equilibrium (DEQ) model abandons traditional depth by solving for the fixed point of a single nonlinear layer $f_\theta$. This structure enables decoupling the internal structure of the layer (which controls representational capacity) from how the fixed point is actually computed (which impacts inference-time efficiency), which is usually via classic techniques such as Broyden’s method or Anderson acceleration. In this paper, we show that one can exploit such decoupling and substantially enhance this fixed point computation using a custom neural solver. Specifically, our solver uses a parameterized network to both guess an initial value of the optimization and perform iterative updates, in a method that generalizes a learnable form of Anderson acceleration and can be trained end-to-end in the large-scale implicit model setup. Such a solution is particularly well suited to the implicit model setting, because inference in these models requires repeatedly solving for a fixed point of the same nonlinear layer for different inputs, a task at which our network excels. Our experiments show that these neural equilibrium solvers are fast to train (only taking an extra 0.9-1.1% over the original DEQ’s training time), require few additional parameters (1-3% of the original model size), yet lead to a 2x speedup in DEQ network inference without any degradation in accuracy across numerous high-dimensional domains and tasks.

One practical challenge in reinforcement learning (RL) is how to make quick adaptations when faced with new environments. In this paper, we propose a principled framework for adaptive RL, called AdaRL, that adapts reliably and efficiently to changes across domains with a few samples from the target domain, even in partially observable environments. Specifically, we leverage a parsimonious graphical representation that characterizes structural relationships over variables in the RL system. Such graphical representations provide a compact way to encode what and where the changes across domains are, and furthermore inform us with a minimal set of changes that one has to consider for the purpose of policy adaptation. We show that by explicitly leveraging this compact representation to encode changes, we can efficiently adapt the policy to the target domain, in which only a few samples are needed and further policy optimization is avoided. We illustrate the efficacy of AdaRL through a series of experiments that vary factors in the observation, transition and reward functions for Cartpole and Atari games.

How can a reinforcement learning (RL) agent prepare to solve downstream tasks if those tasks are not known a priori? One approach is unsupervised skill discovery, a class of algorithms that learn a set of policies without access to a reward function. Such algorithms bear a close resemblance to representation learning algorithms (e.g., contrastive learning) in supervised learning, in that both are pretraining algorithms that maximize some approximation to a mutual information objective. While prior work has shown that the set of skills learned by such methods can accelerate downstream RL tasks, prior work offers little analysis into whether these skill learning algorithms are optimal, or even what notion of optimality would be appropriate to apply to them. In this work, we show that unsupervised skill discovery algorithms based on mutual information maximization do not learn skills that are optimal for every possible reward function. However, we show that the distribution over skills provides an optimal initialization minimizing regret against adversarially-chosen reward functions, assuming a certain type of adaptation procedure. Our analysis also provides a geometric perspective on these skill learning methods.

Pretraining Neural Language Models (NLMs) over a large corpus involves chunking the text into training examples, which are contiguous text segments of sizes processable by the neural architecture. We highlight a bias introduced by this common practice: we prove that the pretrained NLM can model much stronger dependencies between text segments that appeared in the same training example, than it can between text segments that appeared in different training examples. This intuitive result has a twofold role. First, it formalizes the motivation behind a broad line of recent successful NLM training heuristics, proposed for the pretraining and fine-tuning stages, which do not necessarily appear related at first glance. Second, our result clearly indicates further improvements to be made in NLM pretraining for the benefit of Natural Language Understanding tasks. As an example, we show that including semantically related non-neighboring sentences in the same training example yields improved sentence representations and question answering abilities. This theoretically motivated degree of freedom for “pretraining example design" indicates new training schemes for self-improving representations.

Emergent communication aims for a better understanding of human language evolution and building more efficient representations. We posit that reaching these goals will require scaling up, in contrast to a significant amount of literature that focuses on setting up small-scale problems to tease out desired properties of the emergent languages. We focus on three independent aspects to scale up, namely the dataset, task complexity, and population size. We provide a first set of results for large populations solving complex tasks on realistic large-scale datasets, as well as an easy-to-use codebase to enable further experimentation. In more complex tasks and datasets, we find that RL training can become unstable, but responds well to established stabilization techniques.
We also identify the need for a different metric than topographic similarity, which does not correlate with the generalization performances when working with natural images. In this context, we probe ease-of-learnability and transfer methods to assess emergent languages. Finally, we observe that larger populations do not induce robust emergent protocols with high generalization performance, leading us to explore different ways to leverage population, through voting and imitation learning.

In recent years, implicit deep learning has emerged as a method to increase the depth of deep neural networks. While their training is memory-efficient, they are still significantly slower to train than their explicit counterparts. In Deep Equilibrium Models~(DEQs), the training is performed as a bi-level problem, and its computational complexity is partially driven by the iterative inversion of a huge Jacobian matrix. In this paper, we propose a novel strategy to tackle this computational bottleneck from which many bi-level problems suffer. The main idea is to use the quasi-Newton matrices from the forward pass to efficiently approximate the inverse Jacobian matrix in the direction needed for the gradient computation. We provide a theorem that motivates using our method with the original forward algorithms. In addition, by modifying these forward algorithms, we further provide theoretical guarantees that our method asymptotically estimates the true implicit gradient. We empirically study this approach in many settings, ranging from hyperparameter optimization to large Multiscale DEQs applied to CIFAR and ImageNet. We show that it reduces the computational cost of the backward pass by up to two orders of magnitude. All this is achieved while retaining the excellent performance of the original models in hyperparameter optimization and on CIFAR, and giving encouraging and competitive results on ImageNet.

38. Wiring Up Vision: Minimizing Supervised Synaptic Updates Needed to Produce a Primate Ventral Stream

After training on large datasets, certain deep neural networks are surprisingly good models of the neural mechanisms of adult primate visual object recognition. Nevertheless, these models are considered poor models of the development of the visual system because they posit millions of sequential, precisely coordinated synaptic updates, each based on a labeled image. While ongoing research is pursuing the use of unsupervised proxies for labels, we here explore a complementary strategy of reducing the required number of supervised synaptic updates to produce an adult-like ventral visual stream (as judged by the match to V1, V2, V4, IT, and behavior). Such models might require less precise machinery and energy expenditure to coordinate these updates and would thus move us closer to viable neuroscientific hypotheses about how the visual system wires itself up. Relative to standard model training on labeled images in ImageNet, we here demonstrate that the total number of supervised weight updates can be substantially reduced using three complementary strategies: First, we find that only 2% of supervised updates (epochs and images) are needed to achieve 80% of the match to adult ventral stream. Specifically, training benefits predictions of higher visual cortex the most whereas early visual cortex predictions only improve marginally over the course of training. Second, by improving the random distribution of synaptic connectivity, we find that 54% of the brain match can already be achieved “at birth" (i.e. no training at all). Third, we find that, by training only 5% of model synapses, we can still achieve nearly 80% of the match to the ventral stream. This approach further improves on ImageNet performance over previous attempts in computer vision of minimizing trained components without substantially increasing the relative number of trained parameters. These results reflect first steps in modeling not just primate adult visual processing during inference, but also how the ventral visual stream might be "wired up" by evolution (a model's "birth" state) and by developmental learning (a model's updates based on visual experience).

Vision Transformers (ViTs) take all the image patches as tokens and construct multi-head self-attention (MHSA) among them. A complete leverage of these image tokens brings redundant computations since not all the tokens are attentive in MHSA. Examples include that tokens containing semantically meaningless or distractive image background do not positively contribute to the ViT model predictions. In this work, we propose to reorganize image tokens during the feed-forward process of ViT models. Our token reorganization method is integrated into ViT during training.
For each forward inference, we identify attentive image tokens between the MHSA and FFN (i.e., feed-forward network) modules. The attentiveness identification of image tokens is guided by the corresponding class token. Then, we reorganize image tokens by preserving attentive image tokens and fusing inattentive ones to expedite subsequent MHSA and FFN computations. To this end, our method improves ViTs from two perspectives. First, under the same amount of input image tokens, our method reduces MHSA and FFN computation for efficient inference. For instance, the inference speed of DeiT-S is increased by 50% while its recognition accuracy is decreased by only 0.3% for ImageNet classification. Second, by maintaining the same computational cost, our method empowers ViTs to take more image tokens as input for recognition accuracy improvement, where the image tokens are from higher resolution images. An example is that we improve the recognition accuracy of DeiT-S by 1% for ImageNet classification at the same computational cost of a vanilla DeiT-S. Meanwhile, our method does not introduce more parameters to ViTs. Experiments on the standard benchmarks show the effectiveness of our method. Code will be made available.

The lack of adversarial robustness has been recognized as an important issue for state-of-the-art machine learning (ML) models, e.g., deep neural networks (DNNs). Thereby, robustifying ML models against adversarial attacks is now a major focus of research. However, nearly all existing defense methods, particularly for robust training, made the white-box assumption that the defender has the access to the details of an ML model (or its surrogate alternatives if available), e.g., its architectures and parameters. Beyond existing works, in this paper we aim to address the problem of black-box defense: How to robustify a black-box model using just input queries and output feedback? Such a problem arises in practical scenarios, where the owner of the predictive model is reluctant to share model information in order to preserve privacy. To this end, we propose a general notion of defensive operation that can be applied to black-box models, and design it through the lens of denoised smoothing (DS), a ﬁrst-order (FO) certiﬁed defense technique. To allow the design of merely using model queries, we further integrate DS with the zeroth-order (gradient-free) optimization. However, a direct implementation of zeroth-order (ZO) optimization suffers a high variance of gradient estimates, and thus leads to ineffective defense. To tackle this problem, we next propose to prepend an autoencoder (AE) to a given (black-box) model so that DS can be trained using variance-reduced ZO optimization. We term the eventual defense as ZO-AE-DS. In practice, we empirically show that ZO-AE-DS can achieve improved accuracy, certiﬁed robustness, and query complexity over existing baselines. And the effectiveness of our approach is justiﬁed under both image classiﬁcation and image reconstruction tasks.

Antibodies are versatile proteins that bind to pathogens like viruses and stimulate the adaptive immune system. The specificity of antibody binding is determined by complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) at the tips of these Y-shaped proteins. In this paper, we propose a generative model to automatically design the CDRs of antibodies with enhanced binding specificity or neutralization capabilities. Previous generative approaches formulate protein design as a structure-conditioned sequence generation task, assuming the desired 3D structure is given a priori. In contrast, we propose to co-design the sequence and 3D structure of CDRs as graphs. Our model unravels a sequence autoregressively while iteratively refining its predicted global structure. The inferred structure in turn guides subsequent residue choices. For efficiency, we model the conditional dependence between residues inside and outside of a CDR in a coarse-grained manner. Our method achieves superior log-likelihood on the test set and outperforms previous baselines in designing antibodies capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

When a dynamical system can be modeled as a sequence of observations, Granger causality is a powerful approach for detecting predictive interactions between its variables. However, traditional Granger causal inference has limited utility in domains where the dynamics need to be represented as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) rather than as a linear sequence, such as with cell differentiation trajectories. Here, we present GrID-Net, a framework based on graph neural networks with lagged message passing for Granger causal inference on DAG-structured systems. Our motivating application is the analysis of single-cell multimodal data to identify genomic loci that mediate the regulation of specific genes. To our knowledge, GrID-Net is the first single-cell analysis tool that accounts for the temporal lag between a genomic locus becoming accessible and its downstream effect on a target gene's expression. We applied GrID-Net on multimodal single-cell assays that profile chromatin accessibility (ATAC-seq) and gene expression (RNA-seq) in the same cell and show that it dramatically outperforms existing methods for inferring regulatory locus-gene links, achieving up to 71% greater agreement with independent population genetics-based estimates. The loci identified by GrID-Net are also enriched for 10-50x more transcription-factor binding motifs than other methods. By extending Granger causality to DAG-structured dynamical systems, our work unlocks new domains for causal analyses and, more specifically, opens a path towards elucidating gene regulatory interactions relevant to cellular differentiation and complex human diseases at unprecedented scale and resolution.

State-of-the-art deep face recognition methods are mostly trained with a softmax-based multi-class classification framework. Despite being popular and effective, these methods still have a few shortcomings that limit empirical performance. In this paper, we first identify the discrepancy between training and evaluation in the existing multi-class classification framework and then discuss the potential limitations caused by the "competitive" nature of softmax normalization. Motivated by these limitations, we propose a novel binary classification training framework, termed SphereFace2. In contrast to existing methods, SphereFace2 circumvents the softmax normalization, as well as the corresponding closed-set assumption. This effectively bridges the gap between training and evaluation, enabling the representations to be improved individually by each binary classification task. Besides designing a specific well-performing loss function, we summarize a few general principles for this "one-vs-all" binary classification framework so that it can outperform current competitive methods. We conduct comprehensive experiments on popular benchmarks to demonstrate that SphereFace2 can consistently outperform current state-of-the-art deep face recognition methods.

Reinforcement learning algorithms struggle on tasks with complex hierarchical dependency structures. Humans and other intelligent agents do not waste time assessing the utility of every high-level action in existence, but instead consider only ones they deem possible in the first place. By focusing only on what is feasible, or "afforded'', at the present moment, an agent can spend more time both evaluating the utility of and acting on what matters. To this end, we present Hierarchical Affordance Learning (HAL), a method that learns a model of hierarchical affordances in order to prune impossible subtasks for more effective learning. Existing works in hierarchical reinforcement learning provide agents with structural representations of subtasks but are not affordance-aware, and by grounding our definition of hierarchical affordances in the present state, our approach is more flexible than the multitude of approaches that ground their subtask dependencies in a symbolic history. While these logic-based methods often require complete knowledge of the subtask hierarchy, our approach is able to utilize incomplete and varying symbolic specifications. Furthermore, we demonstrate that relative to non-affordance-aware methods, HAL agents are better able to efficiently learn complex tasks, navigate environment stochasticity, and acquire diverse skills in the absence of extrinsic supervision---all of which are hallmarks of human learning.

Measuring the discrepancy between two probability distributions is a fundamental problem in machine learning and statistics. We propose a new class of discrepancies based on the optimal loss for a decision task -- two distributions are different if the optimal decision loss is higher on their mixture than on each individual distribution. By suitably choosing the decision task, this generalizes the Jensen-Shannon divergence and the maximum mean discrepancy family. We apply our approach to two-sample tests, and on various benchmarks, we achieve superior test power compared to competing methods. In addition, a modeler can directly specify their preferences when comparing distributions through the decision loss. We apply this property to understanding the effects of climate change on different social and economic activities, evaluating sample quality, and selecting features targeting different decision tasks.

In learning to discover novel classes (L2DNC), we are given labeled data from seen classes and unlabeled data from unseen classes, and we train clustering models for the unseen classes. However, the implicit assumptions behind L2DNC are still unclear. In this paper, we demystify assumptions behind L2DNC and find that high-level semantic features should be shared among the seen and unseen classes. Based on this finding, L2DNC is theoretically solvable under certain assumptions and can be naturally linked to meta-learning that has exactly the same assumption as L2DNC. Thus, we can empirically solve the L2DNC problem by meta-learning algorithms after slight modifications. This meta-learning-based methodology significantly reduces the amount of unlabeled data needed for training and makes it more practical, as demonstrated in experiments. The use of very limited data is also justified by the application scenario of L2DNC: since it is unnatural to label only seen-class data, L2DNC is sampling instead of labeling in causality. Therefore, unseen-class data should be collected on the way of collecting seen-class data, which is why they are novel and first need to be clustered.

Recent work suggests that feature constraints in the training datasets of deep neural networks (DNNs) drive robustness to adversarial noise (Ilyas et al., 2019). The representations learned by such adversarially robust networks have also been shown to be more human perceptually-aligned than non-robust networks via image manipulations (Santurkar et al., 2019, Engstrom et al., 2019). Despite appearing closer to human visual perception, it is unclear if the constraints in robust DNN representations match biological constraints found in human vision. Human vision seems to rely on texture-based/summary statistic representations in the periphery, which have been shown to explain phenomena such as crowding (Balas et al., 2009) and performance on visual search tasks (Rosenholtz et al., 2012). To understand how adversarially robust optimizations/representations compare to human vision, we performed a psychophysics experiment using a metamer task similar to Freeman \& Simoncelli, 2011, Wallis et al., 2016 and Deza et al., 2019 where we evaluated how well human observers could distinguish between images synthesized to match adversarially robust representations compared to non-robust representations and a texture synthesis model of peripheral vision (Texforms a la Long et al., 2018). We found that the discriminability of robust representation and texture model images decreased to near chance performance as stimuli were presented farther in the periphery. Moreover, performance on robust and texture-model images showed similar trends within participants, while performance on non-robust representations changed minimally across the visual field. These results together suggest that (1) adversarially robust representations capture peripheral computation better than non-robust representations and (2) robust representations capture peripheral computation similar to current state-of-the-art texture peripheral vision models. More broadly, our findings support the idea that localized texture summary statistic representations may drive human invariance to adversarial perturbations and that the incorporation of such representations in DNNs could give rise to useful properties like adversarial robustness.

This paper explores a simple method for improving the zero-shot learning abilities of language models. We show that instruction tuning—finetuning language models on a collection of tasks described via instructions—substantially boosts zero-shot performance on unseen tasks. We take a 137B parameter pretrained language model and instruction tune it on over 60 NLP tasks verbalized via natural language instruction templates. We evaluate this instruction-tuned model, which we call FLAN, on unseen task types. FLAN substantially improves the performance of its unmodified counterpart and surpasses zero-shot 175B GPT-3 on 20 of 25 tasks that we evaluate. FLAN even outperforms few-shot GPT-3 by a large margin on ANLI, RTE, BoolQ, AI2-ARC, OpenbookQA, and StoryCloze. Ablation studies reveal that number of tasks and model scale are key components to the success of instruction tuning.

When transferring a pretrained model to a downstream task, two popular methods are fine-tuning (updating all the model parameters) and linear probing (updating only the last linear layer). It is well known that fine-tuning leads to better accuracy in-distribution (ID). However, in this paper, we show that fine-tuning can achieve worse accuracy than linear probing out-of-distribution (OOD), especially when the pretrained features are good and distribution shift is large. On six distribution shift datasets (Breeds-Living17, Breeds-Entity30, DomainNet, CIFAR $\to$ STL, CIFAR10.1, FMoW), fine-tuning obtains an average 2% higher accuracy ID but 6% lower accuracy OOD than linear probing. We theoretically analyze the tradeoffs arising in fine-tuning overparameterized two-layer linear networks, characterizing how fine-tuning can distort high-quality pretrained features which leads to low OOD accuracy. Our analysis suggests the simple two-step strategy of linear probing then full fine-tuning, which combines the benefits of both fine-tuning and linear probing to achieve better ID and OOD accuracy than fine-tuning, both theoretically and on the above datasets (1% better ID, 8% better OOD).

As machine learning algorithms are deployed ubiquitously to a variety of domains, it is imperative to make these often black-box models transparent. Several recent works explain black-box models by capturing the most influential features for prediction per instance; such explanation methods are univariate, as they characterize importance per feature. We extend univariate explanation to a higher-order; this enhances explainability, as bivariate methods can capture feature interactions in black-box models, represented as a directed graph. Analyzing this graph enables us to discover groups of features that are equally important (i.e., interchangeable), while the notion of directionality allows us to identify the most influential features. We apply our bivariate method on Shapley value explanations, and experimentally demonstrate the ability of directional explanations to discover feature interactions. We show the superiority of our method against state-of-the-art on CIFAR10, IMDB, Census, Divorce, Drug, and gene data.

Many real-world applications of reinforcement learning (RL) require the agent to deal with high-dimensional observations such as those generated from a megapixel camera. Prior work has addressed such problems with representation learning, through which the agent can provably extract endogenous, latent state information from raw observations and subsequently plan efficiently. However, such approaches can fail in the presence of temporally correlated noise in the observations, a phenomenon that is common in practice. We initiate the formal study of latent state discovery in the presence of such exogenous noise sources by proposing a new model, the Exogenous Block MDP (EX-BMDP), for rich observation RL. We start by establishing several negative results, by highlighting failure cases of prior representation learning based approaches. Then, we introduce the Predictive Path Elimination (PPE) algorithm, that learns a generalization of inverse dynamics and is provably sample and computationally efficient in EX-BMDPs when the endogenous state dynamics are near deterministic. The sample complexity of PPE depends polynomially on the size of the latent endogenous state space while not directly depending on the size of the observation space, nor the exogenous state space. We provide experiments on challenging exploration problems which show that our approach works empirically.

Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has led to encouraging successes in many challenging control tasks. However, a deep RL model lacks interpretability due to the difficulty of identifying how the model's control logic relates to its network structure. Programmatic policies structured in more interpretable representations emerge as a promising solution. Yet two shortcomings remain: First, synthesizing programmatic policies requires optimizing over the discrete and non-differentiable search space of program architectures. Previous works are suboptimal because they only enumerate program architectures greedily guided by a pretrained RL oracle. Second, these works do not exploit compositionality, an important programming concept, to reuse and compose primitive functions to form a complex function for new tasks. Our first contribution is a programmatically interpretable RL framework that conducts program architecture search on top of a continuous relaxation of the architecture space defined by programming language grammar rules. Our algorithm allows policy architectures to be learned with policy parameters via bilevel optimization using efficient policy-gradient methods, and thus does not require a pretrained oracle. Our second contribution is improving programmatic policies to support compositionality by integrating primitive functions learned to grasp task-agnostic skills as a composite program to solve novel RL problems. Experiment results demonstrate that our algorithm excels in discovering optimal programmatic policies that are highly interpretable.

For many differentially private algorithms, such as the prominent noisy stochastic gradient descent (DP-SGD), the analysis needed to bound the privacy leakage of a single training run is well understood. However, few studies have reasoned about the privacy leakage resulting from the multiple training runs needed to fine tune the value of the training algorithm’s hyperparameters. In this work, we first illustrate how simply setting hyperparameters based on non-private training runs can leak private information. Motivated by this observation, we then provide privacy guarantees for hyperparameter search procedures within the framework of Renyi Differential Privacy. Our results improve and extend the work of Liu and Talwar (STOC 2019). Our analysis supports our previous observation that tuning hyperparameters does indeed leak private information, but we prove that, under certain assumptions, this leakage is modest, as long as each candidate training run needed to select hyperparameters is itself differentially private.

For robots operating in the real world, it is desirable to learn reusable abstract behaviours that can effectively be transferred across numerous tasks and scenarios.
We propose an approach to learn skills from data using a hierarchical mixture latent variable model.
Our method exploits a multi-level hierarchy of both discrete and continuous latent variables, to model a discrete set of abstract high-level behaviours while allowing for variance in how they are executed.
We demonstrate in manipulation domains that the method can effectively cluster offline data into distinct, executable behaviours, while retaining the flexibility of a continuous latent variable model.
The resulting skills can be transferred to new tasks, unseen objects, and from state to vision-based policies, yielding significantly better sample efficiency and asymptotic performance compared to existing skill- and imitation-based methods.
We also perform further analysis showing how and when the skills are most beneficial: they encourage directed exploration to cover large regions of the state space relevant to the task, making them most effective in challenging sparse-reward settings.

We introduce a self-supervised vision representation model BEiT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder representation from Image Transformers. Following BERT developed in the natural language processing area, we propose a masked image modeling task to pretrain vision Transformers. Specifically, each image has two views in our pre-training, i.e., image patches (such as 16 x 16 pixels), and visual tokens (i.e., discrete tokens). We first "tokenize" the original image into visual tokens. Then we randomly mask some image patches and fed them into the backbone Transformer. The pre-training objective is to recover the original visual tokens based on the corrupted image patches. After pre-training BEiT, we directly fine-tune the model parameters on downstream tasks by appending task layers upon the pretrained encoder. Experimental results on image classification and semantic segmentation show that our model achieves competitive results with previous pre-training methods.

In Byzantine robust distributed or federated learning, a central server wants to train a machine learning model over data distributed across multiple workers. However, a fraction of these workers may deviate from the prescribed algorithm and send arbitrary messages. While this problem has received significant attention recently, most current defenses assume that the workers have identical data. For realistic cases when the data across workers are heterogeneous (non-iid), we design new attacks which circumvent current defenses, leading to significant loss of performance. We then propose a simple bucketing scheme that adapts existing robust algorithms to heterogeneous datasets at a negligible computational cost. We also theoretically and experimentally validate our approach, showing that combining bucketing with existing robust algorithms is effective against challenging attacks. Our work is the first to establish guaranteed convergence for the non-iid Byzantine robust problem under realistic assumptions.

Understanding how neural dynamics give rise to behaviour is one of the most fundamental questions in systems neuroscience. To achieve this, a common approach is to record neural populations in behaving animals, and model these data as emanating from a latent dynamical system whose state trajectories can then be related back to behavioural observations via some form of decoding. As recordings are typically performed in localized circuits that form only a part of the wider implicated network, it is important to simultaneously learn the local dynamics and infer any unobserved external input that might drive them. Here, we introduce iLQR-VAE, a novel control-based approach to variational inference in nonlinear dynamical systems, capable of learning both latent dynamics, initial conditions, and ongoing external inputs. As in recent deep learning approaches, our method is based on an input-driven sequential variational autoencoder (VAE). The main novelty lies in the use of the powerful iterative linear quadratic regulator algorithm (iLQR) in the recognition model. Optimization of the standard evidence lower-bound requires differentiating through iLQR solutions, which is made possible by recent advances in differentiable control. Importantly, having the recognition model be implicitly defined by the generative model greatly reduces the number of free parameters and allows for flexible, high-quality inference. This makes it possible for instance to evaluate the model on a single long trial after training on smaller chunks. We demonstrate the effectiveness of iLQR-VAE on a range of synthetic systems, with autonomous as well as input-driven dynamics. We further apply it to neural and behavioural recordings in non-human primates performing two different reaching tasks, and show that iLQR-VAE yields high-quality kinematic reconstructions from the neural data.

A central goal of machine learning is the development of systems that can solve many problems in as many data domains as possible. Current architectures, however, cannot be applied beyond a small set of stereotyped settings, as they bake in domain & task assumptions or scale poorly to large inputs or outputs. In this work, we propose Perceiver IO, a general-purpose architecture that handles data from arbitrary settings while scaling linearly with the size of inputs and outputs. Our model augments the Perceiver with a flexible querying mechanism that enables outputs of various sizes and semantics, doing away with the need for task-specific architecture engineering. The same architecture achieves strong results on tasks spanning natural language and visual understanding, multi-task and multi-modal reasoning, and StarCraft II. As highlights, Perceiver IO outperforms a Transformer-based BERT baseline on the GLUE language benchmark despite removing input tokenization and achieves state-of-the-art performance on Sintel optical flow estimation with no explicit mechanisms for multiscale correspondence.

An important component for generalization in machine learning is to uncover underlying latent factors of variation as well as the mechanism through which each factor acts in the world.
In this paper, we test whether 17 unsupervised, weakly supervised, and fully supervised representation learning approaches correctly infer the generative factors of variation in simple datasets (dSprites, Shapes3D, MPI3D) from controlled environments, and on our contributed CelebGlow dataset.
In contrast to prior robustness work that introduces novel factors of variation during test time, such as blur or other (un)structured noise, we here recompose, interpolate, or extrapolate only existing factors of variation from the training data set (e.g., small and medium-sized objects during training and large objects during testing). Models that learn the correct mechanism should be able to generalize to this benchmark.
In total, we train and test 2000+ models and observe that all of them struggle to learn the underlying mechanism regardless of supervision signal and architectural bias. Moreover, the generalization capabilities of all tested models drop significantly as we move from artificial datasets towards more realistic real-world datasets.
Despite their inability to identify the correct mechanism, the models are quite modular as their ability to infer other in-distribution factors remains fairly stable, providing only a single factor is out-of-distribution. These results point to an important yet understudied problem of learning mechanistic models of observations that can facilitate generalization.

Diffusion models have recently shown great promise for generative modeling, outperforming GANs on perceptual quality and autoregressive models at density estimation. A remaining downside is their slow sampling time: generating high quality samples takes many hundreds or thousands of model evaluations. Here we make two contributions to help eliminate this downside: First, we present new parameterizations of diffusion models that provide increased stability when using few sampling steps, compared to models in the literature. Second, we present a method to distill a trained deterministic diffusion sampler, using many steps, into a new diffusion model that takes half as many sampling steps. We then keep progressively applying this distillation procedure to our model, halving the number of required sampling steps each time. On standard image generation benchmarks like CIFAR-10, ImageNet, and LSUN, we start out with (near) state-of-the-art samplers taking 1024 or 8192 steps, and are able to distill down to models taking as little as 4 steps without losing much perceptual quality; achieving, for example, a FID of 3.0 on CIFAR-10 in 4 steps. Finally, we show that the full progressive distillation procedure does not take more time than it takes to train the original model, thus representing an efficient solution for generative modeling using diffusion at both train and test time.

61. Reinforcement Learning under a Multi-agent Predictive State Representation Model: Method and Theory

This paper proposes a new algorithm for learning the optimal policies under a novel multi-agent predictive state representation reinforcement learning model. Compared to the state-of-the-art methods, the most striking feature of our approach is the introduction of a dynamic interaction graph to the model, which allows us to represent each agent's predictive state by considering the behaviors of its ``neighborhood'' agents. Methodologically, we develop an online algorithm that simultaneously learns the predictive state representation and agent policies.
Theoretically, we provide an upper bound of the $L_2$-norm of the learned predictive state representation. Empirically, to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed method, we provide thorough numerical results on both a MAMuJoCo robotic learning experiment and a multi-agent particle learning environment.

An agent's functionality is largely determined by its design, i.e., skeletal structure and joint attributes (e.g., length, size, strength). However, finding the optimal agent design for a given function is extremely challenging since the problem is inherently combinatorial and the design space is prohibitively large. Additionally, it can be costly to evaluate each candidate design which requires solving for its optimal controller. To tackle these problems, our key idea is to incorporate the design procedure of an agent into its decision-making process. Specifically, we learn a conditional policy that, in an episode, first applies a sequence of transform actions to modify an agent's skeletal structure and joint attributes, and then applies control actions under the new design. To handle a variable number of joints across designs, we use a graph-based policy where each graph node represents a joint and uses message passing with its neighbors to output joint-specific actions. Using policy gradient methods, our approach enables first-order optimization of agent design and control as well as experience sharing across different designs, which improves sample efficiency tremendously. Experiments show that our approach, Transform2Act, outperforms prior methods significantly in terms of convergence speed and final performance. Notably, Transform2Act can automatically discover plausible designs similar to giraffes, squids, and spiders. Our project website is at https://sites.google.com/view/transform2act.

The problem of molecular generation has received significant attention recently. Existing methods are typically based on deep neural networks and require training on large datasets with tens of thousands of samples.
In practice, however, the size of class-specific chemical datasets is usually limited (e.g., dozens of samples) due to labor-intensive experimentation and data collection. Another major challenge is to generate only physically synthesizable molecules. This is a non-trivial task for neural network-based generative models since the relevant chemical knowledge can only be extracted and generalized from the limited training data. In this work, we propose a data-efficient generative model that can be learned from datasets with orders of magnitude smaller sizes than common benchmarks. At the heart of this method is a learnable graph grammar that generates molecules from a sequence of production rules. Without any human assistance, these production rules are automatically constructed from training data.
Furthermore, additional chemical knowledge can be incorporated in the model by further grammar optimization. Our learned graph grammar yields state-of-the-art results on generating high quality molecules for three monomer datasets that contain only ${\sim}20$ samples each. Our approach also achieves remarkable performance in a challenging polymer generation task with $only$ $117$ training samples and is competitive against existing methods using $81$k data points.

Despite successes across a broad range of applications, Transformers have limited capability in systematic generalization. The situation is especially frustrating in the case of algorithmic tasks, where they often fail to find intuitive solutions that can be simply expressed in terms of attention patterns. In the end, it is often all about routing the right information to the right node/operation at the right time in the grid represented by Transformer columns. To facilitate the learning of useful control flow, we propose two modifications to the Transformer architecture, copy gate and geometric attention. Our novel Transformer Control Flow (TCF) achieves 100% length generalization accuracy on the classic compositional table lookup task, as well as near-perfect accuracy on the simple arithmetic task and a new variant of ListOps testing for computational depth generalization. TCF's attention and gating patterns tend to be interpretable.

Learning in strategy games (e.g. StarCraft, poker) requires the discovery of diverse policies. This is often achieved by training new policies against existing ones, growing a population of policies that collectively become robust to exploit. Unfortunately, this approach suffers from two fundamental issues in real-world games: a) under finite compute budget, approximate best-response procedure often needs truncating, resulting in "good"-responses populating the policy population; b) in skill-based games, tabula rasa learning of best-responses is wasteful and quickly become computationally intractable, facing increasingly skillful opponents. In this work, we propose Neural Population Learning (NeuPL) as a solution to both issues. NeuPL offers convergence guarantees to a population of best-responses under mild conditions. By representing an entire population of policies within a single conditional model, NeuPL enables skill transfer across policies by construction. Empirically, we show the generality, improved performance and efficiency of NeuPL across several test domains. Most interestingly, we show that novel strategies become more accessible, not less, as the neural population expands. See https://neupl.github.io/demo/ for supplementary illustrations.

Many machine learning tasks involve learning functions that are known to be invariant or equivariant to certain symmetries of the input data. However, it is often challenging to design neural network architectures that respect these symmetries while being expressive and computationally efficient. For example, Euclidean motion invariant/equivariant graph or point cloud neural networks.
We introduce Frame Averaging (FA), a highly general purpose and systematic framework for adapting known (backbone) architectures to become invariant or equivariant to new symmetry types. Our framework builds on the well known group averaging operator that guarantees invariance or equivariance but is intractable. In contrast, we observe that for many important classes of symmetries, this operator can be replaced with an averaging operator over a small subset of the group elements, called a frame. We show that averaging over a frame guarantees exact invariance or equivariance while often being much simpler to compute than averaging over the entire group. Furthermore, we prove that FA-based models have maximal expressive power in a broad setting and in general preserve the expressive power of their backbone architectures. Using frame averaging, we propose a new class of universal Graph Neural Networks (GNNs), universal Euclidean motion invariant point cloud networks, and Euclidean motion invariant Message Passing (MP) GNNs. We demonstrate the practical effectiveness of FA on several applications including point cloud normal estimation, beyond $2$-WL graph separation, and $n$-body dynamics prediction, achieving state-of-the-art results in all of these benchmarks.

A conventional approach to entity linking is to first find mentions in a given document and then infer their underlying entities in the knowledge base. A well-known limitation of this approach is that it requires finding mentions without knowing their entities, which is unnatural and difficult. We present a new model that does not suffer from this limitation called $\textbf{EntQA}$, which stands for $\mbox{\textbf{Ent}ity}$ linking as $\mbox{\textbf{Q}uestion}$ $\mbox{\textbf{A}nswering}$. EntQA first proposes candidate entities with a fast retrieval module, and then scrutinizes the document to find mentions of each candidate with a powerful reader module. Our approach combines progress in entity linking with that in open-domain question answering and capitalizes on pretrained models for dense entity retrieval and reading comprehension. Unlike in previous works, we do not rely on a mention-candidates dictionary or large-scale weak supervision. EntQA achieves strong results on the GERBIL benchmarking platform.

We propose a new perspective on designing powerful Graph Neural Networks (GNNs). In a nutshell, this enables a general solution to inject structural properties of graphs into a message-passing aggregation scheme of GNNs. As a theoretical basis, we first develop a new hierarchy of local isomorphism on neighborhood subgraphs. Then, we generalise the message-passing aggregation scheme to theoretically characterize how GNNs can be designed to be more expressive beyond the Weisfeiler Lehman test. To elaborate this framework, we propose a novel neural model, called GraphSNN, and prove that this model is strictly more expressive than the Weisfeiler Lehman test in distinguishing graph structures. We empirically verify the strength of our model on different graph learning tasks. It is shown that our model consistently improves the state-of-the-art methods on the benchmark tasks without sacrificing computational simplicity and efficiency.

We empirically show that the test error of deep networks can be estimated by training the same architecture on the same training set but with two different runs of Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD), and then measuring the disagreement rate between the two networks on unlabeled test data. This builds on -- and is a stronger version of -- the observation in Nakkiran&Bansal 20, which requires the runs to be on separate training sets. We further theoretically show that this peculiar phenomenon arises from the well-calibrated nature of ensembles of SGD-trained models. This finding not only provides a simple empirical measure to directly predict the test error using unlabeled test data, but also establishes a new conceptual connection between generalization and calibration.

A wide variety of deep generative models has been developed in the past decade. Yet, these models often struggle with simultaneously addressing three key requirements including: high sample quality, mode coverage, and fast sampling. We call the challenge imposed by these requirements the generative learning trilemma, as the existing models often trade some of them for others. Particularly, denoising diffusion models have shown impressive sample quality and diversity, but their expensive sampling does not yet allow them to be applied in many real-world applications. In this paper, we argue that slow sampling in these models is fundamentally attributed to the Gaussian assumption in the denoising step which is justified only for small step sizes. To enable denoising with large steps, and hence, to reduce the total number of denoising steps, we propose to model the denoising distribution using a complex multimodal distribution. We introduce denoising diffusion generative adversarial networks (denoising diffusion GANs) that model each denoising step using a multimodal conditional GAN. Through extensive evaluations, we show that denoising diffusion GANs obtain sample quality and diversity competitive with original diffusion models while being 2000$\times$ faster on the CIFAR-10 dataset. Compared to traditional GANs, our model exhibits better mode coverage and sample diversity. To the best of our knowledge, denoising diffusion GAN is the first model that reduces sampling cost in diffusion models to an extent that allows them to be applied to real-world applications inexpensively.

A determinantal point process (DPP) on a collection of $M$ items is a model, parameterized by a symmetric kernel matrix, that assigns a probability to every subset of those items. Recent work shows that removing the kernel symmetry constraint, yielding nonsymmetric DPPs (NDPPs), can lead to significant predictive performance gains for machine learning applications. However, existing work leaves open the question of scalable NDPP sampling. There is only one known DPP sampling algorithm, based on Cholesky decomposition, that can directly apply to NDPPs as well. Unfortunately, its runtime is cubic in $M$, and thus does not scale to large item collections. In this work, we first note that this algorithm can be transformed into a linear-time one for kernels with low-rank structure. Furthermore, we develop a scalable sublinear-time rejection sampling algorithm by constructing a novel proposal distribution. Additionally, we show that imposing certain structural constraints on the NDPP kernel enables us to bound the rejection rate in a way that depends only on the kernel rank. In our experiments we compare the speed of all of these samplers for a variety of real-world tasks.

Computing the matrix square root or its inverse in a differentiable manner is important in a variety of computer vision tasks. Previous methods either adopt the Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) to explicitly factorize the matrix or use the Newton-Schulz iteration (NS iteration) to derive the approximate solution. However, both methods are not computationally efficient enough in either the forward pass or the backward pass. In this paper, we propose two more efficient variants to compute the differentiable matrix square root. For the forward propagation, one method is to use Matrix Taylor Polynomial (MTP), and the other method is to use Matrix Pad\'e Approximants (MPA). The backward gradient is computed by iteratively solving the continuous-time Lyapunov equation using the matrix sign function. Both methods yield considerable speed-up compared with the SVD or the Newton-Schulz iteration. Experimental results on the de-correlated batch normalization and second-order vision transformer demonstrate that our methods can also achieve competitive and even slightly better performances.

Solving the Schrödinger equation is key to many quantum mechanical properties. However, an analytical solution is only tractable for single-electron systems. Recently, neural networks succeeded at modelling wave functions of many-electron systems. Together with the variational Monte-Carlo (VMC) framework, this led to solutions on par with the best known classical methods. Still, these neural methods require tremendous amounts of computational resources as one has to train a separate model for each molecular geometry. In this work, we combine a Graph Neural Network (GNN) with a neural wave function to simultaneously solve the Schrödinger equation for multiple geometries via VMC. This enables us to model continuous subsets of the potential energy surface with a single training pass. Compared to existing state-of-the-art networks, our Potential Energy Surface Network (PESNet) speeds up training for multiple geometries by up to 40 times while matching or surpassing their accuracy. This may open the path to accurate and orders of magnitude cheaper quantum mechanical calculations.

Deployment efficiency is an important criterion for many real-world applications of reinforcement learning (RL). Despite the community's increasing interest, there lacks a formal theoretical formulation for the problem. In this paper, we propose such a formulation for deployment-efficient RL (DE-RL) from an ''optimization with constraints'' perspective: we are interested in exploring an MDP and obtaining a near-optimal policy within minimal \emph{deployment complexity}, whereas in each deployment the policy can sample a large batch of data. Using finite-horizon linear MDPs as a concrete structural model, we reveal the fundamental limit in achieving deployment efficiency by establishing information-theoretic lower bounds, and provide algorithms that achieve the optimal deployment efficiency. Moreover, our formulation for DE-RL is flexible and can serve as a building block for other practically relevant settings; we give ``Safe DE-RL'' and ``Sample-Efficient DE-RL'' as two examples, which may be worth future investigation.

Continual learning (CL) aims to learn a sequence of tasks without forgetting the previously acquired knowledge. However, recent advances in continual learning are restricted to supervised continual learning (SCL) scenarios. Consequently, they are not scalable to real-world applications where the data distribution is often biased and unannotated. In this work, we focus on unsupervised continual learning (UCL), where we learn the feature representations on an unlabelled sequence of tasks and show that reliance on annotated data is not necessary for continual learning. We conduct a systematic study analyzing the learned feature representations and show that unsupervised visual representations are surprisingly more robust to catastrophic forgetting, consistently achieve better performance, and generalize better to out-of-distribution tasks than SCL. Furthermore, we find that UCL achieves a smoother loss landscape through qualitative analysis of the learned representations and learns meaningful feature representations. Additionally, we propose Lifelong Unsupervised Mixup (Lump), a simple yet effective technique that leverages the interpolation between the current task and previous tasks' instances to alleviate catastrophic forgetting for unsupervised representations.

We prove that finding all globally optimal two-layer ReLU neural networks can be performed by solving a convex optimization program with cone constraints. Our analysis is novel, characterizes all optimal solutions, and does not leverage duality-based analysis which was recently used to lift neural network training into convex spaces. Given the set of solutions of our convex optimization program, we show how to construct exactly the entire set of optimal neural networks. We provide a detailed characterization of this optimal set and its invariant transformations. As additional consequences of our convex perspective, (i) we establish that Clarke stationary points found by stochastic gradient descent correspond to the global optimum of a subsampled convex problem (ii) we provide a polynomial-time algorithm for checking if a neural network is a global minimum of the training loss (iii) we provide an explicit construction of a continuous path between any neural network and the global minimum of its sublevel set and (iv) characterize the minimal size of the hidden layer so that the neural network optimization landscape has no spurious valleys.
Overall, we provide a rich framework for studying the landscape of neural network training loss through convexity.

Training example order in SGD has long been known to affect convergence rate. Recent results show that accelerated rates are possible in a variety of cases for permutation-based sample orders, in which each example from the training set is used once before any example is reused. In this paper, we develop a broad condition on the sequence of examples used by SGD that is sufficient to prove tight convergence rates in both strongly convex and non-convex settings. We show that our approach suffices to recover, and in some cases improve upon, previous state-of-the-art analyses for four known example-selection schemes: (1) shuffle once, (2) random reshuffling, (3) random reshuffling with data echoing, and (4) Markov Chain Gradient Descent. Motivated by our theory, we propose two new example-selection approaches. First, using quasi-Monte-Carlo methods, we achieve unprecedented accelerated convergence rates for learning with data augmentation. Second, we greedily choose a fixed scan-order to minimize the metric used in our condition and show that we can obtain more accurate solutions from the same number of epochs of SGD. We conclude by empirically demonstrating the utility of our approach for both convex linear-model and deep learning tasks.

Multiple views of data, both naturally acquired (e.g., image and audio) and artificially produced (e.g., via adding different noise to data samples), have proven useful in enhancing representation learning. Natural views are often handled by multiview analysis tools, e.g., (deep) canonical correlation analysis [(D)CCA], while the artificial ones are frequently used in self-supervised learning (SSL) paradigms, e.g., BYOL and Barlow Twins. Both types of approaches often involve learning neural feature extractors such that the embeddings of data exhibit high cross-view correlations. Although intuitive, the effectiveness of correlation-based neural embedding is mostly empirically validated.
This work aims to understand latent correlation maximization-based deep multiview learning from a latent component identification viewpoint. An intuitive generative model of multiview data is adopted, where the views are different nonlinear mixtures of shared and private components. Since the shared components are view/distortion-invariant, representing the data using such components is believed to reveal the identity of the samples effectively and robustly. Under this model, latent correlation maximization is shown to guarantee the extraction of the shared components across views (up to certain ambiguities). In addition, it is further shown that the private information in each view can be provably disentangled from the shared using proper regularization design. A finite sample analysis, which has been rare in nonlinear mixture identifiability study, is also presented. The theoretical results and newly designed regularization are tested on a series of tasks.

79. Analytic-DPM: an Analytic Estimate of the Optimal Reverse Variance in Diffusion Probabilistic Models

Diffusion probabilistic models (DPMs) represent a class of powerful generative models. Despite their success, the inference of DPMs is expensive since it generally needs to iterate over thousands of timesteps. A key problem in the inference is to estimate the variance in each timestep of the reverse process. In this work, we present a surprising result that both the optimal reverse variance and the corresponding optimal KL divergence of a DPM have analytic forms w.r.t. its score function. Building upon it, we propose \textit{Analytic-DPM}, a training-free inference framework that estimates the analytic forms of the variance and KL divergence using the Monte Carlo method and a pretrained score-based model. Further, to correct the potential bias caused by the score-based model, we derive both lower and upper bounds of the optimal variance and clip the estimate for a better result. Empirically, our analytic-DPM improves the log-likelihood of various DPMs, produces high-quality samples, and meanwhile enjoys a $20\times$ to $80\times$ speed up.

