In a published paper [Sengupta, 2016], we have proposed that the brain (and other self-organized biological and artificial systems) can be characterized via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we have shown that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics -- based on approximate Bayesian inference -- has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. Here, we describe the technical apparatus that enables such a variational inference on manifolds. Particularly, the novel contribution of this paper is an algorithm that utlizes a Schild's ladder for parallel transport of sufficient statistics (means, covariances, etc.) on a statistical manifold.

* Extended version published in PLoS Biology, ICML 2017 Computational Biology Workshop (spotlight presentation)
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A widely studied non-deterministic polynomial time (NP) hard problem lies in finding a route between the two nodes of a graph. Often meta-heuristics algorithms such as $A^{*}$ are employed on graphs with a large number of nodes. Here, we propose a deep recurrent neural network architecture based on the Sequence-2-Sequence (Seq2Seq) model, widely used, for instance in text translation. Particularly, we illustrate that utilising a context vector that has been learned from two different recurrent networks enables increased accuracies in learning the shortest route of a graph. Additionally, we show that one can boost the performance of the Seq2Seq network by smoothing the loss function using a homotopy continuation of the decoder's loss function.

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The Fisher information metric is an important foundation of information geometry, wherein it allows us to approximate the local geometry of a probability distribution. Recurrent neural networks such as the Sequence-to-Sequence (Seq2Seq) networks that have lately been used to yield state-of-the-art performance on speech translation or image captioning have so far ignored the geometry of the latent embedding, that they iteratively learn. We propose the information geometric Seq2Seq (GeoSeq2Seq) network which abridges the gap between deep recurrent neural networks and information geometry. Specifically, the latent embedding offered by a recurrent network is encoded as a Fisher kernel of a parametric Gaussian Mixture Model, a formalism common in computer vision. We utilise such a network to predict the shortest routes between two nodes of a graph by learning the adjacency matrix using the GeoSeq2Seq formalism; our results show that for such a problem the probabilistic representation of the latent embedding supersedes the non-probabilistic embedding by 10-15\%.

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Image understanding using deep convolutional network has reached human-level performance, yet a closely related problem of video understanding especially, action recognition has not reached the requisite level of maturity. We combine multi-kernels based support-vector-machines (SVM) with a multi-stream deep convolutional neural network to achieve close to state-of-the-art performance on a 51-class activity recognition problem (HMDB-51 dataset); this specific dataset has proved to be particularly challenging for deep neural networks due to the heterogeneity in camera viewpoints, video quality, etc. The resulting architecture is named pillar networks as each (very) deep neural network acts as a pillar for the hierarchical classifiers. In addition, we illustrate that hand-crafted features such as improved dense trajectories (iDT) and Multi-skip Feature Stacking (MIFS), as additional pillars, can further supplement the performance.

* ICCV 2017 Workshop on Video and Language Understanding: MovieQA and the Large Scale Movie Description Challenge
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Much combinatorial optimisation problems constitute a non-polynomial (NP) hard optimisation problem, i.e., they can not be solved in polynomial time. One such problem is finding the shortest route between two nodes on a graph. Meta-heuristic algorithms such as $A^{*}$ along with mixed-integer programming (MIP) methods are often employed for these problems. Our work demonstrates that it is possible to approximate solutions generated by a meta-heuristic algorithm using a deep recurrent neural network. We compare different methodologies based on reinforcement learning (RL) and recurrent neural networks (RNN) to gauge their respective quality of approximation. We show the viability of recurrent neural network solutions on a graph that has over 300 nodes and argue that a sequence-to-sequence network rather than other recurrent networks has improved approximation quality. Additionally, we argue that homotopy continuation -- that increases chances of hitting an extremum -- further improves the estimate generated by a vanilla RNN.

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In recent work, it was shown that combining multi-kernel based support vector machines (SVMs) can lead to near state-of-the-art performance on an action recognition dataset (HMDB-51 dataset). This was 0.4\% lower than frameworks that used hand-crafted features in addition to the deep convolutional feature extractors. In the present work, we show that combining distributed Gaussian Processes with multi-stream deep convolutional neural networks (CNN) alleviate the need to augment a neural network with hand-crafted features. In contrast to prior work, we treat each deep neural convolutional network as an expert wherein the individual predictions (and their respective uncertainties) are combined into a Product of Experts (PoE) framework.

* arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1707.06923
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Convolutional and Recurrent, deep neural networks have been successful in machine learning systems for computer vision, reinforcement learning, and other allied fields. However, the robustness of such neural networks is seldom apprised, especially after high classification accuracy has been attained. In this paper, we evaluate the robustness of three recurrent neural networks to tiny perturbations, on three widely used datasets, to argue that high accuracy does not always mean a stable and a robust (to bounded perturbations, adversarial attacks, etc.) system. Especially, normalizing the spectrum of the discrete recurrent network to bound the spectrum (using power method, Rayleigh quotient, etc.) on a unit disk produces stable, albeit highly non-robust neural networks. Furthermore, using the $\epsilon$-pseudo-spectrum, we show that training of recurrent networks, say using gradient-based methods, often result in non-normal matrices that may or may not be diagonalizable. Therefore, the open problem lies in constructing methods that optimize not only for accuracy but also for the stability and the robustness of the underlying neural network, a criterion that is distinct from the other.

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Robustness and security of machine learning (ML) systems are intertwined, wherein a non-robust ML system (classifiers, regressors, etc.) can be subject to attacks using a wide variety of exploits. With the advent of scalable deep learning methodologies, a lot of emphasis has been put on the robustness of supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning algorithms. Here, we study the robustness of the latent space of a deep variational autoencoder (dVAE), an unsupervised generative framework, to show that it is indeed possible to perturb the latent space, flip the class predictions and keep the classification probability approximately equal before and after an attack. This means that an agent that looks at the outputs of a decoder would remain oblivious to an attack.

* Submitted to ICLR 2018
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We propose a novel generative model architecture designed to learn representations for images that factor out a single attribute from the rest of the representation. A single object may have many attributes which when altered do not change the identity of the object itself. Consider the human face; the identity of a particular person is independent of whether or not they happen to be wearing glasses. The attribute of wearing glasses can be changed without changing the identity of the person. However, the ability to manipulate and alter image attributes without altering the object identity is not a trivial task. Here, we are interested in learning a representation of the image that separates the identity of an object (such as a human face) from an attribute (such as 'wearing glasses'). We demonstrate the success of our factorization approach by using the learned representation to synthesize the same face with and without a chosen attribute. We refer to this specific synthesis process as image attribute manipulation. We further demonstrate that our model achieves competitive scores, with state of the art, on a facial attribute classification task.

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Generative adversarial networks (GANs) provide a way to learn deep representations without extensively annotated training data. They achieve this through deriving backpropagation signals through a competitive process involving a pair of networks. The representations that can be learned by GANs may be used in a variety of applications, including image synthesis, semantic image editing, style transfer, image super-resolution and classification. The aim of this review paper is to provide an overview of GANs for the signal processing community, drawing on familiar analogies and concepts where possible. In addition to identifying different methods for training and constructing GANs, we also point to remaining challenges in their theory and application.

* Accepted in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine Special Issue on Deep Learning for Visual Understanding
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Epileptic seizure activity shows complicated dynamics in both space and time. To understand the evolution and propagation of seizures spatially extended sets of data need to be analysed. We have previously described an efficient filtering scheme using variational Laplace that can be used in the Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) framework [Friston, 2003] to estimate the temporal dynamics of seizures recorded using either invasive or non-invasive electrical recordings (EEG/ECoG). Spatiotemporal dynamics are modelled using a partial differential equation -- in contrast to the ordinary differential equation used in our previous work on temporal estimation of seizure dynamics [Cooray, 2016]. We provide the requisite theoretical background for the method and test the ensuing scheme on simulated seizure activity data and empirical invasive ECoG data. The method provides a framework to assimilate the spatial and temporal dynamics of seizure activity, an aspect of great physiological and clinical importance.

* ICML 2017 Time Series Workshop
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