Modern language models have been remarkably successful across a range of text generation tasks. Despite such successes, generated texts from these language models often contain structural flaws such as meandering and incoherent content, which arise from the fact that language models generate text myopically, one token at a time. To address these issues, we introduce Time Control (TC), a language model that implicitly plans via a latent stochastic process. TC does this by learning a representation which maps the dynamics of how text changes in a document to the dynamics of a stochastic process of interest. Using this representation, the language model can generate text by first implicitly generating a document plan via a stochastic process, and then generating text that is consistent with this latent plan. Compared to domain-specific methods and fine-tuning GPT2 across a variety of text domains, TC improves performance on text infilling and discourse coherence. On long text generation settings, TC preserves the text structure both in terms of ordering (up to +40% better) and text length consistency (up to +17% better). Human evaluators also prefer TC’s output 28.6% more.

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are proven to be a powerful machinery for learning complex dependencies in multivariate spatio-temporal processes. However, most existing GNNs have inherently static architectures, and as a result, do not explicitly account for time dependencies of the encoded knowledge and are limited in their ability to simultaneously infer latent time-conditioned relations among entities. We postulate that such hidden time-conditioned properties may be captured by the tools of multipersistence, i.e, a emerging machinery in topological data analysis which allows us to quantify dynamics of the data shape along multiple geometric dimensions.
We make the first step toward integrating the two rising research directions, that is, time-aware deep learning and multipersistence, and propose a new model, Time-Aware Multipersistence Spatio-Supra Graph Convolutional Network (TAMP-S2GCNets). We summarize inherent time-conditioned topological properties of the data as time-aware multipersistence Euler-Poincar\'e surface and prove its stability. We then construct a supragraph convolution module which simultaneously accounts for the extracted intra- and inter- spatio-temporal dependencies in the data. Our extensive experiments on highway traffic flow, Ethereum token prices, and COVID-19 hospitalizations demonstrate that TAMP-S2GCNets outperforms the state-of-the-art tools in multivariate time series forecasting tasks.

Meta-learning enables algorithms to quickly learn a newly encountered task with just a few labeled examples by transferring previously learned knowledge. However, the bottleneck of current meta-learning algorithms is the requirement of a large number of meta-training tasks, which may not be accessible in real-world scenarios. To address the challenge that available tasks may not densely sample the space of tasks, we propose to augment the task set through interpolation. By meta-learning with task interpolation (MLTI), our approach effectively generates additional tasks by randomly sampling a pair of tasks and interpolating the corresponding features and labels. Under both gradient-based and metric-based meta-learning settings, our theoretical analysis shows MLTI corresponds to a data-adaptive meta-regularization and further improves the generalization. Empirically, in our experiments on eight datasets from diverse domains including image recognition, pose prediction, molecule property prediction, and medical image classification, we find that the proposed general MLTI framework is compatible with representative meta-learning algorithms and consistently outperforms other state-of-the-art strategies.

Biological spiking neural networks (SNNs) can temporally encode information in their outputs, e.g. in the rank order in which neurons fire, whereas artificial neural networks (ANNs) conventionally do not. As a result, models of SNNs for neuromorphic computing are regarded as potentially more rapid and efficient than ANNs when dealing with temporal input. On the other hand, ANNs are simpler to train, and usually achieve superior performance. Here we show that temporal coding such as rank coding (RC) inspired by SNNs can also be applied to conventional ANNs such as LSTMs, and leads to computational savings and speedups.
In our RC for ANNs, we apply backpropagation through time using the standard real-valued activations, but only from a strategically early time step of each sequential input example, decided by a threshold-crossing event. Learning then incorporates naturally also when to produce an output, without other changes to the model or the algorithm. Both the forward and the backward training pass can be significantly shortened by skipping the remaining input sequence after that first event. RC-training also significantly reduces time-to-insight during inference, with a minimal decrease in accuracy. The desired speed-accuracy trade-off is tunable by varying the threshold or a regularization parameter that rewards output entropy. We demonstrate these in two toy problems of sequence classification, and in a temporally-encoded MNIST dataset where our RC model achieves 99.19% accuracy after the first input time-step, outperforming the state of the art in temporal coding with SNNs, as well as in spoken-word classification of Google Speech Commands, outperforming non-RC-trained early inference with LSTMs.

Many practical problems need the output of a machine learning model to satisfy a set of constraints, $K$. Nevertheless, there is no known guarantee that classical neural network architectures can exactly encode constraints while simultaneously achieving universality. We provide a quantitative constrained universal approximation theorem which guarantees that for any non-convex compact set $K$ and any continuous function $f:\mathbb{R}^n\rightarrow K$, there is a probabilistic transformer $\hat{F}$ whose randomized outputs all lie in $K$ and whose expected output uniformly approximates $f$. Our second main result is a ``deep neural version'' of Berge's Maximum Theorem (1963). The result guarantees that given an objective function $L$, a constraint set $K$, and a family of soft constraint sets, there is a probabilistic transformer $\hat{F}$ that approximately minimizes $L$ and whose outputs belong to $K$; moreover, $\hat{F}$ approximately satisfies the soft constraints. Our results imply the first universal approximation theorem for classical transformers with exact convex constraint satisfaction. They also yield that a chart-free universal approximation theorem for Riemannian manifold-valued functions subject to suitable geodesically convex constraints.

A fundamental characteristic of natural language is the high rate at which speakers produce novel expressions. Because of this novelty, a heavy-tail of rare events accounts for a significant amount of the total probability mass of distributions in language (Baayen, 2001). Standard language modeling metrics such as perplexity quantify performance of language models (LM) in aggregate. As a result, we have relatively little understanding of whether neural LMs accurately estimate the probability of sequences in this heavy-tail of rare events. To address this gap, we develop a controlled evaluation scheme which uses generative models trained on natural data as artificial languages from which we can exactly compute sequence probabilities. Training LMs on generations from these artificial languages, we compare the sequence-level probability estimates given by LMs to the true probabilities in the target language. Our experiments reveal that LSTM and Transformer language models (i) systematically underestimate the probability of sequences drawn from the target language, and (ii) do so more severely for less-probable sequences. Investigating where this probability mass went, (iii) we find that LMs tend to overestimate the probability of ill formed (perturbed) sequences. In addition, we find that this underestimation behaviour (iv) is weakened, but not eliminated by greater amounts of training data, and (v) is exacerbated for target distributions with lower entropy.

Partial label learning (PLL) is an important problem that allows each training example to be labeled with a coarse candidate set, which well suits many real-world data annotation scenarios with label ambiguity. Despite the promise, the performance of PLL often lags behind the supervised counterpart. In this work, we bridge the gap by addressing two key research challenges in PLL---representation learning and label disambiguation---in one coherent framework. Specifically, our proposed framework PiCO consists of a contrastive learning module along with a novel class prototype-based label disambiguation algorithm. PiCO produces closely aligned representations for examples from the same classes and facilitates label disambiguation. Theoretically, we show that these two components are mutually beneficial, and can be rigorously justified from an expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm perspective. Extensive experiments demonstrate that PiCO significantly outperforms the current state-of-the-art approaches in PLL and even achieves comparable results to fully supervised learning.

Vision Transformer (ViT) attains state-of-the-art performance in visual recognition, and the variant, Local Vision Transformer, makes further improvements. The major component in Local Vision Transformer, local attention, performs the attention separately over small local windows. We rephrase local attention as a channel-wise locally-connected layer and analyze it from two network regularization manners, sparse connectivity and weight sharing, as well as dynamic weight computation. We point out that local attention resembles depth-wise convolution and its dynamic variants in sparse connectivity: there is no connection across channels, and each position is connected to the positions within a small local window. The main differences lie in (i) weight sharing - depth-wise convolution shares connection weights (kernel weights) across spatial positions and attention shares the connection weights across channels, and (ii) dynamic weight computation manners - local attention is based on dot-products between pairwise positions in the local window, and dynamic convolution is based on linear projections conducted on the center representation or the globally pooled representation. The connection between local attention and dynamic depth-wise convolution is empirically verified by the ablation study about weight sharing and dynamic weight computation in Local Vision Transformer and (dynamic) depth-wise convolution. We empirically observe that the models based on depth-wise convolution and the dynamic variants with lower computation complexity perform on-par with or slightly better than Swin Transformer, an instance of Local Vision Transformer, for ImageNet classification, COCO object detection and ADE semantic segmentation.

Contrastive learning methods like CLIP train on noisy and uncurated training datasets. This is cheaper than labeling datasets manually, and even improves out-of-distribution robustness. We show that this practice makes backdoor and poisoning attacks a significant threat. By poisoning just 0.01% of a dataset (e.g., just 300 images of the 3 million-example Conceptual Captions dataset), we can cause the model to misclassify test images by overlaying a small patch. Targeted poisoning attacks, whereby the model misclassifies a particular test input with an adversarially-desired label, are even easier requiring control of less than 0.0001% of the dataset (e.g., just two out of the 3 million images). Our attacks call into question whether training on noisy and uncurated Internet scrapes is desirable.

Prevailing methods for relation prediction in heterogeneous graphs aim at learning latent representations (i.e., embeddings) of observed nodes and relations, and thus are limited to the transductive setting where the relation types must be known during training. Here, we propose ANalogy SubGraphEmbeddingLearning (GraphANGEL), a novel relation prediction framework that predicts relations5between each node pair based on the subgraphs containing the pair, as well as other (analogy) subgraphs with the same graph patterns. Each graph pattern explicitly represents a specific logical rule, which contributes to an inductive bias that facilitates generalization to unseen relations and leads to more explainable predictive models. Moreover, our method also removes the limited neighborhood constraint of graph neural networks. Our model consistently outperforms existing models on heterogeneous graph based recommendation as well as knowledge graph completion. We also empirically demonstrate our model’s capability in generalizing to new relations while producing explainable heat maps of attention scores across the discovered logic.

Protein complex formation is a central problem in biology, being involved in most of the cell's processes, and essential for applications such as drug design or protein engineering. We tackle rigid body protein-protein docking, i.e., computationally predicting the 3D structure of a protein-protein complex from the individual unbound structures, assuming no three-dimensional flexibility during binding. We design a novel pairwise-independent SE(3)-equivariant graph matching network to predict the rotation and translation to place one of the proteins at the right location and the right orientation relative to the second protein. We mathematically guarantee that the predicted complex is always identical regardless of the initial placements of the two structures, avoiding expensive data augmentation. Our model approximates the binding pocket and predicts the docking pose using keypoint matching and alignment through optimal transport and a differentiable Kabsch algorithm. Empirically, we achieve significant running time improvements over existing protein docking software and predict qualitatively plausible protein complex structures despite not using heavy sampling, structure refinement, or templates.

Energy-based Model (EBM) offers a powerful approach for modeling discrete structure, but both inference and learning of EBM are hard as it involves sampling from discrete distributions. Recent work shows Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) with the informed proposal is a powerful tool for such sampling. However, an informed proposal only allows local updates as it requires evaluating all energy changes in the neighborhood.
In this work, we present a path auxiliary algorithm that uses a composition of local moves to efficiently explore large neighborhoods. We also give a fast version of our algorithm that only queries the evaluation of energy function twice for each proposal via linearization of the energy function. Empirically, we show that our path auxiliary algorithms considerably outperform other generic samplers on various discrete models for sampling, inference, and learning. Our method can also be used to train deep EBMs for high-dimensional discrete data.

Convolutional neural networks typically contain several downsampling operators, such as strided convolutions or pooling layers, that progressively reduce the resolution of intermediate representations. This provides some shift-invariance while reducing the computational complexity of the whole architecture. A critical hyperparameter of such layers is their stride: the integer factor of downsampling. As strides are not differentiable, finding the best configuration either requires cross-validation or discrete optimization (e.g. architecture search), which rapidly become prohibitive as the search space grows exponentially with the number of downsampling layers. Hence, exploring this search space by gradient descent would allow finding better configurations at a lower computational cost. This work introduces DiffStride, the first downsampling layer with learnable strides. Our layer learns the size of a cropping mask in the Fourier domain, that effectively performs resizing in a differentiable way. Experiments on audio and image classification show the generality and effectiveness of our solution: we use DiffStride as a drop-in replacement to standard downsampling layers and outperform them. In particular, we show that introducing our layer into a ResNet-18 architecture allows keeping consistent high performance on CIFAR10, CIFAR100 and ImageNet even when training starts from poor random stride configurations. Moreover, formulating strides as learnable variables allows us to introduce a regularization term that controls the computational complexity of the architecture. We show how this regularization allows trading off accuracy for efficiency on ImageNet.

$L_p$ Regression on Structured Inputs is an important problem in data analysis and machine learning where we find a vector \(\mathbf{x}\in\mathbb R^{d}\) that minimizes \(\|\mathbf{A}\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{b}\|_p\) for a \textit{structured} matrix \(\mathbf{A}\in\mathbb R^{n \times d}\) and response vector \(\mathbf{b}\in\mathbb R^{n}\). Unfortunately, for many common classes of matrices, sampling-based algorithms for approximately solving $L_p$ regression require runtime that is exponential in $p$, e.g., $d^{\mathcal{O}(p)}$, which is prohibitively expensive. We show that for a large class of structured inputs, such as combinations of low-rank matrices, sparse matrices, and Vandermonde matrices, $L_p$ regression can be approximately solved using runtime that is polynomial in $p$. For example, we show that $L_p$ regression on Vandermonde matrices can be approximately solved using time $\mathcal{O}(T(\mathbf{A})\log n+(dp)^\omega\cdot\text{polylog}\,n)$, where $T(\mathbf{A})$ is the time to multiply $\mathbf{A}\mathbf{x}$ for an arbitrary vector $\mathbf{x}\in\mathbb{R}^d$, and $\omega$ is the exponent of matrix multiplication. The polynomial dependence on $p$ also crucially allows our algorithms to extend naturally to sublinear time algorithms for $L_\infty$ regression. Of independent interest, we develop a new algorithm for solving $L_p$ regression for arbitrary matrices, which is significantly faster in practice for every $p\ge4$.

In distributed learning, local SGD (also known as federated averaging) and its simple baseline minibatch SGD are widely studied optimization methods. Most existing analyses of these methods assume independent and unbiased gradient estimates obtained via with-replacement sampling. In contrast, we study shuffling-based variants: minibatch and local Random Reshuffling, which draw stochastic gradients without replacement and are thus closer to practice. For smooth functions satisfying the Polyak-Łojasiewicz condition, we obtain convergence bounds (in the large epoch regime) which show that these shuffling-based variants converge faster than their with-replacement counterparts. Moreover, we prove matching lower bounds showing that our convergence analysis is tight. Finally, we propose an algorithmic modification called synchronized shuffling that leads to convergence rates faster than our lower bounds in near-homogeneous settings.

As a long-term threat to the privacy of training data, membership inference attacks (MIAs) emerge ubiquitously in machine learning models.
Existing works evidence strong connection between the distinguishability of the training and testing loss distributions and the model's vulnerability to MIAs. Motivated by existing results, we propose a novel training framework based on a relaxed loss ($\textbf{RelaxLoss}$) with a more achievable learning target, which leads to narrowed generalization gap and reduced privacy leakage. RelaxLoss is applicable to any classification model with added benefits of easy implementation and negligible overhead. Through extensive evaluations on five datasets with diverse modalities (images, medical data, transaction records), our approach consistently outperforms state-of-the-art defense mechanisms in terms of resilience against MIAs as well as model utility. Our defense is the first that can withstand a wide range of attacks while preserving (or even improving) the target model's utility.

We study the memorization power of feedforward ReLU neural networks. We show that such networks can memorize any $N$ points that satisfy a mild separability assumption using $\tilde{O}\left(\sqrt{N}\right)$ parameters. Known VC-dimension upper bounds imply that memorizing $N$ samples requires $\Omega(\sqrt{N})$ parameters, and hence our construction is optimal up to logarithmic factors. We also give a generalized construction for networks with depth bounded by $1 \leq L \leq \sqrt{N}$, for memorizing $N$ samples using $\tilde{O}(N/L)$ parameters. This bound is also optimal up to logarithmic factors. Our construction uses weights with large bit complexity. We prove that having such a large bit complexity is both necessary and sufficient for memorization with a sub-linear number of parameters.

We propose the convergent graph solver (CGS), a deep learning method that learns iterative mappings to predict the properties of a graph system at its stationary state (fixed point) with guaranteed convergence. The forward propagation of CGS proceeds in three steps: (1) constructing the input-dependent linear contracting iterative maps, (2) computing the fixed points of the iterative maps, and (3) decoding the fixed points to estimate the properties. The contractivity of the constructed linear maps guarantees the existence and uniqueness of the fixed points following the Banach fixed point theorem. To train CGS efficiently, we also derive a tractable analytical expression for its gradient by leveraging the implicit function theorem. We evaluate the performance of CGS by applying it to various network-analytic and graph benchmark problems. The results indicate that CGS has competitive capabilities for predicting the stationary properties of graph systems, irrespective of whether the target systems are linear or non-linear. CGS also shows high performance for graph classification problems where the existence or the meaning of a fixed point is hard to be clearly defined, which highlights the potential of CGS as a general graph neural network architecture.

Reinforcement learning encounters many challenges when applied directly in the real world. Sim-to-real transfer is widely used to transfer the knowledge learned from simulation to the real world. Domain randomization---one of the most popular algorithms for sim-to-real transfer---has been demonstrated to be effective in various tasks in robotics and autonomous driving. Despite its empirical successes, theoretical understanding on why this simple algorithm works is largely missing. In this paper, we propose a theoretical framework for sim-to-real transfers, in which the simulator is modeled as a set of MDPs with tunable parameters (corresponding to unknown physical parameters such as friction). We provide sharp bounds on the sim-to-real gap---the difference between the value of policy returned by domain randomization and the value of an optimal policy for the real world. We prove that sim-to-real transfer can succeed under mild conditions without any real-world training samples. Our theory also highlights the importance of using memory (i.e., history-dependent policies) in domain randomization. Our proof is based on novel techniques that reduce the problem of bounding the sim-to-real gap to the problem of designing efficient learning algorithms for infinite-horizon MDPs, which we believe are of independent interest.

Model-based reinforcement learning has proven highly successful. However, learning a model in isolation from its use during planning is problematic in complex environments. To date, the most effective techniques have instead combined value-equivalent model learning with powerful tree-search methods. This approach is exemplified by MuZero, which has achieved state-of-the-art performance in a wide range of domains, from board games to visually rich environments, with discrete and continuous action spaces, in online and offline settings. However, previous instantiations of this approach were limited to the use of deterministic models. This limits their performance in environments that are inherently stochastic, partially observed, or so large and complex that they appear stochastic to a finite agent. In this paper we extend this approach to learn and plan with stochastic models. Specifically, we introduce a new algorithm, Stochastic MuZero, that learns a stochastic model incorporating afterstates, and uses this model to perform a stochastic tree search. Stochastic MuZero matched or exceeded the state of the art in a set of canonical single and multi-agent environments, including 2048 and backgammon, while maintaining the same performance as standard MuZero in the game of Go.

Source-free domain adaptation (SFDA) aims to adapt a model trained on labelled data in a source domain to unlabelled data in a target domain without access to the source-domain data during adaptation. Existing methods for SFDA leverage entropy-minimization techniques which: (i) apply only to classification; (ii) destroy model calibration; and (iii) rely on the source model achieving a good level of feature-space class-separation in the target domain. We address these issues for a particularly pervasive type of domain shift called measurement shift---characterized by a change in measurement system---which can be resolved by restoring the source features. In the source domain, we store a lightweight and flexible approximation of the feature distribution under the source data. In the target domain, we adapt the feature-extractor such that the approximate feature distribution under the target data realigns with that saved on the source. We call this method Feature Restoration (FR) as it seeks to extract features with the same semantics from the target domain as were previously extracted from the source, rather than extracting new ones. We additionally propose Bottom-Up Feature Restoration (BUFR)---a bottom-up training scheme for FR which boosts performance by preserving learnt structure in the later layers of a network. We demonstrate that BUFR outperforms existing SFDA methods on real and synthetic data in terms of accuracy, calibration, and data efficiency, while being less reliant on the performance of the source model in the target domain.

Over the past few years, the acceleration of computing resources and research in Deep Learning has led to significant practical successes in a range of tasks, including in particular in computer vision. Building on these advances, reinforcement learning has also seen a leap forward with the emergence of agents capable of making decisions directly from visual observations. Despite these successes, the over-parametrization of neural architectures leads to memorization of the data used during training and thus to a lack of generalization.
Reinforcement learning agents based on visual inputs also suffer from this phenomenon by erroneously correlating rewards with unrelated visual features such as background elements. To alleviate this problem, we introduce a new regularization layer consisting of channel-consistent local permutations (CLOP) of the feature maps. The proposed permutations induce robustness to spatial correlations and help prevent overfitting behaviors in RL. We demonstrate, on the OpenAI Procgen Benchmark, that RL agents trained with the CLOP layer exhibit robustness to visual changes and better generalization properties than agents trained using other state-of-the-art regularization techniques.

Information bottleneck (IB) depicts a trade-off between the accuracy and conciseness of encoded representations. IB has succeeded in explaining the objective and behavior of neural networks (NNs) as well as learning better representations. However, there are still critics of the universality of IB, e.g., phase transition usually fades away, representation compression is not causally related to generalization, and IB is trivial in deterministic cases. In this work, we build a new IB based on the trade-off between the accuracy and complexity of learned weights of NNs. We argue that this new IB represents a more solid connection to the objective of NNs since the information stored in weights bounds their PAC-Bayes generalization capability, hence we name it as PAC-Bayes IB (PIB). On PIB, we can identify the phase transition phenomenon in general cases and solidify the causality between compression and generalization. We then derive a tractable solution of PIB and design a stochastic inference algorithm by Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling. We empirically verify our claims through extensive experiments. Moreover, we substantiate the superiority of the proposed algorithm on training better NNs.

Machine learning training methods depend plentifully and intricately on hyperparameters, motivating automated strategies for their optimisation. Many existing algorithms restart training for each new hyperparameter choice, at considerable computational cost. Some hypergradient-based one-pass methods exist, but these either cannot be applied to arbitrary optimiser hyperparameters (such as learning rates and momenta) or take several times longer to train than their base models. We extend these existing methods to develop an approximate hypergradient-based hyperparameter optimiser which is applicable to any continuous hyperparameter appearing in a differentiable model weight update, yet requires only one training episode, with no restarts. We also provide a motivating argument for convergence to the true hypergradient, and perform tractable gradient-based optimisation of independent learning rates for each model parameter. Our method performs competitively from varied random hyperparameter initialisations on several UCI datasets and Fashion-MNIST (using a one-layer MLP), Penn Treebank (using an LSTM) and CIFAR-10 (using a ResNet-18), in time only 2-3x greater than vanilla training.

Among a wide range of success of deep learning, convolutional neural networks have been extensively utilized in several tasks such as speech recognition, image processing, and natural language processing, which require inputs with large dimensions.
Several studies have investigated function estimation capability of deep learning, but most of them have assumed that the dimensionality of the input is much smaller than the sample size.
However, for typical data in applications such as those handled by the convolutional neural networks described above,
the dimensionality of inputs is relatively high or even infinite.
In this paper, we investigate the approximation and estimation errors of the (dilated) convolutional neural networks when the input is infinite dimensional.
Although the approximation and estimation errors of neural networks are affected by the curse of dimensionality in the existing analyses for typical function spaces such as the \Holder and Besov spaces, we show that, by considering anisotropic smoothness, they can alleviate exponential dependency on the dimensionality but they only depend on the smoothness of the target functions.
Our theoretical analysis supports the great practical success of convolutional networks.
Furthermore, we show that the dilated convolution is advantageous when the smoothness of the target function has a sparse structure.

Robust multi-agent trajectory prediction is essential for the safe control of robotic systems. A major challenge is to efficiently learn a representation that approximates the true joint distribution of contextual, social, and temporal information to enable planning. We propose Latent Variable Sequential Set Transformers which are encoder-decoder architectures that generate scene-consistent multi-agent trajectories. We refer to these architectures as "AutoBots". The encoder is a stack of interleaved temporal and social multi-head self-attention modules that alternately perform equivariant processing across the temporal and social dimensions. The decoder can produce either the trajectory of one ego-agent or a distribution over the future trajectories for all agents in the scene. For the single-agent prediction case, our model achieves top results on the global NuScenes vehicle motion prediction leaderboard and produces strong results on the Argoverse vehicle prediction challenge. In the multi-agent setting, we evaluate on TrajNet to showcase the model's socially-consistent predictions. We also demonstrate our model on general sequences of sets and provide illustrative experiments modeling the sequential structure of the multiple strokes that make up symbols in the Omniglot data. A distinguishing feature of our method is that all models are trainable on a single desktop GPU (1080 Ti) in under 48h.

106. HyAR: Addressing Discrete-Continuous Action Reinforcement Learning via Hybrid Action Representation

Discrete-continuous hybrid action space is a natural setting in many practical problems, such as robot control and game AI. However, most previous Reinforcement Learning (RL) works only demonstrate the success in controlling with either discrete or continuous action space, while seldom take into account the hybrid action space. One naive way to address hybrid action RL is to convert the hybrid action space into a unified homogeneous action space by discretization or continualization, so that conventional RL algorithms can be applied. However, this ignores the underlying structure of hybrid action space and also induces the scalability issue and additional approximation difficulties, thus leading to degenerated results. In this paper, we propose Hybrid Action Representation (HyAR) to learn a compact and decodable latent representation space for the original hybrid action space. HyAR constructs the latent space and embeds the dependence between discrete action and continuous parameter via an embedding table and conditional Variantional Auto-Encoder (VAE). To further improve the effectiveness, the action representation is trained to be semantically smooth through unsupervised environmental dynamics prediction. Finally, the agent then learns its policy with conventional DRL algorithms in the learned representation space and interacts with the environment by decoding the hybrid action embeddings to the original action space. We evaluate HyAR in a variety of environments with discrete-continuous action space. The results demonstrate the superiority of HyAR when compared with previous baselines, especially for high-dimensional action spaces.

We introduce environment predictive coding, a self-supervised approach to learn environment-level representations for embodied agents. In contrast to prior work on self-supervised learning for individual images, we aim to encode a 3D environment using a series of images observed by an agent moving in it. We learn these representations via a masked-zone prediction task, which segments an agent’s trajectory into zones and then predicts features of randomly masked zones, conditioned on the agent’s camera poses. This explicit spatial conditioning encourages learning representations that capture the geometric and semantic regularities of 3D environments. We learn such representations on a collection of video walkthroughs and demonstrate successful transfer to multiple downstream navigation tasks. Our experiments on the real-world scanned 3D environments of Gibson and Matterport3D show that our method obtains 2 - 6× higher sample-efﬁciency and up to 57% higher performance over standard image-representation learning.

Continuous depth neural networks, such as Neural ODEs, have refashioned the understanding of residual neural networks in terms of non-linear vector-valued optimal control problems. The common solution is to use the adjoint sensitivity method to replicate a forward-backward pass optimisation problem. We propose a new approach which explicates the network's `depth' as a fundamental variable, thus reducing the problem to a system of forward-facing initial value problems. This new method is based on the principal of `Invariant Imbedding' for which we prove a general solution, applicable to all non-linear, vector-valued optimal control problems with both running and terminal loss.
Our new architectures provide a tangible tool for inspecting the theoretical--and to a great extent unexplained--properties of network depth. They also constitute a resource of discrete implementations of Neural ODEs comparable to classes of imbedded residual neural networks. Through a series of experiments, we show the competitive performance of the proposed architectures for supervised learning and time series prediction.

Cross-domain object detection is more challenging than object classification since multiple objects exist in an image and the location of each object is unknown in the unlabeled target domain. As a result, when we adapt features of different objects to enhance the transferability of the detector, the features of the foreground and the background are easy to be confused, which may hurt the discriminability of the detector. Besides, previous methods focused on category adaptation but ignored another important part for object detection, i.e., the adaptation on bounding box regression. To this end, we propose D-adapt, namely Decoupled Adaptation, to decouple the adversarial adaptation and the training of the detector. Besides, we fill the blank of regression domain adaptation in object detection by introducing a bounding box adaptor. Experiments show that \textit{D-adapt} achieves state-of-the-art results on four cross-domain object detection tasks and yields 17\% and 21\% relative improvement on benchmark datasets Clipart1k and Comic2k in particular.

Neural networks and other machine learning models compute continuous representations, while humans communicate mostly through discrete symbols. Reconciling these two forms of communication is desirable for generating human-readable interpretations or learning discrete latent variable models, while maintaining end-to-end differentiability. Some existing approaches (such as the Gumbel-Softmax transformation) build continuous relaxations that are discrete approximations in the zero-temperature limit, while others (such as sparsemax transformations and the Hard Concrete distribution) produce discrete/continuous hybrids. In this paper, we build rigorous theoretical foundations for these hybrids, which we call "mixed random variables.'' Our starting point is a new "direct sum'' base measure defined on the face lattice of the probability simplex. From this measure, we introduce new entropy and Kullback-Leibler divergence functions that subsume the discrete and differential cases and have interpretations in terms of code optimality. Our framework suggests two strategies for representing and sampling mixed random variables, an extrinsic ("sample-and-project'’) and an intrinsic one (based on face stratification). We experiment with both approaches on an emergent communication benchmark and on modeling MNIST and Fashion-MNIST data with variational auto-encoders with mixed latent variables.

AlphaZero is a powerful reinforcement learning algorithm based on approximate policy iteration and tree search. However, AlphaZero can fail to improve its policy network, if not visiting all actions at the root of a search tree. To address this issue, we propose a policy improvement algorithm based on sampling actions without replacement. Furthermore, we use the idea of policy improvement to replace the more heuristic mechanisms by which AlphaZero selects and uses actions, both at root nodes and at non-root nodes. Our new algorithms, Gumbel AlphaZero and Gumbel MuZero, respectively without and with model-learning, match the state of the art on Go, chess, and Atari, and significantly improve prior performance when planning with few simulations.

We present a conditional variational auto-encoder (VAE) which, to avoid the substantial cost of training from scratch, uses an architecture and training objective capable of leveraging a foundation model in the form of a pretrained unconditional VAE. Training the conditional VAE then involves training an artifact to perform amortized inference over the unconditional VAE's latent variables given a conditioning input. We demonstrate our approach on the image completion task, and show that it outperforms state-of-the-art GAN-based approaches at faithfully representing the inherent uncertainty. We conclude by describing and demonstrating an application that requires an image completion model with the capabilities ours exhibits: the use of Bayesian optimal experimental design to guide a sensor.

Standard model-free reinforcement learning algorithms optimize a policy that generates the action to be taken in the current time step in order to maximize expected future return. While flexible, it faces difficulties arising from the inefficient exploration due to its single step nature. In this work, we present Generative Planning method (GPM), which can generate actions not only for the current step, but also for a number of future steps (thus termed as generative planning). This brings several benefits to GPM. Firstly, since GPM is trained by maximizing value, the plans generated from it can be regarded as intentional action sequences for reaching high value regions. GPM can therefore leverage its generated multi-step plans for temporally coordinated exploration towards high value regions, which is potentially more effective than a sequence of actions generated by perturbing each action at single step level, whose consistent movement decays exponentially with the number of exploration steps. Secondly, starting from a crude initial plan generator, GPM can refine it to be adaptive to the task, which, in return, benefits future explorations. This is potentially more effective than commonly used action-repeat strategy, which is non-adaptive in its form of plans. Additionally, since the multi-step plan can be interpreted as the intent of the agent from now to a span of time period into the future, it offers a more informative and intuitive signal for interpretation. Experiments are conducted on several benchmark environments and the results demonstrated its effectiveness compared with several baseline methods.

Recently, post-training quantization (PTQ) has driven much attention to produce efficient neural networks without long-time retraining. Despite the low cost, current PTQ works always fail under the extremely low-bit setting. In this study, we pioneeringly confirm that properly incorporating activation quantization into the PTQ reconstruction benefits the final accuracy. To deeply understand the inherent reason, a theoretical framework is established, which inspires us that the flatness of the optimized low-bit model on calibration and test data is crucial. Based on the conclusion, a simple yet effective approach dubbed as \textsc{QDrop} is proposed, which randomly drops the quantization of activations during reconstruction. Extensive experiments on various tasks including computer vision (image classification, object detection) and natural language processing (text classification and question answering) prove its superiority. With \textsc{QDrop}, the limit of PTQ is pushed to the 2-bit activation for the first time and the accuracy boost can be up to 51.49\%. Without bells and whistles, \textsc{QDrop} establishes a new state of the art for PTQ.

In this paper, we introduce Target-Aware Weighted Training (TAWT), a weighted training algorithm for cross-task learning based on minimizing a representation-based task distance between the source and target tasks. We show that TAWT is easy to implement, is computationally efficient, requires little hyperparameter tuning, and enjoys non-asymptotic learning-theoretic guarantees. The effectiveness of TAWT is corroborated through extensive experiments with BERT on four sequence tagging tasks in natural language processing (NLP), including part-of-speech (PoS) tagging, chunking, predicate detection, and named entity recognition (NER). As a byproduct, the proposed representation-based task distance allows one to reason in a theoretically principled way about several critical aspects of cross-task learning, such as the choice of the source data and the impact of fine-tuning.

Deep learning has seen a movement away from representing examples with a monolithic hidden state towards a richly structured state. For example, Transformers segment by position, and object-centric architectures decompose images into entities. In all these architectures, interactions between different elements are modeled via pairwise interactions: Transformers make use of self-attention to incorporate information from other positions and object-centric architectures make use of graph neural networks to model interactions among entities. We consider how to improve on pairwise interactions in terms of global coordination and a coherent, integrated representation that can be used for downstream tasks. In cognitive science, a global workspace architecture has been proposed in which functionally specialized components share information through a common, bandwidth-limited communication channel. We explore the use of such a communication channel in the context of deep learning for modeling the structure of complex environments. The proposed method includes a shared workspace through which communication among different specialist modules takes place but due to limits on the communication bandwidth, specialist modules must compete for access. We show that capacity limitations have a rational basis in that (1) they encourage specialization and compositionality and (2) they facilitate the synchronization of otherwise independent specialists.

Self-driving cars must detect vehicles, pedestrians, and other trafﬁc participants accurately to operate safely. Small, far-away, or highly occluded objects are particularly challenging because there is limited information in the LiDAR point clouds for detecting them. To address this challenge, we leverage valuable information from the past: in particular, data collected in past traversals of the same scene. We posit that these past data, which are typically discarded, provide rich contextual information for disambiguating the above-mentioned challenging cases. To this end, we propose a novel end-to-end trainable Hindsight framework to extract this contextual information from past traversals and store it in an easy-to-query data structure, which can then be leveraged to aid future 3D object detection of the same scene. We show that this framework is compatible with most modern 3D detection architectures and can substantially improve their average precision on multiple autonomous driving datasets, most notably by more than 300% on the challenging cases. We will open-source the code upon acceptance.

Deep generative models have been widely used in practical applications such as the detection of out-of-distribution (OOD) data. In this work, we aim to re-examine the potential of generative flow models in OOD detection. We first propose a simple combination of univariate one-sample statistical test (e.g., Kolmogorov-Smirnov) and random projections in the latent space of flow models to perform OOD detection. Then, we propose a two-sample version of our test to account for imperfect flow models. Quite distinctly, our method does not pose parametric assumptions on OOD data and is capable of exploiting any flow model. Experimentally, firstly we confirm the efficacy of our method against state-of-the-art baselines through extensive experiments on several image datasets; secondly we investigate the relationship between model accuracy (e.g., the generation quality) and the OOD detection performance, and found surprisingly that they are not always positively correlated; and thirdly we show that detection in the latent space of flow models generally outperforms detection in the sample space across various OOD datasets, hence highlighting the benefits of training a flow model.

The empirical success of deep convolutional networks on tasks involving high-dimensional data such as images or audio suggests that they can efficiently approximate certain functions that are well-suited for such tasks. In this paper, we study this through the lens of kernel methods, by considering simple hierarchical kernels with two or three convolution and pooling layers, inspired by convolutional kernel networks. These achieve good empirical performance on standard vision datasets, while providing a precise description of their functional space that yields new insights on their inductive bias. We show that the RKHS consists of additive models of interaction terms between patches, and that its norm encourages spatial similarities between these terms through pooling layers. We then provide generalization bounds which illustrate how pooling and patches yield improved sample complexity guarantees when the target function presents such regularities.

120. Learnability Lock: Authorized Learnability Control Through Adversarial Invertible Transformations

Owing much to the revolution of information technology, recent progress of deep learning benefits incredibly from the vastly enhanced access to data available in various digital formats. Yet those publicly accessible information also raises a fundamental issue concerning Intellectual Property, that is, how to precisely control legal or illegal exploitation of a dataset for training commercial models. To tackle this issue, this paper introduces and investigates a new concept called ''learnability lock'' for securing the process of data authorization. In particular, we propose adversarial invertible transformation, that can be viewed as a mapping from image to image, to encrypt data samples so that they become ''unlearnable'' by machine learning models with negligible loss of visual features. Meanwhile, authorized clients can use a specific key to unlock the learnability of the protected dataset and train models normally. The proposed learnability lock leverages class-wise perturbation that applies a universal transformation function on data samples of the same label. This ensures that the learnability can be easily restored with a simple inverse transformation while remaining difficult to be detected or reverse-engineered. We empirically demonstrate the success and practicability of our method on visual classification tasks.

Physics-inspired neural networks (NNs), such as Hamiltonian or Lagrangian NNs, dramatically outperform other learned dynamics models by leveraging strong inductive biases. These models, however, are challenging to apply to many real world systems, such as those that don’t conserve energy or contain contacts, a common setting for robotics and reinforcement learning. In this paper, we examine the inductive biases that make physics-inspired models successful in practice. We show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the improved generalization of HNNs is the result of modeling acceleration directly and avoiding artificial complexity from the coordinate system, rather than symplectic structure or energy conservation. We show that by relaxing the inductive biases of these models, we can match or exceed performance on energy-conserving systems while dramatically improving performance on practical, non-conservative systems. We extend this approach to constructing transition models for common Mujoco environments, showing that our model can appropriately balance inductive biases with the flexibility required for model-based control.

Despite being able to capture a range of features of the data, high accuracy models trained with supervision tend to make similar predictions. This seemingly implies that high-performing models share similar biases regardless of training methodology, which would limit ensembling benefits and render low-accuracy models as having little practical use. Against this backdrop, recent work has made very different training techniques, such as large-scale contrastive learning, yield competitively-high accuracy on generalization and robustness benchmarks. This motivates us to revisit the assumption that models necessarily learn similar functions. We conduct a large-scale empirical study of models across hyper-parameters, architectures, frameworks, and datasets. We find that model pairs that diverge more in training methodology display categorically different generalization behavior, producing increasingly uncorrelated errors. We show these models specialize in subdomains of the data, leading to higher ensemble performance: with just 2 mod-els (each with ImageNet accuracy 76.5%), we can create ensembles with 83.4%(+7% boost). Surprisingly, we find that even significantly low-accuracy models can be used to improve high-accuracy models. Finally, we show diverging training methodology yield representations that capture overlapping (but not supersetting) feature sets which, when combined, lead to increased downstream performance.

Pruning neural networks reduces inference time and memory costs. On standard hardware, these benefits will be especially prominent if coarse-grained structures, like feature maps, are pruned. We devise two novel saliency-based methods for second-order structured pruning (SOSP) which include correlations among all structures and layers. Our main method SOSP-H employs an innovative second-order approximation, which enables saliency evaluations by fast Hessian-vector products. SOSP-H thereby scales like a first-order method despite taking into account the full Hessian. We validate SOSP-H by comparing it to our second method SOSP-I that uses a well-established Hessian approximation, and to numerous state-of-the-art methods. While SOSP-H performs on par or better in terms of accuracy, it has clear advantages in terms of scalability and efficiency. This allowed us to scale SOSP-H to large-scale vision tasks, even though it captures correlations across all layers of the network. To underscore the global nature of our pruning methods, we evaluate their performance not only by removing structures from a pretrained network, but also by detecting architectural bottlenecks. We show that our algorithms allow to systematically reveal architectural bottlenecks, which we then remove to further increase the accuracy of the networks.

Learning a single static convolutional kernel in each convolutional layer is the common training paradigm of modern Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). Instead, recent research in dynamic convolution shows that learning a linear combination of n convolutional kernels weighted adaptively with their input-dependent attentions can significantly improve the accuracy of light-weight CNNs, while maintaining efficient inference. However, we observe that existing works endow convolutional kernels with the dynamic property through one dimension (regarding the convolutional kernel number) of the kernel space, but the other three dimensions (regarding the spatial size, the input channel number and the output channel number for each convolutional kernel) are overlooked. Inspired by this, we present Omni-dimensional Dynamic Convolution (ODConv), a more powerful dynamic convolution design, to advance this line of research. ODConv leverages a multi-dimensional attention mechanism with a parallel strategy to learn complementary attentions for convolutional kernels along all four dimensions of the kernel space at any convolutional layer. As a drop-in replacement of regular convolutions, ODConv can be plugged into many prevailing CNN architectures. Extensive experiments on the ImageNet and MS-COCO datasets show that ODConv brings solid accuracy boosts for various CNN backbones including both light-weight (e.g., MobileNetV2 family) and large ones (e.g., ResNet family). Intriguingly, thanks to its improved feature extraction ability, ODConv with even one single kernel can compete with or outperform existing dynamic convolution counterparts with multiple kernels, introducing substantially fewer extra parameters to the final models. Code will be made publicly available.

Black-box optimization formulations for biological sequence design have drawn recent attention due to their promising potential impact on the pharmaceutical industry. In this work, we propose to unify two seemingly distinct worlds: likelihood-free inference and black-box sequence design, under one probabilistic framework. In tandem, we provide a recipe for constructing various sequence design methods based on this framework. We show how previous drug discovery approaches can be "reinvented" in our framework, and further propose new probabilistic sequence design algorithms. Extensive experiments illustrate the benefits of the proposed methodology.

Discrete variational auto-encoders (VAEs) are able to represent semantic latent spaces in generative learning. In many real-life settings, the discrete latent space consists of high-dimensional structures, and propagating gradients through the relevant structures often requires enumerating over exponentially many structures. Recently, various approaches were devised to propagate approximated gradients without enumerating over the space of possible structures. In this work, we use Natural Evolution Strategies (NES), a class of gradient-free black-box optimization algorithms, to learn discrete VAEs. NES algorithms are computationally appealing as they estimate gradients with forward pass evaluations only, thus they do not require to propagate gradients through their discrete structures. We demonstrate empirically that optimizing discrete structured VAEs using NES is as effective as gradient-based approximations. Lastly, we prove NES converges for non-Lipschitz functions as appear in discrete structured VAEs.

Many deep neural network architectures loosely based on brain networks have recently been shown to replicate neural firing patterns observed in the brain. One of the most exciting and promising novel architectures, the Transformer neural network, was developed without the brain in mind. In this work, we show that transformers, when equipped with recurrent position encodings, replicate the precisely tuned spatial representations of the hippocampal formation; most notably place and grid cells. Furthermore, we show that this result is no surprise since it is closely related to current hippocampal models from neuroscience. We additionally show the transformer version offers dramatic performance gains over the neuroscience version. This work continues to bind computations of artificial and brain networks, offers a novel understanding of the hippocampal-cortical interaction, and suggests how wider cortical areas may perform complex tasks beyond current neuroscience models such as language comprehension.

The noise in stochastic gradient descent (SGD), caused by minibatch sampling, is poorly understood despite its practical importance in deep learning. This work presents the first systematic study of the SGD noise and fluctuations close to a local minimum. We first analyze the SGD noise in linear regression in detail and then derive a general formula for approximating SGD noise in different types of minima. For application, our results (1) provide insight into the stability of training a neural network, (2) suggest that a large learning rate can help generalization by introducing an implicit regularization, (3) explain why the linear learning rate-batchsize scaling law fails at a large learning rate or at a small batchsize and (4) can provide an understanding of how discrete-time nature of SGD affects the recently discovered power-law phenomenon of SGD.

In this work, we study the problem of clustering survival data — a challenging and so far under-explored task. We introduce a novel semi-supervised probabilistic approach to cluster survival data by leveraging recent advances in stochastic gradient variational inference. In contrast to previous work, our proposed method employs a deep generative model to uncover the underlying distribution of both the explanatory variables and censored survival times. We compare our model to the related work on clustering and mixture models for survival data in comprehensive experiments on a wide range of synthetic, semi-synthetic, and real-world datasets, including medical imaging data. Our method performs better at identifying clusters and is competitive at predicting survival times. Relying on novel generative assumptions, the proposed model offers a holistic perspective on clustering survival data and holds a promise of discovering subpopulations whose survival is regulated by different generative mechanisms.

Text-based games (TBG) have emerged as promising environments for driving research in grounded language understanding and studying problems like generalization and sample efficiency. Several deep reinforcement learning (RL) methods with varying architectures and learning schemes have been proposed for TBGs. However, these methods fail to generalize efficiently, especially under distributional shifts. In a departure from deep RL approaches, in this paper, we propose a general method inspired by case-based reasoning to train agents and generalize out of the training distribution. The case-based reasoner collects instances of positive experiences from the agent's interaction with the world and later reuses the collected experiences to act efficiently. The method can be used in conjunction with any existing on-policy neural agent introduced in the literature for TBGs. Our experiments show that the proposed approach consistently improves existing methods, obtains good out-of-distribution generalization and achieves new state-of-the-art results on widely used environments.

Continual learning is widely studied in recent years to resolve the \textit{catastrophic forgetting} of deep neural networks. In this paper, we first enforce a low-rank filter subspace by decomposing convolutional filters within each network layer over a small set of filter atoms. Then, we perform continual learning with filter atom swapping. In other words, we learn for each task a new filter subspace for each convolutional layer, i.e., hundreds of parameters as filter atoms, but keep subspace coefficients shared across tasks. By maintaining a small footprint memory of filter atoms, we can easily archive models for past tasks to avoid forgetting. The effectiveness of this simple scheme for continual learning is illustrated both empirically and theoretically. The proposed atom swapping framework further enables flexible and efficient model ensemble with members selected within task or across tasks to improve the performance in different continual learning settings. The proposed method can be applied to a wide range of optimization schemes and convolutional network structures. Being validated on multiple benchmark datasets, the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in both accuracy and scalability.

In this paper, we perform an in-depth study of the properties and applications of \emph{aligned generative models}.
We refer to two models as aligned if they share the same architecture, and one of them (the \emph{child}) is obtained from the other (the \emph{parent}) via fine-tuning to another domain, a common practice in transfer learning.
Several works already utilize some basic properties of aligned StyleGAN models to perform image-to-image translation.
Here, we perform the first detailed exploration of model alignment, also focusing on StyleGAN. First, we empirically analyze aligned models and provide answers to important questions regarding their nature. In particular, we find that the child model's latent spaces are semantically aligned with those of the parent, inheriting incredibly rich semantics, even for distant data domains such as human faces and churches.
Second, equipped with this better understanding, we leverage aligned models to solve a diverse set of tasks.
In addition to image translation, we demonstrate fully automatic cross-domain image morphing.
We further show that zero-shot vision tasks may be performed in the child domain, while relying exclusively on supervision in the parent domain.
We demonstrate qualitatively and quantitatively that our approach yields state-of-the-art results, while requiring only simple fine-tuning and inversion.

Image denoising and artefact removal are complex inverse problems admitting multiple valid solutions. Unsupervised diversity restoration, that is, obtaining a diverse set of possible restorations given a corrupted image, is important for ambiguity removal in many applications such as microscopy where paired data for supervised training are often unobtainable. In real world applications, imaging noise and artefacts are typically hard to model, leading to unsatisfactory performance of existing unsupervised approaches. This work presents an interpretable approach for unsupervised and diverse image restoration. To this end, we introduce a capable architecture called Hierarchical DivNoising (HDN) based on hierarchical Variational Autoencoder. We show that HDN learns an interpretable multi-scale representation of artefacts and we leverage this interpretability to remove imaging artefacts commonly occurring in microscopy data. Our method achieves state-of-the-art results on twelve benchmark image denoising datasets while providing access to a whole distribution of sensibly restored solutions.
Additionally, we demonstrate on three real microscopy datasets that HDN removes artefacts without supervision, being the first method capable of doing so while generating multiple plausible restorations all consistent with the given corrupted image.

Creating labeled training sets has become one of the major roadblocks in machine learning. To address this, recent Weak Supervision (WS) frameworks synthesize training labels from multiple potentially noisy supervision sources. However, existing frameworks are restricted to supervision sources that share the same output space as the target task. To extend the scope of usable sources, we formulate Weak Indirect Supervision (WIS), a new research problem for automatically synthesizing training labels based on indirect supervision sources that have different output label spaces. To overcome the challenge of mismatched output spaces, we develop a probabilistic modeling approach, PLRM, which uses user-provided label relations to model and leverage indirect supervision sources. Moreover, we provide a theoretically-principled test of the distinguishability of PLRM for unseen labels, along with an generalization bound. On both image and text classification tasks as well as an industrial advertising application, we demonstrate the advantages of PLRM by outperforming baselines by a margin of 2%-9%.

Recent developments in large-scale machine learning suggest that by scaling up data, model size and training time properly, one might observe that improvements in pre-training would transfer favorably to most downstream tasks. In this work we systematically study this phenomena and establish that, as we increase the upstream accuracy, performance of downstream tasks \emph{saturates}. In particular, we investigate more than $4800$ experiments on Vision Transformers, MLP-Mixers and ResNets with number of parameters ranging from ten million to ten billion, trained on the largest scale of available image data (JFT, ImageNet21K) and evaluated on more than $20$ downstream image recognition tasks. We propose a model for downstream performance that reflects the saturation phenomena and captures the nonlinear relationship in performance of upstream and downstream tasks. Delving deeper to understand the reasons that give rise to these phenomena, we show that the observed saturation behavior is closely related to the way that representations evolve through the layers of the models. We showcase an even more extreme scenario where performance on upstream and downstream are at odds with each other. That is, in order to have a better downstream performance, we need to hurt upstream accuracy.

Overparametrized Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) often achieve astounding performances, but may potentially result in severe generalization error. Recently, the relation between the sharpness of the loss landscape and the generalization error has been established by Foret et al. (2020), in which the Sharpness Aware Minimizer (SAM) was proposed to mitigate the degradation of the generalization. Unfortunately, SAM’s computational cost is roughly double that of base optimizers, such as Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD). This paper thus proposes Efficient Sharpness Aware Minimizer (ESAM), which boosts SAM’s efficiency at no cost to its generalization performance. ESAM includes two novel and efficient training strategies—StochasticWeight Perturbation and Sharpness-Sensitive Data Selection. In the former, the sharpness measure is approximated by perturbing a stochastically chosen set of weights in each iteration; in the latter, the SAM loss is optimized using only a judiciously selected subset of data that is sensitive to the sharpness. We provide theoretical explanations as to why these strategies perform well. We also show, via extensive experiments on the CIFAR and ImageNet
datasets, that ESAM enhances the efficiency over SAM from requiring 100% extra computations to 40% vis-`a-vis base optimizers, while test accuracies are preserved or even improved.

137. Mention Memory: incorporating textual knowledge into Transformers through entity mention attention

Natural language understanding tasks such as open-domain question answering often require retrieving and assimilating factual information from multiple sources. We propose to address this problem by integrating a semi-parametric representation of a large text corpus into a Transformer model as a source of factual knowledge.
Specifically, our method represents knowledge with ``mention memory'', a table of dense vector representations of every entity mention in a corpus. The proposed model - TOME - is a Transformer that accesses the information through internal memory layers in which each entity mention in the input passage attends to the mention memory. This approach enables synthesis of and reasoning over many disparate sources of information within a single Transformer model.
In experiments using a memory of 150 million Wikipedia mentions, TOME achieves strong performance on several open-domain knowledge-intensive tasks, including the claim verification benchmarks HoVer and FEVER and several entity-based QA benchmarks. We also show that the model learns to attend to informative mentions without any direct supervision. Finally we demonstrate that the model can generalize to new unseen entities by updating the memory without retraining.

This paper presents a simple MLP-like architecture, CycleMLP, which is a versatile backbone for visual recognition and dense predictions. As compared to modern MLP architectures, e.g. , MLP-Mixer, ResMLP, and gMLP, whose architectures are correlated to image size and thus are infeasible in object detection and segmentation, CycleMLP has two advantages compared to modern approaches. (1) It can cope
with various image sizes. (2) It achieves linear computational complexity to image size by using local windows. In contrast, previous MLPs have $O(N^2)$ computations due to fully spatial connections. We build a family of models which surpass existing MLPs and even state-of-the-art Transformer-based models, e.g. Swin Transformer, while using fewer parameters and FLOPs. We expand the MLP-like models’ applicability, making them a versatile backbone for dense prediction tasks. CycleMLP achieves competitive results on object detection, instance segmentation, and semantic segmentation. In particular, CycleMLP-Tiny outperforms Swin-Tiny by 1.3% mIoU on ADE20K dataset with fewer FLOPs. Moreover, CycleMLP also shows excellent zero-shot robustness on ImageNet-C dataset.

Supervised federated learning (FL) enables multiple clients to share the trained model without sharing their labeled data. However, potential clients might even be reluctant to label their own data, which could limit the applicability of FL in practice. In this paper, we show the possibility of unsupervised FL whose model is still a classifier for predicting class labels, if there is sufficient class-prior shift among the unlabeled data owned by the clients and the class priors are known to the clients. We propose federation of unsupervised learning (FedUL), where the unlabeled data are transformed into surrogate labeled data for each of the clients, a modified model is trained by supervised FL, and the wanted model is recovered from the modified model. FedUL is a very general solution to unsupervised FL: it is compatible with many supervised FL methods, and the recovery of the wanted model can be theoretically guaranteed as if the data have been labeled. Experiments on benchmark and real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of FedUL. Anonymous code download link is given in Appendix and will be open source later.

Multi-agent reinforcement learning has made substantial empirical progresses in solving games with a large number of players. However, theoretically, the best known sample complexity for finding a Nash equilibrium in general-sum games scales exponentially in the number of players due to the size of the joint action space, and there is a matching exponential lower bound. This paper investigates what learning goals admit better sample complexities in the setting of $m$-player general-sum Markov games with $H$ steps, $S$ states, and $A_i$ actions per player. First, we design algorithms for learning an $\epsilon$-Coarse Correlated Equilibrium (CCE) in $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(H^5S\max_{i\le m} A_i / \epsilon^2)$ episodes, and an $\epsilon$-Correlated Equilibrium (CE) in $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(H^6S\max_{i\le m} A_i^2 / \epsilon^2)$ episodes. This is the first line of results for learning CCE and CE with sample complexities polynomial in $\max_{i\le m} A_i$. Our algorithm for learning CE integrates an adversarial bandit subroutine which minimizes a weighted swap regret, along with several novel designs in the outer loop. Second, we consider the important special case of Markov Potential Games, and design an algorithm that learns an $\epsilon$-approximate Nash equilibrium within $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(S\sum_{i\le m} A_i / \epsilon^3)$ episodes (when only highlighting the dependence on $S$, $A_i$, and $\epsilon$), which only depends linearly in $\sum_{i\le m} A_i$ and significantly improves over the best known algorithm in the $\epsilon$ dependence. Overall, our results shed light on what equilibria or structural assumptions on the game may enable sample-efficient learning with many players.

Since training a large-scale backdoored model from scratch requires a large training dataset, several recent attacks have considered to inject backdoors into a trained clean model without altering model behaviors on the clean data. Previous work finds that backdoors can be injected into a trained clean model with Adversarial Weight Perturbation (AWP), which means the variation of parameters are small in backdoor learning. In this work, we observe an interesting phenomenon that the variations of parameters are always AWPs when tuning the trained clean model to inject backdoors. We further provide theoretical analysis to explain this phenomenon. We are the first to formulate the behavior of maintaining accuracy on clean data as the consistency of backdoored models, which includes both global consistency and instance-wise consistency. We extensively analyze the effects of AWPs on the consistency of backdoored models. In order to achieve better consistency, we propose a novel anchoring loss to anchor or freeze the model behaviors on the clean data, with a theoretical guarantee.

Stochastic Variational Inference is a powerful framework for learning large-scale probabilistic latent variable models. However, typical assumptions on the factorization or independence of the latent variables can substantially restrict its capacity for inference and generative modeling. A major line of active research aims at building more expressive variational models by designing deep hierarchies of interdependent latent variables. Although these models exhibit superior performance and enable richer latent representations, we show that they incur diminishing returns: adding more stochastic layers to an already very deep model yields small predictive improvement while substantially increasing the inference and training time. Moreover, the architecture for this class of models favors local interactions among the latent variables between neighboring layers when designing the conditioning factors of the involved distributions. This is the first work that proposes attention mechanisms to build more expressive variational distributions in deep probabilistic models by explicitly modeling both local and global interactions in the latent space. Specifically, we propose deep attentive variational autoencoder and test it on a variety of established datasets. We show it achieves state-of-the-art log-likelihoods while using fewer latent layers and requiring less training time than existing models. The proposed non-local inference reduces computational footprint by alleviating the need for deep hierarchies.

The importance of Variational Autoencoders reaches far beyond standalone generative models -- the approach is also used for learning latent representations and can be generalized to semi-supervised learning. This requires a thorough analysis of their commonly known shortcomings: posterior collapse and approximation errors. This paper analyzes VAE approximation errors caused by the combination of the ELBO objective and encoder models from conditional exponential families, including, but not limited to, commonly used conditionally independent discrete and continuous models.
We characterize subclasses of generative models consistent with these encoder families. We show that the ELBO optimizer is pulled away from the likelihood optimizer towards the consistent subset and study this effect experimentally. Importantly, this subset can not be enlarged, and the respective error cannot be decreased, by considering deeper encoder/decoder networks.

Machine learning systems deployed in the wild are often trained on a source distribution that differs from the target distribution on which it is deployed. Unlabeled data can be a powerful source of leverage for mitigating these distribution shifts, as it is frequently much more available than labeled data. However, existing distribution shift benchmarks for unlabeled data do not reflect many scenarios that arise naturally in real-world applications. In this work, we introduce U-WILDS, which augments the WILDS benchmark of in-the-wild distribution shifts with curated unlabeled data that would be realistically obtainable in deployment. U-WILDS contains 8 datasets spanning a wide range of applications (from histology to wildlife conservation), tasks (classification, regression, and detection), and modalities (photos, satellite images, microscope slides, text, molecular graphs). We systematically benchmark contemporary methods that leverage unlabeled data, including domain-invariant, self-training, and self-supervised methods, and show that their success on the shifts in U-WILDS is limited. To facilitate the development of methods that can work reliably on real-world distribution shifts, we provide an open-source package containing all of the relevant data loaders, model architectures, and methods.

Model-based reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms designed for handling complex visual observations typically learn some sort of latent state representation, either explicitly or implicitly. Standard methods of this sort do not distinguish between functionally relevant aspects of the state and irrelevant distractors, instead aiming to represent all available information equally. We propose a modified objective for model-based RL that, in combination with mutual information maximization, allows us to learn representations and dynamics for visual model-based RL without reconstruction in a way that explicitly prioritizes functionally relevant factors. The key principle behind our design is to integrate a term inspired by variational empowerment into a state-space learning model based on mutual information. This term prioritizes information that is correlated with action, thus ensuring that functionally relevant factors are captured first. Furthermore, the same empowerment term also promotes faster exploration during the RL process, especially for sparse-reward tasks where the reward signal is insufficient to drive exploration in the early stages of learning. We evaluate the approach on a suite of vision-based robot control tasks with natural video backgrounds, and show that the proposed prioritized information objective outperforms state-of-the-art model based RL approaches by an average of 20\% in terms of episodic returns at 1M environment interactions with 30\% higher sample efficiency at 100k interactions.

Methods that combine local and global features have recently shown excellent performance on multiple challenging deep image retrieval benchmarks, but thei ruse of local features raises at least two issues. First, these local features simply boil down to the localized map activations of a neural network, and hence can be extremely redundant. Second, they are typically trained with a global loss that only acts on top of an aggregation of local features; by contrast, testing is based on local feature matching, which creates a discrepancy between training and testing.In this paper, we propose a novel architecture for deep image retrieval, based solely on mid-level features that we call Super-features. These Super-features are constructed by an iterative attention module and constitute an ordered set in which each element focuses on a localized yet discriminant image pattern. For training,only image labels suffice. A contrastive loss operates directly at the level of Super-features and focuses on Super-features that match across images. It is combined with a second complementary loss which encourages diversity. Experiments on common landmark retrieval benchmarks validate that Super-features substantially outperform state-of-the-art methods when using the same number of features, and only require a significantly smaller memory footprint to match their performance.

We consider the problem of sequential robotic manipulation of deformable objects using tools.
Previous works have shown that differentiable physics simulators provide gradients to the environment state and help trajectory optimization to converge orders of magnitude faster than model-free reinforcement learning algorithms for deformable object manipulations. However, such gradient-based trajectory optimization typically requires access to the full simulator states and can only solve short-horizon, single-skill tasks due to local optima. In this work, we propose a novel framework, named DiffSkill, that uses a differentiable physics simulator for skill abstraction to solve long-horizon deformable object manipulation tasks from sensory observations. In particular, we first obtain short-horizon skills for using each individual tool from a gradient-based optimizer and then learn a neural skill abstractor from the demonstration videos; Finally, we plan over the skills to solve the long-horizon task. We show the advantages of our method in a new set of sequential deformable object manipulation tasks over previous reinforcement learning algorithms and the trajectory optimizer.

Many approaches to program synthesis perform a search within an enormous space of programs to find one that satisfies a given specification. Prior works have used neural models to guide combinatorial search algorithms, but such approaches still explore a huge portion of the search space and quickly become intractable as the size of the desired program increases. To tame the search space blowup, we propose training a neural model to learn a hands-on search policy for bottom-up synthesis, instead of relying on a combinatorial search algorithm. Our approach, called CrossBeam, uses the neural model to choose how to combine previously explored programs into new programs, taking into account the search history and partial program executions. Motivated by work in structured prediction on learning to search, CrossBeam is trained on-policy using data extracted from its own bottom-up searches on training tasks. We evaluate CrossBeam in two very different domains, string manipulation and logic programming. We observe that CrossBeam learns to search efficiently, exploring much smaller portions of the program space compared to the state-of-the-art.

Unsupervised skill learning objectives (Eysenbach et al., 2019; Gregor et al., 2016) allow agents to learn rich repertoires of behavior in the absence of extrinsic rewards. They work by simultaneously training a policy to produce distinguishable latent-conditioned trajectories, and a discriminator to evaluate distinguishability by trying to infer latents from trajectories. The hope is for the agent to explore and master the environment by encouraging each skill (latent) to reliably reach different states. However, an inherent exploration problem lingers: when a novel state is actually encountered, the discriminator will necessarily not have seen enough training data to produce accurate and confident skill classifications, leading to low intrinsic reward for the agent and effective penalization of the sort of exploration needed to actually maximize the objective. To combat this inherent pessimism towards exploration, we derive an information gain auxiliary objective
that involves training an ensemble of discriminators and rewarding the policy for their disagreement. Our objective directly estimates the epistemic uncertainty that comes from the discriminator not having seen enough training examples, thus providing an intrinsic reward more tailored to the true objective compared to pseudocount-based methods (Burda et al., 2019). We call this exploration bonus discriminator disagreement intrinsic reward, or DISDAIN. We demonstrate empirically that DISDAIN improves skill learning both in a tabular grid world (Four Rooms) and the 57 games of the Atari Suite (from pixels). Thus, we encourage researchers to treat pessimism with DISDAIN.

The adversarial vulnerability of deep neural networks has attracted signiﬁcant attention in machine learning. As causal reasoning has an instinct for modeling distribution change, it is essential to incorporate causality into analyzing this specific type of distribution change induced by adversarial attacks. However, causal formulations of the intuition of adversarial attacks and the development of robust DNNs are still lacking in the literature. To bridge this gap, we construct a causal graph to model the generation process of adversarial examples and define the adversarial distribution to formalize the intuition of adversarial attacks. From the causal perspective, we study the distinction between the natural and adversarial distribution and conclude that the origin of adversarial vulnerability is the focus of models on spurious correlations. Inspired by the causal understanding, we propose the adversarial distribution alignment method to eliminate the difference between natural and adversarial distributions by considering spurious correlations. Extensive experiments demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed method. Our work is the first attempt towards using causality to understand and mitigate adversarial vulnerability.

We propose StyleNeRF, a 3D-aware generative model for photo-realistic high-resolution image synthesis with high multi-view consistency, which can be trained on unstructured 2D images. Existing approaches either cannot synthesize high-resolution images with fine details or yield clearly noticeable 3D-inconsistent artifacts. In addition, many of them lack control on style attributes and explicit 3D camera poses. To address these issues, StyleNeRF integrates the neural radiance field (NeRF) into a style-based generator to tackle the aforementioned challenges, i.e., improving rendering efficiency and 3D consistency for high-resolution image generation. To address the first issue, we perform volume rendering only to produce a low-resolution feature map, and progressively apply upsampling in 2D. To mitigate the inconsistencies caused by 2D upsampling, we propose multiple designs including a better upsampler choice and a new regularization loss to enforce 3D consistency. With these designs, StyleNeRF is able to synthesize high-resolution images at interactive rates while preserving 3D consistency at high quality. StyleNeRF also enables control of camera poses and different levels of styles, which can generalize to unseen views. It also supports challenging tasks such as style mixing, inversion and simple semantic edits.

Deep reinforcement learning can generate complex control policies, but requires large amounts of training data to work effectively. Recent work has attempted to address this issue by leveraging differentiable simulators. However, inherent problems such as local minima and exploding/vanishing numerical gradients prevent these methods from being generally applied to control tasks with complex contact-rich dynamics, such as humanoid locomotion in classical RL benchmarks. In this work, we present SHAC, a short-horizon actor-critic method that successfully leverages parallel differentiable simulation to accelerate policy learning. Our method alleviates problems with local minima through a smooth critic function, avoids vanishing/exploding gradients through a truncated learning window, and allows many physical environments to be run in parallel. We evaluate our method on classical RL control tasks, and show substantial improvements in sample efficiency and wall-clock time over state-of-the-art RL and differentiable simulation-based algorithms. In addition, we demonstrate the scalability of our method by applying it to the challenging high-dimensional problem of muscle-actuated locomotion with a large action space, achieving a greater than 17x reduction in training time over the best-performing established RL algorithm. More visual results are provided at: https://sites.google.com/view/shac

Periodic time series (PTS) forecasting plays a crucial role in a variety of industries to foster critical tasks, such as early warning, pre-planning, resource scheduling, etc. However, the complicated dependencies of PTS signals on its inherent periodicity as well as the sophisticated composition of various periods hinder the performance of PTS forecasting. In this paper, we introduce a deep expansion learning framework, DEPTS, for PTS forecasting. DEPTS starts with a decoupled formulation by introducing the periodic state as a hidden variable, which stimulates us to make two dedicated modules to tackle the aforementioned two challenges. First, we develop an expansion module on top of residual learning to perform a layer-by-layer expansion of those complicated dependencies. Second, we introduce a periodicity module with a parameterized periodic function that holds sufficient capacity to capture diversified periods. Moreover, our two customized modules also have certain interpretable capabilities, such as attributing the forecasts to either local momenta or global periodicity and characterizing certain core periodic properties, e.g., amplitudes and frequencies. Extensive experiments on both synthetic data and real-world data demonstrate the effectiveness of DEPTS on handling PTS. In most cases, DEPTS achieves significant improvements over the best baseline. Specifically, the error reduction can even reach up to 20% for a few cases. Finally, all codes for this paper will be publicly available.

We propose to address quadrupedal locomotion tasks using Reinforcement Learning (RL) with a Transformer-based model that learns to combine proprioceptive information and high-dimensional depth sensor inputs. While learning-based locomotion has made great advances using RL, most methods still rely on domain randomization for training blind agents that generalize to challenging terrains. Our key insight is that proprioceptive states only offer contact measurements for immediate reaction, whereas an agent equipped with visual sensory observations can learn to proactively maneuver environments with obstacles and uneven terrain by anticipating changes in the environment many steps ahead. In this paper, we introduce LocoTransformer, an end-to-end RL method that leverages both proprioceptive states and visual observations for locomotion control. We evaluate our method in challenging simulated environments with different obstacles and uneven terrain. We transfer our learned policy from simulation to a real robot by running it indoor and in-the-wild with unseen obstacles and terrain. Our method not only significantly improves over baselines, but also achieves far better generalization performance, especially when transferred to the real robot. Our project page with videos is at https://LocoTransformer.github.io/.

Bayesian optimization (BO) has become an established framework and popular tool for hyperparameter optimization (HPO) of machine learning (ML) algorithms. While known for its sample-efficiency, vanilla BO can not utilize readily available prior beliefs the practitioner has on the potential location of the optimum. Thus, BO disregards a valuable source of information, reducing its appeal to ML practitioners. To address this issue, we propose $\pi$BO, an acquisition function generalization which incorporates prior beliefs about the location of the optimum in the form of a probability distribution, provided by the user. In contrast to previous approaches, $\pi$BO is conceptually simple and can easily be integrated with existing libraries and many acquisition functions. We provide regret bounds when $\pi$BO is applied to the common Expected Improvement acquisition function and prove convergence at regular rates independently of the prior. Further, our experiments show that $\pi$BO outperforms competing approaches across a wide suite of benchmarks and prior characteristics. We also demonstrate that $\pi$BO improves on the state-of-the-art performance for a popular deep learning task, with a $12.5\times$ time-to-accuracy speedup over prominent BO approaches.

While there has been substantial recent work studying generalization of neural networks,
the ability of deep nets in automating the process of feature extraction still evades a thorough mathematical understanding.
As a step toward this goal, we analyze learning and generalization of a three-layer neural network with ReLU activations in a regime that goes beyond the linear approximation of the network, and is hence not captured by the common Neural Tangent Kernel. We show that despite nonconvexity of the empirical loss, a variant of SGD converges in polynomially many iterations to a good solution that generalizes. In particular, our generalization bounds are adaptive: they automatically optimize over a family of kernels that includes the Neural Tangent Kernel, to provide the tightest bound.

We present InfinityGAN, a method to generate arbitrary-sized images. The problem is associated with several key challenges. First, scaling existing models to an arbitrarily large image size is resource-constrained, both in terms of computation and availability of large-field-of-view training data. InfinityGAN trains and infers patch-by-patch seamlessly with low computational resources. Second, large images should be locally and globally consistent, avoid repetitive patterns, and look realistic. To address these, InfinityGAN takes global appearance, local structure and texture into account. With this formulation, we can generate images with spatial size and level of detail not attainable before. Experimental evaluation supports that InfinityGAN generates images with superior global structure compared to baselines and features parallelizable inference. Finally, we show several applications unlocked by our approach, such as fusing styles spatially, multi-modal outpainting and image inbetweening at arbitrary input and output sizes.

Evading adversarial example detection defenses requires finding adversarial examples that must simultaneously (a) be misclassified by the model and (b) be detected as non-adversarial. We find that existing attacks that attempt to satisfy multiple simultaneous constraints often over-optimize against one constraint at the cost of satisfying another. We introduce Selective Projected Gradient Descent and Orthogonal Projected Gradient Descent, improved attack techniques to generate adversarial examples that avoid this problem by orthogonalizing the gradients when running standard gradient-based attacks. We use our technique to evade four state-of-the-art detection defenses, reducing their accuracy to 0% while maintaining a 0% detection rate.

Models of human behavior for prediction and collaboration tend to fall into two categories: ones that learn from large amounts of data via imitation learning, and ones that assume human behavior to be noisily-optimal for some reward function. The former are very useful, but only when it is possible to gather a lot of human data in the target environment and distribution. The advantage of the latter type, which includes Boltzmann rationality, is the ability to make accurate predictions in new environments without extensive data when humans are actually close to optimal. However, these models fail when humans exhibit systematic suboptimality, i.e. when their deviations from optimal behavior are not independent, but instead consistent over time. Our key insight is that systematic suboptimality can be modeled by predicting policies, which couple action choices over time, instead of trajectories. We introduce the Boltzmann policy distribution (BPD), which serves as a prior over human policies and adapts via Bayesian inference to capture systematic deviations by observing human actions during a single episode. The BPD is difficult to compute and represent because policies lie in a high-dimensional continuous space, but we leverage tools from generative and sequence modeling to enable efficient sampling and inference. We show that the BPD enables prediction of human behavior and human-AI collaboration equally as well as imitation learning-based human models while using far less data.

Unsupervisedly detecting anomaly points in time series is challenging, which requires the model to learn informative representations and derive a distinguishable criterion. Prior methods mainly detect anomalies based on the recurrent network representation of each time point. However, the point-wise representation is less informative for complex temporal patterns and can be dominated by normal patterns, making rare anomalies less distinguishable. We find that in each time series, each time point can also be described by its associations with all time points, presenting as a point-wise distribution that is more expressive for temporal modeling. We further observe that due to the rarity of anomalies, it is harder for anomalies to build strong associations with the whole series and their associations shall mainly concentrate on the adjacent time points. This observation implies an inherently distinguishable criterion between normal and abnormal points, which we highlight as the Association Discrepancy. Technically we propose the Anomaly Transformer with an Anomaly-Attention mechanism to compute the association discrepancy. A minimax strategy is devised to amplify the normal-abnormal distinguishability of the association discrepancy. Anomaly Transformer achieves state-of-the-art performance on six unsupervised time series anomaly detection benchmarks for three applications: service monitoring, space & earth exploration, and water treatment.

Meta-Imitation Learning is a promising technique for the robot to learn a new task from observing one or a few human demonstrations. However, it usually requires a significant number of demonstrations both from humans and robots during the meta-training phase, which is a laborious and hard work for data collection, especially in recording the actions and specifying the correspondence between human and robot. In this work, we present an approach of meta-imitation learning by watching video demonstrations from humans. In comparison to prior works, our approach is able to translate human videos into practical robot demonstrations and train the meta-policy with adaptive loss based on the quality of the translated data. Our approach relies only on human videos and does not require robot demonstration, which facilitates data collection and is more in line with human imitation behavior. Experiments reveal that our method achieves the comparable performance to the baseline on fast learning a set of vision-based tasks through watching a single video demonstration.

The release of tabular benchmarks, such as NAS-Bench-101 and NAS-Bench-201, has significantly lowered the computational overhead for conducting scientific research in neural architecture search (NAS). Although they have been widely adopted and used to tune real-world NAS algorithms, these benchmarks are limited to small search spaces and focus solely on image classification. Recently, several new NAS benchmarks have been introduced that cover significantly larger search spaces over a wide range of tasks, including object detection, speech recognition, and natural language processing. However, substantial differences among these NAS benchmarks have so far prevented their widespread adoption, limiting researchers to using just a few benchmarks. In this work, we present an in-depth analysis of popular NAS algorithms and performance prediction methods across 25 different combinations of search spaces and datasets, finding that many conclusions drawn from a few NAS benchmarks do not generalize to other benchmarks. To help remedy this problem, we introduce NAS-Bench-Suite, a comprehensive and extensible collection of NAS benchmarks, accessible through a unified interface, created with the aim to facilitate reproducible, generalizable, and rapid NAS research. Our code is available at https://anonymous.4open.science/r/NAS-Bench-Suite.

Differentially Private (DP) learning has seen limited success for building large deep learning models of text, and attempts at straightforwardly applying Differentially Private Stochastic Gradient Descent (DP-SGD) to NLP tasks have resulted in large performance drops and high computational overhead.
We show that this performance drop can be mitigated with (1) the use of large pretrained models; (2) hyperparameters that suit DP optimization; and (3) fine-tuning objectives aligned with the pretraining procedure.
With these factors set right, we obtain private NLP models that outperform state-of-the-art private training approaches and strong non-private baselines---by directly fine-tuning pretrained models with DP optimization on moderately-sized corpora.
To address the computational challenge of running DP-SGD with large Transformers, we propose a memory saving technique that allows clipping in DP-SGD to run without instantiating per-example gradients for any layer in the model.
The technique enables privately training Transformers with almost the same memory cost as non-private training at a modest run-time overhead.
Contrary to conventional wisdom that DP optimization fails at learning high-dimensional models (due to noise that scales with dimension) empirical results reveal that private learning with pretrained models tends to not suffer from dimension-dependent performance degradation.

Communication is a key bottleneck in federated learning where a large number of edge devices collaboratively learn a model under the orchestration of a central server without sharing their own training data. While local SGD has been proposed to reduce the number of communication rounds and become the algorithm of choice for FL, its total communication cost is still prohibitive when each device needs to communicate with the remote server repeatedly for many times over bandwidth-limited networks. In light of both device-to-device (D2D) and device-to-server (D2E) cooperation opportunities in modern communication networks, this paper proposes a new federated optimization algorithm dubbed hybrid local SGD (HL-SGD) in FL settings where devices are grouped into a set of disjoint clusters with high D2D communication bandwidth. HL-SGD subsumes previous proposed algorithms such ad local SGD and gossip SGD and enables us to strike the best balance between reducing communication cost and improving model accuracy. We analyze the convergence of HL-SGD in the presence of heterogeneous data for general nonconvex settings. We also perform extensive experiments and show that the use of hybrid model aggregation via D2D and D2E communications in HL-SGD can largely improve the communication efficiency of federated learning.

While many studies have shown that linguistic information is encoded in hidden word representations, few have studied individual neurons, to show how and in which neurons it is encoded.
Among these, the common approach is to use an external probe to rank neurons according to their relevance to some linguistic attribute, and to evaluate the obtained ranking using the same probe that produced it.
We show two pitfalls in this methodology:
1. It confounds distinct factors: probe quality and ranking quality.
We separate them and draw conclusions on each.
2. It focuses on encoded information, rather than information that is used by the model.
We show that these are not the same.
We compare two recent ranking methods and a simple one we introduce, and evaluate them with regard to both of these aspects.

Self-attention (SA) is a critical component of Transformer neural networks that have succeeded in automatic speech recognition (ASR). However, its computational cost increases quadratically with the sequence length, which is especially problematic in ASR. In this paper, we analyze the role of SA in Transformer-based ASR models for improving efficiency. We reveal that SA performs two distinct roles: Phonetic and linguistic localization. We propose a novel metric called phoneme attention relationship (PAR) to investigate that phonetic localization in the lower layers extracts phonologically meaningful features from speech and standardizes the phonetic variance in the utterance for proper linguistic localization in the upper layers. From this understanding, we discover that attention maps can be reused as long as their localization capability is preserved. To evaluate this idea, we implement the \textit{layer-wise attention map reuse} on real GPU platforms and achieve up to 1.96 times speedup in inference and 33% savings in training time with noticeably improved ASR performance for the challenging benchmark on LibriSpeech dev/test-other dataset.

Deep neural networks are used for a wide range of regression problems and are typically trained by minimizing the squared or absolute error of output labels. Solving a regression problem with a set of binary classifiers can improve the accuracy and also utilizes well-studied binary classification algorithms. However, a limited design space of regression by binary classification has been studied by prior works. This work introduces a novel approach using binary-encoded labels (BEL) to generalize the application of binary classification to regression, and a taxonomy identifying the key design aspects of such formulation. Of these design aspects, we primarily explore and identify the desirable properties of suitable encoding and decoding functions used for the conversion between real-valued and binary-encoded labels based on theoretical and empirical analysis. BEL can be combined with off-the-shelf task-specific feature extractors and trained end-to-end. We further propose a series of sample encoding, decoding, and training loss functions applicable in this domain and demonstrate that our generic regression approach results in lower error than direct regression and specialized approaches while being suitable for various regression problems, network architectures, and evaluation metrics.

The problem of processing very long time-series data (e.g., a length of more than 10,000) is a long-standing research problem in machine learning. People have resorted to advanced deep learning technology for processing time-series data, such as recurrent neural networks (RNNs), neural ordinary differential equations (NODEs), neural controlled differential equations (NCDEs), and so on. However, these are known to be unstable when it comes to processing such very long sequences. Recently, one breakthrough, called neural rough differential equations (NRDEs), has been proposed and has shown that it is able to process such data. Their main concept is to use the log-signature transform, which is known to be more efficient than the Fourier transform for irregular long time-series, to convert a very long time-series sample into a relatively shorter series of feature vectors. However, the log-signature transform has an exponential complexity w.r.t. the original dimensionality of input and the log-signature depth configuration. To this end, we present the method of lower-dimensional embedding of log-signature (LORD), where we define an NRDE-based autoencoder to implant the higher-depth log-signature knowledge into the lower-depth log-signature. We show that the encoder successfully combine the higher-depth and the lower-depth log-signature knowledge, which greatly stabilizes the training process and increases the model accuracy. We conduct experiments with multiple very long time-series benchmark datasets and the improvement ratio by our method is up to 75% in terms of various classification and regression evaluation metrics.

It is a challenging task to learn rich and multi-scale spatial-temporal semantics from high-dimensional videos, due to large local redundancy and complex global dependency between video frames. The recent advances in this research have been mainly driven by 3D convolutional neural networks and vision transformers. Although 3D convolution can efficiently aggregate local context to suppress local redundancy from a small 3D neighborhood, it lacks the capability to capture global dependency because of the limited receptive field. Alternatively, vision transformers can effectively capture long-range dependency by self-attention mechanism, while having limitations on reducing local redundancy with blind similarity comparison among all the tokens in each layer. Based on these observations, we propose a novel Unified transFormer (UniFormer) which seamlessly integrates merits of 3D convolution and spatial-temporal self-attention in a concise transformer format, and achieves a preferable balance between computation and accuracy. Different from traditional transformers, our relation aggregator can tackle both spatial-temporal redundancy and dependency, by learning local and global token affinity respectively in shallow and deep layers. We conduct extensive experiments on the popular video benchmarks, e.g., Kinetics-400, Kinetics-600, and Something-Something V1&V2. With only ImageNet-1K pretraining, our UniFormer achieves 82.9%/84.8% top-1 accuracy on Kinetics-400/Kinetics-600, while requiring 10x fewer GFLOPs than other state-of-the-art methods. For Something-Something V1 and V2, our UniFormer achieves new state-of-the-art performances of 60.8% and 71.4% top-1 accuracy respectively.

Drawing inspiration from gradient-based meta-learning methods with infinitely small gradient steps, we introduce Continuous-Time Meta-Learning (COMLN), a meta-learning algorithm where adaptation follows the dynamics of a gradient vector field. Specifically, representations of the inputs are meta-learned such that a task-specific linear classifier is obtained as a solution of an ordinary differential equation (ODE). Treating the learning process as an ODE offers the notable advantage that the length of the trajectory is now continuous, as opposed to a fixed and discrete number of gradient steps. As a consequence, we can optimize the amount of adaptation necessary to solve a new task using stochastic gradient descent, in addition to learning the initial conditions as is standard practice in gradient-based meta-learning. Importantly, in order to compute the exact meta-gradients required for the outer-loop updates, we devise an efficient algorithm based on forward mode differentiation, whose memory requirements do not scale with the length of the learning trajectory, thus allowing longer adaptation in constant memory. We provide analytical guarantees for the stability of COMLN, we show empirically its efficiency in terms of runtime and memory usage, and we illustrate its effectiveness on a range of few-shot image classification problems.

Many existing conditional score-based data generation methods utilize Bayes' theorem to decompose the gradients of a log posterior density into a mixture of scores. These methods facilitate the training procedure of conditional score models, as a mixture of scores can be separately estimated using a score model and a classifier. However, our analysis indicates that the training objectives for the classifier in these methods may lead to a serious score mismatch issue, which corresponds to the situation that the estimated scores deviate from the true ones. Such an issue causes the samples to be misled by the deviated scores during the diffusion process, resulting in a degraded sampling quality. To resolve it, we theoretically formulate a novel training objective, called Denoising Likelihood Score Matching (DLSM) loss, for the classifier to match the gradients of the true log likelihood density. Our experimental evidences show that the proposed method outperforms the previous methods on both Cifar-10 and Cifar-100 benchmarks noticeably in terms of several key evaluation metrics. We thus conclude that, by adopting DLSM, the conditional scores can be accurately modeled, and the effect of the score mismatch issue is alleviated.

We explore a new perspective on video understanding by casting the video recognition problem as an image recognition task. Our approach rearranges input video frames into super images, which allow for training an image classifier directly to fulfill the task of action recognition, in exactly the same way as image classification. With such a simple idea, we show that transformer-based image classifiers alone can suffice for action recognition. In particular, our approach demonstrates strong and promising performance against SOTA methods on several public datasets including Kinetics400, Moments In Time, and Something-Something V2 (SSV2), Jester and Diving48. We also experiment with the prevalent ResNet image classifiers in computer vision to further validate our idea. The results on both Kinetics400 and SSV2 are comparable to some of the best-performed CNN approaches based on spatio-temporal modeling. Our codes and models will be publicly available.

Combinatorial optimization lies at the core of many real-world problems. Especially since the rise of graph neural networks (GNNs), the deep learning community has been developing solvers that derive solutions to NP-hard problems by learning the problem-specific solution structure. However, reproducing the results of these publications proves to be difficult. We make three contributions. First, we present an open-source benchmark suite for the NP-hard Maximum Independent Set problem, in both its weighted and unweighted variants. The suite offers a unified interface to various state-of-the-art traditional and machine learning-based solvers. Second, using our benchmark suite, we conduct an in-depth analysis of the popular guided tree search algorithm by Li et al. [NeurIPS 2018], testing various configurations on small and large synthetic and real-world graphs. By re-implementing their algorithm with a focus on code quality and extensibility, we show that the graph convolution network used in the tree search does not learn a meaningful representation of the solution structure, and can in fact be replaced by random values. Instead, the tree search relies on algorithmic techniques like graph kernelization to find good solutions. Thus, the results from the original publication are not reproducible. Third, we extend the analysis to compare the tree search implementations to other solvers, showing that the classical algorithmic solvers often are faster, while providing solutions of similar quality. Additionally, we analyze a recent solver based on reinforcement learning and observe that for this solver, the GNN is responsible for the competitive solution quality.

Since the introduction of the transformer model by Vaswani et al. (2017), a fundamental question has yet to be answered: how does a model achieve extrapolation at inference time for sequences that are longer than it saw during training? We first show that extrapolation can be enabled by simply changing the position representation method, though we find that current methods do not allow for efficient extrapolation. We therefore introduce a simpler and more efficient position method, Attention with Linear Biases (ALiBi). ALiBi does not add positional embeddings to word embeddings; instead, it biases query-key attention scores with a penalty that is proportional to their distance. We show that this method trains a 1.3 billion parameter model on input sequences of length 1024 that extrapolates to input sequences of length 2048, achieving the same perplexity as a sinusoidal position embedding model trained on inputs of length 2048 but training 11% faster and using 11% less memory. ALiBi's inductive bias towards recency also leads it to outperform multiple strong position methods on the WikiText-103 benchmark.

Improving sample-efficiency and safety are crucial challenges when deploying reinforcement learning in high-stakes real world applications. We propose LAMBDA, a novel model-based approach for policy optimization in safety critical tasks modeled via constrained Markov decision processes. Our approach utilizes Bayesian world models, and harnesses the resulting uncertainty to maximize optimistic upper bounds on the task objective, as well as pessimistic upper bounds on the safety constraints. We demonstrate LAMBDA's state of the art performance on the Safety-Gym benchmark suite in terms of sample efficiency and constraint violation.

Recent progress in language model pre-training has achieved a great success via leveraging large-scale unstructured textual data. However, it is still a challenge to apply pre-training on structured tabular data due to the absence of large-scale high-quality tabular data and the inefficient exploration on tabular structures. In this paper, we propose TAPEX to show that table pre-training can be achieved by learning a neural SQL executor over a synthetic corpus, which is obtained by automatically synthesizing executable SQL queries and their execution outputs. TAPEX addresses the data scarcity challenge via guiding the language model to mimic a SQL executor on the diverse, large-scale and high-quality synthetic corpus. We evaluate TAPEX on four benchmark datasets. Experimental results demonstrate that TAPEX outperforms previous table pre-training approaches by a large margin and achieves new state-of-the-art results on all of them. This includes the improvements on the weakly-supervised WikiSQL denotation accuracy to 89.5% (+2.3%), the WikiTableQuestions denotation accuracy to 57.5% (+4.8%), the SQA denotation accuracy to 74.5% (+3.5%), and the TabFact accuracy to 84.6% (+3.6%). To our knowledge, this is the first work to exploit structured tabular data via pre-training on synthetic executable programs and achieving new state-of-the-art results on downstream tasks.

The implicit bias induced by the training of neural networks has become a topic of rigorous study. In the limit of gradient flow and gradient descent with appropriate step size, it has been shown that when one trains a deep linear network with logistic or exponential loss on linearly separable data, the weights converge to rank-1 matrices. In this paper, we extend this theoretical result to the much wider class of nonlinear ReLU-activated feedforward networks containing fully-connected layers and skip connections. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a low-rank phenomenon is proven rigorously for these architectures, and it reflects empirical results in the literature. The proof relies on specific local training invariances, sometimes referred to as alignment, which we show to hold for a wide set of ReLU architectures. Our proof relies on a specific decomposition of the network into a multilinear (up to sign) function and another ReLU network whose weights are constant under a certain parameter directional convergence.

Overparameterized neural networks generalize well but are expensive to train. Ideally one would like to reduce their computational cost while retaining their generalization benefits. Sparse model training is a simple and promising approach to achieve this, but there remain challenges as existing methods struggle with accuracy loss, slow training runtime, or difficulty in sparsifying all model components. The core problem is that searching for a sparsity mask over a discrete set of sparse matrices is difficult and expensive. To address this, our main insight is to optimize over a continuous superset of sparse matrices with a fixed structure known as products of butterfly matrices. As butterfly matrices are not hardware efficient, we propose simple variants of butterfly (block and flat) to take advantage of modern hardware. Our method (Pixelated Butterfly) uses a simple fixed sparsity pattern based on flat block butterfly and low-rank matrices to sparsify most network layers (e.g., attention, MLP). We empirically validate that Pixelated Butterfly is $3\times$ faster than Butterfly and speeds up training to achieve favorable accuracy--efficiency tradeoffs. On the ImageNet classification and WikiText-103 language modeling tasks, our sparse models train up to 2.3$\times$ faster than the dense MLP-Mixer, Vision Transformer, and GPT-2 small with no drop in accuracy.

Intelligent agents can solve tasks in a variety of ways depending on the action set at their disposal. For instance, while using a toolkit for repair, the choice of tool (the action) closely depends on what other tools are available. Yet, such dependence on other available actions is ignored in conventional reinforcement learning (RL) since it assumes a fixed action set. In this work, we posit that learning the interdependence between actions is crucial for RL agents acting under a varying action set. To this end, we propose a novel policy architecture that consists of an input graph composed of available actions and a graph attention network to learn the action interdependence. We demonstrate that our architecture makes action decisions by correctly attending to the relevant actions in both value-based and policy-based RL. Consequently, it consistently outperforms non-relational architectures on applications where the action space can vary, such as recommender systems and physical reasoning with tools and skills.

Learning accurate classifiers for novel categories from very few examples, known as few-shot image classification, is a challenging task in statistical machine learning and computer vision. The performance in few-shot classification suffers from the bias in the estimation of classifier parameters; however, an effective underlying bias reduction technique that could alleviate this issue in training few-shot classifiers has been overlooked. In this work, we demonstrate the effectiveness of Firth bias reduction in few-shot classification. Theoretically, Firth bias reduction removes the first order term $O(N^{−1})$ from the small-sample bias of the Maximum Likelihood Estimator. Here we show that the general Firth bias reduction technique simplifies to encouraging uniform class assignment probabilities for multinomial logistic classification, and almost has the same effect in cosine classifiers. We derive the optimization objective for Firth penalized multinomial logistic and cosine classifiers, and empirically evaluate that it is consistently effective across the board for few-shot image classification, regardless of (1) the feature representations from different backbones, (2) the number of samples per class, and (3) the number of classes. Finally, we show the robustness of Firth bias reduction, in the case of imbalanced data distribution. Our implementation is available at https://anonymous.4open.science/r/firth_bias_reduction-2B60.

Vision transformers (ViTs) process input images as sequences of patches via self-attention; a radically different architecture than convolutional neural networks(CNNs). This makes it interesting to study the adversarial feature space of ViT models and their transferability. In particular, we observe that adversarial patterns found via conventional adversarial attacks show verylowblack-box transferability even for large ViT models. We show that this phenomenon is only due to the sub-optimal attack procedures that do not leverage the true representation potential of ViTs. A deep ViT is composed of multiple blocks, with a consistent architecture comprising of self-attention and feed-forward layers, where each block is capable of independently producing a class token. Formulating an attack using only the last class token (conventional approach) does not directly leverage the discriminative information stored in the earlier tokens, leading to poor adversarial transferability of ViTs. Using the compositional nature of ViT models, we enhance transferability of existing attacks by introducing two novel strategies specific to the architecture of ViT models. (i) Self-Ensemble: We propose a method to find multiple discriminative pathways by dissecting a single ViT model into an ensemble of networks. This allows explicitly utilizing class-specific information at each ViT block. (ii) Token Refinement: We then propose to refine the tokens to further enhance the discriminative capacity at each block of ViT. Our token refinement systematically combines the class tokens with structural information preserved within the patch tokens. An adversarial attack when applied to such refined tokens within the ensemble of classifiers found in a single vision transformer has significantly higher transferability and thereby brings out the true generalization potential of the ViT’s adversarial space. Our codes will be publicly released.

182. Learning the Dynamics of Physical Systems from Sparse Observations with Finite Element Networks

We propose a new method for spatio-temporal forecasting on arbitrarily distributed points. Assuming that the observed system follows an unknown partial differential equation, we derive a continuous-time model for the dynamics of the data via the finite element method. The resulting graph neural network estimates the instantaneous effects of the unknown dynamics on each cell in a meshing of the spatial domain. Our model can incorporate prior knowledge via assumptions on the form of the unknown PDE, which induce a structural bias towards learning specific processes. Through this mechanism, we derive a transport variant of our model from the convection equation and show that it improves the predictive accuracy on sea surface temperature and gas flow forecasting against baseline models representing a selection of spatio-temporal forecasting methods. A qualitative analysis shows that our model disentangles the data dynamics into their constituent parts, which makes it uniquely interpretable.

Parametric computer-aided design (CAD) tools are the predominant way that engineers specify physical structures, from bicycle pedals to airplanes to printed circuit boards. The key characteristic of parametric CAD is that design intent is encoded not only via geometric primitives, but also by parameterized constraints between the elements. This relational specification can be viewed as the construction of a constraint program, allowing edits to coherently propagate to other parts of the design. Machine learning offers the intriguing possibility of accelerating the design process via generative modeling of these structures, enabling new tools such as autocompletion, constraint inference, and conditional synthesis. In this work, we present such an approach to generative modeling of parametric CAD sketches, which constitute the basic computational building blocks of modern mechanical design. Our model, trained on real-world designs from the SketchGraphs dataset, autoregressively synthesizes sketches as sequences of primitives, with initial coordinates, and constraints that reference back to the sampled primitives. As samples from the model match the constraint graph representation used in standard CAD software, they may be directly imported, solved, and edited according to downstream design tasks. In addition, we condition the model on various contexts, including partial sketches (primers) and images of hand-drawn sketches. Evaluation of the proposed approach demonstrates its ability to synthesize realistic CAD sketches and its potential to aid the mechanical design workflow.

Generative models are now capable of producing highly realistic images that look nearly indistinguishable from the data on which they are trained. This raises the question: if we have good enough generative models, do we still need datasets? We investigate this question in the setting of learning general-purpose visual representations from a black-box generative model rather than directly from data. Given an off-the-shelf image generator without any access to its training data, we train representations from the samples output by this generator. We compare several representation learning methods that can be applied to this setting, using the latent space of the generator to generate multiple "views" of the same semantic content. We show that for contrastive methods, this multiview data can naturally be used to identify positive pairs (nearby in latent space) and negative pairs (far apart in latent space). We find that the resulting representations rival those learned directly from real data, but that good performance requires care in the sampling strategy applied and the training method. Generative models can be viewed as a compressed and organized copy of a dataset, and we envision a future where more and more "model zoos" proliferate while datasets become increasingly unwieldy, missing, or private. This paper suggests several techniques for dealing with visual representation learning in such a future. Code is available on our project page: https://ali-design.github.io/GenRep/

Conventional neural architectures for sequential data present important limitations. Recurrent neural networks suffer from exploding and vanishing gradients, small effective memory horizons, and must be trained sequentially. Convolutional neural networks cannot handle sequences of unknown size and their memory horizon must be defined a priori. In this work, we show that these problems can be solved by formulating the convolutional kernels of CNNs as continuous functions. The resulting Continuous Kernel Convolution (CKConv) handles arbitrarily long sequences in a parallel manner, within a single operation, and without relying on any form of recurrence. We show that Continuous Kernel Convolutional Networks (CKCNNs) obtain state-of-the-art results in multiple datasets, e.g., permuted MNIST, and, thanks to their continuous nature, are able to handle non-uniformly sampled datasets and irregularly-sampled data natively. CKCNNs match or perform better than neural ODEs designed for these purposes in a faster and simpler manner.

Predicting the future trajectory of a moving agent can be easy when the past trajectory continues smoothly but is challenging when complex interactions with other agents are involved. Recent deep learning approaches for trajectory prediction show promising performance and partially attribute this to successful reasoning about agent-agent interactions. However, it remains unclear which features such black-box models actually learn to use for making predictions. This paper proposes a procedure that quantifies the contributions of different cues to model performance based on a variant of Shapley values. Applying this procedure to state-of-the-art trajectory prediction methods on standard benchmark datasets shows that they are, in fact, unable to reason about interactions. Instead, the past trajectory of the target is the only feature used for predicting its future. For a task with richer social interaction patterns, on the other hand, the tested models do pick up such interactions to a certain extent, as quantified by our feature attribution method. We discuss the limits of the proposed method and its links to causality.

$k$-means clustering is a well-studied problem due to its wide applicability. Unfortunately, there exist strong theoretical limits on the performance of any algorithm for the $k$-means problem on worst-case inputs. To overcome this barrier, we consider a scenario where ``advice'' is provided to help perform clustering. Specifically, we consider the $k$-means problem augmented with a predictor that, given any point, returns its cluster label in an approximately optimal clustering up to some, possibly adversarial, error. We present an algorithm whose performance improves along with the accuracy of the predictor, even though na\"{i}vely following the accurate predictor can still lead to a high clustering cost. Thus if the predictor is sufficiently accurate, we can retrieve a close to optimal clustering with nearly optimal runtime, breaking known computational barriers for algorithms that do not have access to such advice. We evaluate our algorithms on real datasets and show significant improvements in the quality of clustering.

The ability to identify whether or not a test sample belongs to one of the semantic classes in a classifier's training set is critical to
practical deployment of the model. This task is termed open-set recognition (OSR) and has received significant attention in recent years. In this paper, we first demonstrate that the ability of a classifier to make the 'none-of-above' decision is highly correlated with its accuracy on the closed-set classes. We find that this relationship holds across loss objectives and architectures, and further demonstrate the trend both on the standard OSR benchmarks as well as on a large-scale ImageNet evaluation. Second, we use this correlation to boost the performance of the cross-entropy OSR 'baseline' by improving its closed-set accuracy, and with this strong baseline achieve a new state-of-the-art on the most challenging OSR benchmark. Similarly, we boost the performance of the existing state-of-the-art method by improving its closed-set accuracy, but this does not surpass the strong baseline on the most challenging dataset. Our third contribution is to reappraise the datasets used for OSR evaluation, and construct new benchmarks which better respect the task of detecting semantic novelty, as opposed to low-level distributional shifts as tackled by neighbouring machine learning fields. In this new setting, we again demonstrate that there is negligible difference between the strong baseline and the existing state-of-the-art.

Evaluation metrics in machine learning are often hardly taken as loss functions, as they could be non-differentiable and non-decomposable, e.g., average precision and F1 score. This paper aims to address this problem by revisiting the surrogate loss learning, where a deep neural network is employed to approximate the evaluation metrics. Instead of pursuing an exact recovery of the evaluation metric through a deep neural network, we are reminded of the purpose of the existence of these evaluation metrics, which is to distinguish whether one model is better or worse than another. In this paper, we show that directly maintaining the relation of models between surrogate losses and metrics suffices, and propose a rank correlation-based optimization method to maximize this relation and learn surrogate losses. Compared to previous works, our method is much easier to optimize and enjoys significant efficiency and performance gains. Extensive experiments show that our method achieves improvements on various tasks including image classification and neural machine translation, and even outperforms state-of-the-art methods on human pose estimation and machine reading comprehension tasks.

We aim at advancing open-vocabulary object detection, which detects objects described by arbitrary text inputs.
The fundamental challenge is the availability of training data.
Existing object detection datasets only contain hundreds of categories, and it is costly to scale further.
To overcome this challenge, we propose ViLD, a training method via Vision and Language knowledge Distillation.
Our method distills the knowledge from a pretrained open-vocabulary image classification model (teacher) into a two-stage detector (student).
Specifically, we use the teacher model to encode category texts and image regions of object proposals.
Then we train a student detector, whose region embeddings of detected boxes are aligned with the text and image embeddings inferred by the teacher.
We benchmark on LVIS by holding out all rare categories as novel categories not seen during training.
ViLD obtains 16.1 mask AP$_r$, even outperforming the supervised counterpart by 3.8 with a ResNet-50 backbone.
The model can directly transfer to other datasets without finetuning, achieving 72.2 AP$_{50}$, 36.6 AP and 11.8 AP on PASCAL VOC, COCO and Objects365, respectively.
On COCO, ViLD outperforms previous SOTA by 4.8 on novel AP and 11.4 on overall AP.

Encoder-decoder architectures have recently gained popularity in sequence to sequence modelling, featuring in state-of-the-art models such as transformers. However, a mathematical understanding of their working principles remains limited. In this paper, we study the approximation properties of recurrent encoder-decoder architectures. Prior work established theoretical results for classical RNNs in the linear setting, where approximation capabilities can be related to smoothness and memory. Here, we find that the encoder and decoder together form a particular “temporal product structure” which determines the approximation efficiency. Moreover, the encoder-decoder architecture generalises RNNs with the capability to learn time-inhomogeneous relationships. Our results provide the theoretical understanding of approximation properties of the recurrent encoder-decoder architecture, which characterises, in the considered setting, the types of temporal relationships that can be efficiently learned.

We propose a new class of random feature methods for linearizing softmax and Gaussian kernels called hybrid random features (HRFs) that automatically adapt the quality of kernel estimation to provide most accurate approximation in the defined regions of interest. Special instantiations of HRFs lead to well-known methods such as trigonometric (Rahimi & Recht, 2007) or (recently introduced in the context of linear-attention Transformers) positive random features (Choromanski et al., 2021). By generalizing Bochner’s Theorem for softmax/Gaussian kernels and leveraging random features for compositional kernels, the HRF-mechanism provides strong theoretical guarantees - unbiased approximation and strictly smaller worst-case relative errors than its counterparts. We conduct exhaustive empirical evaluation of HRF ranging from pointwise kernel estimation experiments, through tests on data admitting clustering structure to benchmarking implicit-attention Transformers (also for downstream Robotics applications), demonstrating its quality in a wide spectrum of machine learning problems.

Denoising diffusion probabilistic models have recently received much research attention since they outperform alternative approaches, such as GANs, and currently provide state-of-the-art generative performance. The superior performance of diffusion models has made them an appealing tool for several applications, including inpainting, super-resolution, and semantic editing. In this paper, we demonstrate that diffusion models can also serve as an excellent tool for semantic segmentation, especially in the setup when labeled data is scarce. In particular, for several pretrained models, we investigate the intermediate activations from networks that perform the Markov step of the reverse diffusion process. We show that these activations effectively capture the semantic information from an input image and appear to be excellent per-pixel representations for the segmentation problem. Based on these observations, we describe a simple semantic segmentation method, which can work even if only a few labeled images are provided. Our approach significantly outperforms the existing alternatives on several datasets, especially when segmenting objects from rare classes. The source code of the project is available online.

Differentiable physics has recently been shown as a powerful tool for solving soft-body manipulation tasks. However, the differentiable physics solver often gets stuck when the initial contact points of the end effectors are sub-optimal or perform multi-stage tasks that are required to switch contact points, which often lead to many local minima. To address this challenge, we propose a contact point discovery approach (CPDeform) that guides the stand-alone differentiable physics solver to deform various soft-body Plasticine. The key idea of our approach is to integrate optimal transport-based contact points discovery into the differentiable physics solver to overcome the local minima from initial contact points or contact switching. On single-stage tasks, our method can automatically find the suitable initial contact points based on the transport priorities. On complex multi-stage tasks, we can iteratively switch the contact points of end-effectors based on transport priorities. To evaluate the effectiveness of our method, we introduce PlasticineLab-M that extends the existing differentiable physics benchmark PlasticineLab to eight new challenging multi-stage soft-body manipulation tasks. Extensive experimental results suggest that: 1) on multi-stage tasks that are infeasible for the vanilla differentiable physics solver, our approach discovers contact points that efficiently guide the solver to completion; 2) on tasks where the vanilla solver performs sub-optimally or near-optimally, our contact point discovery method performs better than or on par with the manipulation performance obtained with handcrafted contact points. Demos are available at our project page.

Many applications of machine learning require predicting flexible probability distributions over model outputs. We propose Autoregressive Quantile Flows, a flexible class of probabilistic models over high-dimensional variables that can be used to accurately capture predictive aleatoric uncertainties. These models are instances of autoregressive flows that generalize quantile functions to multiple dimensions. They parameterize conditional quantile or cumulative distribution functions and are trained using a novel objective based on the continuous ranked probability score. We demonstrate that these models can be used to parameterize predictive conditional distributions and improve the quality of probabilistic forecasts on tasks ranging from time series forecasting to object detection.

Mutual information (MI) is a fundamental quantity in information theory and machine learning. However, direct estimation of mutual information is intractable, even if the true joint probability density for the variables of interest is known, as it involves estimating a potentially high dimensional log partition function. In this work, we view mutual information estimation from the perspective of importance sampling. Since naive importance sampling with the marginal density as a proposal requires exponential sample complexity in the true mutual information, we propose novel Multi-Sample Annealed Importance Sampling (AIS) bounds on mutual information. In settings where the full joint distribution is available, we provide lower and upper bounds that can tightly estimate large values of MI in our experiments. In settings where only a single marginal distribution is known, we improve upon existing variational methods by directly optimizing a tighter lower bound on MI, using energy-based training to estimate gradients and multi-sample AIS for evaluation. Our methods are particularly suitable for evaluating MI in deep generative models, since explicit forms for the marginal or joint densities are often available. We evaluate our bounds on estimating the MI of VAEs and GANs trained on the MNIST and CIFAR datasets, and showcase significant gains over existing bounds in these challenging settings with high ground truth MI.

Although model-based reinforcement learning (RL) approaches are considered more sample efficient, existing algorithms are usually relying on sophisticated planning algorithm to couple tightly with the model-learning procedure. Hence the learned models may lack the ability of being re-used with more specialized planners. In this paper we address this issue and provide approaches to learn an RL model efficiently without the guidance of a reward signal. In particular, we take a plug-in solver approach, where we focus on learning a model in the exploration phase and demand that \emph{any planning algorithm} on the learned model can give a near-optimal policy. Specicially, we focus on the linear mixture MDP setting, where the probability transition matrix is a (unknown) convex combination of a set of existing models. We show that, by establishing a novel exploration algorithm, the plug-in approach learns a model by taking $\tilde{O}(d^2H^3/\epsilon^2)$ interactions with the environment and \emph{any} $\epsilon$-optimal planner on the model gives an $O(\epsilon)$-optimal policy on the original model. This sample complexity matches lower bounds for non-plug-in approaches and is \emph{statistically optimal}. We achieve this result by leveraging a careful maximum total-variance bound using Bernstein inequality and properties specified to linear mixture MDP.

Conditional waveform synthesis models learn a distribution of audio waveforms given conditioning such as text, mel-spectrograms, or MIDI. These systems employ deep generative models that model the waveform via either sequential (autoregressive) or parallel (non-autoregressive) sampling. Generative adversarial networks (GANs) have become a common choice for non-autoregressive waveform synthesis. However, state-of-the-art GAN-based models produce artifacts when performing mel-spectrogram inversion. In this paper, we demonstrate that these artifacts correspond with an inability for the generator to learn accurate pitch and periodicity. We show that simple pitch and periodicity conditioning is insufficient for reducing this error relative to using autoregression. We discuss the inductive bias that autoregression provides for learning the relationship between instantaneous frequency and phase, and show that this inductive bias holds even when autoregressively sampling large chunks of the waveform during each forward pass. Relative to prior state-of- the-art GAN-based models, our proposed model, Chunked Autoregressive GAN (CARGAN) reduces pitch error by 40-60%, reduces training time by 58%, maintains a fast inference speed suitable for real-time or interactive applications, and maintains or improves subjective quality.

Many reinforcement learning (RL) agents require a large amount of experience to solve tasks. We propose Contrastive BERT for RL (COBERL), an agent that combines a new contrastive loss and a hybrid LSTM-transformer architecture to tackle the challenge of improving data efficiency. COBERL enables efficient and robust learning from pixels across a wide variety of domains. We use bidirectional masked prediction in combination with a generalization of a recent contrastive method to learn better representations for RL, without the need of hand engineered data augmentations. We find that COBERL consistently improves data efficiency across the full Atari suite, a set of control tasks and a challenging 3D environment, and often it also increases final score performance.

We show that the simplest actor-critic method — a linear softmax policy updated with TD through interaction with a linear MDP, but featuring no explicit regularization or exploration — does not merely find an optimal policy, but moreover prefers high entropy optimal policies. To demonstrate the strength of this bias, the algorithm not only has no regularization, no projections, and no exploration like $\epsilon$-greedy, but is moreover trained on a single trajectory with no resets. The key consequence of the high entropy bias is that uniform mixing assumptions on the MDP, which exist in some form in all prior work, can be dropped: the implicit regularization of the high entropy bias is enough to ensure that all chains mix and an optimal policy is reached with high probability. As an auxiliary contribution, this work decouples concerns between the actor and critic by writing the actor update as an explicit mirror descent, and provides tools to analyze the critic's estimation in similar high entropy settings.

An intuitive way to search for images is to use queries composed of an example image and a complementary text. While the first provides rich and implicit context for the search, the latter explicitly calls for new traits, or specifies how some elements of the example image should be changed to retrieve the desired target image. Current approaches typically combine the features of each of the two elements of the query into a single representation, which can then be compared to the ones of the potential target images. Our work aims at shedding new light on the task by looking at it through the prism of two familiar and related frameworks: text-to-image and image-to-image retrieval. Taking inspiration from them, we exploit the specific relation of each query element with the targeted image and derive light-weight attention mechanisms which enable to mediate between the two complementary modalities. We validate our approach on several retrieval benchmarks, querying with images and their associated free-form text modifiers. Our method obtains state-of-the-art results without resorting to side information, multi-level features, heavy pre-training nor large architectures as in previous works.

One of the most important properties of neural networks is the clustering of local minima of the loss function near the global minimum, enabling efficient training. Though generative models implemented on quantum computers are known to be more expressive than their traditional counterparts, it has empirically been observed that these models experience a transition in the quality of their local minima. Namely, below some critical number of parameters, all local minima are far from the global minimum in function value; above this critical parameter count, all local minima are good approximators of the global minimum. Furthermore, for a certain class of quantum generative models, this transition has empirically been observed to occur at parameter counts exponentially large in the problem size, meaning practical training of these models is out of reach. Here, we give the first proof of this transition in trainability, specializing to this latter class of quantum generative model. We use techniques inspired by those used to study the loss landscapes of classical neural networks. We also verify that our analytic results hold experimentally even at modest model sizes.

How does the geometric representation of a dataset change after the application of each randomly initialized layer of a neural network? The celebrated Johnson-Lindenstrauss lemma answers this question for linear fully-connected neural networks (FNNs), stating that the geometry is essentially preserved. For FNNs with the ReLU activation, the angle between two input contracts according to a known mapping. The question for non-linear convolutional neural networks (CNNs) becomes much more intricate. To answer this question, we introduce a geometric framework. For linear CNNs, we show that the Johnson--Lindenstrauss lemma continues to hold, namely, that the angle between two inputs is preserved. For CNNs with ReLU activation, on the other hand, the behavior is richer: The angle between the outputs contracts, where the level of contraction depends on the nature of the inputs. In particular, after one layer, the geometry of natural images is essentially preserved, whereas for Gaussian correlated inputs, CNNs exhibit the same contracting behavior as FNNs with ReLU activation.

3D point clouds are an important data format that captures 3D information for real world objects. Since 3D point clouds scanned in the real world are often incomplete, it is important to recover the complete point cloud for many downstreaming applications. Most existing point cloud completion methods use the Chamfer Distance (CD) loss for training. The CD loss estimates correspondences between two point clouds by searching nearest neighbors, which does not capture the overall point distribution on the generated shape, and therefore likely leads to non-uniform point cloud generation. To tackle this problem, we propose a novel Point Diffusion-Refinement (PDR) paradigm for point cloud completion. PDR consists of a Conditional Generation Network (CGNet) and a ReFinement Network (RFNet). The CGNet uses a conditional generative model called the denoising diffusion probabilistic model (DDPM) to generate a coarse completion conditioned on the partial observation. DDPM establishes a one-to-one pointwise mapping between the generated point cloud and the uniform ground truth, and then optimizes the mean squared error loss to realize uniform generation. The RFNet refines the coarse output of the CGNet and further improves quality of the completed point cloud. In terms of the architecture, we develop a novel dual-path architecture for both networks. The architecture can (1) effectively and efficiently extract multi-level features from partially observed point clouds to guide completion, and (2) accurately manipulate spatial locations of 3D points to obtain smooth surfaces and sharp details. Extensive experimental results on various benchmark datasets show that our PDR paradigm outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods for point cloud completion. In addition, with the help of the RFNet, we can accelerate the iterative generation process of the DDPM by up to 50 times without much performance drop.

The topological patterns exhibited by many real-world networks motivate development of topology-based methods for assessing the similarity of networks. However, extracting topological structure is difficult, especially for large and dense networks whose node degrees range over multiple orders of magnitude. In this paper, we propose a novel and computationally practical topological clustering method that clusters complex networks with intricate topology using principled theory from persistent homology and optimal transport. Such networks are aggregated into clusters through a centroid-based clustering strategy based on both their topological and geometric structure, preserving correspondence between nodes in different networks. The notions of topological proximity and centroid are characterized using a novel and efficient approach to computation of the Wasserstein distance and barycenter for persistence barcodes. The proposed method is demonstrated to be effective using both simulated networks and measured functional brain networks.

Unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) aims to transfer knowledge learned from a labeled source domain to a different unlabeled target domain. Most existing UDA methods focus on learning domain-invariant feature representation, either from the domain level or category level, using convolution neural networks (CNNs)-based frameworks. One fundamental problem for the category level based UDA is the production of pseudo labels for samples in target domain, which are usually too noisy for accurate domain alignment, inevitably compromising the UDA performance. With the success of Transformer in various tasks, we find that the cross-attention in Transformer is robust to the noisy input pairs for better feature alignment, thus in this paper Transformer is adopted for the challenging UDA task. Specifically, to generate accurate input pairs, we design a two-way center-aware labeling algorithm to produce pseudo labels for target samples. Along with the pseudo labels, a weight-sharing triple-branch transformer framework is proposed to apply self-attention and cross-attention for source/target feature learning and source-target domain alignment, respectively. Such design explicitly enforces the framework to learn discriminative domain-specific and domain-invariant representations simultaneously. The proposed method is dubbed CDTrans (cross-domain transformer), and it provides one of the first attempts to solve UDA tasks with a pure transformer solution. Extensive experiments show that our proposed method achieves the best performance on Office-Home, VisDA-2017, and DomainNet datasets.

We propose a family of adaptive integer compression operators for distributed Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) that do not communicate a single float. This is achieved by multiplying floating-point vectors with a number known to every device and then rounding to integers. In contrast to the prior work on integer compression for SwitchML by (Sapio et al., 2021), our IntSGD method is provably convergent and computationally cheaper as it estimates the scaling of vectors adaptively. Our theory shows that the iteration complexity of IntSGD matches that of SGD up to constant factors for both convex and non-convex, smooth and non-smooth functions, with and without overparameterization. Moreover, our algorithm can also be tailored for the popular all-reduce primitive and shows promising empirical performance.

Automated seizure detection and classification from electroencephalography (EEG) can greatly improve seizure diagnosis and treatment. However, several modeling challenges remain unaddressed in prior automated seizure detection and classification studies: (1) representing non-Euclidean data structure in EEGs, (2) accurately classifying rare seizure types, and (3) lacking a quantitative interpretability approach to measure model ability to localize seizures. In this study, we address these challenges by (1) representing the spatiotemporal dependencies in EEGs using a graph neural network (GNN) and proposing two EEG graph structures that capture the electrode geometry or dynamic brain connectivity, (2) proposing a self-supervised pre-training method that predicts preprocessed signals for the next time period to further improve model performance, particularly on rare seizure types, and (3) proposing a quantitative model interpretability approach to assess a model’s ability to localize seizures within EEGs. When evaluating our approach on seizure detection and classification on a large public dataset (5,499 EEGs), we find that our GNN with self-supervised pre-training achieves 0.875 Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve on seizure detection and 0.749 weighted F1-score on seizure classification, outperforming previous methods for both seizure detection and classification. Moreover, our self-supervised pre-training strategy significantly improves classification of rare seizure types (e.g. 47 points increase in combined tonic seizure accuracy over baselines). Furthermore, quantitative interpretability analysis shows that our GNN with self-supervised pre-training precisely localizes 25.4% focal seizures, a 21.9 point improvement over existing CNNs. Finally, by superimposing the identified seizure locations on both raw EEG signals and EEG graphs, our approach could provide clinicians with an intuitive visualization of localized seizure regions.

Predicting molecular conformations from molecular graphs is a fundamental problem in cheminformatics and drug discovery. Recently, significant progress has been achieved with machine learning approaches, especially with deep generative models. Inspired by the diffusion process in classical non-equilibrium thermodynamics where heated particles will diffuse from original states to a noise distribution, in this paper, we propose a novel generative model named GeoDiff for molecular conformation prediction. GeoDiff treats each atom as a particle and learns to directly reverse the diffusion process (i.e., transforming from a noise distribution to stable conformations) as a Markov chain. Modeling such a generation process is however very challenging as the likelihood of conformations should be roto-translational invariant. We theoretically show that Markov chains evolving with equivariant Markov kernels can induce an invariant distribution by design, and further propose building blocks for the Markov kernels to preserve the desirable equivariance property. The whole framework can be efficiently trained in an end-to-end fashion by optimizing a weighted variational lower bound to the (conditional) likelihood. Experiments on multiple benchmarks show that GeoDiff is superior or comparable to existing state-of-the-art approaches, especially on large molecules.

End-to-end (geometric) deep learning has seen first successes in approximating the solution of combinatorial optimization problems. However, generating data in the realm of NP-hard/-complete tasks brings practical and theoretical challenges, resulting in evaluation protocols that are too optimistic. Specifically, most datasets only capture a simpler subproblem and likely suffer from spurious features. We investigate these effects by studying adversarial robustness--a local generalization property--to reveal hard, model-specific instances and spurious features. For this purpose, we derive perturbation models for SAT and TSP. Unlike in other applications, where perturbation models are designed around subjective notions of imperceptibility, our perturbation models are efficient and sound, allowing us to determine the true label of perturbed samples without a solver. Surprisingly, with such perturbations, a sufficiently expressive neural solver does not suffer from the limitations of the accuracy-robustness trade-off common in supervised learning. Although such robust solvers exist, we show empirically that the assessed neural solvers do not generalize well w.r.t. small perturbations of the problem instance.

Our work focuses on the development of a learnable neural representation of human pose
for advanced AI assisted animation tooling. Specifically, we tackle the problem of constructing a full static human pose based on sparse and variable user inputs (e.g. locations and/or orientations of a subset of body joints). To solve this problem, we propose a novel neural architecture that combines residual connections with prototype encoding of a partially specified pose to create a new complete pose from the learned latent space. We show that our architecture outperforms a baseline based on Transformer, both in terms of accuracy and computational efficiency. Additionally, we develop a user interface to integrate our neural model in Unity, a real-time 3D development platform. Furthermore, we introduce two new datasets representing the static human pose modeling problem, based on high-quality human motion capture data, which will be released publicly along with model code.

In distribution compression, one aims to accurately summarize a probability distribution $P$ using a small number of representative points. Near-optimal thinning procedures achieve this goal by sampling $n$ points from a Markov chain and identifying $\sqrt{n}$ points with $\tilde{{O}}(1/\sqrt{n})$ distributional discrepancy to ${P}$. Unfortunately, these same algorithms suffer from quadratic or super-quadratic runtime in the sample size $n$. To address this deficiency, we introduce a simple meta-procedure---Compress++---for speeding up any input thinning algorithm while suffering at most a factor of four in error. When combined with the quadratic-time kernel halving and kernel thinning algorithms of Dwivedi and Mackey (2021), Compress++ delivers $\sqrt{n}$ points with ${O}(\sqrt{\log n/n})$ integration error and better-than-Monte-Carlo maximum mean discrepancy in ${O}(n \log^2 n)$ time and $O( \sqrt{n} \log^2 (n) )$ space. Moreover, Compress++ enjoys the same near-linear runtime given any quadratic-time input and reduces the runtime of super-quadratic algorithms by a square-root factor. In our benchmarks with high-dimensional Monte Carlo samples and long-running Markov chains targeting challenging differential equation posteriors, Compress++ matches or nearly matches the accuracy of its input algorithm in orders of magnitude less time.

Growing interests in RGB-D salient object detection (RGB-D SOD) have been witnessed in recent years, owing partly to the popularity of depth sensors and the rapid progress of deep learning techniques. However, existing RGB-D SOD methods typically demand large quantity of training images being thoroughly annotated at pixel-level. The laborious and time-consuming manual annotation becomes a real bottleneck in various practical scenarios. On the other hand, current unsupervised RGB-D SOD methods still heavily rely on handcrafted feature representations. In this paper, we make the earliest effort to propose a deep unsupervised RGB-D saliency detection approach that does not need any manual pixel-level annotations in the training stage. It is made possible by two key ingredients in our training pipeline. First, a depth-disentangled saliency update (DSU) framework is designed to automatically produce pseudo-labels with iterative follow-up refinements, which provides more trustworthy supervision signals for training the saliency network. Second, an attentive training strategy is introduced to tackle the issue of noisy pseudo-labels, by properly re-weighting to highlight the more reliable pseudo-labels. Extensive experiments demonstrate the superior efficiency and effectiveness of our approach in addressing unsupervised RGB-D SOD. Moreover, our approach can be easily adapted to tackle the fully-supervised scenario, where empirical studies show that by incorporating our method, the performance of existing RGB-D SOD models can be significantly improved.

We consider learning causal relationships under conditional moment restrictions. Unlike causal inference under unconditional moment restrictions, conditional moment restrictions pose serious challenges for causal inference. To address this issue, we propose a method that transforms conditional moment restrictions to unconditional moment restrictions through importance weighting using a conditional density ratio estimator. Then, using this transformation, we propose a method that successfully estimate a parametric or nonparametric functions defined under the conditional moment restrictions. We analyze the estimation error and provide a bound on the structural function, providing theoretical support for our proposed method. In experiments, we confirm the soundness of our proposed method.

Intrinsic interpretability of graph neural networks (GNNs) is to find a small subset of the input graph's features --- rationale --- which guides the model prediction. Unfortunately, the leading rationalization models often rely on data biases, especially shortcut features, to compose rationales and make predictions without probing the critical and causal patterns. Moreover, such data biases easily change outside the training distribution. As a result, these models suffer from a huge drop in interpretability and predictive performance on out-of-distribution data. In this work, we propose a new strategy of discovering invariant rationale (DIR) to construct intrinsically interpretable GNNs. It conducts interventions on the training distribution to create multiple interventional distributions. Then it approaches the causal rationales that are invariant across different distributions while filtering out the spurious patterns that are unstable. Experiments on both synthetic and real-world datasets validate the superiority of our DIR in terms of interpretability and generalization ability on graph classification over the leading baselines. Code and datasets are available at https://anonymous.4open.science/r/DIR/.

Audio-visual navigation task requires an agent to find a sound source in a realistic, unmapped 3D environment by utilizing egocentric audio-visual observations. Existing audio-visual navigation works assume a clean environment that contains solely the target sound, which, however, would not be suitable in most real-world applications due to the unexpected noise of sound or intentional interference. In this work, we design an acoustically complex environment in which, besides the target sound, there exists a sound attacker playing a zero-sum game with the agent. More specifically, the attacker can move and change the volume and category of the sound to make the agent suffer from finding the sounding object while the agent tries to dodge the attack and navigate to the goal under the intervention. Under certain constraints to the attacker, we can improve the robustness of the agent towards unexpected sound attacks in audio-visual navigation. For better convergence, we develop a joint training mechanism by employing the property of a centralized critic with decentralized actors. Experiments on two real-world 3D scan datasets, Replica, and Matterport3D verify the effectiveness and the robustness of the agent trained under our designed environment when transferred to the clean environment or the one containing sound attackers with random policy.

This paper proposes an algorithm, RMDA, for training neural networks (NNs) with a regularization term for promoting desired structures. RMDA does not incur computation additional to proximal SGD with momentum, and achieves variance reduction without requiring the objective function to be of the finite-sum form. Through the tool of manifold identification from nonlinear optimization, we prove that after a finite number of iterations, all iterates of RMDA possess a desired structure identical to that induced by the regularizer at the stationary point of asymptotic convergence, even in the presence of engineering tricks like data augmentation that complicate the training process. Experiments on training NNs with structured sparsity confirm that variance reduction is necessary for such an identification, and show that RMDA thus significantly outperforms existing methods for this task. For unstructured sparsity, RMDA also outperforms a state-of-the-art pruning method, validating the benefits of training structured NNs through regularization.
Implementation of RMDA is available at https://www.github.com/zihsyuan1214/rmda.

We propose to identify directions invariant to a given classifier so that these directions can be controlled in tasks such as style transfer. While orthogonal decomposition is directly identifiable when the given classifier is linear, we formally define a notion of orthogonality in the non-linear case. We also provide a surprisingly simple method for constructing the orthogonal classifier (a classifier utilizing directions other than those of the given classifier). Empirically, we present three use cases where controlling orthogonal variation is important: style transfer, domain adaptation, and fairness. The orthogonal classifier enables desired style transfer when domains vary in multiple aspects, improves domain adaptation with label shifts and mitigates the unfairness as a predictor. The code is available at https://github.com/Newbeeer/orthogonal_classifier

Stateful optimizers maintain gradient statistics over time, e.g., the exponentially smoothed sum (SGD with momentum) or squared sum (Adam) of past gradient values. This state can be used to accelerate optimization significantly, compared to plain stochastic gradient descent, but uses memory that might otherwise be allocated to model parameters, thereby limiting the maximum size of models trained in practice. In this paper, we develop the first optimizers that use 8-bit statistics while maintaining the performance levels of using 32-bit optimizer states. To overcome the resulting computational, quantization, and stability challenges, we develop block-wise dynamic quantization. Block-wise quantization divides input tensors into smaller blocks that are independently quantized. Each block is processed in parallel across cores, yielding faster optimization and high precision quantization. To maintain stability and performance, we combine block-wise quantization with two additional changes: (1) dynamic quantization, a form of non-linear optimization that is precise for both large and small magnitude values, and (2) a stable embedding layer to reduce gradient variance that comes from the highly non-uniform distribution of input tokens in language models. As a result, our 8-bit optimizers maintain 32-bit performance with a small fraction of the memory footprint on a range of tasks, including 1.5B parameter language modeling, GLUE finetuning, ImageNet classification, WMT'14 machine translation, MoCo v2 contrastive ImageNet pretraining+finetuning, and RoBERTa pretraining, without changes to the original optimizer hyperparameters. We open-source our 8-bit optimizers as a drop-in replacement that only requires a two-line code change.

Learning fine-grained embeddings is essential for extending the generalizability of models pretrained on "coarsely" annotated labels (e.g., animals). It is crucial to fields where fine-grained labeling (e.g., breeds) requires strong domain expertise thus is prohibitive, such as medicine, but predicting them is desirable. The dilemma necessitates the adaptation of a "coarsely" pretrained model to new tasks with a few unseen "finer-grained" training labels. However, pretraining with only coarse supervision tends to suppress intra-class variation, which is indispensable for cross-granularity adaptation. In this paper, we develop a training framework underlain by a novel superclass conditional Gaussian mixture model (SCGM). SCGM imitates the generative process of samples from hierarchies of classes by means of latent variable modeling of the superclass-subclass relationships. The framework is agnostic to the encoders and only adds a few distribution related parameters, thus is efficient, and flexible to different domains. The model parameters are learned end-to-end by maximum-likelihood estimation via an Expectation-Maximization algorithm in a principled manner. Extensive experimental results on benchmark datasets and a real-life medical dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.

Recently, deep AUC maximization (DAM) has achieved great success in different domains (e.g., medical image classification). However, the end-to-end training for deep AUC maximization still remains a challenging problem. Previous studies employ an ad-hoc two-stage approach that first trains the network by optimizing a traditional loss (e.g., cross-entropy loss) and then finetunes the network by optimizing an AUC loss. This is because that training a deep neural network from scratch by maximizing an AUC loss usually does not yield a satisfactory performance. This phenomenon can be attributed to the degraded feature representations learned by maximizing the AUC loss from scratch. To address this issue, we propose a novel compositional training framework for end-to-end DAM, namely compositional DAM. The key idea of compositional training is to minimize a compositional objective function, where the outer function corresponds to an AUC loss and the inner function represents a gradient descent step for minimizing a traditional loss, e.g., the cross-entropy (CE) loss. To optimize the non-standard compositional objective, we propose an efficient and provable stochastic optimization algorithm. The proposed algorithm enhances the capabilities of both robust feature learning and robust classifier learning by alternatively taking a gradient descent step for the CE loss and for the AUC loss in a systematic way. We conduct extensive empirical studies on imbalanced benchmark and medical image datasets, which unanimously verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. Our results show that the compositional training approach dramatically improves both the feature representations and the testing AUC score compared with traditional deep learning approaches, and yields better performance than the two-stage approaches for DAM as well.

Network-valued data are encountered in a wide range of applications, and pose challenges in learning due to their complex structure and absence of vertex correspondence. Typical examples of such problems include classification or grouping of protein structures and social networks. Various methods, ranging from graph kernels to graph neural networks, have been proposed that achieve some success in graph classification problems. However, most methods have limited theoretical justification, and their applicability beyond classification remains unexplored. In this work, we propose methods for clustering multiple graphs, without vertex correspondence, that are inspired by the recent literature on estimating graphons---symmetric functions corresponding to infinite vertex limit of graphs. We propose a novel graph distance based on sorting-and-smoothing graphon estimators. Using the proposed graph distance, we present two clustering algorithms and show that they achieve state-of-the-art results. We prove the statistical consistency of both algorithms under Lipschitz assumptions on the graph degrees. We further study the applicability of the proposed distance for graph two-sample testing problems.

A key reason for the lack of reliability of deep neural networks in the real world is their heavy reliance on {\it spurious} input features that are causally unrelated to the true label. Focusing on image classifications, we define causal attributes as the set of visual features that are always a part of the object while spurious attributes are the ones that are likely to {\it co-occur} with the object but not a part of it (e.g., attribute ``fingers" for class ``band aid"). Traditional methods for discovering spurious features either require extensive human annotations (thus, not scalable), or are useful on specific models. In this work, we introduce a {\it scalable} framework to discover a subset of spurious and causal visual attributes used in inferences of a general model and localize them on a large number of images with minimal human supervision. Our methodology is based on this key idea: to identify spurious or causal \textit{visual attributes} used in model predictions, we identify spurious or causal \textit{neural features} (penultimate layer neurons of a robust model) via limited human supervision (e.g., using top 5 activating images per feature). We then show that these neural feature annotations {\it generalize} extremely well to many more images {\it without} any human supervision. We use the activation maps for these neural features as the soft masks to highlight spurious or causal visual attributes. Using this methodology, we introduce the {\it Causal Imagenet} dataset containing causal and spurious masks for a large set of samples from Imagenet. We assess the performance of several popular Imagenet models and show that they rely heavily on various spurious features in their predictions. We hope this study paves the way to develop improved deep models that rely mainly on causal features in their inferences.

Randomized Smoothing (RS) is a promising method for obtaining robustness certiﬁcates by evaluating a base model under noise. In this work, we: (i) theoretically motivate why ensembles are a particularly suitable choice as base models for RS, and (ii) empirically conﬁrm this choice, obtaining state-of-the-art results in multiple settings. The key insight of our work is that the reduced variance of ensembles over the perturbations introduced in RS leads to signiﬁcantly more consistent classiﬁcations for a given input. This, in turn, leads to substantially increased certiﬁable radii for samples close to the decision boundary. Additionally, we introduce key optimizations which enable an up to 55-fold decrease in sample complexity of RS, thus drastically reducing its computational overhead. Experimentally, we show that ensembles of only 3 to 10 classiﬁers consistently improve on their strongest constituting model with respect to their average certiﬁed radius (ACR) by 5% to 21% on both CIFAR10 and ImageNet, achieving a new state-of-the-art ACR of 0.86 and 1.11, respectively. We release all code and models required to reproduce our results at ANONYMIZED.

We study the problem of learning a good set of policies, so that when combined together, they can solve a wide variety of unseen reinforcement learning tasks with no or very little new data. Specifically, we consider the framework of generalized policy evaluation and improvement, in which the rewards for all tasks of interest are assumed to be expressible as a linear combination of a fixed set of features. We show theoretically that, under certain assumptions, having access to a specific set of diverse policies, which we call a set of independent policies, can allow for instantaneously achieving high-level performance on all possible downstream tasks, although these tasks are typically more complex than the ones on which the agent was trained. Based on this theoretical analysis, we propose a simple algorithm that iteratively constructs this set of policies. In addition to empirically validating our theoretical results, we compare our approach with recently proposed diverse policy set construction methods and show that, while others fail, our approach is able to build a behavior basis that enables instantaneous transfer to all possible downstream tasks. We also show empirically that having access to a set of independent policies can better bootstrap the learning process on downstream tasks where the new reward function cannot be described as a linear combination of the features. Finally, we demonstrate that this policy set can be useful in a realistic lifelong reinforcement learning setting.

226. Transition to Linearity of Wide Neural Networks is an Emerging Property of Assembling Weak Models

Wide neural networks with linear output layer have been shown to be near-linear, and to have near-constant neural tangent kernel (NTK), in a region containing the optimization path of gradient descent. These findings seem counter-intuitive since in general neural networks are highly complex models. Why does a linear structure emerge when the neural networks become wide?
In this work, we provide a new perspective on this "transition to linearity" by considering a neural network as an assembly model recursively built from a set of sub-models corresponding to individual neurons. In this view, we show that the linearity of wide neural networks is, in fact, an emerging property of assembling a large number of diverse ``weak'' sub-models, none of which dominate the assembly.

Despite the empirical success of the deep Q network (DQN) reinforcement learning algorithm and its variants, DQN is still not well understood and it does not guarantee convergence. In this work, we show that DQN can indeed diverge and cease to operate in realistic settings. Although there exist gradient-based convergent methods, we show that they actually have inherent problems in learning dynamics which cause them to fail even for simple tasks. To overcome these problems, we propose a convergent DQN algorithm (C-DQN) that is guaranteed to converge and can work with large discount factors (0.9998). It learns robustly in difficult settings and can learn several difficult games in the Atari 2600 benchmark that DQN fails to solve.

This paper investigates two techniques for developing efficient self-supervised vision transformers (EsViT) for visual representation learning. First, we show through a comprehensive empirical study that multi-stage architectures with sparse self-attentions can significantly reduce modeling complexity but with a cost of losing the ability to capture fine-grained correspondences between image regions. Second, we propose a new pre-training task, non-contrastive region-matching, which allows the model to capture fine-grained region dependencies and as a result significantly improves the quality of the learned vision representations. Our results show that combining the two techniques, EsViT achieves 81.3% top-1 on the ImageNet linear probe evaluation, outperforming prior arts with around an order magnitude of higher throughput. When transferring to downstream linear classification tasks, EsViT outperforms its supervised counterpart on 17 out of 18 datasets. The code and models will be publicly available.

Machine learning models that achieve high overall accuracy often make systematic errors on important subgroups (or slices) of data. When working with high-dimensional inputs (e.g. images, audio) where important slices are often unlabeled, identifying underperforming slices is a challenging task. In order to address this issue, recent studies have proposed automated slice discovery methods (SDMs), which leverage learned model representations to mine input data for slices on which a model performs poorly. To be useful to a practitioner, these methods must identify slices that are both underperforming and coherent (i.e. united by a human-understandable concept). However, no quantitative evaluation framework currently exists for rigorously assessing SDMs with respect to these criteria. Additionally, prior qualitative evaluations have shown that SDMs often identify slices that are incoherent. In this work, we address these challenges by first designing a principled evaluation framework that enables a quantitative comparison of SDMs across 1,235 slice discovery settings in three input domains (natural images, medical images, and time-series data). Then, motivated by the recent development of powerful cross-modal representation learning approaches, we present Domino, an SDM that leverages cross-modal embeddings and a novel error-aware mixture model to discover and describe coherent slices. We find that Domino accurately identifies 36% of the 1,235 slices in our evaluation framework -- a 12 percentage-point improvement over prior methods. Further, Domino is the first SDM that can generate natural language descriptions of identified slices, correctly outputting the exact name of the slice in 35% of settings.

How to extract as much learning signal from each trajectory data has been a key problem in reinforcement learning (RL), where sample inefficiency has posed serious challenges for practical applications. Recent works have shown that using expressive policy function approximators and conditioning on future trajectory information -- such as future states in hindsight experience replay (HER) or returns-to-go in Decision Transformer (DT) -- enables efficient learning of context-conditioned policies, where at times online RL can be fully replaced by offline behavioral cloning (BC), e.g. sequence modeling. Inspired by distributional and state-marginal matching literatures in RL, we demonstrate that all these approaches are essentially doing hindsight information matching (HIM) -- training policies that can output the rest of trajectory that matches a given future state information statistics. We first present Distributional Decision Transformer (DDT) and its two practical instantiations, Categorical and Gaussian DTs, and show that these simple modifications to DT can enable effective offline state-marginal matching that generalizes well to unseen, even synthetic multi-modal, reward or state-feature distributions. We perform experiments on Gym's MuJoCo continuous control benchmarks and empirically validate performances. Additionally, we present and test another simple modification to DT called Unsupervised DT (UDT), show its connection to distribution matching, inverse RL and representation learning, and empirically demonstrate their effectiveness for offline imitation learning. To the best of our knowledge, DDT and UDT together constitute the first successes for offline state-marginal matching and inverse-RL imitation learning, allowing us to propose first benchmarks for these two important subfields and greatly expand the role of powerful sequence modeling architectures in modern RL.

We propose a novel 3d shape representation for 3d shape reconstruction from a single image. Rather than predicting a shape directly, we train a network to generate a training set which will be fed into another learning algorithm to define the shape. The nested optimization problem can be modeled by bi-level optimization. Specifically, the algorithms for bi-level optimization are also being used in meta learning approaches for few-shot learning. Our framework establishes a link between 3D shape analysis and few-shot learning. We combine training data generating networks with bi-level optimization algorithms to obtain a complete framework for which all components can be jointly trained. We improve upon recent work on standard benchmarks for 3d shape reconstruction.

In this paper, we design a novel Bregman gradient policy optimization framework for reinforcement learning based on Bregman divergences and momentum techniques. Specifically, we propose a Bregman gradient policy optimization (BGPO) algorithm based on the basic momentum technique and mirror descent iteration. At the same time, we present an accelerated Bregman gradient policy optimization (VR-BGPO) algorithm based on a momentum variance-reduced technique. Moreover, we introduce a convergence analysis framework for our Bregman gradient policy optimization under the nonconvex setting. Specifically, we prove that BGPO achieves the sample complexity of $\tilde{O}(\epsilon^{-4})$ for finding $\epsilon$-stationary point only requiring one trajectory at each iteration, and VR-BGPO reaches the best known sample complexity of $\tilde{O}(\epsilon^{-3})$ for finding an $\epsilon$-stationary point, which also only requires one trajectory at each iteration. In particular, by using different Bregman divergences, our methods unify many existing policy optimization algorithms and their new variants such as the existing (variance-reduced) policy gradient algorithms and (variance-reduced) natural policy gradient algorithms. Extensive experimental results on multiple reinforcement learning tasks demonstrate the efficiency of our new algorithms.

Advanced representation learning techniques require reliable and general evaluation methods. Recently, several algorithms based on the common idea of geometric and topological analysis of a manifold approximated from the learned data representations have been proposed. In this work, we introduce Delaunay Component Analysis (DCA) -- an evaluation algorithm which approximates the data manifold using a more suitable neighbourhood graph called Delaunay graph. This provides a reliable manifold estimation even for challenging geometric arrangements of representations such as clusters with varying shape and density as well as outliers, which is where existing methods often fail. Furthermore, we exploit the nature of Delaunay graphs and introduce a framework for assessing the quality of individual novel data representations. We experimentally validate the proposed DCA method on representations obtained from neural networks trained with contrastive objective, supervised and generative models, and demonstrate various use cases of our extended single point evaluation framework.

For real-time forecasting in domains like public health and macroeconomics, data collection is a non-trivial and demanding task. Often after being initially released, it undergoes several revisions later (maybe due to human or technical constraints) - as a result, it may take weeks until the data reaches a stable value. This so-called ‘backfill’ phenomenon and its effect on model performance have been barely addressed in the prior literature. In this paper, we introduce the multi-variate backfill problem using COVID-19 as the motivating example.
We construct a detailed dataset composed of relevant signals over the past year of the pandemic.
We then systematically characterize several patterns in backfill dynamics and leverage our observations for formulating a novel problem and neural framework, Back2Future, that aims to refines a given model's predictions in real-time. Our extensive experiments demonstrate that our method refines the performance of the diverse set of top models for COVID-19 forecasting and GDP growth forecasting. Specifically, we show that Back2Future refined top COVID-19 models by 6.65% to 11.24% and yield an 18% improvement over non-trivial baselines. In addition, we show that our model improves model evaluation too; hence policy-makers can better understand the true accuracy of forecasting models in real-time.

The success of multi-head self-attentions (MSAs) for computer vision is now indisputable. However, little is known about how MSAs work. We present various explanations to help better understand the nature of MSAs. In particular, we demonstrate the following properties of MSAs and Vision Transformers (ViTs): (1) MSAs improve not only accuracy but also generalization by flattening the loss landscapes. Such improvement is primarily attributable to their data specificity, not long-range dependency. On the other hand, ViTs suffers from the non-convex losses. Large datasets and loss landscape smoothing methods alleviate this problem. (2) MSAs and Convs exhibit opposite behaviors. For example, MSAs are low-pass filters, but Convs are high-pass filters. Therefore, MSAs and Convs are complementary. (3) Multi-stage neural networks behave like a series connection of small independent models. In addition, MSAs at the end of a stage play a key role in prediction. Based on these insights, we propose AlterNet, a model in which Conv blocks at the end of a stage are replaced with MSA blocks. AlterNet outperforms CNNs not only in large data regime but also in small data regime.

As increasingly complex AI systems are introduced into our daily lives, it becomes important for such systems to be capable of explaining the rationale for their decisions and allowing users to contest these decisions. A significant hurdle to allowing for such explanatory dialogue could be the {\em vocabulary mismatch} between the user and the AI system. This paper introduces methods for providing contrastive explanations in terms of user-specified concepts for sequential decision-making settings where the system's model of the task may be best represented as an inscrutable model. We do this by building partial symbolic models of a local approximation of the task that can be leveraged to answer the user queries. We test these methods on a popular Atari game (Montezuma's Revenge) and variants of Sokoban (a well-known planning benchmark) and report the results of user studies to evaluate whether people find explanations generated in this form useful.

The structural design of functional molecules, also called molecular optimization, is an essential chemical science and engineering task with important applications, such as drug discovery. Deep generative models and combinatorial optimization methods achieve initial success but still struggle with directly modeling discrete chemical structures and often heavily rely on brute-force enumeration. The challenge comes from the discrete and non-differentiable nature of molecule structures. To address this, we propose differentiable scaffolding tree (DST) that utilizes a learned knowledge network to convert discrete chemical structures to locally differentiable ones. DST enables a gradient-based optimization on a chemical graph structure by back-propagating the derivatives from the target properties through a graph neural network (GNN). Our empirical studies show the gradient-based molecular optimizations are both effective and sample efficient. Furthermore, the
learned graph parameters can also provide an explanation that helps domain experts understand the model output.

Many practical applications of reinforcement learning require agents to learn from sparse and delayed rewards. It highlights a fundamental problem called long-term temporal credit assignment that challenges the ability of agents to tackle delayed environmental feedback. In this paper, we consider the problem formulation of episodic reinforcement learning with trajectory feedback. It refers to an extreme delay of reward signals, in which the agent can only obtain one reward signal at the end of each trajectory. A popular paradigm for this problem setting is learning with a designed auxiliary dense reward function, namely proxy reward, instead of sparse environmental signals. Based on this framework, this paper proposes a novel reward redistribution algorithm, randomized return decomposition (RRD), to learn a proxy reward function for episodic reinforcement learning. We establish a surrogate problem by Monte-Carlo sampling that scales up regression-based reward redistribution to long-horizon problems. We analyze our surrogate loss function by connection with existing methods in the literature, which illustrates the algorithmic properties of our approach. In experiments, we extensively evaluate our proposed method on a variety of benchmark tasks with episodic rewards and demonstrate substantial improvement over baseline algorithms.

239. Escaping limit cycles: Global convergence for constrained nonconvex-nonconcave minimax problems

This paper introduces a new extragradient-type algorithm for a class of nonconvex-nonconcave minimax problems. It is well-known that finding a local solution for general minimax problems is computationally intractable. This observation has recently motivated the study of structures sufficient for convergence of first order methods in the more general setting of variational inequalities when the so-called weak Minty variational inequality (MVI) holds. This problem class captures non-trivial structures as we demonstrate with examples, for which a large family of existing algorithms provably converge to limit cycles. Our results require a less restrictive parameter range in the weak MVI compared to what is previously known, thus extending the applicability of our scheme. The proposed algorithm is applicable to constrained and regularized problems, and involves an adaptive stepsize allowing for potentially larger stepsizes. Our scheme also converges globally even in settings where the underlying operator exhibits limit cycles. Moreover, a variant with stochastic oracles is proposed---making it directly relevant for training of generative adversarial networks. For the stochastic algorithm only one of the stepsizes is required to be diminishing while the other may remain constant, making it interesting even in the monotone setting.

240. On the Generalization of Models Trained with SGD: Information-Theoretic Bounds and Implications

This paper follows up on a recent work of (Neu, 2021) and presents new and tighter information-theoretic upper bounds for the generalization error of machine learning models, such as neural networks, trained with SGD. We apply these bounds to analyzing the generalization behaviour of linear and two-layer ReLU networks. Experimental study based on these bounds provide some insights on the SGD training of neural networks. They also point to a new and simple regularization scheme which we show performs comparably to the current state of the art.

Building models of human decision-making from observed behaviour is critical to better understand, diagnose and support real-world policies such as clinical care. As established policy learning approaches remain focused on imitation performance, they fall short of explaining the demonstrated decision-making process. Policy Extraction through decision Trees (POETREE) is a novel framework for interpretable policy learning, compatible with fully-offline and partially-observable clinical decision environments -- and builds probabilistic tree policies determining physician actions based on patients' observations and medical history. Fully-differentiable tree architectures are grown incrementally during optimization to adapt their complexity to the modelling task, and learn a representation of patient history through recurrence, resulting in decision tree policies that adapt over time with patient information. This policy learning method outperforms the state-of-the-art on real and synthetic medical datasets, both in terms of understanding, quantifying and evaluating observed behaviour as well as in accurately replicating it -- with potential to improve future decision support systems.

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have recently become popular for graph machine learning and have shown great results on wide node classification tasks. Yet, GNNs are less popular for practical deployments in the industry owing to their scalability challenges incurred by data dependency. Namely, GNN inference depends on neighbor nodes multiple hops away from the target, and fetching these nodes burdens latency-constrained applications. Existing inference acceleration methods like pruning and quantization can speed up GNNs to some extent by reducing Multiplication-and-ACcumulation (MAC) operations. However, their improvements are limited given the data dependency is not resolved. Conversely, multi-layer perceptrons (MLPs) have no dependency on graph data and infer much faster than GNNs, even though they are less accurate than GNNs for node classification in general. Motivated by these complementary strengths and weaknesses, we bring GNNs and MLPs together via knowledge distillation (KD). Our work shows that the performance of MLPs can be improved by large margins with GNN KD. We call the distilled MLPs Graph-less Neural Networks (GLNNs) as they have no inference graph dependency. We show that GLNNs with competitive performance infer faster than GNNs by 146X-273X and faster than other acceleration methods by 14X-27X. Meanwhile, under a production setting involving both transductive and inductive predictions across 7 datasets, GLNN accuracies improve over stand-alone MLPs by 12.36% on average and match GNNs on 6/7 datasets. A comprehensive analysis of GLNN shows when and why GLNN can achieve competitive results to GNNs and suggests GLNN as a handy choice for latency-constrained applications.

What is the state of the art in continual machine learning? Although a natural question for predominant static benchmarks, the notion to train systems in a lifelong manner entails a plethora of additional challenges with respect to set-up and evaluation. The latter have recently sparked a growing amount of critiques on prominent algorithm-centric perspectives and evaluation protocols being too narrow, resulting in several attempts at constructing guidelines in favor of specific desiderata or arguing against the validity of prevalent assumptions. In this work, we depart from this mindset and argue that the goal of a precise formulation of desiderata is an ill-posed one, as diverse applications may always warrant distinct scenarios. Instead, we introduce the Continual Learning EValuation Assessment Compass, CLEVA-Compass for short. The compass provides the visual means to both identify how approaches are practically reported and how works can simultaneously be contextualized in the broader literature landscape. In addition to promoting compact specification in the spirit of recent replication trends, the CLEVA-Compass thus provides an intuitive chart to understand the priorities of individual systems, where they resemble each other, and what elements are missing towards a fair comparison.

Self-supervised learning (SSL) is a scalable way to learn general visual representations since it learns without labels. However, large-scale unlabeled datasets in the wild often have long-tailed label distributions, where we know little about the behavior of SSL. In this work, we systematically investigate self-supervised learning under dataset imbalance. First, we find via extensive experiments that off-the-shelf self-supervised representations are already more robust to class imbalance than supervised representations. The performance gap between balanced and imbalanced pre-training with SSL is significantly smaller than the gap with supervised learning, across sample sizes, for both in-domain and, especially, out-of-domain evaluation. Second, towards understanding the robustness of SSL, we hypothesize that SSL learns richer features from frequent data: it may learn label-irrelevant-but-transferable features that help classify the rare classes and downstream tasks. In contrast, supervised learning has no incentive to learn features irrelevant to the labels from frequent examples. We validate this hypothesis with semi-synthetic experiments as well as rigorous mathematical analyses on a simplified setting. Third, inspired by the theoretical insights, we devise a re-weighted regularization technique that consistently improves the SSL representation quality on imbalanced datasets with several evaluation criteria, closing the small gap between balanced and imbalanced datasets with the same number of examples.

Modern deep learning based classifiers show very high accuracy on test data but this does not provide sufficient guarantees for safe deployment, especially in high-stake AI applications such as medical diagnosis. Usually, predictions are obtained without a reliable uncertainty estimate or a formal guarantee. Conformal prediction (CP) addresses these issues by using the classifier's probability estimates to predict confidence sets containing the true class with a user-specified probability. However, using CP as a separate processing step after training prevents the underlying model from adapting to the prediction of confidence sets. Thus, this paper explores strategies to differentiate through CP during training with the goal of training model with the conformal wrapper end-to-end. In our approach, conformal training (ConfTr), we specifically "simulate" conformalization on mini-batches during training. We show that CT outperforms state-of-the-art CP methods for classification by reducing the average confidence set size (inefficiency). Moreover, it allows to "shape" the confidence sets predicted at test time, which is difficult for standard CP. On experiments with several datasets, we show ConfTr can influence how inefficiency is distributed across classes, or guide the composition of confidence sets in terms of the included classes, while retaining the guarantees offered by CP.

In many practical applications of RL, it is expensive to observe state transitions from the environment. For example, in the problem of plasma control for nuclear fusion, computing the next state for a given state-action pair requires querying an expensive transition function which can lead to many hours of computer simulation or dollars of scientific research. Such expensive data collection prohibits application of standard RL algorithms which usually require a large number of observations to learn. In this work, we address the problem of efficiently learning a policy while making a minimal number of state-action queries to the transition function. In particular, we leverage ideas from Bayesian optimal experimental design to guide the selection of state-action queries for efficient learning. We propose an \emph{acquisition function} that quantifies how much information a state-action pair would provide about the optimal solution to a Markov decision process. At each iteration, our algorithm maximizes this acquisition function, to choose the most informative state-action pair to be queried, thus yielding a data-efficient RL approach. We experiment with a variety of simulated continuous control problems and show that our approach learns an optimal policy with up to $5$ -- $1,000\times$ less data than model-based RL baselines and $10^3$ -- $10^5\times$ less data than model-free RL baselines. We also provide several ablated comparisons which point to substantial improvements arising from the principled method of obtaining data.

Research on generalization bounds for deep networks seeks to give ways to predict test error using just the training dataset and the network parameters. While generalization bounds can give many insights about architecture design, training algorithms etc., what they do not currently do is yield good predictions for actual test error. A recently introduced Predicting Generalization in Deep Learning competition \citep{jiang2020neurips} aims to encourage discovery of methods to better predict test error. The current paper investigates a simple idea: can test error be predicted using {\em synthetic data,} produced using a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) that was trained on the same training dataset? Upon investigating several GAN models and architectures, we find that this turns out to be the case. In fact, using GANs pre-trained on standard datasets, the test error can be predicted without requiring any additional hyper-parameter tuning.
This result is surprising because GANs have well-known limitations (e.g. mode collapse) and are known to not learn the data distribution accurately. Yet the generated samples are good enough to substitute for test data. Several additional experiments are presented to explore reasons why GANs do well at this task.

248. Hidden Convexity of Wasserstein GANs: Interpretable Generative Models with Closed-Form Solutions

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are commonly used for modeling complex distributions of data. Both the generators and discriminators of GANs are often modeled by neural networks, posing a non-transparent optimization problem which is non-convex and non-concave over the generator and discriminator, respectively. Such networks are often heuristically optimized with gradient descent-ascent (GDA), but it is unclear whether the optimization problem contains any saddle points, or whether heuristic methods can find them in practice. In this work, we analyze the training of Wasserstein GANs with two-layer neural network discriminators through the lens of convex duality, and for a variety of generators expose the conditions under which Wasserstein GANs can be solved exactly with convex optimization approaches, or can be represented as convex-concave games. Using this convex duality interpretation, we further demonstrate the impact of different activation functions of the discriminator. Our observations are verified with numerical results demonstrating the power of the convex interpretation, with an application in progressive training of convex architectures corresponding to linear generators and quadratic-activation discriminators for CelebA image generation.

In this paper, we question the rationale behind propagating large numbers of parameters through a distributed system during federated learning. We start by examining the rank characteristics of the subspace spanned by gradients (i.e., the gradient-space) in centralized model training, and observe that the gradient-space often consists of a few leading principal components accounting for an overwhelming majority (95-99%) of the explained variance. Motivated by this, we propose the "Look-back Gradient Multiplier" (LBGM) algorithm, which utilizes this low-rank property of the gradient-space in federated learning. Operationally, LBGM recycles the gradients between model update rounds to significantly reduce the number of parameters to be propagated through the system. We analytically characterize the convergence behavior of LBGM, revealing the nature of the trade-off between communication savings and model performance. Our subsequent experimental results demonstrate the improvement LBGM obtains on communication overhead compared to federated learning baselines. Additionally, we show that LBGM is a general plug-and-play algorithm that can be used standalone or stacked on top of existing sparsification techniques for distributed model training.

The growing public concerns on data privacy in face recognition can be partly relieved by the federated learning (FL) paradigm. However, conventional FL methods usually perform poorly due to the particularity of the task, \textit{i.e.}, broadcasting class centers among clients is essential for recognition performances but leads to privacy leakage. To resolve the privacy-utility paradox, this work proposes PrivacyFace, a framework largely improves the federated learning face recognition via communicating auxiliary and privacy-agnostic information among clients. PrivacyFace mainly consists of two components: First, a practical Differentially Private Local Clustering (DPLC) mechanism is proposed to distill sanitized clusters from local class centers. Second, a consensus-aware recognition loss subsequently encourages global consensuses among clients, which ergo leads to more discriminative features. The proposed schemes are mathematically proved to be differential private, introduce a lightweight overhead as well as yield prominent performance boosts (\textit{e.g.}, +9.63\% and +10.26\% for TAR@FAR=1e-4 on IJB-B and IJB-C respectively). Extensive experiments and ablation studies on a large-scale dataset have demonstrated the efficacy and practicability of our method.

In the deep learning era, long video generation of high-quality still remains challenging due to the spatio-temporal complexity and continuity of videos. Existing prior works have attempted to model video distribution by representing videos as 3D grids of RGB values, which impedes the scale of generated videos and neglects continuous dynamics. In this paper, we found that the recent emerging paradigm of implicit neural representations (INRs) that encodes a continuous signal into a parameterized neural network effectively mitigates the issue. By utilizing INRs of video, we propose dynamics-aware implicit generative adversarial network (DIGAN), a novel generative adversarial network for video generation. Specifically, we introduce (a) an INR-based video generator that improves the motion dynamics by manipulating the space and time coordinates differently and (b) a motion discriminator that efficiently identifies the unnatural motions without observing the entire long frame sequences. We demonstrate the superiority of DIGAN under various datasets, along with multiple intriguing properties, e.g., long video synthesis, video extrapolation, and non-autoregressive video generation. For example, DIGAN improves the previous state-of-the-art FVD score on UCF-101 by 30.7% and can be trained on 128 frame videos of 128x128 resolution, 80 frames longer than the 48 frames of the previous state-of-the-art method.

Learning multiple tasks sequentially without forgetting previous knowledge, called Continual Learning(CL), remains a long-standing challenge for neural networks. Most existing methods rely on additional network capacity or data replay. In contrast, we introduce a novel approach which we refer to as Recursive Gradient Optimization(RGO). RGO is composed of an iteratively updated optimizer that modifies the gradient to minimize forgetting without data replay and a virtual Feature Encoding Layer(FEL) that represents different long-term structures with only task descriptors. Experiments demonstrate that RGO has significantly better performance on popular continual classification benchmarks when compared to the baselines and achieves new state-of-the-art performance on 20-split-CIFAR100(82.22%) and 20-split-miniImageNet(72.63%). With higher average accuracy than Single-Task Learning(STL), this method is flexible and reliable to provide continual learning capabilities for learning models that rely on gradient descent.

Recent attempts at image steganography make use of advances in deep learning to train an encoder-decoder network pair to hide and retrieve secret messages in images. These methods are able to hide large amounts of data, but also incur high decoding error rates (around 20\%). In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm for steganography that takes advantage of the fact that neural networks are sensitive to tiny perturbations. Our method, Fixed Neural Network Steganography (FNNS), achieves 0\% error reliably for hiding up to 3 bits per pixel (bpp) of secret information in images and yields significantly lower error rates when compared to prior state of the art methods for hiding more than 3 bpp. FNNS also successfully evades existing statistical steganalysis systems and can be modified to evade neural steganalysis systems as well. Recovering every bit correctly, up to 3 bpp, enables novel applications, e.g. those requiring encryption.
We introduce one specific use case for facilitating anonymized and safe image sharing.

Graph generative models are a highly active branch of machine learning. Given the steady development of new models of ever-increasing complexity, it is necessary to provide a principled way to \emph{evaluate} and \emph{compare} them. In this paper, we enumerate the desirable criteria for such a comparison metric and provide an overview of the status quo of graph generative model comparison in use today, which predominantly relies on maximum mean discrepancy (MMD). We perform a systematic evaluation of MMD in the context of graph generative model comparison, highlighting some of the challenges and pitfalls researchers inadvertently may encounter. After conducting a thorough analysis of the behaviour of MMD on synthetically-generated perturbed graphs as well as on recently-proposed graph generative models, we are able to provide a suitable procedure to mitigate these challenges and pitfalls. We aggregate our findings into a list of practical recommendations for researchers to use when evaluating graph generative models.

We present Reward-Switching Policy Optimization (RSPO), a paradigm to discover diverse strategies in complex RL environments by iteratively finding novel policies that are both locally optimal and sufficiently different from existing ones. To encourage the learning policy to consistently converge towards a previously undiscovered local optimum, RSPO switches between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards via a trajectory-based novelty measurement during the optimization process. When a sampled trajectory is sufficiently distinct, RSPO performs standard policy optimization with extrinsic rewards. For trajectories with high likelihood under existing policies, RSPO utilizes an intrinsic diversity reward to promote exploration. Experiments show that RSPO is able to discover a wide spectrum of strategies in a variety of domains, ranging from single-agent particle-world tasks and MuJoCocontinuous control to multi-agent stag-hunt games and StarCraftII challenges.

Multiple domains like vision, natural language, and audio are witnessing tremendous progress by leveraging Transformers for large scale pre-training followed by task specific fine tuning. In contrast, in robotics we primarily train a single robot for a single task. However, modular robot systems now allow for the flexible combination of general-purpose building blocks into task optimized morphologies. However, given the exponentially large number of possible robot morphologies, training a controller for each new design is impractical. In this work, we propose MetaMorph, a Transformer based approach to learn a universal controller over a modular robot design space. MetaMorph is based on the insight that robot morphology is just another modality on which we can condition the output of a Transformer. Through extensive experiments we demonstrate that large scale pre-training on a variety of robot morphologies results in policies with combinatorial generalization capabilities, including zero shot generalization to unseen robot morphologies. We further demonstrate that our pre-trained policy can be used for sample-efficient transfer to completely new robot morphologies and tasks.

Stochastic gradient descent (SGD) is widely used for the nonlinear, nonconvex problem of training deep neural networks, but its behavior remains poorly understood. Many theoretical works have studied SGD, but they commonly rely on restrictive and unrealistic assumptions about the nature of its noise. In this work, we construct example optimization problems illustrating that, if these assumptions are relaxed, SGD can exhibit many strange behaviors that run counter to the established wisdom of the field. Our constructions show that (1) SGD can converge to local maxima, (2) SGD might only escape saddle points arbitrarily slowly, (3) SGD can prefer sharp minima over flat ones, and (4) AMSGrad can converge to local maxima. We realize our most surprising results in a simple neural network-like construction, suggesting their relevance to deep learning.

Over the past seven years, deep generative models have achieved a qualitatively new level of performance. Generated data has become difficult, if not impossible, to be distinguished from real data. While there are plenty of use cases that benefit from this technology, there are also strong concerns on how this new technology can be misused to spoof sensors, generate deep fakes, and enable misinformation at scale. Unfortunately, current deep fake detection methods are not sustainable, as the gap between real and fake continues to close. In contrast, our work enables a responsible disclosure of such state-of-the-art generative models, that allows model inventors to fingerprint their models, so that the generated samples containing a fingerprint can be accurately detected and attributed to a source. Our technique achieves this by an efficient and scalable ad-hoc generation of a large population of models with distinct fingerprints. Our recommended operation point uses a 128-bit fingerprint which in principle results in more than 10^{36} identifiable models. Experiments show that our method fulfills key properties of a fingerprinting mechanism and achieves effectiveness in deep fake detection and attribution.

A major challenge in real-world reinforcement learning (RL) is the sparsity of reward feedback. Often, what is available is an intuitive but sparse reward function that only indicates whether the task is completed partially or fully. However, the lack of carefully designed, fine grain feedback implies that most existing RL algorithms fail to learn an acceptable policy in a reasonable time frame. This is because of the large number of exploration actions that the policy has to perform before it gets any useful feedback that it can learn from. In this work, we address this challenging problem by developing an algorithm that exploits the offline demonstration data generated by {a sub-optimal behavior policy} for faster and efficient online RL in such sparse reward settings. The proposed algorithm, which we call the Learning Online with Guidance Offline (LOGO) algorithm, merges a policy improvement step with an additional policy guidance step by using the offline demonstration data. The key idea is that by obtaining guidance from - not imitating - the offline {data}, LOGO orients its policy in the manner of the sub-optimal {policy}, while yet being able to learn beyond and approach optimality. We provide a theoretical analysis of our algorithm, and provide a lower bound on the performance improvement in each learning episode. We also extend our algorithm to the even more challenging incomplete observation setting, where the demonstration data contains only a censored version of the true state observation. We demonstrate the superior performance of our algorithm over state-of-the-art approaches on a number of benchmark environments with sparse rewards {and censored state}. Further, we demonstrate the value of our approach via implementing LOGO on a mobile robot for trajectory tracking and obstacle avoidance, where it shows excellent performance.

Fully exploiting the learning capacity of neural networks requires overparameterized dense networks. On the other side, directly training sparse neural networks typically results in low learning capacity with unsatisfactory performance. Lottery Ticket Hypothesis (LTH) provides a novel view to investigate sparse net-work training. Concretely, it claims there exist winning tickets from a randomly initialized network found by iterative magnitude pruning. In this work, we go from a complementary direction and articulate the Dual Lottery Ticket Hypothesis (DLTH): Any randomly selected subnetwork of a randomly initialized dense network can be transformed into an appropriate condition with admirable train-ability— any ticket in a given lottery pool can be transformed into a winning ticket. We propose a simple sparse network training strategy, Random Sparse Net-work Transformation (RST), to substantiate our DLTH. Specifically, we introduce a regularization term to borrow learning capacity and realize information extrusion from the weights which will be masked. Extensive experiments on several public datasets and comparisons with competitive approaches validate our DLTHas well as the effectiveness of the proposed model RST. Our work is expected to pave a way for inspiring new research directions of sparse network training in the future. Our code will be public online.

This paper presents Pix2Seq, a simple and generic framework for object detection. Unlike existing approaches that explicitly integrate prior knowledge about the task, we simply cast object detection as a language modeling task conditioned on the observed pixel inputs. Object descriptions (e.g., bounding boxes and class labels) are expressed as sequences of discrete tokens, and we train a neural net to perceive the image and generate the desired sequence. Our approach is based mainly on the intuition that if a neural net knows about where and what the objects are, we just need to teach it how to read them out. Beyond the use of task-specific data augmentations, our approach makes minimal assumptions about the task, yet it achieves competitive results on the challenging COCO dataset, compared to highly specialized and well optimized detection algorithms.

Neural data compression based on nonlinear transform coding has made great progress over the last few years, mainly due to improvements in prior models, quantization methods and nonlinear transforms. A general trend in many recent works pushing the limit of rate-distortion performance is to use ever more expensive prior models that can lead to prohibitively slow decoding. Instead, we focus on more expressive transforms that result in a better rate-distortion-computation trade-off. Specifically, we show that nonlinear transforms built on Swin-transformers can achieve better compression efficiency than transforms built on convolutional neural networks (ConvNets), while requiring fewer parameters and shorter decoding time. Paired with a compute-efficient Channel-wise Auto-Regressive Model prior, our SwinT-ChARM model outperforms VTM-12.1 by $3.68\%$ in BD-rate on Kodak with comparable decoding speed. In P-frame video compression setting, we are able to outperform the popular ConvNet-based scale-space-flow model by $12.35\%$ in BD-rate on UVG. We provide model scaling studies to verify the computational efficiency of the proposed solutions and conduct several analyses to reveal the source of coding gain of transformers over ConvNets, including better spatial decorrelation, flexible effective receptive field, and more localized response of latent pixels during progressive decoding.

We perform systematically and fairly controlled experiments with the 6-layer Transformer to investigate whether languages which have been traditionally considered morphologically rich (AR and RU) and poor (ZH) are equally hard to conditional-language-model. We evaluate through statistical comparisons across 30 possible language directions from the 6 languages of the United Nations Parallel Corpus on 3 representation levels --- character, byte, and word. Results show that performance is relative to the representation granularity of each of the languages, not to the language as a whole. By eliminating statistically significant performance disparity on the character and byte levels, we show that performance disparity is not a necessary condition. The disparity that mirrors the morphological complexity hierarchy is a byproduct of word segmentation. Evidence from data statistics, along with the fact that word segmentation is qualitatively indeterminate, renders a decades-long debate on morphological complexity (unless it is being intentionally modeled in a word-based, meaning-driven context) irrelevant in the context of computing. The intent of our work is to help effect more objectivity and adequacy in evaluation as well as fairness and inclusivity in experimental setup in the area of language and computing so to uphold diversity in ML and AI research. Multilinguality is real and relevant in computing not due to canonical, structural linguistic concepts such as morphology or "words" in our minds, but rather standards related to internationalization and localization, such as character encoding --- something which has thus far been sorely overlooked in our discourse and curricula.

We introduce a new approach for speech pre-training named SPIRAL which works by learning denoising representation of perturbed data in a teacher-student framework.
Specifically, given a speech utterance, we first feed the utterance to a \textit{teacher} network to obtain corresponding representation. Then the same utterance is perturbed and fed to a \textit{student} network. The student network is trained to output representation resembling that from the teacher. At the same time, the teacher network is updated as moving average of student's weights over training steps. In order to prevent representation collapse, we apply an in-utterance contrastive loss as pre-training objective and impose position randomization on the input to the teacher. SPIRAL achieves competitive or better results compared to state-of-the-art speech pre-training method wav2vec 2.0, with significant reduction of training cost (80\% for base model, 65\% for large model).
Furthermore, we address the problem of noise-robustness that is critical to real-world speech applications. We propose multi-condition pre-training by perturbing the student's input with various types of additive noise.
We demonstrate that multi-condition pre-trained SPIRAL models are more robust to noisy speech (7\% - 26\% relative word error rate reduction on synthetic noisy test data), compared to applying multi-condition training solely in the fine-tuning stage.
The code will be released after publication.

265. Natural Posterior Network: Deep Bayesian Predictive Uncertainty for Exponential Family Distributions

Uncertainty awareness is crucial to develop reliable machine learning models. In this work, we propose the Natural Posterior Network (NatPN) for fast and high-quality uncertainty estimation for any task where the target distribution belongs to the exponential family. Thus, NatPN finds application for both classification and general regression settings. Unlike many previous approaches, NatPN does not require out-of-distribution (OOD) data at training time. Instead, it leverages Normalizing Flows to fit a single density on a learned low-dimensional and task-dependent latent space. For any input sample, NatPN uses the predicted likelihood to perform a Bayesian update over the target distribution. Theoretically, NatPN assigns high uncertainty far away from training data. Empirically, our extensive experiments on calibration and OOD detection show that NatPN delivers highly competitive performance for classification, regression and count prediction tasks.

Transformer has shown great successes in natural language processing, computer vision, and audio processing. As one of its core components, the softmax attention helps to capture long-range dependencies yet prohibits its scale-up due to the quadratic space and time complexity to the sequence length. Kernel methods are often adopted to reduce the complexity by approximating the softmax operator. Nevertheless, due to the approximation errors, their performances vary in different tasks/corpus and suffer crucial performance drop when comparing with the vanilla softmax attention. In this paper, we propose a linear transformer called cosFormer that can achieve comparable or better accuracy to the vanilla transformer in both casual and cross attentions with linear space and time complexity. We achieve this by replacing the softmax operator with a linear operator and applying a cosine-based distance re-weighting mechanism on the attention matrix. Extensive experiments on language modeling and text understanding tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. We further exam our method on long sequences and achieve state-of-the-art performance on the Long-Range Arena benchmark.

We present NASPY, an end-to-end adversarial framework to extract the networkarchitecture of deep learning models from Neural Architecture Search (NAS). Existing works about model extraction attacks mainly focus on conventional DNN models with very simple operations, or require heavy manual analysis with lots of domain knowledge. In contrast, NASPY introduces seq2seq models to automatically identify novel and complicated operations (e.g., separable convolution,dilated convolution) from hardware side-channel sequences. We design two models (RNN-CTC and transformer), which can achieve only 3.2% and 11.3% error rates for operation prediction. We further present methods to recover the model hyper-parameters and topology from the operation sequence . With these techniques, NASPY is able to extract the complete NAS model architecture with high fidelity and automation, which are rarely analyzed before.

To attain higher efficiency, the industry has gradually reformed towards application-specific hardware accelerators. While such a paradigm shift is already starting to show promising results, designers need to spend considerable manual effort and perform large number of time-consuming simulations to find accelerators that can accelerate multiple target applications while obeying design constraints. Moreover, such a simulation-driven approach must be re-run from scratch every time the set of target applications or design constraints change. An alternative paradigm is to use a data-driven, offline approach that utilizes logged simulation data, to architect hardware accelerators, without needing any form of simulations. Such an approach not only alleviates the need to run time-consuming simulation, but also enables data reuse and applies even when set of target applications changes. In this paper, we develop such a data-driven offline optimization method for designing hardware accelerators, dubbed PRIME, that enjoys all of these properties. Our approach learns a conservative, robust estimate of the desired cost function, utilizes infeasible points and optimizes the design against this estimate without any additional simulator queries during optimization. PRIME architects accelerators---tailored towards both single- and multi-applications---improving performance upon stat-of-the-art simulation-driven methods by about 1.54x and 1.20x, while considerably reducing the required total simulation time by 93% and 99%, respectively. In addition, PRIME also architects effective accelerators for unseen applications in a zero-shot setting, outperforming simulation-based methods by 1.26x.

The dominant line of work in domain adaptation has focused on learning invariant representations using domain-adversarial training. In this paper, we interpret this approach from a game theoretical perspective. Defining optimal solutions in domain-adversarial training as a local Nash equilibrium, we show that gradient descent in domain-adversarial training can violate the asymptotic convergence guarantees of the optimizer, oftentimes hindering the transfer performance. Our analysis leads us to replace gradient descent with high-order ODE solvers (i.e., Runge–Kutta), for which we derive asymptotic convergence guarantees. This family of optimizers is significantly more stable and allows more aggressive learning rates, leading to high performance gains when used as a drop-in replacement over standard optimizers. Our experiments show that in conjunction with state-of-the-art domain-adversarial methods, we achieve up to 3.5% improvement with less than of half training iterations. Our optimizers are easy to implement, free of additional parameters, and can be plugged into any domain-adversarial framework.

A recent line of ground-breaking results for permutation-based SGD has corroborated a widely observed phenomenon: random permutations offer faster convergence than with-replacement sampling. However, is random optimal? We show that this depends heavily on what functions we are optimizing, and the convergence gap between optimal and random permutations can vary from exponential to nonexistent. We first show that for 1-dimensional strongly convex functions, with smooth second derivatives, there exist optimal permutations that offer exponentially faster convergence compared to random. However, for general strongly convex functions, random permutations are optimal. Finally, we show that for quadratic, strongly-convex functions, there are easy-to-construct permutations that lead to accelerated convergence compared to random. Our results suggest that a general convergence characterization of optimal permutations cannot capture the nuances of individual function classes, and can mistakenly indicate that one cannot do much better than random.

Equivariant neural networks enforce symmetry within the structure of their convolutional layers, resulting in a substantial improvement in sample efficiency when learning an equivariant or invariant function. Such models are applicable to robotic manipulation learning which can often be formulated as a rotationally symmetric problem. This paper studies equivariant model architectures in the context of $Q$-learning and actor-critic reinforcement learning. We identify equivariant and invariant characteristics of the optimal $Q$-function and the optimal policy and propose equivariant DQN and SAC algorithms that leverage this structure. We present experiments that demonstrate that our equivariant versions of DQN and SAC can be significantly more sample efficient than competing algorithms on an important class of robotic manipulation problems.

Multi-head, key-value attention is the backbone of transformer-like model architectures which have proven to be widely successful in recent years. This attention mechanism uses multiple parallel key-value attention blocks (called heads), each performing two fundamental computations: (1) search - selection of a relevant entity from a set via query-key interaction, and (2) retrieval - extraction of relevant features from the selected entity via a value matrix. Standard attention heads learn a rigid mapping between search and retrieval. In this work, we first highlight how this static nature of the pairing can potentially: (a) lead to learning of redundant parameters in certain tasks, and (b) hinder generalization. To alleviate this problem, we propose a novel attention mechanism, called Compositional Attention, that replaces the standard head structure. The proposed mechanism disentangles search and retrieval and composes them in a dynamic, flexible and context-dependent manner. Through a series of numerical experiments, we show that it outperforms standard multi-head attention on a variety of tasks, including some out-of-distribution settings. Through our qualitative analysis, we demonstrate that Compositional Attention leads to dynamic specialization based on the type of retrieval needed. Our proposed mechanism generalizes multi-head attention, allows independent scaling of search and retrieval and is easy to implement in a variety of established network architectures.

Hypergraphs are used to model higher-order interactions amongst agents and there exist many practically relevant instances of hypergraph datasets. To enable the efficient processing of hypergraph data, several hypergraph neural network platforms have been proposed for learning hypergraph properties and structure, with a special focus on node classification tasks. However, almost all existing methods use heuristic propagation rules and offer suboptimal performance on benchmarking datasets. We propose AllSet, a new hypergraph neural network paradigm that represents a highly general framework for (hyper)graph neural networks and for the first time implements hypergraph neural network layers as compositions of two multiset functions that can be efficiently learned for each task and each dataset. The proposed AllSet framework also for the first time integrates Deep Sets and Set Transformers with hypergraph neural networks for the purpose of learning multiset functions and therefore allows for significant modeling flexibility and high expressive power. To evaluate the performance of AllSet, we conduct the most extensive experiments to date involving ten known benchmarking datasets and three newly curated datasets that represent significant challenges for hypergraph node classification. The results demonstrate that our method has the unique ability to either match or outperform all other hypergraph neural networks across the tested datasets: As an example, the performance improvements over existing methods and a new method based on heterogeneous graph neural networks are close to $4\%$ on the Yelp and Zoo datasets, and $3\%$ on the Walmart dataset.

This article considers the popular MCMC method of unadjusted Langevin Monte Carlo (LMC) and provides a non-asymptotic analysis of its sampling error in 2-Wasserstein distance. The proof is based on a mean-square analysis framework refined from Li et al. (2019), which works for a large class of sampling algorithms based on discretizations of contractive SDEs. We establish an $\tilde{O}(\sqrt{d}/\epsilon)$ mixing time bound for LMC, without warm start, under the common log-smooth and log-strongly-convex conditions, plus a growth condition on the 3rd-order derivative of the potential of target measures. This bound improves the best previously known $\tilde{O}(d/\epsilon)$ result and is optimal (in terms of order) in both dimension $d$ and accuracy tolerance $\epsilon$ for target measures satisfying the aforementioned assumptions. Our theoretical analysis is further validated by numerical experiments.

Normalizing flows have shown great success as general-purpose density estimators. However, many real world applications require the use of domain-specific knowledge, which normalizing flows cannot readily incorporate. We propose embedded-model flows(EMF), which alternate general-purpose transformations with structured layers that embed domain-specific inductive biases. These layers are automatically constructed by converting user-specified differentiable probabilistic models into equivalent bijective transformations. We also introduce gated structured layers, which allow bypassing the parts of the models that fail to capture the statistics of the data. We demonstrate that EMFs can be used to induce desirable properties such as multimodality, hierarchical coupling and continuity. Furthermore, we show that EMFs enable a high performance form of variational inference where the structure of the prior model is embedded in the variational architecture. In our experiments, we show that this approach outperforms state-of-the-art methods in common structured inference problems.

276. PF-GNN: Differentiable particle filtering based approximation of universal graph representations

Message passing Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are known to be limited in expressive power by the 1-WL color-refinement test for graph isomorphism. Other more expressive models either are computationally expensive or need preprocessing to extract structural features from the graph. In this work, we propose to make GNNs universal by guiding the learning process with exact isomorphism solver techniques which operate on the paradigm of $\textit{Individualization and refinement}$ (IR), a method to artificially introduce asymmetry and further refine the coloring when 1-WL stops. Isomorphism solvers generate a search-tree of colorings whose leaves uniquely identify the graph. However, the tree grows exponentially large and needs hand-crafted pruning techniques which are not desirable from a learning perspective. We take a probabilistic view and approximate the search tree of colorings ( i.e. embeddings) by sampling multiple paths from root to leaves of the search-tree. To learn more discriminative representations, we guide the sampling process with $\textit{particle filter}$ updates, a principled approach for sequential state estimation. Our algorithm is end-to-end differentiable, can be applied with any GNN as backbone and learns richer graph representations with only linear increase in runtime. Experimental evaluation shows that our approach consistently outperforms leading GNN models on both synthetic benchmarks for isomorphism detection as well as real-world datasets.

Neural collapse is a highly symmetric geometry of neural networks that emerges during the terminal phase of training, with profound implications on the generalization performance and robustness of the trained networks. To understand how the last-layer features and classifiers exhibit this recently discovered implicit bias, in this paper, we introduce a surrogate model called the unconstrained layer-peeled model (ULPM). We prove that gradient flow on this model converges to critical points of a minimum-norm separation problem exhibiting neural collapse in its global minimizer. Moreover, we show that the ULPM with the cross-entropy loss has a benign global landscape for its loss function, which allows us to prove that all the critical points are strict saddle points except the global minimizers that exhibit the neural collapse phenomenon. Empirically, we show that our results also hold during the training of neural networks in real-world tasks when explicit regularization or weight decay is not used.

Given a pair of partially overlapping source and target images and a keypoint in the source image, the keypoint's correspondent in the target image can be either visible, occluded or outside the field of view. Local feature matching methods are only able to identify the correspondent's location when it is visible, while humans can also hallucinate its location when it is occluded or outside the field of view through geometric reasoning. In this paper, we bridge this gap by training a network to output a peaked probability distribution over the correspondent's location, regardless of this correspondent being visible, occluded, or outside the field of view. We experimentally demonstrate that this network is indeed able to hallucinate correspondences on pairs of images captured in scenes that were not seen at training-time. We also apply this network to an absolute camera pose estimation problem and find it is significantly more robust than state-of-the-art local feature matching-based competitors.

Model-based reinforcement learning provides an efficient mechanism to find the optimal policy by interacting with the learned environment. In addition to treating the learned environment like a black-box simulator, a more effective way to use the model is to exploit its differentiability. Such methods require the gradient information of the learned environment model when calculating the policy gradient. However, since the error of gradient is not considered in the model learning phase, there is no guarantee for the model's accuracy. To address this problem, we first analyze the convergence rate for the policy optimization methods when the policy gradient is calculated using the learned environment model. The theoretical results show that the model gradient error matters in the policy optimization phrase. Then we proposed a two-model-based learning method to control the prediction error and the gradient error. We separate the different roles of these two models at the model learning phase and coordinate them at the policy optimization phase. After proposed the method, we introduce the directional derivative projection policy optimization (DDPPO) algorithm as a piratical implementation to find the optimal policy. Finally, We empirically verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm and yield the state-of-the-art performance on sample efficiency through benchmark continuous control tasks.

Federated learning is promising for its capability to collaboratively train models with multiple clients without accessing their data, but vulnerable when clients' data distributions diverge from each other. This divergence further leads to a dilemma: "Should we prioritize the learned model's generic performance (for future use at the server) or its personalized performance (for each client)?" These two, seemingly competing goals have divided the community to focus on one or the other, yet in this paper we show that it is possible to approach both at the same time. Concretely, we propose a novel federated learning framework that explicitly decouples a model's dual duties with two prediction tasks. On the one hand, we introduce a family of losses that are robust to non-identical class distributions, enabling clients to train a generic predictor with a consistent objective across them. On the other hand, we formulate the personalized predictor as a lightweight adaptive module that is learned to minimize each client's empirical risk on top of the generic predictor. With this two-loss, two-predictor framework which we name Federated Robust Decoupling (Fed-RoD), the learned model can simultaneously achieve state-of-the-art generic and personalized performance, essentially bridging the two tasks.

In this paper, we study the statistical limits of deep learning techniques for solving elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs) from random samples using the Deep Ritz Method (DRM) and Physics-Informed Neural Networks (PINNs). To simplify the problem, we focus on a prototype elliptic PDE: the Schr\"odinger equation on a hypercube with zero Dirichlet boundary condition, which has wide application in the quantum-mechanical systems. We establish upper and lower bounds for both methods, which improves upon concurrently developed upper bounds for this problem via a fast rate generalization bound. We discover that the current Deep Ritz Methods is sub-optimal and propose a modified version of it. We also prove that PINN and the modified version of DRM can achieve minimax optimal bounds over Sobolev spaces. Empirically, following recent work which has shown that the deep model accuracy will improve with growing training sets according to a power law, we supply computational experiments to show a similar behavior of dimension dependent power law for deep PDE solvers.

Unsupervisedly clustering fine-grained object images without ground truth annotation is practical yet challenging due to the difficulty of feature learning on subtle object details. We introduce C3-GAN, a method for unsupervised fine-grained class clustering that leverages the categorical inference power of InfoGAN with contrastive learning. We aim to learn feature representations that not only maximize the mutual information between the latent code and its observation, but also encourage the data to form distinct cluster boundaries in the embedding space. Our approach is to represent the auxiliary distribution based on the contrastive loss where the image-latent pairs that maximize mutual information are considered as positive pairs and the rest as negative pairs. With this formulation, C3-GAN directly prevents degenerated solutions by enforcing the cluster centroids to be uniformly distributed. Experiments show that C3-GAN achieved state-of-the-art clustering performances on four fine-grained benchmark datasets, while alleviating mode collapse phenomenon.

From the intuitive notion of disentanglement, the image variations corresponding to different generative factors should be distinct from each other, and the disentangled representation should reflect those variations with separate dimensions. To discover the generative factors and learn disentangled representation, previous methods typically leverage an extra regularization term when learning to generate realistic images. However, the term usually results in a trade-off between disentanglement and generation quality. For the generative models pretrained without any disentanglement term, the generated images show semantically meaningful variations when traversing along different directions in the latent space. Based on this observation, we argue that it is possible to mitigate the trade-off by (i) leveraging the pretrained generative models with high generation quality, (ii) focusing on discovering the traversal directions as generative factors for disentangled representation learning. To achieve this, we propose Disentaglement via Contrast (DisCo) as a framework to model the variations based on the target disentangled representations, and contrast the variations to jointly discover disentangled directions and learn disentangled representations. DisCo achieves the state-of-the-art disentangled representation learning and distinct direction discovering, given pretrained non-disentangled generative models including GAN, VAE, and Flow.

284. Robust Learning Meets Generative Models: Can Proxy Distributions Improve Adversarial Robustness?

While additional training data improves the robustness of deep neural networks against adversarial examples, it presents the challenge of curating a large number of specific real-world samples. We circumvent this challenge by using additional data from proxy distributions learned by advanced generative models. We first seek to formally understand the transfer of robustness from classifiers trained on proxy distributions to the real data distribution. We prove that the difference between the robustness of a classifier on the two distributions is upper bounded by the conditional Wasserstein distance between them. Next we use proxy distributions to significantly improve the performance of adversarial training on five different datasets. For example, we improve robust accuracy by up to $7.5$% and $6.7$% in $\ell_{\infty}$ and $\ell_2$ threat model over baselines that are not using proxy distributions on the CIFAR-10 dataset. We also improve certified robust accuracy by $7.6$% on the CIFAR-10 dataset. We further demonstrate that different generative models brings a disparate improvement in the performance in robust training. We propose a robust discrimination approach to characterize the impact and further provide a deeper understanding of why diffusion-based generative models are a better choice for proxy distribution than generative adversarial networks.

We introduce a deep generative model for representation learning of biological sequences that, unlike existing models, explicitly represents the evolutionary process. The model makes use of a tree-structured Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, obtained from a given phylogenetic tree, as an informative prior for a variational autoencoder. We apply our method to ancestral sequence reconstruction of single protein families and show that the accuracy is better than or on par with conventional phylogenetic methods, while scaling to larger data sets. Our results and ablation studies indicate that the explicit representation of evolution using a suitable tree-structured prior has the potential to improve representation learning of biological sequences considerably. Finally, we briefly discuss extensions of the model to genomic-scale data sets and the case of a latent phylogenetic tree.

Deep convolutional image classifiers progressively transform the spatial variability into a smaller number of channels, which linearly separates all classes. A fundamental challenge is to understand the role of rectifiers together with convolutional filters in this transformation. Rectifiers with biases are often interpreted as thresholding operators which improve sparsity and discrimination. This paper demonstrates that it is a different phase collapse mechanism which explains the ability to progressively eliminate spatial variability, while improving linear class separation. This is explained and shown numerically by defining a simplified complex-valued convolutional network architecture. It implements spatial convolutions with wavelet filters and uses a complex modulus to collapse phase variables. This phase collapse network reaches the classification accuracy of ResNets of similar depths, whereas its performance is considerably degraded when replacing the phase collapse with thresholding operators. This is justified by explaining how iterated phase collapses progressively improve separation of class means, as opposed to thresholding non-linearities.

Goal-conditioned reinforcement learning (RL) has shown great success recently at solving a wide range of tasks(e.g., navigation, robotic manipulation). However, learning to reach distant goals remains a central challenge to the field, and the task is particularly hard without any offline data, expert demonstrations, and reward shaping. In this paper, we propose to solve the distant goal-reaching task by using search at training time to generate a curriculum of intermediate states. Specifically, we introduce the algorithm Classifier-Planning (C-Planning) by framing the learning of the goal-conditioned policies as variational inference. C-Planning naturally follows expectation maximization (EM): the E-step corresponds to planning an optimal sequence of waypoints using graph search, while the M-step aims to learn a goal-conditioned policy to reach those waypoints. One essential difficulty of designing such an algorithm is accurately modeling the distribution over way-points to sample from. In C-Planning, we propose to sample the waypoints using contrastive methods to learn a value function. Unlike prior methods that combine goal-conditioned RL with graph search, ours performs search only during training and not testing, significantly decreasing the compute costs of deploying the learned policy. Empirically, we demonstrate that our method not only improves the sample efficiency of prior methods but also successfully solves temporally extended navigation and manipulation tasks, where prior goal-conditioned RL methods (including those based on graph search) fail to solve.

In real-world systems, models are frequently updated as more data becomes available, and in addition to achieving high accuracy, the goal is to also maintain a low difference in predictions compared to the base model (i.e. predictive churn). If model retraining results in vastly different behavior, then it could cause negative effects in downstream systems, especially if this churn can be avoided with limited impact on model accuracy. In this paper, we show an equivalence between training with distillation using the base model as the teacher and training with an explicit constraint on the predictive churn. We then show that distillation performs strongly for low churn training against a number of recent baselines on a wide range of datasets and model architectures, including fully-connected networks, convolutional networks, and transformers.

Noise-contrastive estimation (NCE) is a statistically consistent method for learning unnormalized probabilistic models. It has been empirically observed that the choice of the noise distribution is crucial for NCE’s performance. However, such observation has never been made formal or quantitative. In fact, it is not even clear whether the difficulties arising from a poorly chosen noise distribution are statistical or algorithmic in nature.
In this work, we formally pinpoint reasons for NCE’s poor performance when an inappropriate noise distribution is used. Namely, we prove these challenges arise due to an ill-behaved (more precisely, flat) loss landscape.
To address this, we introduce a variant of NCE called \emph{eNCE} which uses an exponential loss and for which \emph{normalized gradient descent} addresses the landscape issues \emph{provably} when the target and noise distributions are in a given exponential family.

An important paradigm of natural language processing consists of large-scale pre-training on general domain data and adaptation to particular tasks or domains. As we pre-train larger models, full fine-tuning, which retrains all model parameters, becomes less feasible.
Using GPT-3 175B as an example -- deploying independent instances of fine-tuned models, each with 175B parameters, is prohibitively expensive. We propose Low-Rank Adaptation, or LoRA, which freezes the pre-trained model weights and injects trainable rank decomposition matrices into each layer of the Transformer architecture, greatly reducing the number of trainable parameters for downstream tasks. Compared to GPT-3 175B fine-tuned with Adam, LoRA can reduce the number of trainable parameters by 10,000 times and the GPU memory requirement by 3 times. LoRA performs on-par or better than fine-tuning in model quality on RoBERTa, DeBERTa, GPT-2, and GPT-3, despite having fewer trainable parameters, a higher training throughput, and no additional inference latency. We also provide in the appendix an empirical investigation into rank-deficiency in language model adaptation, which sheds light on the efficacy of LoRA.

We consider the offline constrained reinforcement learning (RL) problem, in which the agent aims to compute a policy that maximizes expected return while satisfying given cost constraints, learning only from a pre-collected dataset. This problem setting is appealing in many real-world scenarios, where direct interaction with the environment is costly or risky, and where the resulting policy should comply with safety constraints. However, it is challenging to compute a policy that guarantees satisfying the cost constraints in the offline RL setting, since the off-policy evaluation inherently has an estimation error. In this paper, we present an offline constrained RL algorithm that optimizes the policy in the space of the stationary distribution. Our algorithm, COptiDICE, directly estimates the stationary distribution corrections of the optimal policy with respect to returns, while constraining the cost upper bound, with the goal of yielding a cost-conservative policy for actual constraint satisfaction. Experimental results show that COptiDICE attains better policies in terms of constraint satisfaction and return-maximization, outperforming baseline algorithms.

292. Pyraformer: Low-Complexity Pyramidal Attention for Long-Range Time Series Modeling and Forecasting

Accurate prediction of the future given the past based on time series data is of paramount importance, since it opens the door for decision making and risk management ahead of time. In practice, the challenge is to build a flexible but parsimonious model that can capture a wide range of temporal dependencies. In this paper, we propose Pyraformer by exploring the multiresolution representation of the time series. Specifically, we introduce the pyramidal attention module (PAM) in which the inter-scale tree structure summarizes features at different resolutions and the intra-scale neighboring connections model the temporal dependencies of different ranges. Under mild conditions, the maximum length of the signal traversing path in Pyraformer is a constant (i.e., $\mathcal O(1)$) with regard to the sequence length $L$, while its time and space complexity scale linearly with $L$. Extensive numerical results show that Pyraformer typically achieves the highest prediction accuracy in both single-step and long-range forecasting tasks with the least amount of time and memory consumption, especially when the sequence is long. Full code will be available at the time of publication.

Recently over-smoothing phenomenon of Transformer-based models is observed in both vision and language fields. However, no existing work has delved deeper to further investigate the main cause of this phenomenon. In this work, we make the attempt to analyze the over-smoothing problem from the perspective of graph, where such problem was first discovered and explored. Intuitively, the self-attention matrix can be seen as a normalized adjacent matrix of a corresponding graph. Based on the above connection, we provide some theoretical analysis and find that layer normalization plays a key role in the over-smoothing issue of Transformer-based models. Specifically, if the standard deviation of layer normalization is sufficiently large, the output of Transformer stacks will converge to a specific low-rank subspace and result in over-smoothing. To alleviate the over-smoothing problem, we consider hierarchical fusion strategies, which combine the representations from different layers adaptively to make the output more diverse. Extensive experiment results on various data sets illustrate the effect of our fusion method.

Dealing with missing values and incomplete time series is a labor-intensive, tedious, inevitable task when handling data coming from real-world applications. Effective spatio-temporal representations would allow imputation methods to reconstruct missing temporal data by exploiting information coming from sensors at different locations. However, standard methods fall short in capturing the nonlinear time and space dependencies existing within networks of interconnected sensors and do not take full advantage of the available - and often strong - relational information. Notably, most state-of-the-art imputation methods based on deep learning do not explicitly model relational aspects and, in any case, do not exploit processing frameworks able to adequately represent structured spatio-temporal data. Conversely, graph neural networks have recently surged in popularity as both expressive and scalable tools for processing sequential data with relational inductive biases. In this work, we present the first assessment of graph neural networks in the context of multivariate time series imputation. In particular, we introduce a novel graph neural network architecture, named GRIN, which aims at reconstructing missing data in the different channels of a multivariate time series by learning spatio-temporal representations through message passing. Empirical results show that our model outperforms state-of-the-art methods in the imputation task on relevant real-world benchmarks with mean absolute error improvements often higher than 20%.

Inferring interactions among entities is an important problem in studying dynamicalsystems, which greatly impacts the performance of downstream tasks, such asprediction. In this paper, we tackle this problem in a setting where each entitycan potentially have a set of individualized information that other entities cannothave access to. Specifically, we represent the system using a graph in which theindividualized information become node-specific information (NSI). We build ourmodel in the framework of Neural Relation Inference (NRI), where the interactionamong entities are interpretably uncovered using variational inference. We adoptNRI model to incorporate the individualized information by introducingprivatenodesin the graph that represent NSI. Such representation enables us to uncovermore accurate relations among the agents and therefore leads to better performanceon the downstream tasks. Our experiment results over real-world datasets validatethe merit of our proposed algorithm.

Valuation problems, such as feature interpretation, data valuation and model valuation for ensembles, become increasingly more important in many machine learning applications. Such problems are commonly solved by well-known game-theoretic criteria, such as Shapley value or Banzhaf index. In this work, we present a novel energy-based treatment for cooperative games, with a theoretical justification by the maximum entropy framework. Surprisingly, by conducting variational inference of the energy-based model, we recover various game-theoretic valuation criteria through conducting one-step gradient ascent for maximizing the mean-field ELBO objective. This observation also verifies the rationality of existing criteria, as they are all attempting to decouple the correlations among the players through the mean-field approach. By running gradient ascent for multiple steps, we achieve a trajectory of the valuations, among which we define the valuation with the best conceivable decoupling error as the Variational Index. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed Variational Index enjoys intriguing properties on certain synthetic and real-world valuation problems.

Vision transformers (ViTs) have recently set off a new wave in neural architecture design thanks to their record-breaking performance in various vision tasks. In parallel, to fulfill the goal of deploying ViTs into real-world vision applications, their robustness against potential malicious attacks has gained increasing attention. In particular, recent works show that ViTs are more robust against adversarial attacks as compared with convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and conjecture that this is because ViTs focus more on capturing global interactions among different input/feature patches, leading to their improved robustness to the local perturbations imposed by adversarial attacks. In this work, we ask an intriguing question: ``Under what kinds of perturbations do ViTs become weaker learners compared to CNNs"? Driven by this question, we conduct a comprehensive examination on the robustness of both ViTs and CNNs under various existing adversarial attacks to understand the underlying reason for their robustness. Based on the insights drawn, we have developed a dedicated attack framework, dubbed Patch-Fool, that fools the self-attention mechanism by attacking the basic component (i.e., a single patch) participating in self-attention calculations with a series of attention-aware optimization techniques. Based on extensive experiments, we find that ViTs are weaker learners compared with CNNs against our Patch-Fool and the results from Sparse Patch-Fool, a sparse variant of our Patch-Fool, indicate that the perturbation density on each patch seems to be the key factor that influences the robustness ranking between ViTs and CNNs. It is expected that our work will shed light on both future architecture designs and training schemes for robustifying ViTs towards their real-world deployment. All codes will be released upon acceptance.

Real-world machine learning deployments are characterized by mismatches between the source (training) and target (test) distributions
that may cause performance drops. In this work, we investigate methods for predicting the target domain accuracy using only labeled source data and unlabeled target data. We propose Average Thresholded Confidence (ATC), a practical method that learns a \emph{threshold} on the model's confidence, predicting accuracy as the fraction of unlabeled examples for which model confidence exceeds that threshold. ATC outperforms previous methods across several model architectures, types of distribution shifts (e.g., due to synthetic corruptions, dataset reproduction, or novel subpopulations), and datasets (\textsc{Wilds}-FMoW, ImageNet, \breeds, CIFAR, and MNIST). In our experiments, ATC estimates target performance $2\text{--}4\times$ more accurately than prior methods. We also explore the theoretical foundations of the problem, proving that, in general, identifying the accuracy is just as hard as identifying the optimal predictor and thus, the efficacy of any method rests upon (perhaps unstated) assumptions on the nature of the shift. Finally, analyzing our method on some toy distributions, we provide insights concerning when it works.

One of the main challenges for feature representation in deep learning-based classification is the design of appropriate loss functions that exhibit strong discriminative power. The classical softmax loss does not explicitly encourage discriminative learning of features. A popular direction of research is to incorporate margins in well-established losses in order to enforce extra intra-class compactness and inter-class separability, which, however, were developed through heuristic means, as opposed to rigorous mathematical principles. In this work, we attempt to address this limitation by formulating the principled optimization objective as learning towards the largest margins. Specifically, we firstly propose to employ the class margin as the measure of inter-class separability, and the sample margin as the measure of intra-class compactness. Accordingly, to encourage discriminative representation of features, the loss function should promote the largest possible margins for both classes and samples. Furthermore, we derive a generalized margin softmax loss to draw general conclusions for the existing margin-based losses. Not only does this principled framework offer new perspectives to understand and interpret existing margin-based losses, but it also provides new insights that can guide the design of new tools, including \textit{sample margin regularization} and \textit{largest margin softmax loss} for class balanced cases, and \textit{zero centroid regularization} for class imbalanced cases. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy for multiple tasks including visual classification, imbalanced classification, person re-identification, and face verification.

Deep neural networks (DNNs) are proved to be vulnerable against backdoor attacks. A backdoor could be embedded in the target DNNs through injecting a backdoor trigger into the training examples, which can cause the target DNNs misclassify an input attached with the backdoor trigger. Recent backdoor detection methods often require the access to the original poisoned training data, the parameters of the target DNNs, or the predictive confidence for each given input, which are impractical in many real-world applications, e.g., on-device de-ployed DNNs. We address the black-box hard-label backdoor detection problem where the DNN is a fully black-box and only its final output label is accessible. We approach this problem from the optimization perspective and show that the objective of backdoor detection is bounded by an adversarial objective. Further theoretical and empirical studies reveal that this adversarial objective leads to a solution with highly skewed distribution; a singularity is often observed in the adversarial map of a backdoor-infected example, which we call the adversarial singularity phenomenon. Based on this observation, we propose the adversarial extreme value analysis(AEVA) algorithm to detect backdoors in black-box neural networks. The AEVA algorithm is based on an extreme value analysis on the adversarial map, computed from the monte-carlo gradient estimation due to the black-box hard-label constraint. Evidenced by extensive experiments across three popular tasks and backdoor attacks, our approach is shown effective in detecting backdoor attacks under the black-box hard-label scenarios

This paper considers minimax optimization $\min_x \max_y f(x, y)$ in the challenging setting where $f$ can be both nonconvex in $x$ and nonconcave in $y$. Though such optimization problems arise in many machine learning paradigms including training generative adversarial networks (GANs) and adversarially robust models, from a theoretical point of view, two fundamental issues remain: (i) the absence of simple and efficiently computable optimality notions, and (ii) cyclic or diverging behavior of existing algorithms. This paper proposes a new theoretical framework for nonconvex-nonconcave minimax optimization that addresses both of the above issues. The starting point of this paper is the observation that, under a computational budget, the max-player can not fully maximize $f(x,\cdot)$ since nonconcave maximization is NP-hard in general. So, we propose a new framework, and a corresponding algorithm, for the min-player to play against \emph{smooth algorithms} deployed by the adversary (i.e., the max-player) instead of against full maximization. Our algorithm is guaranteed to make monotonic progress (thus having no limit cycles or diverging behavior), and to find an appropriate ``stationary point'' in a polynomial number of iterations. Our framework covers practically relevant settings where the smooth algorithms deployed by the adversary are multi-step stochastic gradient ascent, and its accelerated version. We further present experimental results that confirm our theoretical findings and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in practice on simple, conceptual settings.

Multi-view stereo (MVS) is a crucial task for precise 3D reconstruction. Most recent studies tried to improve the performance of matching cost volume in MVS by introducing a skilled design to cost formulation or cost regularization. In this paper, we focus on learning robust feature extraction to enhance the performance of matching costs, without need of heavy computation in the other steps. In particular, we present a dynamic scale feature extraction network, namely, CDSFNet. It is composed of multiple novel convolution layers, each of which can select a proper patch scale for each pixel guided by the normal curvature of image surface. As a result, CDFSNet can estimate the optimal patch scales to learn discriminative features for accurate matching computation between reference and source images. By combining the robust extracted features with an appropriate cost formulation strategy, our final MVS architecture can estimate depth maps more precisely. Extensive experiments showed that the proposed method outperforms other state-of-the-art methods on complex outdoor scenes. It significantly improves the completeness of reconstructed models. Moreover, the method can process the high resolution with faster run-time and lower memory compared to the other MVS methods.

`Double descent' delineates the generalization behaviour of models depending on the regime they belong to: under- or over-parameterized. The current theoretical understanding behind the occurrence of this phenomenon is primarily based on linear and kernel regression models --- with informal parallels to neural networks via the Neural Tangent Kernel. Therefore such analyses do not adequately capture the mechanisms behind double descent in finite-width neural networks, as well as, disregard crucial components --- such as the choice of the loss function. We address these shortcomings by leveraging influence functions in order to derive suitable expressions of the population loss and its lower bound, while imposing minimal assumptions on the form of the parametric model. Our derived bounds bear an intimate connection with the spectrum of the Hessian at the optimum, and importantly, exhibit a double descent behaviour at the interpolation threshold. Building on our analysis, we further investigate how the loss function affects double descent --- and thus uncover interesting properties of neural networks and their Hessian spectra near the interpolation threshold.

In conventional object detection frameworks, a backbone body inherited from image recognition models extracts deep latent features and then a neck module fuses these latent features to capture information at different scales. As the resolution in object detection is much larger than in image recognition, the computational cost of the backbone often dominates the total inference cost. This heavy-backbone design paradigm is mostly due to the historical legacy when transferring image recognition models to object detection rather than an end-to-end optimized design for object detection. In this work, we show that such paradigm indeed leads to sub-optimal object detection models. To this end, we propose a novel heavy-neck paradigm, GiraffeDet, a giraffe-like network for efficient object detection. The GiraffeDet uses an extremely lightweight backbone and a very deep and large neck module which encourages dense information exchange among different spatial scales as well as different levels of latent semantics simultaneously. This design paradigm allows detectors to process the high-level semantic information and low-level spatial information at the same priority even in the early stage of the network, making it more effective in detection tasks. Numerical evaluations on multiple popular object detection benchmarks show that GiraffeDet consistently outperforms previous SOTA models across a wide spectrum of resource constraints.

Generative commonsense reasoning is a challenging instance of constrained text generation task, where machines are asked to describe a reasonable situation that follows human common sense using all the given concepts. Prior works show that pre-trained language models (LM) struggle at this task and generate fluent but implausible sentences after fine-tuning. We posit that this is because it is difficult to learn the direct mapping from concepts to text and generalize to unseen concept combinations using only training examples. What is missing in this paradigm is an intermediate step that allows the machine to imagine what the scene should look like in certain context before generation. Therefore, we propose Scene Knowledge Graph (SKG), a generic representation of machine imagination, that (1) allows us to collect and unify a diverse set of knowledge resources from different domains and modalities that capture common sense, and (2) decompose the direct mapping from concepts to text with SKG as the contextualized intermediate representation. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of SKG in improving the performance of LMs on both concept-to-sentence and concept-to-story datasets while facilitating the model to learn with less effort.

The performance of supervised learning methods easily suffers from the training bias issue caused by train-test distribution mismatch or label noise. Influence function is a technique that estimates the impacts of a training sample on the model’s predictions. Recent studies on \emph{data resampling} have employed influence functions to identify \emph{harmful} training samples that will degrade model's test performance. They have shown that discarding or downweighting the identified harmful training samples is an effective way to resolve training biases. In this work, we move one step forward and propose an influence-based relabeling framework named RDIA for reusing harmful training samples toward better model performance. To achieve this, we use influence functions to estimate how relabeling a training sample would affect model's test performance and further develop a novel relabeling function R. We theoretically prove that applying R to relabel harmful training samples allows the model to achieve lower test loss than simply discarding them for any classification tasks using cross-entropy loss. Extensive experiments on ten real-world datasets demonstrate RDIA outperforms the state-of-the-art data resampling methods and improves model's robustness against label noise.

Despite overparameterization, deep networks trained via supervised learning are surprisingly easy to optimize and exhibit excellent generalization. One hypothesis to explain this is that overparameterized deep networks enjoy the benefits of implicit regularization induced by stochastic gradient descent, which favors parsimonious solutions that generalize well on test inputs. It is reasonable to surmise that deep reinforcement learning (RL) methods could also benefit from this effect. In this paper, we discuss how the implicit regularization effect of SGD seen in supervised learning could in fact be harmful in the offline deep RL setting, leading to poor generalization and degenerate feature representations. Our theoretical analysis shows that when existing models of implicit regularization are applied to temporal difference learning, the resulting derived regularizer favors degenerate solutions with excessive aliasing, in stark contrast to the supervised learning case. We back up these findings empirically, showing that feature representations learned by a deep network value function trained via bootstrapping can indeed become degenerate, aliasing the representations for state-action pairs that appear on either side of the Bellman backup. To address this issue, we derive the form of this implicit regularizer and, inspired by this derivation, propose a simple and effective explicit regularizer, called DR3, that counteracts the undesirable effects of this implicit regularizer. When combined with existing offline RL methods, DR3 substantially improves performance and stability, alleviating unlearning in Atari 2600 games, D4RL domains and robotic manipulation from images.

The Shapley value is one of the most widely used measures of feature importance partly as it measures a feature's average effect on a model's prediction. We introduce joint Shapley values, which directly extend Shapley's axioms and intuitions: joint Shapley values measure a set of features' average effect on a model's prediction. We prove the uniqueness of joint Shapley values, for any order of explanation. Results for games show that joint Shapley values present different insights from existing interaction indices, which assess the effect of a feature within a set of features. The joint Shapley values seem to provide sensible results in ML attribution problems. With binary features, we present a presence-adjusted global value that is more consistent with local intuitions than the usual approach.

Learning hierarchical structures in sequential data -- from simple algorithmic patterns to natural language -- in a reliable, generalizable way remains a challenging problem for neural language models. Past work has shown that recurrent neural networks (RNNs) struggle to generalize on held-out algorithmic or syntactic patterns without supervision or some inductive bias. To remedy this, many papers have explored augmenting RNNs with various differentiable stacks, by analogy with finite automata and pushdown automata (PDAs). In this paper, we show how to improve the performance of the recently proposed Nondeterministic Stack RNN (NS-RNN), which uses a differentiable data structure that simulates a nondeterministic PDA, with two important changes. First, the model now assigns unnormalized positive weights instead of probabilities to stack actions, and we provide an analysis of why this improves training. Second, the model can directly observe the state of the underlying PDA. Our modified model achieves lower cross-entropy than all previous stack RNNs on five context-free language modeling tasks (within 0.05 nats of the information-theoretic lower bound), including a task on which the NS-RNN previously failed to outperform a deterministic stack RNN baseline. Finally, we propose a restricted version of the NS-RNN that supports incremental execution on infinitely long sequences, and we present language modeling results on the Penn Treebank corpus.

We study COMP-AMS, a distributed optimization framework based on gradient averaging and adaptive AMSGrad algorithm. Gradient compression is applied to reduce the communication in the gradient transmission process, whose bias is corrected by the tool of error feedback. Our convergence analysis of COMP-AMS shows that such gradient averaging strategy yields same convergence rate as standard AMSGrad, and also exhibits linear speedip effect w.r.t. the number of local workers. Compared with recently proposed protocols on distributed adaptive methods, COMP-AMS is simple and convenient. Numerical experiments are conducted to justify the theoretical findings, and demonstrate that the proposed method can achieve same test accuracy as full-gradient AMSGrad with substantial communication savings. With its simplicity and efficiency,COMP-AMS can serve as a useful distributed training framework for adaptive methods.

Multimodal variational autoencoders (VAEs) have shown promise as efficient generative models for weakly-supervised data. Yet, despite their advantage of weak supervision, they exhibit a gap in generative quality compared to unimodal VAEs, which are completely unsupervised. In an attempt to explain this gap, we uncover a fundamental limitation that applies to a large family of mixture-based multimodal VAEs. We prove that the sub-sampling of modalities enforces an undesirable upper bound on the multimodal ELBO and thereby limits the generative quality of the respective models. Empirically, we showcase the generative quality gap on both synthetic and real data and present the tradeoffs between different variants of multimodal VAEs. We find that none of the existing approaches fulfills all desired criteria of an effective multimodal generative model when applied on more complex datasets than those used in previous benchmarks. In summary, we identify, formalize, and validate fundamental limitations of VAE-based approaches for modeling weakly-supervised data and discuss implications for real-world applications.

As machine learning models are deployed ever more broadly, it becomes increasingly important that they are not only able to perform well on their training distribution, but also yield accurate predictions when confronted with distribution shift. The Distributionally Robust Optimization (DRO) framework proposes to address this issue by training models to minimize their expected risk under a collection of distributions, to imitate test-time shifts. This is most commonly achieved by instance-level re-weighting of the training objective to emulate the likelihood ratio with possible test distributions, which allows for estimating their empirical risk via importance sampling. However, re-weighting schemes in the literature are usually limited due to the difficulty of keeping the optimization problem tractable and the complexity of enforcing normalization constraints. In this paper, we show that two simple ideas -- mini-batch level normalization and a KL penalty -- allow us to train models with DRO using a broader class of parametric likelihood ratios. In a series of experiments on both image and text classification benchmarks, we find that models trained with the resulting parametric adversaries are consistently more robust to distribution shifts when compared to other DRO approaches, and that the method performs reliably well with little hyper-parameter tuning.

Adversarial transferability enables attackers to generate adversarial examples from the source model to attack the target model, which has raised security concerns about the deployment of DNNs in practice. In this paper, we rethink adversarial transferability from a data distribution perspective and further enhance transferability by score matching based optimization. We identify that some samples with injecting small Gaussian noise can fool different target models, and their adversarial examples under different source models have much stronger transferability. We hypothesize that these samples are in the low-density region of the ground truth distribution where models are not well trained. To improve the attack success rate of adversarial examples, we match the adversarial attacks with the directions which effectively decrease the ground truth density. We propose Intrinsic Adversarial Attack (IAA), which smooths the activation function and decreases the impact of the later layers of a given normal model, to increase the alignment of adversarial attack and the gradient of joint data distribution. We conduct comprehensive transferable attacks against multiple DNNs and show that our IAA can boost the transferability of the crafted attacks in all cases and go beyond state-of-the-art methods.

We study bandits and reinforcement learning (RL) subject to a conservative constraint where the agent is asked to perform at least as well as a given baseline policy. This setting is particular relevant in real-world domains including digital marketing, healthcare, production, finance, etc. In this paper, we present a reduction-based framework for conservative bandits and RL, in which our core technique is to calculate the necessary and sufficient budget obtained from running the baseline policy. For lower bounds, we improve the existing lower bound for conservative multi-armed bandits and obtain new lower bounds for conservative linear bandits, tabular RL and low-rank MDP, through a black-box reduction that turns a certain lower bound in the nonconservative setting into a new lower bound in the conservative setting. For upper bounds, in multi-armed bandits, linear bandits and tabular RL, our new upper bounds tighten or match existing ones with significantly simpler analyses. We also obtain a new upper bound for conservative low-rank MDP.

The randomized singular value decomposition (SVD) is a popular and effective algorithm for computing a near-best rank $k$ approximation of a matrix $A$ using matrix-vector products with standard Gaussian vectors. Here, we generalize the theory of randomized SVD to multivariate Gaussian vectors, allowing one to incorporate prior knowledge of $A$ into the algorithm. This enables us to explore the continuous analogue of the randomized SVD for Hilbert--Schmidt (HS) operators using operator-function products with functions drawn from a Gaussian process (GP). We then construct a new covariance kernel for GPs, based on weighted Jacobi polynomials, which allows us to rapidly sample the GP and control the smoothness of the randomly generated functions. Numerical examples on matrices and HS operators demonstrate the applicability of the algorithm.

Experiments with pre-trained models such as BERT are often based on a single checkpoint. While the conclusions drawn apply to the artifact tested in the experiment (i.e., the particular instance of the model), it is not always clear whether they hold for the more general procedure which includes the architecture, training data, initialization scheme, and loss function. Recent work has shown that repeating the pre-training process can lead to substantially different performance, suggesting that an alternative strategy is needed to make principled statements about procedures. To enable researchers to draw more robust conclusions, we introduce MultiBERTs, a set of 25 BERT-Base checkpoints, trained with similar hyper-parameters as the original BERT model but differing in random weight initialization and shuffling of training data. We also define the Multi-Bootstrap, a non-parametric bootstrap method for statistical inference designed for settings where there are multiple pre-trained models and limited test data. To illustrate our approach, we present a case study of gender bias in coreference resolution, in which the Multi-Bootstrap lets us measure effects that may not be detected with a single checkpoint. The models and statistical library are available online, along with an additional set of 140 intermediate checkpoints captured during pre-training to facilitate research on learning dynamics.

We propose a novel method called Long Expressive Memory (LEM) for learning long-term sequential dependencies. LEM is gradient-based, it can efficiently process sequential tasks with very long-term dependencies, and it is sufficiently expressive to be able to learn complicated input-output maps. To derive LEM, we consider a system of multiscale ordinary differential equations, as well as a suitable time-discretization of this system. For LEM, we derive rigorous bounds to show the mitigation of the exploding and vanishing gradients problem, a well-known challenge for gradient-based recurrent sequential learning methods. We also prove that LEM can approximate a large class of dynamical systems to high accuracy. Our empirical results, ranging from image and time-series classification through dynamical systems prediction to speech recognition and language modeling, demonstrate that LEM outperforms state-of-the-art recurrent neural networks, gated recurrent units, and long short-term memory models.

One of the key promises of model-based reinforcement learning is the ability to generalize using an internal model of the world to make predictions in novel environments and tasks. However, the generalization ability of model-based agents is not well understood because existing work has focused on model-free agents when benchmarking generalization. Here, we explicitly measure the generalization ability of model-based agents in comparison to their model-free counterparts. We focus our analysis on MuZero (Schrittwieser et al., 2020), a powerful model-based agent, and evaluate its performance on both procedural and task generalization. We identify three factors of procedural generalization---planning, self-supervised representation learning, and procedural data diversity---and show that by combining these techniques, we achieve state-of-the art generalization performance and data efficiency on Procgen (Cobbe et al., 2019). However, we find that these factors do not always provide the same benefits for the task generalization benchmarks in Meta-World (Yu et al., 2019), indicating that transfer remains a challenge and may require different approaches than procedural generalization. Overall, we suggest that building generalizable agents requires moving beyond the single-task, model-free paradigm and towards self-supervised model-based agents that are trained in rich, procedural, multi-task environments.

Exploration remains a central challenge for reinforcement learning (RL). Virtually all existing methods share the feature of a *monolithic* behaviour policy that changes only gradually (at best). In contrast, the exploratory behaviours of animals and humans exhibit a rich diversity, namely including forms of *switching* between modes. This paper presents an initial study of mode-switching, non-monolithic exploration for RL. We investigate different modes to switch between, at what timescales it makes sense to switch, and what signals make for good switching triggers. We also propose practical algorithmic components that make the switching mechanism adaptive and robust, which enables flexibility without an accompanying hyper-parameter-tuning burden. Finally, we report a promising initial study on Atari, using two-mode exploration and switching at sub-episodic time-scales.

Molecule representation learning (MRL) methods aim to embed molecules into a real vector space. However, existing SMILES-based (Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System) or GNN-based (Graph Neural Networks) MRL methods either take SMILES strings as input that have difficulty in encoding molecule structure information, or over-emphasize the importance of GNN architectures but neglect their generalization ability. Here we propose using chemical reactions to assist learning molecule representation. The key idea of our approach is to preserve the equivalence of molecules with respect to chemical reactions in the embedding space, i.e., forcing the sum of reactant embeddings and the sum of product embeddings to be equal for each chemical equation. This constraint is proven effective to 1) keep the embedding space well-organized and 2) improve the generalization ability of molecule embeddings. Moreover, our model can use any GNN as the molecule encoder and is thus agnostic to GNN architectures. Experimental results demonstrate that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance in a variety of downstream tasks, e.g., 17.4% absolute Hit@1 gain in chemical reaction prediction, 2.3% absolute AUC gain in molecule property prediction, and 18.5% relative RMSE gain in graph-edit-distance prediction, respectively, over the best baseline method. All experimental code is provided in the supplementary material.

Many practical modeling tasks require making predictions using tabular data composed of heterogeneous feature types (e.g., text-based, categorical, continuous, etc.). In this setting boosted decision trees and related ensembling techniques generally dominate real-world applications involving iid training/test sets. However, when there are relations between samples and the iid assumption is no longer reasonable, it remains unclear how to incorporate these dependencies within existing boosting pipelines. To this end, we propose a generalized framework for combining boosted trees and more general model ensembling techniques, with graph propagation layers that share node/sample information across edges connecting related samples. And unlike previous efforts to integrate graph-based models with boosting, our approach is anchored to a principled meta loss function such that provable convergence can be guaranteed under relatively mild assumptions. Across a variety of benchmarks involving non-iid graph data with tabular node features, our framework achieves comparable or superior performance.

Turbulence simulation with classical numerical solvers requires very high-resolution grids to accurately resolve dynamics. Here we train learned simulators at low spatial and temporal resolutions to capture turbulent dynamics that were generated at high resolution. We show that our proposed model can simulate turbulent dynamics more accurately than classical numerical solvers at the same low resolutions across various scientifically relevant metrics. Our model is trained end-to-end from data and it is capable of learning a range of challenging chaotic and turbulent dynamics at low resolution, including trajectories generated by the state-of-the-art Athena++ engine. We show that our simpler, general-purpose architecture outperforms various more specialized, turbulence-specific architectures from the learned turbulence simulation literature. In general, we see that learned simulators can yield unstable trajectories; however, we show that tuning training noise and temporal downsampling solves this problem. We also find that while generalization beyond the training distribution is a challenge for learned models, training noise, convolutional architectures, and added loss constraints can help. Broadly, we conclude that our learned simulator outperforms traditional solvers run on coarser grids, and emphasize that simple design choices can offer stability and robust generalization.

Existing research on learning with noisy labels mainly focuses on synthetic label noise. Synthetic label noise, though has clean structures which greatly enabled statistical analyses, often fails to model the real-world noise patterns. The recent literature has observed several efforts to offer real-world noisy datasets, e.g., Food-101N, WebVision, and Clothing1M. Yet the existing efforts suffer from two caveats: firstly, the lack of ground-truth verification makes it hard to theoretically study the property and treatment of real-world label noise. Secondly, these efforts are often of large scales, which may result in unfair comparisons of robust methods within reasonable and accessible computation power. To better understand real-world label noise, it is important to establish controllable and moderate-sized real-world noisy datasets with both ground-truth and noisy labels. This work presents two new benchmark datasets, which we name as CIFAR-10N, CIFAR-100N, equipping the training datasets of CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 with human-annotated real-world noisy labels that we collect from Amazon Mechanical Turk. We quantitatively and qualitatively show that real-world noisy labels follow an instance-dependent pattern rather than the classically assumed and adopted ones (e.g., class-dependent label noise). We then initiate an effort to benchmarking a subset of the existing solutions using CIFAR-10N and CIFAR-100N. We further proceed to study the memorization of correct and wrong predictions, which further illustrates the difference between human noise and class-dependent synthetic noise. We show indeed the real-world noise patterns impose new and outstanding challenges as compared to synthetic label noise. These observations require us to rethink the treatment of noisy labels, and we hope the availability of these two datasets would facilitate the development and evaluation of future learning with noisy label solutions.

Large-scale pre-trained language models have contributed significantly to natural language processing by demonstrating remarkable abilities as few-shot learners. However, their effectiveness depends mainly on scaling the model parameters and prompt design, hindering their implementation in most real-world applications. This study proposes a novel pluggable, extensible, and efficient approach named DifferentiAble pRompT (DART), which can convert small language models into better few-shot learners without any prompt engineering. The main principle behind this approach involves reformulating potential natural language processing tasks into the task of a pre-trained language model and differentially optimizing the prompt template as well as the target label with backpropagation. Furthermore, the proposed approach can be: (i) Plugged to any pre-trained language models; (ii) Extended to widespread classification tasks. A comprehensive evaluation of standard NLP tasks demonstrates that the proposed approach achieves a better few-shot performance.

In this article, we investigate the spectral behavior of random features kernel matrices of the type ${\bf K} = \mathbb{E}_{{\bf w}} \left[\sigma\left({\bf w}^{\sf T}{\bf x}_i\right)\sigma\left({\bf w}^{\sf T}{\bf x}_j\right)\right]_{i,j=1}^n$, with nonlinear function $\sigma(\cdot)$, data ${\bf x}_1, \ldots, {\bf x}_n \in \mathbb{R}^p$, and random projection vector ${\bf w} \in \mathbb{R}^p$ having i.i.d. entries. In a high-dimensional setting where the number of data $n$ and their dimension $p$ are both large and comparable, we show, under a Gaussian mixture model for the data, that the eigenspectrum of ${\bf K}$ is independent of the distribution of the i.i.d.(zero-mean and unit-variance) entries of ${\bf w}$, and only depends on $\sigma(\cdot)$ via its (generalized) Gaussian moments $\mathbb{E}_{z\sim \mathcal N(0,1)}[\sigma'(z)]$ and $\mathbb{E}_{z\sim \mathcal N(0,1)}[\sigma''(z)]$. As a result, for any kernel matrix ${\bf K}$ of the form above, we propose a novel random features technique, called Ternary Random Features (TRFs), that (i) asymptotically yields the same limiting kernel as the original ${\bf K}$ in a spectral sense and (ii) can be computed and stored much more efficiently, by wisely tuning (in a data-dependent manner) the function $\sigma$ and the random vector ${\bf w}$, both taking values in $\{-1,0,1\}$. The computation of the proposed random features requires no multiplication, and a factor of $b$ times less bits for storage compared to classical random features such as random Fourier features, with $b$ the number of bits to store full precision values. Besides, it appears in our experiments on real data that the substantial gains in computation and storage are accompanied with somewhat improved performances compared to state-of-the-art random features methods.

We consider the problem of finding the best memoryless stochastic policy for an infinite-horizon partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP) with finite state and action spaces with respect to either the discounted or mean reward criterion. We show that the (discounted) state-action frequencies and the expected cumulative reward are rational functions of the policy, whereby the degree is determined by the degree of partial observability. We then describe the optimization problem as a linear optimization problem in the space of feasible state-action frequencies subject to polynomial constraints that we characterize explicitly. This allows us to address the combinatorial and geometric complexity of the optimization problem using recent tools from polynomial optimization. In particular, we demonstrate how the partial observability constraints can lead to multiple smooth and non-smooth local optimizers and we estimate the number of critical points.

The lottery ticket hypothesis questions the role of overparameterization in supervised deep learning. But how is the performance of winning lottery tickets affected by the distributional shift inherent to reinforcement learning problems? In this work, we address this question by comparing sparse agents who have to address the non-stationarity of the exploration-exploitation problem with supervised agents trained to imitate an expert. We show that feed-forward networks trained with behavioural cloning compared to reinforcement learning can be pruned to higher levels of sparsity without performance degradation. This suggests that in order to solve the RL-specific distributional shift agents require more degrees of freedom. Using a set of carefully designed baseline conditions, we find that the majority of the lottery ticket effect in both learning paradigms can be attributed to the identified mask rather than the weight initialization. The input layer mask selectively prunes entire input dimensions that turn out to be irrelevant for the task at hand. At a moderate level of sparsity the mask identified by iterative magnitude pruning yields minimal task-relevant representations, i.e., an interpretable inductive bias. Finally, we propose a simple initialization rescaling which promotes the robust identification of sparse task representations in low-dimensional control tasks.

Learning sparse coordination graphs adaptive to the coordination dynamics among agents is a long-standing problem in cooperative multi-agent learning. This paper studies this problem and proposes a novel method using the variance of payoff functions to construct context-aware sparse coordination topologies. We theoretically consolidate our method by proving that the smaller the variance of payoff functions is, the less likely action selection will change after removing the corresponding edge. Moreover, we propose to learn action representations to effectively reduce the influence of payoff functions' estimation errors on graph construction. To empirically evaluate our method, we present the Multi-Agent COordination (MACO) benchmark by collecting classic coordination problems in the literature, increasing their difficulty, and classifying them into different types. We carry out a case study and experiments on the MACO and StarCraft II micromanagement benchmark to demonstrate the dynamics of sparse graph learning, the influence of graph sparseness, and the learning performance of our method.

Message-passing neural networks (MPNNs) are the leading architecture for deep learning on graph-structured data, in large part due to their simplicity and scalability. Unfortunately, it was shown that these architectures are limited in their expressive power. This paper proposes a novel framework called Equivariant Subgraph Aggregation Networks (ESAN) to address this issue. Our main observation is that while two graphs may not be distinguishable by an MPNN, they often contain distinguishable subgraphs. Thus, we propose to represent each graph as a set of subgraphs derived by some predefined policy, and to process it using a suitable equivariant architecture. We develop novel variants of the 1-dimensional Weisfeiler-Leman (1-WL) test for graph isomorphism, and prove lower bounds on the expressiveness of ESAN in terms of these new WL variants. We further prove that our approach increases the expressive power of both MPNNs and more expressive architectures. Moreover, we provide theoretical results that describe how design choices such as the subgraph selection policy and equivariant neural architecture affect our architecture's expressive power. To deal with the increased computational cost, we propose a subgraph sampling scheme, which can be viewed as a stochastic version of our framework. A comprehensive set of experiments on real and synthetic datasets demonstrates that our framework improves the expressive power and overall performance of popular GNN architectures.

Minimax problems are receiving an increasing amount of attention in a wide range of applications in machine learning (ML), for instance, reinforcement learning, robust optimization, adversarial learning, and distributed computing, to mention but a few. Current studies focus on the fundamental understanding of general minimax problems with an emphasis on convergence behavior. As a comparison, there is far less work to study the generalization performance. Additionally, existing generalization bounds are almost all derived in expectation, and the high probability bounds are all presented in the slow order $\mathcal{O}\left( 1/\sqrt{n}\right)$, where $n$ is the sample size. In this paper, we provide improved generalization analyses for almost all existing generalization measures of minimax problems, which enables the minimax problems to establish sharper bounds of order $\mathcal{O}\left( 1/n \right)$, significantly, with high probability. We then use the improved learning bounds to establish $\mathcal{O}\left(1/n \right)$ high probability generalization bounds for classical empirical saddle point (ESP) solution and several popular gradient-based optimization algorithms, including gradient descent ascent (GDA), stochastic gradient descent ascent (SGDA), proximal point method (PPM), extra-gradient (EG), and optimistic gradient descent ascent (OGDA). Overall, we provide a comprehensive understanding of sharper generalization bounds of minimax problems.

Including covariant information, such as position, force, velocity or spin is important in many tasks in computational physics and chemistry. We introduce Steerable E($3$) Equivariant Graph Neural Networks (SEGNNs) that generalise equivariant graph networks, such that node and edge attributes are not restricted to invariant scalars, but can contain covariant information, such as vectors or tensors. Our model, composed of steerable MLPs, is able to incorporate geometric and physical information in both the message and update functions.
Through the definition of steerable node attributes, the MLPs provide a new class of activation functions for general use with steerable feature fields. We discuss ours and related work through the lens of equivariant non-linear convolutions, which further allows us to pin-point the successful components of SEGNNs: non-linear message aggregation improves upon classic linear (steerable) point convolutions; steerable messages improve upon recent equivariant graph networks that send invariant messages. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on several tasks in computational physics and chemistry and provide extensive ablation studies.

Object-centric representations are a promising path toward more systematic generalization by providing flexible abstractions upon which compositional world models can be built. Recent work on simple 2D and 3D datasets has shown that models with object-centric inductive biases can learn to segment and represent meaningful objects from the statistical structure of the data alone without the need for any supervision. However, such fully-unsupervised methods still fail to scale to realistic data, despite the use of increasingly complex inductive biases such as priors for the size of objects or the 3D geometry of the scene. In this paper, we instead take a weakly-supervised approach and focus on how 1) using the temporal dynamics of video data in the form of optical flow and 2) conditioning the model on simple object location cues can be used to enable segmenting and tracking objects in significantly more realistic synthetic data. We introduce a sequential extension to Slot Attention which we train to predict optical flow for realistic looking synthetic scenes and show that conditioning the initial state of this model on a small set of hints, such as center of mass of objects in the first frame, is sufficient to significantly improve instance segmentation. These benefits generalize beyond the training distribution to novel objects, novel backgrounds, and to longer video sequences. We also find that such initial-state-conditioning can be used during inference as a flexible interface to query the model for specific objects or parts of objects, which could pave the way for a range of weakly-supervised approaches and allow more effective interaction with trained models.

Many gradient-based meta-learning methods assume a set of parameters that do not participate in inner-optimization, which can be considered as hyperparameters. Although such hyperparameters can be optimized using the existing gradient-based hyperparameter optimization (HO) methods, they suffer from the following issues. Unrolled differentiation methods do not scale well to high-dimensional hyperparameters or horizon length, Implicit Function Theorem (IFT) based methods are restrictive for online optimization, and short horizon approximations suffer from short horizon bias. In this work, we propose a novel HO method that can overcome these limitations, by approximating the second-order term with knowledge distillation. Specifically, we parameterize a single Jacobian-vector product (JVP) for each HO step and minimize the distance from the true second-order term. Our method allows online optimization and also is scalable to the hyperparameter dimension and the horizon length. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on three different meta-learning methods and two benchmark datasets.

334. Noisy Feature Mixup

We introduce Noisy Feature Mixup (NFM), an inexpensive yet effective method for data augmentation that combines the best of interpolation based training and noise injection schemes. Rather than training with convex combinations of pairs of examples and their labels, we use noise-perturbed convex combinations of pairs of data points in both input and feature space. This method includes mixup and manifold mixup as special cases, but it has additional advantages, including better smoothing of decision boundaries and enabling improved model robustness. We provide theory to understand this as well as the implicit regularization effects of NFM. Our theory is supported by empirical results, demonstrating the advantage of NFM, as compared to mixup and manifold mixup. We show that residual networks and vision transformers trained with NFM have favorable trade-offs between predictive accuracy on clean data and robustness with respect to various types of data perturbation across a range of computer vision benchmark datasets.

The recently discovered Neural Collapse (NC) phenomenon occurs pervasively in today's deep net training paradigm of driving cross-entropy (CE) loss towards zero. During NC, last-layer features collapse to their class-means, both classifiers and class-means collapse to the same Simplex Equiangular Tight Frame, and classifier behavior collapses to the nearest-class-mean decision rule. Recent works demonstrated that deep nets trained with mean squared error (MSE) loss perform comparably to those trained with CE. We empirically establish that NC emerges in such MSE-trained deep nets as well through experiments on three canonical networks and five benchmark datasets. We provide, in a Google Colab notebook, PyTorch code for reproducing MSE-NC and CE-NC: https://colab.research.google.com/github/neuralcollapse/neuralcollapse/blob/main/neuralcollapse.ipynb. The analytically-tractable MSE loss offers more mathematical opportunities than the hard-to-analyze CE loss, inspiring us to leverage MSE loss towards the theoretical investigation of NC. We develop three main contributions: (I) We show a new decomposition of the MSE loss into (A) terms directly interpretable through the lens of NC and which assume the last-layer classifier is exactly the least-squares classifier; and (B) a term capturing the deviation from this least-squares classifier. (II) We exhibit experiments on canonical datasets and networks demonstrating that term-(B) is negligible during training. This motivates us to introduce a new theoretical construct: the central path, where the linear classifier stays MSE-optimal for feature activations throughout the dynamics. (III) By studying renormalized gradient flow along the central path, we derive exact dynamics that predict NC.

Vision Transformers (ViTs) and MLPs signal further efforts on replacing hand-wired features or inductive biases with general-purpose neural architectures. Existing works empower the models by massive data, such as large-scale pre-training and/or repeated strong data augmentations, and still report optimization-related problems (e.g., sensitivity to initialization and learning rates). Hence, this paper investigates ViTs and MLP-Mixers from the lens of loss geometry, intending to improve the models' data efficiency at training and generalization at inference. Visualization and Hessian reveal extremely sharp local minima of converged models. By promoting smoothness with a recently proposed sharpness-aware optimizer, we substantially improve the accuracy and robustness of ViTs and MLP-Mixers on various tasks spanning supervised, adversarial, contrastive, and transfer learning (e.g., +5.3\% and +11.0\% top-1 accuracy on ImageNet for ViT-B/16 and Mixer-B/16, respectively, with the simple Inception-style preprocessing). We show that the improved smoothness attributes to sparser active neurons in the first few layers. The resultant ViTs outperform ResNets of similar size and throughput when trained from scratch on ImageNet without large-scale pre-training or strong data augmentations. They also possess more perceptive attention maps.

We study the problem of inferring an object-centric scene representation from a single image, aiming to derive a representation that explains the image formation process, captures the scene's 3D nature, and is learned without supervision. Most existing methods on scene decomposition lack one or more of these characteristics, due to the fundamental challenge in integrating the complex 3D-to-2D image formation process into powerful inference schemes like deep networks. In this paper, we propose unsupervised discovery of Object Radiance Fields (uORF), integrating recent progresses in neural 3D scene representations and rendering with deep inference networks for unsupervised 3D scene decomposition. Trained on multi-view RGB images without annotations, uORF learns to decompose complex scenes with diverse, textured background from a single image. We show that uORF enables novel tasks, such as scene segmentation and editing in 3D, and it performs well on these tasks and on novel view synthesis on three datasets.

We study the generalization properties of the overparameterized deep neural network (DNN) with Rectified Linear Unit (ReLU) activations.
Under the non-parametric regression framework, it is assumed that the ground-truth function is from a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) induced by a neural tangent kernel (NTK) of ReLU DNN, and a dataset is given with the noises. Without a delicate adoption of early stopping, we prove that the overparametrized DNN trained by vanilla gradient descent does not recover the ground-truth function. It turns out that the estimated DNN's $L_{2}$ prediction error is bounded away from $0$. As a complement of the above result, we show that the $\ell_{2}$-regularized gradient descent enables the overparametrized DNN achieve the minimax optimal convergence rate of the $L_{2}$ prediction error, without early stopping. Notably, the rate we obtained is faster than $\mathcal{O}(n^{-1/2})$ known in the literature.

The prediction of quantum mechanical properties is historically plagued by a trade-off between accuracy and speed. Machine learning potentials have previously shown great success in this domain, reaching increasingly better accuracy while maintaining computational efficiency comparable with classical force fields. In this work we propose a novel equivariant Transformer architecture, outperforming state-of-the-art on MD17, ANI-1, and many QM9 targets in both accuracy and computational efficiency. Through an extensive attention weight analysis, we gain valuable insights into the black box predictor and show differences in the learned representation of conformers versus conformations sampled from molecular dynamics or normal modes. Furthermore, we highlight the importance of datasets including off-equilibrium conformations for the evaluation of molecular potentials.

For centuries, scientists have manually designed closed-form ordinary differential equations (ODEs) to model dynamical systems. An automated tool to distill closed-form ODEs from observed trajectories would accelerate the modeling process. Traditionally, symbolic regression is used to uncover a closed-form prediction function $a=f(b)$ with label-feature pairs $(a_i, b_i)$ as training examples. However, an ODE models the time derivative $\dot{x}(t)$ of a dynamical system, e.g. $\dot{x}(t) = f(x(t),t)$, and the "label" $\dot{x}(t)$ is usually *not* observed. The existing ways to bridge this gap only perform well for a narrow range of settings with low measurement noise, frequent sampling, and non-chaotic dynamics. In this work, we propose the Discovery of Closed-form ODE framework (D-CODE), which advances symbolic regression beyond the paradigm of supervised learning. D-CODE leverages a novel objective function based on the variational formulation of ODEs to bypass the unobserved time derivative. For formal justification, we prove that this objective is a valid proxy for the estimation error of the true (but unknown) ODE. In the experiments, D-CODE successfully discovered the governing equations of a diverse range of dynamical systems under challenging measurement settings with high noise and infrequent sampling.

Time-series data are ubiquitous these days, but lack of the labels in time-series data is regarded as a hurdle for its broad applicability. Meanwhile, active learning has been successfully adopted to reduce the labeling efforts in various tasks. Thus, this paper addresses an important issue, time-series active learning. Inspired by the temporal coherence in time-series data, where consecutive data points tend to have the same label, our label propagation framework, called TCLP, automatically assigns a queried label to the data points within an accurately estimated time-series segment, thereby significantly boosting the impact of an individual query. Compared with traditional time-series active learning, TCLP is shown to improve the classification accuracy by up to 5.9 times when only 0.4% of data points in the entire time series are queried for their labels.

The generalization of model-based reinforcement learning (MBRL) methods to environments with unseen dynamics is an important yet challenging problem.
Existing methods try to make dynamics prediction models robust to the change of environmental dynamics by incorporating the context information $Z$ learned from past transition segments. However, the redundant information unrelated to the dynamics change in transition segments will create a spurious statistical association with dynamics and thus undermines generalization ability. In this paper, we model the dynamics change as the variation of unobserved environment-specified factors $Z$ across environments. Because environment labels are unavailable, it is challenging to only learn environmental invariant information into $Z$ without introducing redundant information. To tackle this problem, we introduce an interventional prediction module to find $Z$ belonging to the same environment. Furthermore, by utilizing the $Z$'s invariance within a single environment, a relational head is proposed to enforce the similarity between $\hat{{Z}}$ from the same environment. As a result, the redundant information unrelated to environmental specifics will be eliminated in the estimated $\hat{Z}$, thus improving the generalization ability of the dynamics prediction model. The experimental results on several benchmark datasets demonstrate that our approach can significantly reduce dynamics prediction errors and improve the performance of model-based RL methods on zero-shot new environments with unseen dynamics.

Unsupervised semantic segmentation aims to discover and localize semantically meaningful categories within image corpora without any form of annotation. To solve this task, algorithms must produce features for every pixel that are both semantically meaningful and compact enough to form distinct clusters. Unlike previous works which achieve this with a single end-to-end framework, we propose to separate feature learning from cluster compactification. Empirically, we show that current unsupervised feature learning frameworks already generate dense features whose correlations are semantically consistent. This observation motivates us to design STEGO (\textbf{S}elf-supervised \textbf{T}ransformer with \textbf{E}nergy-based \textbf{G}raph \textbf{O}ptimization), a novel framework that distills unsupervised features into high-quality discrete semantic labels. At the core of STEGO is a novel contrastive loss function that encourage features to form compact clusters while preserving their association pattern.
STEGO yields a significant improvement over the prior state of the art, on both the CocoStuff (\textbf{+14 mIoU}) and Cityscapes (\textbf{+9 mIoU}) semantic segmentation challenges.

In this paper, we conjecture that if the permutation invariance of neural networks is taken into account, SGD solutions will likely have no barrier in the linear interpolation between them. Although it is a bold conjecture, we show how extensive empirical attempts fall short of refuting it. We further provide a preliminary theoretical result to support our conjecture. Our conjecture has implications for lottery ticket hypothesis, distributed training and ensemble methods. The source code is available at \url{https://github.com/AnonymousMLSubmission/PermutationInvariance}.

Contextual multi-armed bandits have been studied for decades and adapted to various applications such as online advertising and personalized recommendation. To solve the exploitation-exploration tradeoff in bandits, there are three main techniques: epsilon-greedy, Thompson Sampling (TS), and Upper Confidence Bound (UCB). In recent literature, linear contextual bandits have adopted ridge regression to estimate the reward function and combine it with TS or UCB strategies for exploration. However, this line of works explicitly assumes the reward is based on a linear function of arm vectors, which may not be true in real-world datasets. To overcome this challenge, a series of neural-based bandit algorithms have been proposed, where a neural network is assigned to learn the underlying reward function and TS or UCB are adapted for exploration.
In this paper, we propose "EE-Net," a neural-based bandit approach with a novel exploration strategy. In addition to utilizing a neural network (Exploitation network) to learn the reward function, EE-Net adopts another neural network (Exploration network) to adaptively learn potential gains compared to currently estimated reward. Then, a decision-maker is constructed to combine the outputs from the Exploitation and Exploration networks. We prove that EE-Net achieves $\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{T\log T})$ regret, which is tighter than existing state-of-the-art neural bandit algorithms ($\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{T}\log T)$ for both UCB-based and TS-based). Through extensive experiments on four real-world datasets, we show that EE-Net outperforms existing linear and neural bandit approaches.

Supervised learning is a fundamental framework used to train machine learning systems. A supervised learning problem is often formulated using an i.i.d. assumption that restricts model attention to a single relevant signal at a time when predicting. This contrasts with the human ability to actively use related samples as reference when making decisions. We hypothesize that the restriction to a single signal for each prediction in the standard i.i.d. framework contributes to well-known drawbacks of supervised learning: making overconfident predictions and vulnerability to overfitting, adversarial attacks, and out-of-distribution data. To address these limitations, we propose a new supervised learning paradigm called self-joint learning that generalizes the standard approach by modeling the joint conditional distribution of two observed samples, where each sample is an image and its label. Rather than assuming samples are independent, our models explicitly learn the sample-to-sample relation of conditional independence. Our framework can naturally incorporate auxiliary unlabeled data to further improve the performance. Experiments on benchmark image datasets show our method offers significant improvement over standard supervised learning in terms of accuracy, robustness against adversarial attacks, out-of-distribution detection, and overconfidence mitigation.

In this paper, we argue that energy-based sequence models backed by expressive parametric families can result in uncomputable and inapproximable partition functions. Among other things, this makes model selection--and therefore learning model parameters--not only difficult, but generally _undecidable_. The reason is that there are no good deterministic or randomized estimates of partition functions. Specifically, we exhibit a pathological example where under common assumptions, _no_ useful importance sampling estimates of the partition function can guarantee to have variance bounded below a rational number. As alternatives, we consider sequence model families whose partition functions are computable (if they exist), but at the cost of reduced expressiveness. Our theoretical results suggest that statistical procedures with asymptotic guarantees and sheer (but finite) amounts of compute are not the only things that make sequence modeling work; computability concerns must not be neglected as we consider more expressive model parametrizations.

We consider the task of finding out-of-class samples in tabular data, where little can be assumed on the structure of the data. In order to capture the structure of the samples of the single training class, we learn mappings that maximize the mutual information between each sample and the part that is masked out. The mappings are learned by employing a contrastive loss, which considers only one sample at a time. Once learned, we can score a test sample by measuring whether the learned mappings lead to a small contrastive loss using the masked parts of this sample. Our experiments show that our method leads by a sizable accuracy gap in comparison to the literature and that the same default set of hyperparameters provides state-of-the-art results across benchmarks.

Implicit neural representations with multi-layer perceptrons (MLPs) have recently gained prominence for a wide variety of tasks such as novel view synthesis and 3D object representation and rendering. However, a significant challenge with these representations is that both training and inference with an MLP over a large number of input coordinates to learn and represent an image, video, or 3D object, require large amounts of computation and incur long processing times. In this work, we aim to accelerate inference and training of coordinate-based MLPs for implicit neural representations by proposing a new split MLP architecture, CoordX. With CoordX, the initial layers are split to learn each dimension of the input coordinates separately. The intermediate features are then fused by the last layers to generate the learned signal at the corresponding coordinate point. This significantly reduces the amount of computation required and leads to large speedups in training and inference, while achieving similar accuracy as the baseline MLP. This approach thus aims at first learning functions that are a decomposition of the original signal and then fusing them to generate the learned signal. Our proposed architecture can be generally used for many implicit neural representation tasks with no additional memory overheads. We demonstrate a speedup of up to 2.92x compared to the baseline model for image, video, and 3D shape representation and rendering tasks.

Positive and Unlabeled (PU) learning targets inducing a binary classifier from weak training datasets of positive and unlabeled instances, which arise in many real-world applications. In this paper, we propose a novel PU learning method, namely Positive and unlabeled learning with Partially Positive Mixup (P3Mix), which simultaneously benefits from data augmentation and supervision correction with a heuristic mixup technique. To be specific, we take inspiration from the directional boundary deviation phenomenon observed in our preliminary experiments, where the learned PU boundary tends to deviate from the fully supervised boundary towards the positive side. For the unlabeled instances with ambiguous predictive results, we select their mixup partners from the positive instances around the learned PU boundary, so as to transform them into augmented instances near to the boundary yet with more precise supervision. Accordingly, those augmented instances may push the learned PU boundary towards the fully supervised boundary, thereby improving the classification performance. Comprehensive experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the heuristic mixup technique in PU learning and show that P3Mix can consistently outperform the state-of-the-art PU learning methods.

Goal-conditioned hierarchical reinforcement learning (GCHRL) provides a promising approach to solving long-horizon tasks. Recently, its success has been extended to more general settings by concurrently learning hierarchical policies and subgoal representations. Although GCHRL possesses superior exploration ability by decomposing tasks via subgoals, existing GCHRL methods struggle in temporally extended tasks with sparse external rewards, since the high-level policy learning relies on external rewards. As the high-level policy selects subgoals in an online learned representation space, the dynamic change of the subgoal space severely hinders effective high-level exploration. In this paper, we propose a novel regularization that contributes to both stable and efficient subgoal representation learning. Building upon the stable representation, we design measures of novelty and potential for subgoals, and develop an active hierarchical exploration strategy that seeks out new promising subgoals and states without intrinsic rewards. Experimental results show that our approach significantly outperforms state-of-the-art baselines in continuous control tasks with sparse rewards.

We prove that $\mathbb{F}_p$ sketch, a well-celebrated streaming algorithm for frequency moments estimation, is differentially private as is when $p\in(0, 1]$. $\mathbb{F}_p$ sketch uses only polylogarithmic space, exponentially better than existing DP baselines and only worse than the optimal non-private baseline by a logarithmic factor. The evaluation shows that $\mathbb{F}_p$ sketch can achieve reasonable accuracy with strong privacy guarantees. The code for evaluation is included in the supplementary material.

353. Direct then Diffuse: Incremental Unsupervised Skill Discovery for State Covering and Goal Reaching

Learning meaningful behaviors in the absence of reward is a difficult problem in reinforcement learning. A desirable and challenging unsupervised objective is to learn a set of diverse skills that provide a thorough coverage of the state space while being directed, i.e., reliably reaching distinct regions of the environment. In this paper, we build on the mutual information framework for skill discovery and introduce UPSIDE, which addresses the coverage-directedness trade-off in the following ways: 1) We design policies with a decoupled structure of a directed skill, trained to reach a specific region, followed by a diffusing part that induces a local coverage. 2) We optimize policies by maximizing their number under the constraint that each of them reaches distinct regions of the environment (i.e., they are sufficiently discriminable) and prove that this serves as a lower bound to the original mutual information objective. 3) Finally, we compose the learned directed skills into a growing tree that adaptively covers the environment. We illustrate in several navigation and control environments how the skills learned by UPSIDE solve sparse-reward downstream tasks better than existing baselines.

It is widely believed that the implicit regularization of SGD is fundamental to the impressive generalization behavior we observe in neural networks. In this work, we demonstrate that non-stochastic full-batch training can achieve comparably strong performance to SGD on CIFAR-10 using modern architectures. To this end, we show that the implicit regularization of SGD can be completely replaced with explicit regularization. Our observations indicate that the perceived difficulty of full-batch training is largely the result of its optimization properties and the disproportionate time and effort spent by the ML community tuning optimizers and hyperparameters for small-batch training.

In contrast to single-objective optimization (SOO), multi-objective optimization (MOO) requires an optimizer to find the Pareto frontier, a subset of feasible solutions that are not dominated by other feasible solutions. In this paper, we propose LaMOO, a novel multi-objective optimizer that learns a model from observed samples to partition the search space and then focus on promising regions that are likely to contain a subset of the Pareto frontier. The partitioning is based on the dominance number, which measures "how close'' a data point is to the Pareto frontier among existing samples. To account for possible partition errors due to limited samples and model mismatch, we leverage Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) to exploit promising regions while exploring suboptimal regions that may turn out to contain good solutions later. Theoretically, we prove the efficacy of learning space partitioning via LaMOO under certain assumptions. Empirically, on the HyperVolume (HV) benchmark, a popular MOO metric, LaMOO substantially outperforms strong baselines on multiple real-world MOO tasks, by up to 225% in sample efficiency for neural architecture search on Nasbench201, and up to 10% for molecular design.

Training convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with a strict Lipschitz constraint under the $l_{2}$ norm is useful for provable adversarial robustness, interpretable gradients and stable training. While $1$-Lipschitz CNNs can be designed by enforcing a $1$-Lipschitz constraint on each layer, training such networks requires each layer to have an orthogonal Jacobian matrix (for all inputs) to prevent the gradients from vanishing during backpropagation. A layer with this property is said to be Gradient Norm Preserving (GNP). In this work, we introduce a procedure to certify robustness of $1$-Lipschitz CNNs by relaxing the orthogonalization of the last linear layer of the network that significantly advances the state of the art for both standard and provable robust accuracies on CIFAR-100 (gain of $4.80\%$ and $4.71\%$ respectively). We further boost their robustness by introducing (i) a novel Gradient Norm preserving activation function called Householder activation function and (ii) a certificate regularization. On CIFAR-10, we show that significant improvements over the prior works in provable robust accuracy ($5.81\%$) with only a minor drop in standard accuracy ($-0.29\%$).

The numerical solution of partial differential equations (PDEs) is difficult, having led to a century of research so far. Recently, there have been pushes to build neural--numerical hybrid solvers, which piggy-backs the modern trend towards fully end-to-end learned systems. Most works so far can only generalize over a subset of properties to which a generic solver would be faced, including: resolution, topology, geometry, boundary conditions, domain discretization regularity, dimensionality, etc. In this work, we build a solver, satisfying these properties, where all the components are based on neural message passing, replacing all heuristically designed components in the computation graph with backprop-optimized neural function approximators. We show that neural message passing solvers representationally contain some classical methods, such as finite differences, finite volumes, and WENO schemes. In order to encourage stability in training autoregressive models, we put forward a method that is based on the principle of zero-stability, posing stability as a domain adaptation problem. We validate our method on various fluid-like flow problems, demonstrating fast, stable, and accurate performance across different domain topologies, discretization, etc. in 1D and 2D. Our model outperforms state-of-the-art numerical solvers in the low resolution regime in terms of speed, and accuracy.

We consider representation learning of 3D molecular graphs in which each atom is associated with a spatial position in 3D. This is an under-explored area of research, and a principled message passing framework is currently lacking. In this work, we conduct analyses in the spherical coordinate system (SCS) for the complete identification of 3D graph structures. Based on such observations, we propose the spherical message passing (SMP) as a novel and powerful scheme for 3D molecular learning. SMP dramatically reduces training complexity, enabling it to perform efficiently on large-scale molecules. In addition, SMP is capable of distinguishing almost all molecular structures,
and the uncovered cases may not exist in practice. Based on meaningful physically-based representations of 3D information, we further propose the SphereNet for 3D molecular learning. Experimental results demonstrate that the use of meaningful 3D information in SphereNet leads to significant performance improvements in prediction tasks. Our results also demonstrate the advantages of SphereNet in terms of capability, efficiency, and scalability.

Answering complex questions about textual narratives requires reasoning over both stated context and the world knowledge that underlies it. However, pretrained language models (LM), the foundation of most modern QA systems, do not robustly represent latent relationships between concepts, which is necessary for reasoning. While knowledge graphs (KG) are often used to augment LMs with structured representations of world knowledge, it remains an open question how to effectively fuse and reason over the KG representations and the language context, which provides situational constraints and nuances. In this work, we propose GreaseLM, a new model that fuses encoded representations from pretrained LMs and graph neural networks over multiple layers of modality interaction operations. Information from both modalities propagates to the other, allowing language context representations to be grounded by structured world knowledge, and allowing linguistic nuances (e.g., negation, hedging) in the context to inform the graph representations of knowledge. Our results on three benchmarks in the commonsense reasoning (i.e., CommonsenseQA, OpenbookQA) and medical question answering (i.e., MedQA-USMLE) domains demonstrate that GreaseLM can more reliably answer questions that require reasoning over both situational constraints and structured knowledge, even outperforming models 8x larger.

Learning energy-based model (EBM) requires MCMC sampling of the learned model as an inner loop of the learning algorithm. However, MCMC sampling of EBMs in high-dimensional data space is generally not mixing, because the energy function, which is usually parametrized by deep network, is highly multi-modal in the data space. This is a serious handicap for both theory and practice of EBMs. In this paper, we propose to learn EBM with a flow-based model serving as a backbone, so that the EBM is a correction or an exponential tilting of the flow-based model. We show that the model has a particularly simple form in the space of the latent variables of the flow-based model, and MCMC sampling of the EBM in the latent space mixes well and traverses modes in the data space. This enables proper sampling and learning of EBMs. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first where MCMC sampling is mixing for EBM parametrized by modern ConvNet.

Forgetting is often seen as an unwanted characteristic in both human and machine learning. However, we propose that forgetting can in fact be favorable to learning. We introduce forget-and-relearn as a powerful paradigm for shaping the learning trajectories of artificial neural networks. In this process, the forgetting step selectively removes undesirable information from the model, and the relearning step reinforces features that are consistently useful under different conditions. The forget-and-relearn framework unifies many existing iterative training algorithms in the image classification and language emergence literature, and allows us to understand the success of these algorithms in terms of the disproportionate forgetting of undesirable information. We leverage this understanding to propose more targeted forgetting steps, and show that they significantly improve upon existing algorithms. We reduce overfitting in image classification by repeatedly forgetting later layers of the network. We promote compositionality in the communication between agents in a referential game through partial weight perturbations. Insights from our analysis provide a coherent view on the dynamics of iterative training in neural networks and offer a clear path towards performance improvements.

In shuffle privacy, each user sends a collection of randomized messages to a trusted shuffler, the shuffler randomly permutes these messages, and the resulting shuffled collection of messages must satisfy differential privacy. Prior work in this model has largely focused on protocols that use a single round of communication to compute algorithmic primitives like means, histograms, and counts. In this work, we present interactive shuffle protocols for stochastic convex optimization. Our optimization protocols rely on a new noninteractive protocol for summing vectors of bounded $\ell_2$ norm. By combining this sum subroutine with techniques including mini-batch stochastic gradient descent, accelerated gradient descent, and Nesterov's smoothing method, we obtain loss guarantees for a variety of convex loss functions that significantly improve on those of the local model and sometimes match those of the central model.

Text adventure games present unique challenges to reinforcement learning methods due to their combinatorially large action spaces and sparse rewards. The interplay of these two factors is particularly demanding because large action spaces require extensive exploration, while sparse rewards provide limited feedback. This work proposes to tackle the explore-vs-exploit dilemma using a multi-stage approach that explicitly disentangles these two strategies within each episode. Our algorithm, called eXploit-Then-eXplore (XTX), begins each episode using an exploitation policy that imitates a set of promising trajectories from the past, and then switches over to an exploration policy aimed at discovering novel actions that lead to unseen state spaces. This policy decomposition allows us to combine global decisions about which parts of the game space to return to with curiosity-based local exploration in that space, motivated by how a human may approach these games. Our method significantly outperforms prior approaches by 24% and 10% average normalized score over 12 games from the Jericho benchmark (Hausknecht et al.,2020) in both deterministic and stochastic settings, respectively. On the game of Zork1, in particular, XTX obtains a score of 103, more than a 2x improvement over prior methods, and pushes past several known bottlenecks in the game that have plagued previous state-of-the-art methods.

Reinforcement learning (RL) experiments have notoriously high variance, and minor details can have disproportionately large effects on measured outcomes. This is problematic for creating reproducible research and also serves as an obstacle for real-world applications, where safety and predictability are paramount. In this paper, we investigate causes for this perceived instability. To allow for an in-depth analysis, we focus on a specifically popular setup with high variance -- continuous control from pixels with an actor-critic agent. In this setting, we demonstrate that variance mostly arises early in training as a result of poor "outlier" runs, but that weight initialization and initial exploration are not to blame. We show that one cause for early variance is numerical instability which leads to saturating nonlinearities. We investigate several fixes to this issue and find that one particular method is surprisingly effective and simple -- normalizing penultimate features. Addressing the learning instability allows for larger learning rates, and significantly decreases the variance of outcomes. This demonstrates that the perceived variance in RL is not necessarily inherent to the problem definition and may be addressed through simple architectural modifications.

Assessing the complexity of functions computed by a neural network helps us understand how the network will learn and generalize. One natural measure of complexity is how the network distorts length - if the network takes a unit-length curve as input, what is the length of the resulting curve of outputs? It has been widely believed that this length grows exponentially in network depth. We prove that in fact this is not the case: the expected length distortion does not grow with depth, and indeed shrinks slightly, for ReLU networks with standard random initialization. We also generalize this result by proving upper bounds both for higher moments of the length distortion and for the distortion of higher-dimensional volumes. These theoretical results are corroborated by our experiments.

Many text generation systems benefit from using a retriever to retrieve passages from a textual knowledge corpus (e.g., Wikipedia) which are then provided as additional context to the generator. For open-ended generation tasks (like generating informative utterances in conversations) many varied passages may be equally relevant and we find that existing methods that jointly train the retriever and generator underperform: the retriever may not find relevant passages even amongst the top-10 and hence the generator may not learn a preference to ground its generated output in them. We propose using an additional guide retriever that is allowed to use the target output and ``in hindsight’’ retrieve relevant passages during training. We model the guide retriever after the posterior distribution Q of passages given the input and the target output and train it jointly with the standard retriever and the generator by maximizing the evidence lower bound (ELBo) in expectation over Q. For informative conversations from the Wizard of Wikipedia dataset, with posterior-guided training, the retriever finds passages with higher relevance in the top-10 (23 % relative improvement), the generator’s responses are more grounded in the retrieved passage (19 % relative improvement) and the end-to-end system produces better overall output (6.4 % relative improvement).

Offline Reinforcement Learning (RL) aims to learn policies from previously collected datasets without exploring the environment. Directly applying off-policy algorithms to offline RL usually fails due to the extrapolation error caused by the out-of-distribution (OOD) actions. Previous methods tackle such problem by penalizing the Q-values of OOD actions or constraining the trained policy to be close to the behavior policy. Nevertheless, such methods typically prevent the generalization of value functions beyond the offline data and also lack precise characterization of OOD data. In this paper, we propose Pessimistic Bootstrapping for offline RL (PBRL), a purely uncertainty-driven offline algorithm without explicit policy constraints. Specifically, PBRL conducts uncertainty quantification via the disagreement of bootstrapped Q-functions, and performs pessimistic updates by penalizing the value function based on the estimated uncertainty. To tackle the extrapolating error, we further propose a novel OOD sampling method. We show that such OOD sampling and pessimistic bootstrapping yields provable uncertainty quantifier in linear MDPs, thus providing the theoretical underpinning for PBRL. Extensive experiments on D4RL benchmark show that PBRL has better performance compared to the state-of-the-art algorithms.

In this paper, we explore the problem of generating molecules using deep neural networks, which has recently gained much interest in chemistry. To this end, we propose a spanning tree-based graph generation (STGG) framework based on formulating molecular graph generation as a construction of a spanning tree and the residual edges. Such a formulation exploits the sparsity of molecular graphs and allows using compact tree-constructive operations to define the molecular graph connectivity. Based on the intermediate graph structure of the construction process, our framework can constrain its generation to molecular graphs that satisfy the chemical valence rules. We also newly design a Transformer architecture with tree-based relative positional encodings for realizing the tree construction procedure. Experiments on QM9, ZINC250k, and MOSES benchmarks verify the effectiveness of the proposed framework in metrics such as validity, Frechet ChemNet distance, and fragment similarity. We also demonstrate the usefulness of STGG in maximizing penalized LogP value of molecules.

We propose a reinforcement learning based approach to the problem of query object localization, where an agent is trained to localize objects of interest specified by a small exemplary set. We learn a transferable reward signal formulated using the exemplary set by ordinal metric learning. It enables test-time policy adaptation to new environments where the reward signals are not readily available, and outperforms fine-tuning approaches that are limited to annotated images. In addition, the transferable reward can allow repurposing of the trained agent from one specific class to another class. Experiments on corrupted MNIST, CU-Birds, and COCO datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

We present Sequential Neural Variational Inference (SNVI), an approach to perform Bayesian inference in models with intractable likelihoods. SNVI combines likelihood-estimation (or likelihood-ratio-estimation) with variational inference to achieve a scalable simulation-based inference approach. SNVI maintains the flexibility of likelihood(-ratio) estimation to allow arbitrary proposals for simulations, while simultaneously providing a functional estimate of the posterior distribution without requiring MCMC sampling. We present several variants of SNVI and demonstrate that they are vastly more computationally efficient than previous algorithms, without loss of accuracy on benchmark tasks. We apply SNVI to a neuroscience model of the pyloric network in the crab and demonstrate that it can infer the posterior distribution with one order of magnitude fewer simulations than previously reported. SNVI vastly reduces the computational cost of simulation-based inference while maintaining accuracy and flexibility, making it possible to tackle problems that were previously inaccessible.

Anomaly detection is a widely studied task for a broad variety of data types; among them, multiple time series appear frequently in applications, including for example, power grids and traffic networks. Detecting anomalies for multiple time series, however, is a challenging subject, owing to the intricate interdependencies among the constituent series. We hypothesize that anomalies occur in low density regions of a distribution and explore the use of normalizing flows for unsupervised anomaly detection, because of their superior quality in density estimation. Moreover, we propose a novel flow model by imposing a Bayesian network among constituent series. A Bayesian network is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) that models causal relationships; it factorizes the joint probability of the series into the product of easy-to-evaluate conditional probabilities. We call such a graph-augmented normalizing flow approach GANF and propose joint estimation of the DAG with flow parameters. We conduct extensive experiments on real-world datasets and demonstrate the effectiveness of GANF for density estimation, anomaly detection, and identification of time series distribution drift.

Deployment of machine learning models in real high-risk settings (e.g. healthcare) often depends not only on model's accuracy but also on its fairness, robustness and interpretability. Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) are a class of interpretable models with a long history of use in these high-risk domains, but they lack desirable features of deep learning such as differentiability and scalability. In this work, we propose a neural GAM (NODE-GAM) and neural GA$^2$M (NODE-GA$^2$M) that scale well and perform better than other GAMs on large datasets, while remaining interpretable compared to other ensemble and deep learning models. We demonstrate that our models find interesting patterns in the data. Lastly, we show that we are able to improve model accuracy via self-supervised pre-training, an improvement that is not possible for non-differentiable GAMs.

Local divisive normalization provides a phenomenological description of many nonlinear response properties of neurons across visual cortical areas. To gain insight into the utility of this operation, we studied the effects on AlexNet of a local divisive normalization between features, with learned parameters. Developing features were arranged in a line topology, with the influence between features determined by an exponential function of the distance between them. We compared an AlexNet model with no normalization or with canonical normalizations (Batch, Group, Layer) to the same models with divisive normalization added (before the canonical normalization, when those were used). The normalization was performed after the RELU in all five convolutional layers. Divisive normalization always improved performance for models with batch or group or no normalization, gen- erally by 1-2 percentage points, on both the CIFAR-100 and ImageNet databases. Divisive followed by batch normalization showed best performance. To gain in- sight into mechanisms underlying the improved performance, we examined several aspects of network representations. In the early layers both canonical and divisive normalizations reduced manifold capacities and increased average dimension of the individual categorical manifolds. In later layers the capacity was higher and manifold dimension lower for models roughly in order of their performance im- provement. We also use the Gini index, a measure of the inequality of a distribution, as a metric for sparsity of the distribution of activities within a given layer. Divisive normalization layers increase the Gini index (i.e. increase sparsity), whereas the other normalizations decrease the Gini index in their respective layers. Nonetheless, in the final layer, the sparseness of activity increases in the order of no normal- ization, divisive, combined, and canonical. We also investigate how the receptive fields (RFs) in the first convolutional layer (where RFs are most interpretable) change with normalization. Divisive normalization enhances RF Fourier power at low wavelengths, and divisive+canonical enhances power at mid (batch, group) or low (layer) wavelengths, compared to canonical alone or no normalization. In conclusion, divisive normalization enhances image recognition performance, most strongly when combined with canonical normalization, and in doing so it reduces manifold capacity and sparsity in early layers while increasing them in final layers, and increases low- or mid-wavelength power in the first-layer receptive fields.

Model-based reinforcement learning (MBRL) is a sample efficient technique to obtain control policies, yet unavoidable modeling errors often lead performance deterioration. The model in MBRL is often solely fitted to reconstruct dynamics, state observations in particular, while the impact of model error on the policy is not captured by the training objective. This leads to a mismatch between the intended goal of MBRL, enabling good policy and value learning, and the target of the loss function employed in practice, future state prediction. Naive intuition would suggest that value-aware model learning would fix this problem and, indeed, several solutions to this objective mismatch problem have been proposed based on theoretical analysis. However, they tend to be inferior in practice to commonly used maximum likelihood (MLE) based approaches. In this paper we propose the \algoNameFull (\algoName), a novel method for value-aware model learning which improves the performance of MBRL in challenging settings, such as small model capacity and the presence of distracting state dimensions. We analyze both MLE and value-aware approaches and demonstrate how they fail to account for exploration and the behavior of function approximation when learning value-aware models and highlight the additional goals that must be met to stabilize optimization in the deep learning setting. We verify our analysis by showing that our loss function is able to achieve high returns on the Mujoco benchmark suite while being more robust than maximum likelihood based approaches.

3D object detection is a fundamental and challenging task for 3D scene understanding, and the monocular-based methods can serve as an economical alternative to the stereo-based or LiDAR-based methods. However, accurately locating objects in the 3D space from a single image is extremely difficult due to the lack of spatial cues. To mitigate this issue, we propose a simple and effective scheme to introduce the spatial information from LiDAR signals to the monocular 3D detectors, without introducing any extra cost in the inference phase. In particular, we first project the LiDAR signals into the image plane and align them with the RGB images. After that, we use the resulting data to train a 3D detector (LiDAR Net) using the same architecture as the baseline model. Finally, this LiDAR Net can serve as the teacher to transfer the learned knowledge to the baseline model. Experimental results show that the proposed method can significantly boost the performance of the baseline model and ranks the $1^{st}$ place among all monocular-based methods on the KITTI benchmark. Besides, extensive ablation studies are conducted, which further prove the effectiveness of each part of our designs and illustrate what the baseline model has learned from the LiDAR Net.

Self-supervised contrastive representation learning has proved incredibly successful in the vision and natural language domains, enabling state-of-the-art performance with orders of magnitude less labeled data. However, such methods are domain-specific and little has been done to leverage this technique on real-world \emph{tabular} datasets. We propose \textsc{Scarf}, a simple, widely-applicable technique for contrastive learning, where views are formed by corrupting a random subset of features. When applied to pre-train deep neural networks on the 69 real-world, tabular classification datasets from the OpenML-CC18 benchmark, \textsc{Scarf} not only improves classification accuracy in the fully-supervised setting but does so also in the presence of label noise and in the semi-supervised setting where only a fraction of the available training data is labeled. We show that \textsc{Scarf} complements existing strategies and outperforms alternatives like autoencoders. We conduct comprehensive ablations, detailing the importance of a range of factors.

Video recordings contain correlated audio and visual information, providing a strong signal for speech representation learning from the audio stream and the speaker’s lip movements. We introduce Audio-Visual Hidden Unit BERT (AV-HuBERT), a self-supervised representation learning framework for audio-visual speech, which masks multi-stream video input and predicts automatically discovered and iteratively refined multimodal hidden units. AV-HuBERT learns powerful audio-visual speech representation benefiting both lip-reading and automatic speech recognition. On the largest public lip-reading benchmark LRS3 (433 hours), AV-HuBERT achieves 34.6% WER with only 30 hours of labeled data, 1% away from the former state-of-the-art approach (33.6%) trained with a thousand times more transcribed video data (31K hours) (Makino et al., 2019). The lip-reading WER is further reduced to 30.6% when using all 433 hours of labeled data from LRS3, achieving a new state-of-the-art result using an order-of- magnitude less video data for pre-training and fine-tuning. Using our audio-visual representation on the same benchmark for audio-only speech recognition leads to a 40% relative WER reduction over the state-of-the-art performance (1.4% vs 2.3%). Our models and codes will be publicly available.

Although tremendous strides have been made in uncontrolled face detection, accurate face detection with a low computation cost remains an open challenge. In this paper, we point out that computation distribution and scale augmentation are the keys to detecting small faces from low-resolution images. Motivated by these observations, we introduce two simple but effective methods: (1) Computation Redistribution (CR), which reallocates the computation between the backbone, neck and head of the model; and (2) Sample Redistribution (SR), which augments training samples for the most needed stages. The proposed Sample and Computation Redistribution for Face Detection (SCRFD) is implemented by a random search in a meticulously designed search space. Extensive experiments conducted on WIDER FACE demonstrate the state-of-the-art accuracy-efficiency trade-off for the proposed SCRFD family across a wide range of compute regimes. In particular, SCRFD-34GF outperforms the best competitor, TinaFace, by $4.78\%$ (AP at hard set) while being more than 3$\times$ faster on GPUs with VGA-resolution images. We will release our code to facilitate future research.

Offline reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms can acquire effective policies by utilizing only previously collected experience, without any online interaction. While it is widely understood that offline RL is able to extract good policies even from highly suboptimal data, in practice offline RL is often used with data that resembles demonstrations. In this case, one can also use behavioral cloning (BC) algorithms, which mimic a subset of the dataset via supervised learning. It seems natural to ask: When should we prefer offline RL over BC? In this paper, our goal is to characterize environments and dataset compositions where offline RL leads to better performance than BC. In particular, we characterize the properties of environments that allow offline RL methods to perform better than BC methods even when only provided with expert data. Additionally, we show that policies trained on suboptimal data that is sufficiently noisy can attain better performance than even BC algorithms with expert data, especially on long-horizon problems. We validate our theoretical results via extensive experiments on both diagnostic and high-dimensional domains including robot manipulation, maze navigation and Atari games, when learning from a variety of data sources. We observe that modern offline RL methods trained on suboptimal, noisy data in sparse reward domains outperform cloning the expert data in several practical problems.

Recently numerous machine learning based methods for combinatorial optimization problems have been proposed that learn to construct solutions in a sequential decision process via reinforcement learning. While these methods can be easily combined with search strategies like sampling and beam search, it is not straightforward to integrate them into a high-level search procedure offering strong search guidance. Bello et al. (2016) propose active search, which adjusts the weights of a (trained) model with respect to a single instance at test time using reinforcement learning. While active search is simple to implement, it is not competitive with state-of-the-art methods because adjusting all model weights for each test instance is very time and memory intensive. Instead of updating all model weights, we propose and evaluate three efficient active search strategies that only update a subset of parameters during the search. The proposed methods offer a simple way to significantly improve the search performance of a given model and outperform state-of-the-art machine learning based methods on combinatorial problems, even surpassing the well-known heuristic solver LKH3 on the capacitated vehicle routing problem. Finally, we show that (efficient) active search enables learned models to effectively solve instances that are much larger than those seen during training.

We present ReCo, a contrastive learning framework designed at a regional level to assist learning in semantic segmentation. ReCo performs pixel-level contrastive learning on a sparse set of hard negative pixels, with minimal additional memory footprint. ReCo is easy to implement, being built on top of off-the-shelf segmentation networks, and consistently improves performance, achieving more accurate segmentation boundaries and faster convergence. The strongest effect is in semi-supervised learning with very few labels. With ReCo, we achieve high quality semantic segmentation model, requiring only 5 examples of each semantic class.

Recently, contrastive learning has risen to be a promising approach for large-scale self-supervised learning. However, theoretical understanding of how it works is still unclear. In this paper, we propose a new guarantee on the downstream performance without resort to the conditional independence assumption that is widely adopted in previous work but hardly holds in practice. Our new theory hinges on the insight that different samples from the same class could be bridged together with aggressive data augmentations, thus simply aligning the positive samples (augmented views of the same sample) could make contrastive learning cluster intra-class samples together. We also show that our theory aligns well with existing contrastive methods on both synthetic and real-world datasets. Our work suggests an alternative understanding of contrastive learning: the role of aligning positive samples is more like a surrogate task than an ultimate goal, and it is the overlapping augmented views (i.e., the chaos) that create a ladder for contrastive learning to gradually learn class-separated representations.

Offline reinforcement learning (RL) shows promise of applying RL to real-world problems by effectively utilizing previously collected data. Most existing offline RL algorithms use regularization or constraints to suppress extrapolation error for actions outside the dataset. In this paper, we adopt a different framework, which learns the V-function instead of the Q-function to naturally keep the learning procedure within the support of an offline dataset. To enable effective generalization while maintaining proper conservatism in offline learning, we propose Expectile V-Learning (EVL), which smoothly interpolates between the optimal value learning and behavior cloning. Further, we introduce implicit planning along offline trajectories to enhance learned V-values and accelerate convergence. Together, we present a new offline method called Value-based Episodic Memory (VEM). We provide theoretical analysis for the convergence properties of our proposed VEM method, and empirical results in the D4RL benchmark show that our method achieves superior performance in most tasks, particularly in sparse-reward tasks.

We consider a context-dependent Reinforcement Learning (RL) setting, which is characterized by: a) an unknown finite number of not directly observable contexts; b) abrupt (discontinuous) context changes; and c) Markovian context evolution. We argue that this challenging case is often met in applications and we tackle it using a Bayesian approach and variational inference. We adapt a sticky Hierarchical Dirichlet Process (HDP) prior for model learning, which is arguably best-suited for Markov process modeling. We then derive a context distillation procedure, which identifies and removes spurious contexts in an unsupervised fashion. We argue that the combination of these two components allows to infer the number of contexts from data thus dealing with the context cardinality assumption. We then find the representation of the optimal policy, which allows for efficient policy learning using off-the-shelf RL algorithms. Finally, we demonstrate empirically (using gym environments cart-pole swing-up, drone, highway intersection) that our approach succeeds where state-of-the-art methods of other frameworks (e.g., meta-RL, POMDP) fail and elaborate on the reasons for such failures.

Can artificial agents learn to assist others in achieving their goals without knowing what those goals are? Generic reinforcement learning agents could be trained to behave altruistically towards others by rewarding them for altruistic behaviour, i.e., rewarding them for benefiting other agents in a given situation. Such an approach assumes that other agents' goals are known so that the altruistic agent can cooperate in achieving those goals. However, explicit knowledge of other agents' goals is often difficult to acquire. In the case of human agents, their goals and preferences may be difficult to express fully, may be ambiguous or even contradictory. Thus, it is beneficial to develop agents that do not depend on external supervision and can learn altruistic behaviour in a task-agnostic manner. We propose to act altruistically towards other agents by giving them more choice and thereby allowing them to better achieve their goals. Some concrete examples include opening a door for others or safeguarding them to pursue their objectives without interference. We formalize this concept and propose an altruistic agent that learns to increase the choices another agent has by preferring to maximize the number of states that the other agent can reach in its future. We evaluate our approach on three different multi-agent environments where another agent's success depends on the altruistic agent's behaviour. Finally, we show that our unsupervised agents can perform comparably to agents explicitly trained to work cooperatively,
in some cases even outperforming them.

Graph neural networks (GNN) have shown great advantages in many graph-based learning tasks but often fail to predict accurately for a task based on sets of nodes such as link/motif prediction and so on. Many works have recently proposed to address this problem by using random node features or node distance features. However, they suffer from either slow convergence, inaccurate prediction or highcomplexity. In this work, we revisit GNNs that allow using positional features of nodes given by positional encoding (PE) techniques such as Laplacian Eigenmap, Deepwalk, etc.. GNNs with PE often get criticized because they are not generalizable to unseen graphs (inductive) or stable. Here, we study these issues in a principled way and propose a provable solution, a class of GNN layers termed PEG with rigorous mathematical analysis. PEG uses separate channels to update theoriginal node features and positional features. PEG imposes permutation equivariance w.r.t. the original node features and rotation equivariance w.r.t. the positional features simultaneously. Extensive link prediction experiments over 8 real-world networks demonstrate the advantages of PEG in generalization and scalability.

When deployed in the real world, machine learning models inevitably encounter changes in the data distribution, and certain---but not all---distribution shifts could result in significant performance degradation. In practice, it may make sense to ignore benign shifts, under which the performance of a deployed model does not degrade substantially, making interventions by a human expert (or model retraining) unnecessary. While several works have developed tests for distribution shifts, these typically either use non-sequential methods, or detect arbitrary shifts (benign or harmful), or both. We argue that a sensible method for firing off a warning has to both (a) detect harmful shifts while ignoring benign ones, and (b) allow continuous monitoring of model performance without increasing the false alarm rate. In this work, we design simple sequential tools for testing if the difference between source (training) and target (test) distributions leads to a significant drop in a risk function of interest, like accuracy or calibration. Recent advances in constructing time-uniform confidence sequences allow efficient aggregation of statistical evidence accumulated during the tracking process. The designed framework is applicable in settings where (some) true labels are revealed after the prediction is performed, or when batches of labels become available in a delayed fashion. We demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed framework through an extensive empirical study on a collection of simulated and real datasets.

Using a single value function (critic) shared over multiple tasks in Actor-Critic multi-task reinforcement learning (MTRL) can result in negative interference between tasks, which can compromise learning performance. Multi-Critic Actor Learning (MultiCriticAL) proposes instead maintaining separate value-function estimators, i.e. critics, for each task being trained. This relaxes an assumption of continuity between task values and avoids interference between task-value estimates. Explicitly distinguishing between tasks also eliminates the need for critics to learn to do so. MultiCriticAL is tested in the context of multi-style learning, a special case of MTRL where agents are trained to behave with different distinct behavior styles, and yields up to 45% performance gains over the single-critic baselines and even successfully learns behavior styles in cases where single-critic approaches may simply fail to learn. As a further test of MultiCriticAL’s utility, it is tested on a simulation of EA’s UFC game, where our method enables a single policy function to learn and smoothly transition between multiple fighting styles.

Recent studies show that deep neural networks (DNN) are vulnerable to adversarial examples, which aim to mislead DNNs by adding perturbations with small magnitude. To defend against such attacks, both empirical and theoretical defense approaches have been extensively studied for a single ML model. In this work, we aim to analyze and provide the certified robustness for ensemble ML models, together with the sufficient and necessary conditions of robustness for different ensemble protocols. Although ensemble models are shown more robust than a single model empirically; surprisingly, we find that in terms of the certified robustness the standard ensemble models only achieve marginal improvement compared to a single model. Thus, to explore the conditions that guarantee to provide certifiably robust ensemble ML models, we first prove that diversified gradient and large confidence margin are sufficient and necessary conditions for certifiably robust ensemble models under the model-smoothness assumption. We then provide the bounded model-smoothness analysis based on the proposed Ensemble-before-Smoothing strategy. We also prove that an ensemble model can always achieve higher certified robustness than a single base model under mild conditions. Inspired by the theoretical findings, we propose the lightweight Diversity Regularized Training (DRT) to train certifiably robust ensemble ML models. Extensive experiments show that our DRT enhanced ensembles can consistently achieve higher certified robustness than existing single and ensemble ML models, demonstrating the state-of-the-art certified $L_2$-robustness on MNIST, CIFAR-10, and ImageNet datasets.

Towards avoiding collapse in self-supervised learning (SSL), contrastive loss is widely used but often requires a large number of negative samples. Without negative samples yet achieving competitive performance one recent work~\cite{chen2021exploring} has attracted significant attention for providing a minimalist simple Siamese (SimSiam) method to avoid collapse. However, the reason for its success remains not fully clear and our investigation starts by revisiting the explanatory claims in the SimSiam. After refuting their claims, we introduce vector decomposition for analyzing the collapse based on the gradient analysis of $l_2$ normalized vector. This yields a unified perspective on how negative samples and SimSiam predictor alleviate collapse and promote dimensional de-correlation. Such a unified perspective comes timely for understanding the recent progress in SSL.

In this paper, we establish the first finite-time convergence result of the actor-critic algorithm for fully decentralized multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) problems with average reward.
In this problem, a set of $N$ agents work cooperatively to maximize the global average reward through interacting with their neighbors over a communication network.
We consider a practical MARL setting, where the rewards and actions of each agent are only known to itself, and the knowledge of joint actions of the agents is not assumed.
Toward this end, we propose a mini-batch Markovian sampled fully decentralized actor-critic algorithm and analyze its finite-time convergence and sample complexity.
We show that the sample complexity of this algorithm is $\mathcal{O}(N^{2}/\epsilon^{2}\log(N^{5}/\epsilon))$.
Interestingly, this sample complexity bound matches that of the state-of-the-art single-agent actor-critic algorithms for reinforcement learning.

We strive to learn a model from a set of source domains that generalizes well to unseen target domains. The main challenge in such a domain generalization scenario is the unavailability of any target domain data during training, resulting in the learned model not being explicitly adapted to the unseen target domains. We propose learning to generalize across domains on single test samples. We leverage a meta-learning paradigm to learn our model to acquire the ability of adaptation with single samples at training time so as to further adapt itself to each single test sample at test time. We formulate the adaptation to the single test sample as a variational Bayesian inference problem, which incorporates the test sample as a conditional into the generation of model parameters. The adaptation to each test sample requires only one feed-forward computation at test time without any fine-tuning or self-supervised training on additional data from the unseen domains. We conduct extensive ablation studies to demonstrate the effectiveness and advantages. Further, our model achieves at least comparable -- and often better -- performance than state-of-the-art methods on multiple benchmarks for domain generalization.

Offline reinforcement learning enables agents to leverage large pre-collected datasets of environment transitions to learn control policies, circumventing the need for potentially expensive or unsafe online data collection. Significant progress has been made recently in offline model-based reinforcement learning, approaches which leverage a learned dynamics model. This typically involves constructing a probabilistic model, and using the model uncertainty to penalize rewards where there is insufficient data, solving for a pessimistic MDP that lower bounds the true MDP. Existing methods, however, exhibit a breakdown between theory and practice, whereby pessimistic return ought to be bounded by the total variation distance of the model from the true dynamics, but is instead implemented through a penalty based on estimated model uncertainty. This has spawned a variety of uncertainty heuristics, with little to no comparison between differing approaches. In this paper, we compare these heuristics, and design novel protocols to investigate their interaction with other hyperparameters, such as the number of models, or imaginary rollout horizon. Using these insights, we show that selecting these key hyperparameters using Bayesian Optimization produces superior configurations that are vastly different to those currently used in existing hand-tuned state-of-the-art methods, and result in drastically stronger performance.

Animating images has become increasingly realistic, as well as efficient due to the remarkable progress of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and auto-encoder. Current animation-approaches commonly exploit structure representation extracted from driving videos. Such structure representation (e.g., keypoints or regions) is instrumental in transferring motion from driving videos to still images. However, such approaches fail in case that a source image and driving video encompass large appearance variation. In addition, the extraction of structure information requires additional modules that endow the animation-model with increased complexity. Deviating from such models, we here introduce Latent Image Animator (LIA), a self-supervised auto-encoder that evades need for structure representation. LIA is streamlined to animate images by linear navigation in the latent space. Specifically, motion in generated video is constructed by linear displacement of codes in the latent space. To do so, we learn a set of orthogonal motion directions simultaneously, and use their linear combination to represent any displacement in the latent space. Extensive quantitative and qualitative analysis suggests that our model systematically and significantly outperforms state-of-art methods on VoxCeleb, Taichi and TED-talk datasets w.r.t. generated quality.

We present a meta-learning framework for learning new visual concepts quickly, from just one or a few examples, guided by multiple naturally occurring data streams: simultaneously looking at images, reading sentences that describe the objects in the scene, and interpreting supplemental sentences that relate the novel concept with other concepts. The learned concepts support downstream applications, such as answering questions by reasoning about unseen images. Our model, namely FALCON, represents individual visual concepts, such as colors and shapes, as axis-aligned boxes in a high-dimensional space (the box embedding space). Given an input image and its paired sentence, our model first resolves the referential expression in the sentence and associates the novel concept with particular objects in the scene. Next, our model interprets supplemental sentences to relate the novel concept with other known concepts, such as ``X has property Y'' or ``X is a kind of Y''. Finally, it infers an optimal box embedding for the novel concept that jointly 1) maximizes the likelihood of the observed instances in the image, and 2) satisfies the relationships between the novel concepts and the known ones. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our model on both synthetic and real-world datasets.

State-of-the-art maximum entropy models for texture synthesis
are built from statistics relying on image representations defined
by convolutional neural networks (CNN).
Such representations capture rich structures in texture images,
outperforming wavelet-based representations in this regard.
However, conversely to neural networks,
wavelets offer meaningful representations,
as they are known to detect structures at multiple scales (e.g. edges) in images.
In this work, we propose a family of statistics built upon
non-linear wavelet based representations,
that can be viewed as a particular instance of a one-layer CNN, using
a generalized rectifier non-linearity.
These statistics significantly improve the visual quality of previous classical wavelet-based models, and allow one to produce syntheses of similar quality to
state-of-the-art models, on both gray-scale and color textures.

Learning meaningful representations for chirographic drawing data such as sketches, handwriting, and flowcharts is a gateway for understanding and emulating human creative expression. Despite being inherently continuous-time data, existing works have treated these as discrete-time sequences, disregarding their true nature. In this work, we model such data as continuous-time functions and learn compact representations by virtue of Neural Ordinary Differential Equations. To this end, we introduce the first continuous-time Seq2Seq model and demonstrate some remarkable properties that set it apart from traditional discrete-time analogues. We also provide solutions for some practical challenges for such models, including introducing a family of parameterized ODE dynamics & continuous-time data augmentation particularly suitable for the task. Our models are validated on several datasets including VectorMNIST, DiDi and Quick, Draw!.

Molecular chirality, a form of stereochemistry most often describing relative spatial arrangements of bonded neighbors around tetrahedral carbon centers, influences the set of 3D conformers accessible to the molecule without changing its 2D graph connectivity. Chirality can strongly alter (bio)chemical interactions, particularly protein-drug binding. Most 2D graph neural networks (GNNs) designed for molecular property prediction at best use atomic labels to naïvely treat chirality, while E(3)-invariant 3D GNNs are invariant to chirality altogether. To enable representation learning on molecules with defined stereochemistry, we design an SE(3)-invariant model that processes torsion angles of a 3D molecular conformer. We explicitly model conformational flexibility by integrating a novel type of invariance to rotations about internal molecular bonds into the architecture, mitigating the need for multi-conformer data augmentation. We test our model on four benchmarks: contrastive learning to distinguish conformers of different stereoisomers in a learned latent space, classification of chiral centers as R/S, prediction of how enantiomers rotate circularly polarized light, and ranking enantiomers by their docking scores in an enantiosensitive protein pocket. We compare our model, Chiral InterRoto-Invariant Neural Network (ChIRo), with 2D and 3D GNNs to demonstrate that our model achieves state of the art performance when learning chiral-sensitive functions from molecular structures.

Question Answering (QA) has been a long-standing research topic in AI and NLP fields, and a wealth of studies has been conducted to attempt to equip QA systems with human-level reasoning capability. To approximate the complicated human reasoning process, state-of-the-art QA systems commonly use pre-trained language models (LMs) to access knowledge encoded in LMs together with elaborately designed modules based on Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) to perform reasoning over knowledge graphs (KGs). However, many problems remain open regarding the reasoning functionality of these GNN-based modules. Can these GNN-based modules really perform a complex reasoning process? Are they under- or over-complicated for QA? To open the black box of GNN and investigate these problems, we dissect state-of-the-art GNN modules for QA and analyze their reasoning capability. We discover that even a very simple graph neural counter can outperform all the existing GNN modules on CommonsenseQA and OpenBookQA, two popular QA benchmark datasets which heavily rely on knowledge-aware reasoning. Our work reveals that existing knowledge-aware GNN modules may only carry out some simple reasoning such as counting. It remains a challenging open problem to build comprehensive reasoning modules for knowledge-powered QA.

State-of-the-art deep Q-learning methods update Q-values using state transition tuples sampled from the experience replay buffer. This strategy often randomly samples or prioritizes data sampling based on measures such as the temporal difference (TD) error. Such sampling strategies can be inefficient at learning Q-function since a state's correct Q-value preconditions on the accurate successor states' Q-value. Disregarding such a successor's value dependency leads to useless updates and even learning wrong values.
To expedite Q-learning, we maintain states' dependency by organizing the agent's experience into a graph. Each edge in the graph represents a transition between two connected states. We perform value backups via a breadth-first search that expands vertices in the graph starting from the set of terminal states successively moving backward. We empirically show that our method is substantially more data-efficient than several baselines on a diverse range of goal-reaching tasks. Notably, the proposed method also outperforms baselines that consume more batches of training experience.

Lightweight image super-resolution (SR) networks have obtained promising results with moderate model size. However, they are impractical or neglected to be extended to larger networks. At the same time, model compression techniques, like neural architecture search and knowledge distillation, typically consume considerable computation resources. In contrast, network pruning is a cheap and effective model compression technique. However, it is hard to be applied to SR networks directly, because filter pruning for residual blocks is well-known tricky. To address the above issues, we propose structure-regularized pruning (SRP), which imposes regularization on the pruned structure to make sure the locations of pruned filters are aligned across different layers. Specifically, for the layers connected by the same residual, we select the filters of the same indices as unimportant filters. To transfer the expressive power in the unimportant filters to the rest of the network, we employ $L_2$ regularization to drive the weights towards zero so that eventually their absence will cause minimal performance degradation. We apply SRP to train efficient image SR networks, resulting in a lightweight network SRPN-L and a very deep one SRPN. We conduct extensive comparisons with both lightweight and larger image SR networks. SRPN-L and SRPN achieve superior performance gains over recent methods quantitatively and visually.

The deep policy gradient method has demonstrated promising results in many large-scale games, where the agent learns purely from its own experience. Yet, policy gradient methods suffer convergence problems to a Nash Equilibrium (NE) in multi-agent situations. Counterfactual regret minimization has a convergence guarantee to a NE in two-player zero-sum games, but it usually needs domain-specific abstraction techniques and model-based traversing to deal with large-scale games. To inherit merits from both methods, we extend the actor-critic algorithm framework in deep reinforcement learning to solve a large-scale two-player zero-sum imperfect-information game, 1v1 Mahjong, whose information set size and game length are much larger than Poker. In particular, we modify the policy optimization objective from originally maximizing the discounted returns to minimizing a type of weighted cumulative counterfactual regrets. This modification is achieved by approximating the regrets via a deep neural network and minimizing the regrets via generating self-play strategies using Hedge. We name the proposed algorithm Actor-Critic Hedge (ACH) and derive its theoretical connection to CFR. We prove the convergence of ACH to a NE under certain conditions. Experimental results on the proposed 1v1 Mahjong benchmark and benchmarks from OpenSpiel demonstrate that ACH outperforms related state-of-the-art methods. Also, the bot obtained by ACH defeats a human champion in 1v1 Mahjong.

Online learning via Bayes' theorem allows new data to be continuously integrated into an agent's current beliefs. However, a naive application of Bayesian methods in non-stationary environments leads to slow adaptation and results in state estimates that may converge confidently to the wrong parameter value. A common solution when learning in changing environments is to discard/downweight past data; however, this simple mechanism of ``forgetting'' fails to account for the fact that many real-world environments involve revisiting similar states. We propose a new framework, Bayes augmented with memory (BAM), that takes advantage of past experience by allowing the agent to choose which past observations to remember and which to forget. We demonstrate that BAM generalizes many popular Bayesian update rules for non-stationary environments. Through a variety of experiments, we demonstrate the ability of BAM to continuously adapt in an ever-changing world.

Deep learning models have a propensity for fitting the entire training set even with random labels, which requires memorization of every training sample. In this paper, we explore the memorization effect in adversarial training (AT) for promoting a deeper understanding of model capacity, convergence, generalization, and especially robust overfitting of the adversarially trained models. We first demonstrate that deep networks have sufficient capacity to memorize adversarial examples of training data with completely random labels, but not all AT algorithms can converge under the extreme circumstance. Our study of AT with random labels motivates further analyses on the convergence and generalization of AT. We find that some AT approaches suffer from a gradient instability issue and the recently suggested complexity measures cannot explain robust generalization by considering models trained on random labels. Furthermore, we identify a significant drawback of memorization in AT that it could result in robust overfitting. We then propose a new mitigation algorithm motivated by detailed memorization analyses. Extensive experiments on various datasets validate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Backdoor attacks (BAs) are an emerging threat to deep neural network classifiers. A victim classifier will predict to an attacker-desired target class whenever a test sample is embedded with the same backdoor pattern (BP) that was used to poison the classifier's training set. Detecting whether a classifier is backdoor attacked is not easy in practice, especially when the defender is, e.g., a downstream user without access to the classifier's training set. This challenge is addressed here by a reverse-engineering defense (RED), which has been shown to yield state-of-the-art performance in several domains. However, existing REDs are not applicable when there are only two classes or when multiple attacks are present. These scenarios are first studied in the current paper, under the practical constraints that the defender neither has access to the classifier's training set nor to supervision from clean reference classifiers trained for the same domain. We propose a detection framework based on BP reverse-engineering and a novel expected transferability (ET) statistic. We show that our ET statistic is effective using the same detection threshold, irrespective of the classification domain, the attack configuration, and the BP reverse-engineering algorithm that is used. The excellent performance of our method is demonstrated on six benchmark datasets. Notably, our detection framework is also applicable to multi-class scenarios with multiple attacks.

406. Deep AutoAugment

While recent automated data augmentation works lead to state-of-the-art results, their design spaces and the derived data augmentation strategies still incorporate strong human priors. In this work, instead of selecting a set of hand-picked default augmentations alongside the searched data augmentations, we propose a fully automated approach for data augmentation search called Deep AutoAugment (DeepAA). DeepAA progressively builds a multi-layer data augmentation pipeline from scratch by adding augmentation layers one at a time until reaching convergence. For each augmentation layer, the policy is optimized to maximize the cosine similarity between the gradients of the original and augmented data. Our experiments show that DeepAA improves significantly over previous state-of-the-art automated data augmentation methods. On CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100, we achieve accuracies of 97.56% and 84.02% with Wide-ResNet-28-10 which are 0.1% and 0.5% better than the previous state-of-the-art. On ImageNet, we achieve an accuracy of 78.3% with ResNet-50 which is 0.7% higher than the previous best method.

Based on large-scale pre-trained multilingual representations, recent cross-lingual transfer methods have achieved impressive transfer performances. However, the performance of target languages still lags far behind the source language. In this paper, our analyses indicate such a performance gap is strongly associated with the cross-lingual representation discrepancy. To achieve better cross-lingual transfer performance, we propose the cross-lingual manifold mixup (X-Mixup) method, which adaptively calibrates the representation discrepancy and gives a compromised representation for target languages. Experiments on the XTREME benchmark show X-Mixup achieves 1.8% performance gains on multiple text understanding tasks, compared with strong baselines, and significantly reduces the cross-lingual representation discrepancy.

Molecular design and synthesis planning are two critical steps in the process of molecular discovery that we propose to formulate as a single shared task of conditional synthetic pathway generation. We report an amortized approach to generate synthetic pathways as a Markov decision process conditioned on a target molecular embedding. This approach allows us to conduct synthesis planning in a bottom-up manner and design synthesizable molecules by decoding from optimized conditional codes, demonstrating the potential to solve both problems of design and synthesis simultaneously. The approach leverages neural networks to probabilistically model the synthetic trees, one reaction step at a time, according to reactivity rules encoded in a discrete action space of reaction templates. We train these networks on hundreds of thousands of artificial pathways generated from a pool of purchasable compounds and a list of expert-curated templates. We validate our method with (a) the recovery of molecules using conditional generation, (b) the identification of synthesizable structural analogs, and (c) the optimization of molecular structures given oracle functions relevant to bioactivity and drug discovery.

With little to no parallel data available for programming languages, unsupervised methods are well-suited to source code translation. However, the majority of unsupervised machine translation approaches rely on back-translation, a method developed in the context of natural language translation and one that inherently involves training on noisy inputs. Unfortunately, source code is highly sensitive to small changes; a single token can result in compilation failures or erroneous programs, unlike natural languages where small inaccuracies may not change the meaning of a sentence. To address this issue, we propose to leverage an automated unit-testing system to filter out invalid translations, thereby creating a fully tested parallel corpus. We found that fine-tuning an unsupervised model with this filtered data set significantly reduces the noise in the translations so-generated, comfortably outperforming the state-of-the-art for all language pairs studied. In particular, for Java→Python and Python→C++ we outperform the best previous methods by more than 16% and 24% respectively, reducing the error rate by more than 35%.

We study the problem of aligning the supports of distributions. Compared to the existing work on distribution alignment, support alignment does not require the densities to be matched. We propose symmetric support difference as a divergence measure to quantify the mismatch between supports. We show that select discriminators (e.g. discriminator trained for Jensen-Shannon divergence) are able to map support differences as support differences in their one-dimensional output space. Following this result, our method aligns supports by minimizing a symmetrized relaxed optimal transport cost in the discriminator 1D space via an adversarial process. Furthermore, we show that our approach can be viewed as a limit of existing notions of alignment by increasing transportation assignment tolerance. We quantitatively evaluate the method across domain adaptation tasks with shifts in label distributions. Our experiments show that the proposed method is more robust against these shifts than other alignment-based baselines.

The advancement of dynamics models enables model-based planning in complex environments. Existing dynamics models commonly study image-based games with fully observable states. Generalizing these models to Text-Based Games (TBGs), which commonly describe the partially observable states with noisy text observations, is challenging. In this work, we propose an Object-Oriented Text Dynamics (OOTD) model that enables planning algorithms to solve decision-making problems in text domains. OOTD predicts a memory graph that dynamically remembers the history of object observations and filters object-irrelevant information. To facilitate the robustness of dynamics, our OOTD model identifies the objects influenced by input actions and predicts the belief of object states with independently parameterized transition layers. We develop variational objectives under the object-supervised and self-supervised settings to model the stochasticity of predicted dynamics. Empirical results show OOTD-based planner significantly outperforms model-free baselines in terms of sample efficiency and running scores.

A fundamental criticism of text-only language models (LMs) is their lack of grounding---that is, the ability to tie a word for which they have learned a representation, to its actual use in the world. However, despite this limitation, large pre-trained LMs have been shown to have a remarkable grasp of the conceptual structure of language, as demonstrated by their ability to answer questions, generate fluent text, or make inferences about entities, objects, and properties that they have never physically observed. In this work we investigate the extent to which the rich conceptual structure that LMs learn indeed reflects the conceptual structure of the non-linguistic world---which is something that LMs have never observed. We do this by testing whether the LMs can learn to map an entire conceptual domain (e.g., direction or colour) onto a grounded world representation given only a small number of examples. For example, we show a model what the word ``left" means using a textual depiction of a grid world, and assess how well it can generalise to related concepts, for example, the word ``right", in a similar grid world. We investigate a range of generative language models of varying sizes (including GPT-2 and GPT-3), and see that although the smaller models struggle to perform this mapping, the largest model can not only learn to ground the concepts that it is explicitly taught, but appears to generalise to several instances of unseen concepts as well. Our results suggest an alternative means of building grounded language models: rather than learning grounded representations ``from scratch'', it is possible that large text-only models learn a sufficiently rich conceptual structure that could allow them to be grounded in a data-efficient way.

Potential games are arguably one of the most important and widely studied classes of normal form games. They define the archetypal setting of multi-agent coordination in which all agents utilities are perfectly aligned via a common potential function. Can this intuitive framework be transplanted in the setting of Markov games? What are the similarities and differences between multi-agent coordination with and without state dependence? To answer these questions, we study a natural class of Markov Potential Games (MPGs) that generalize prior attempts at capturing complex stateful multi-agent coordination. Counter-intuitively, insights from normal-form potential games do not carry over as MPGs involve settings where state-games can be zero-sum games. In the opposite direction, Markov games where every state-game is a potential game are not necessarily MPGs. Nevertheless, MPGs showcase standard desirable properties such as the existence of deterministic Nash policies. In our main technical result, we prove convergence of independent policy gradient and its stochastic counterpart to Nash policies (polynomially fast in the approximation error) by adapting recent gradient dominance property arguments developed for single-agent Markov decision processes to multi-agent learning settings.

Large pre-trained language models have been used to generate code, providing a flexible interface for synthesizing programs from natural language specifications. However, they often violate syntactic and semantic rules of their output language, limiting their practical usability. In this paper, we propose Synchromesh: a framework for substantially improving the reliability of pre-trained models for code generation. Synchromesh comprises two components. First, it retrieves few-shot examples from a training bank using Target Similarity Tuning (TST), a novel method for semantic example selection. TST learns to recognize utterances that describe similar target programs despite of differences in surface natural language features. Then, Synchromesh feeds the examples to a pre-trained language model and samples programs using Constrained Semantic Decoding (CSD): a general framework for constraining the output to a set of valid programs in the target language. CSD leverages constraints on partial outputs to sample complete correct programs, and needs neither re-training nor fine-tuning of the language model. We evaluate our methods by synthesizing code from natural language descriptions using GPT-3 and Codex in three real-world languages: SQL queries, Vega-Lite visualizations and SMCalFlow programs. These domains showcase rich constraints that CSD is able to enforce, including syntax, scoping and typing rules. Across all languages, we observe complementary gains from CSD and TST in prediction accuracy and in effectively preventing parsing, type and run-time errors.

Sparse Blind Source Separation (BSS) has become a well established tool for a wide range of applications – for instance, in astrophysics and remote sensing. Classical sparse BSS methods, such as the Proximal Alternating Linearized Minimization (PALM) algorithm, nevertheless often suffer from a difficult hyper-parameter choice, which undermines their results. To bypass this pitfall, we propose in this work to build on the thriving field of algorithm unfolding/unrolling. Unrolling PALM enables to leverage the data-driven knowledge stemming from realistic simulations or ground-truth data by learning both PALM hyper-parameters and variables. In contrast to most existing unrolled algorithms, which assume a fixed known dictionary during the training and testing phases, this article further emphasizes on the ability to deal with variable mixing matrices (a.k.a. dictionaries). The proposed Learned PALM (LPALM) algorithm thus enables to perform semi-blind source separation, which is key to increase the generalization of the learnt model in real-world applications. We illustrate the relevance of LPALM in astrophysical multispectral imaging: the algorithm not only needs up to $10^4−10^5$ times less iterations than PALM, but also improves the separation quality, while avoiding the cumbersome hyper-parameter and initialization choice of PALM. We further show that LPALM outperforms other unrolled source separation methods in the semi-blind setting.

Thanks to the power of representation learning, neural contextual bandit algorithms demonstrate remarkable performance improvement against their classical counterparts. But because their exploration has to be performed in the entire neural network parameter space to obtain nearly optimal regret, the resulting computational cost is prohibitively high.
We propose to perturb the rewards when updating the neural network to eliminate the need of explicit exploration and the corresponding computational overhead. We prove that a $\tilde{O}(\tilde{d}\sqrt{T})$ regret upper bound is still achievable under standard regularity conditions, where $T$ is the number of rounds of interactions and $\tilde{d}$ is the effective dimension of a neural tangent kernel matrix.
Extensive comparisons with several benchmark contextual bandit algorithms, including two recent neural contextual bandit models, demonstrate the effectiveness and computational efficiency of our proposed neural bandit algorithm.

DETR is the first end-to-end object detector using a transformer encoder-decoder architecture and demonstrates competitive performance but low computational efficiency. The subsequent work, Deformable DETR, enhances the efficiency of DETR by replacing dense attention with deformable attention, which achieves 10x faster convergence and improved performance. Using the multiscale feature to ameliorate performance, however, the number of encoder queries increases by 20x compared to DETR, and the computation cost of the encoder attention remains a bottleneck. We observe that the encoder queries referenced by the decoder account for only 45% of the total, and find out the detection accuracy does not deteriorate significantly even if only the referenced queries are polished in the encoder block. Inspired by this observation, we propose Sparse DETR that selectively updates only the queries expected to be referenced by the decoder, thus help the model effectively detect objects. In addition, we show that applying an auxiliary detection loss on the selected queries in the encoder improves the performance while minimizing computational overhead. We validate that Sparse DETR achieves better performance than Deformable DETR even with only 10% encoder queries on the COCO dataset. Albeit only the encoder queries are sparsified, the total computation cost decreases by 38% and the frames per second (FPS) increases by 42% compared to Deformable DETR. Code will be released.

The right to be forgotten has been legislated in many countries, but its enforcement in the AI industry would cause unbearable costs. When single data deletion requests come, companies may need to delete the whole models learned with massive resources. Existing works propose methods to remove knowledge learned from data for explicitly parameterized models, which however are not appliable to the sampling-based Bayesian inference, {\it i.e.}, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), as MCMC can only infer implicit distributions. In this paper, we propose the first machine unlearning algorithm for MCMC. We first convert the MCMC unlearning problem into an explicit optimization problem. Based on this problem conversion, an {\it MCMC influence function} is designed to provably characterize the learned knowledge from data, which then delivers the MCMC unlearning algorithm. Theoretical analysis shows that MCMC unlearning would not compromise the generalizability of the MCMC models. Experiments on Gaussian mixture models and Bayesian neural networks confirm the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. The source code package has been submitted and will be released publicly.

Both animals and artificial agents benefit from state representations that support rapid transfer of learning across tasks and which enable them to efficiently traverse their environments to reach rewarding states. The successor representation (SR), which measures the expected cumulative, discounted state occupancy under a fixed policy, enables efficient transfer to different reward structures in an otherwise constant Markovian environment and has been hypothesized to underlie aspects of biological behavior and neural activity. However, in the real world, rewards may move or only be available for consumption once, may shift location, or agents may simply aim to reach goal states as rapidly as possible without the constraint of artificially imposed task horizons. In such cases, the most behaviorally-relevant representation would carry information about when the agent was likely to first reach states of interest, rather than how often it should expect to visit them over a potentially infinite time span. To reflect such demands, we introduce the first-occupancy representation (FR), which measures the expected temporal discount to the first time a state is accessed. We demonstrate that the FR facilitates exploration, the selection of efficient paths to desired states, allows the agent, under certain conditions, to plan provably optimal trajectories defined by a sequence of subgoals, and induces similar behavior to animals avoiding threatening stimuli.

Robust subspace recovery (RSR) is a fundamental problem in robust representation learning. Although RSR has received considerable attention in the literature, there are still several aspects of RSR that remain highly unexplored.
In particular, when the dimension of the underlying subspace is unknown and the data contains significant numbers of outlying entries many methods can struggle to identify the correct subspace. Here we focus on a recently proposed RSR method termed Dual Principal Component Pursuit (DPCP) approach, which aims to recover a basis of the orthogonal complement of the subspace. While prior work has shown that DPCP can provably recover the correct subspace in the presence of outliers, this relies on knowing the true dimension of the subspace, which is typically not possible in practice, and DPCP often fails when this dimension is unknown. Instead, we propose a very simple algorithm based on running multiple instances of a projected sub-gradient descent method (PSGM), with each problem instance seeking to find one vector in the null space of the subspace. Here we show that under mild conditions that this approach will succeed with high probability. In particular, we show that 1) all of the problem instances will converge to a vector in the null space of the subspace and 2) the ensemble of problem instance solutions will be sufficiently diverse to fully span the null space of the subspace (and thus reveal the true codimension of the subspace) even when the true subspace dimension is unknown. We provide empirical results that corroborate our theoretical results and showcase the remarkable implicit rank regularization behavior of PSGM algorithm that allows us to perform RSR without being aware of the subspace dimension.

The ability to learn reward functions plays an important role in enabling the deployment of intelligent agents in the real world. However, $\textit{comparing}$ reward functions, for example as a means of evaluating reward learning methods, presents a challenge. Reward functions are typically compared by considering the behavior of optimized policies, but this approach conflates deficiencies in the reward function with those of the policy search algorithm used to optimize it. To address this challenge, Gleave et al. (2020) propose the Equivalent-Policy Invariant Comparison (EPIC) distance. EPIC avoids policy optimization, but in doing so requires computing reward values at transitions that may be impossible under the system dynamics. This is problematic for learned reward functions because it entails evaluating them outside of their training distribution, resulting in inaccurate reward values that we show can render EPIC ineffective at comparing rewards. To address this problem, we propose the Dynamics-Aware Reward Distance (DARD), a new reward pseudometric. DARD uses an approximate transition model of the environment to transform reward functions into a form that allows for comparisons that are invariant to reward shaping while only evaluating reward functions on transitions close to their training distribution. Experiments in simulated physical domains demonstrate that DARD enables reliable reward comparisons without policy optimization and is significantly more predictive than baseline methods of downstream policy performance when dealing with learned reward functions.

Despite the recent success of multi-task learning and transfer learning for natural language processing (NLP), few works have systematically studied the effect of scaling up the number of tasks during pre-training. Towards this goal, this paper introduces ExMix (Extreme Mixture): a massive collection of 107 supervised NLP tasks across diverse domains and task-families. Using ExMix, we study the effect of multi-task pre-training at the largest scale to date, and analyze co-training transfer amongst common families of tasks. Through this analysis, we show that manually curating an ideal set of tasks for multi-task pre-training is not straightforward, and that multi-task scaling can vastly improve models on its own. Finally, we propose ExT5: a model pre-trained using a multi-task objective of self-supervised span denoising and supervised ExMix. Via extensive experiments, we show that ExT5 outperforms strong T5 baselines on SuperGLUE, GEM, Rainbow, Closed-Book QA tasks, and several tasks outside of ExMix. ExT5 also significantly improves sample efficiency while pre-training.

Sparse neural networks (NNs) are intensively investigated in literature due to their appeal in saving storage, memory, and computational costs. A recent work (Ramanujan et al., 2020) showed that, different from conventional pruning-and-finetuning pipeline, there exists hidden subnetworks in randomly initialized NNs that have good performance without training the weights. However, such "hidden subnetworks" have mediocre performances and require an expensive edge-popup algorithm to search for them. In this work, we define an extended class of subnetworks in randomly initialized NNs called disguised subnetworks, which are not only "hidden" in the random networks but also "disguised" -- hence can only be "unmasked" with certain transformations on weights. We argue that the unmasking process plays an important role in enlarging the capacity of the subnetworks and thus grants two major benefits: (i) the disguised subnetworks easily outperform the hidden counterparts; (ii) the unmasking process helps to relax the quality requirement on the sparse subnetwork mask so that the expensive edge-popup algorithm can be replaced with more efficient alternatives. On top of the concept of disguised subnetworks, we propose a novel two-stage algorithm that plays a Peek-a-Boo (PaB) game to identify the disguised subnetworks with a combination of two operations: (1) searching efficiently for a subnetwork at random initialization; (2) unmasking the disguise by learning to transform the resulting subnetwork's remaining weights. Furthermore, we show that the unmasking process can be efficiently implemented (a) without referring to any latent weights or scores; and (b) by only leveraging approximated gradients, so that the whole training algorithm is computationally light. Extensive experiments with several large-scale models (ResNet-18, ResNet-50, and WideResNet-28), on CIFAR-10/100 datasets, demonstrate the competency of PaB over edge-popup and other counterparts. Codes will be released upon acceptance.

We present $\textsf{miniF2F}$, a dataset of formal Olympiad-level mathematics problems statements intended to provide a unified cross-system benchmark for neural theorem proving. The $\textsf{miniF2F}$ benchmark currently targets Metamath, Lean, and Isabelle and consists of 488 problem statements drawn from the AIME, AMC, and the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), as well as material from high-school and undergraduate mathematics courses. We report baseline results using GPT-f, a neural theorem prover based on GPT-3 and provide an analysis of its performance. We intend for $\textsf{miniF2F}$ to be a community-driven effort and hope that our benchmark will help spur advances in neural theorem proving.

Most set prediction models in deep learning use set-equivariant operations, but they actually operate on multisets. We show that set-equivariant functions cannot represent certain functions on multisets, so we introduce the more appropriate notion of multiset-equivariance. We identify that the existing Deep Set Prediction Network (DSPN) can be multiset-equivariant without being hindered by set-equivariance and improve it with approximate implicit differentiation, allowing for better optimization while being faster and saving memory. In a range of toy experiments, we show that the perspective of multiset-equivariance is beneficial and that our changes to DSPN achieve better results in most cases. On CLEVR object property prediction, we substantially improve over the state-of-the-art Slot Attention from 8% to 77% in one of the strictest evaluation metrics because of the benefits made possible by implicit differentiation.

In this work, we study the evolution of the loss Hessian across many classification tasks in order to understand the effect the curvature of the loss has on the training dynamics. Whereas prior work has focused on how different learning rates affect the loss Hessian observed during training, we also analyze the effects of model initialization, architectural choices, and common training heuristics such as gradient clipping and learning rate warmup. Our results demonstrate that successful model and hyperparameter choices allow the early optimization trajectory to either avoid---or navigate out of---regions of high curvature and into flatter regions that tolerate a higher learning rate. Our results suggest a unifying perspective on how disparate mitigation strategies for training instability ultimately address the same underlying failure mode of neural network optimization, namely poor conditioning. Inspired by the conditioning perspective, we show that learning rate warmup can improve training stability just as much as batch normalization, layer normalization, MetaInit, GradInit, and Fixup initialization.

Traffic forecasting is a challenging problem due to complex road networks and sudden speed changes caused by various events on roads. A number of models have been proposed to solve this challenging problem with a focus on learning spatio-temporal dependencies of roads. In this work, we propose a new perspective of converting the forecasting problem into a pattern matching task, assuming that large data can be represented by a set of patterns. To evaluate the validness of the new perspective, we design a novel traffic forecasting model, called Pattern-Matching Memory Networks (PM-MemNet), which learns to match input data to the representative patterns with a key-value memory structure. We first extract and cluster representative traffic patterns, which serve as keys in the memory. Then via matching the extracted keys and inputs, PM-MemNet acquires necessary information of existing traffic patterns from the memory and uses it for forecasting. To model spatio-temporal correlation of traffic, we proposed novel memory architecture GCMem, which integrates attention and graph convolution for memory enhancement. The experiment results indicate that PM-MemNet is more accurate than state-of-the-art models, such as Graph WaveNet with higher responsiveness. We also present a qualitative analysis result, describing how PM-MemNet works and achieves its higher accuracy when road speed rapidly changes.

Adversarial Training (AT) is known as an effective approach to enhance the robustness of deep neural networks. Recently researchers notice that robust models with AT have good generative ability and can synthesize realistic images, while the reason behind it is yet under-explored. In this paper, we demystify this phenomenon by developing a unified probabilistic framework, called Contrastive Energy-based Models (CEM). On the one hand, we provide the first probabilistic characterization of AT through a unified understanding of robustness and generative ability. On the other hand, our unified framework can be extended to the unsupervised scenario, which interprets unsupervised contrastive learning as an important sampling of CEM. Based on these, we propose a principled method to develop adversarial learning and sampling methods. Experiments show that the sampling methods derived from our framework improve the sample quality in both supervised and unsupervised learning. Notably, our unsupervised adversarial sampling method achieves an Inception score of 9.61 on CIFAR-10, which is superior to previous energy-based models and comparable to state-of-the-art generative models.

We investigate the challenge of modeling the belief state of a partially observable Markov system, given sample-access to its dynamics model. This problem setting is oft