Research papers and code for "Koray Kavukcuoglu":
We present an attention-based model for recognizing multiple objects in images. The proposed model is a deep recurrent neural network trained with reinforcement learning to attend to the most relevant regions of the input image. We show that the model learns to both localize and recognize multiple objects despite being given only class labels during training. We evaluate the model on the challenging task of transcribing house number sequences from Google Street View images and show that it is both more accurate than the state-of-the-art convolutional networks and uses fewer parameters and less computation.

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Adaptive sparse coding methods learn a possibly overcomplete set of basis functions, such that natural image patches can be reconstructed by linearly combining a small subset of these bases. The applicability of these methods to visual object recognition tasks has been limited because of the prohibitive cost of the optimization algorithms required to compute the sparse representation. In this work we propose a simple and efficient algorithm to learn basis functions. After training, this model also provides a fast and smooth approximator to the optimal representation, achieving even better accuracy than exact sparse coding algorithms on visual object recognition tasks.

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Matching pursuit and K-SVD is demonstrated in the translation invariant setting

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Many classes of images exhibit rotational symmetry. Convolutional neural networks are sometimes trained using data augmentation to exploit this, but they are still required to learn the rotation equivariance properties from the data. Encoding these properties into the network architecture, as we are already used to doing for translation equivariance by using convolutional layers, could result in a more efficient use of the parameter budget by relieving the model from learning them. We introduce four operations which can be inserted into neural network models as layers, and which can be combined to make these models partially equivariant to rotations. They also enable parameter sharing across different orientations. We evaluate the effect of these architectural modifications on three datasets which exhibit rotational symmetry and demonstrate improved performance with smaller models.

* 10 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication at ICML 2016
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Learning useful representations without supervision remains a key challenge in machine learning. In this paper, we propose a simple yet powerful generative model that learns such discrete representations. Our model, the Vector Quantised-Variational AutoEncoder (VQ-VAE), differs from VAEs in two key ways: the encoder network outputs discrete, rather than continuous, codes; and the prior is learnt rather than static. In order to learn a discrete latent representation, we incorporate ideas from vector quantisation (VQ). Using the VQ method allows the model to circumvent issues of "posterior collapse" -- where the latents are ignored when they are paired with a powerful autoregressive decoder -- typically observed in the VAE framework. Pairing these representations with an autoregressive prior, the model can generate high quality images, videos, and speech as well as doing high quality speaker conversion and unsupervised learning of phonemes, providing further evidence of the utility of the learnt representations.

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Policy gradient is an efficient technique for improving a policy in a reinforcement learning setting. However, vanilla online variants are on-policy only and not able to take advantage of off-policy data. In this paper we describe a new technique that combines policy gradient with off-policy Q-learning, drawing experience from a replay buffer. This is motivated by making a connection between the fixed points of the regularized policy gradient algorithm and the Q-values. This connection allows us to estimate the Q-values from the action preferences of the policy, to which we apply Q-learning updates. We refer to the new technique as 'PGQL', for policy gradient and Q-learning. We also establish an equivalency between action-value fitting techniques and actor-critic algorithms, showing that regularized policy gradient techniques can be interpreted as advantage function learning algorithms. We conclude with some numerical examples that demonstrate improved data efficiency and stability of PGQL. In particular, we tested PGQL on the full suite of Atari games and achieved performance exceeding that of both asynchronous advantage actor-critic (A3C) and Q-learning.

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Modeling the distribution of natural images is a landmark problem in unsupervised learning. This task requires an image model that is at once expressive, tractable and scalable. We present a deep neural network that sequentially predicts the pixels in an image along the two spatial dimensions. Our method models the discrete probability of the raw pixel values and encodes the complete set of dependencies in the image. Architectural novelties include fast two-dimensional recurrent layers and an effective use of residual connections in deep recurrent networks. We achieve log-likelihood scores on natural images that are considerably better than the previous state of the art. Our main results also provide benchmarks on the diverse ImageNet dataset. Samples generated from the model appear crisp, varied and globally coherent.

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Convolutional Neural Networks define an exceptionally powerful class of models, but are still limited by the lack of ability to be spatially invariant to the input data in a computationally and parameter efficient manner. In this work we introduce a new learnable module, the Spatial Transformer, which explicitly allows the spatial manipulation of data within the network. This differentiable module can be inserted into existing convolutional architectures, giving neural networks the ability to actively spatially transform feature maps, conditional on the feature map itself, without any extra training supervision or modification to the optimisation process. We show that the use of spatial transformers results in models which learn invariance to translation, scale, rotation and more generic warping, resulting in state-of-the-art performance on several benchmarks, and for a number of classes of transformations.

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We introduce Natural Neural Networks, a novel family of algorithms that speed up convergence by adapting their internal representation during training to improve conditioning of the Fisher matrix. In particular, we show a specific example that employs a simple and efficient reparametrization of the neural network weights by implicitly whitening the representation obtained at each layer, while preserving the feed-forward computation of the network. Such networks can be trained efficiently via the proposed Projected Natural Gradient Descent algorithm (PRONG), which amortizes the cost of these reparametrizations over many parameter updates and is closely related to the Mirror Descent online learning algorithm. We highlight the benefits of our method on both unsupervised and supervised learning tasks, and showcase its scalability by training on the large-scale ImageNet Challenge dataset.

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We introduce a new, efficient, principled and backpropagation-compatible algorithm for learning a probability distribution on the weights of a neural network, called Bayes by Backprop. It regularises the weights by minimising a compression cost, known as the variational free energy or the expected lower bound on the marginal likelihood. We show that this principled kind of regularisation yields comparable performance to dropout on MNIST classification. We then demonstrate how the learnt uncertainty in the weights can be used to improve generalisation in non-linear regression problems, and how this weight uncertainty can be used to drive the exploration-exploitation trade-off in reinforcement learning.

* In Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2015)
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Applying convolutional neural networks to large images is computationally expensive because the amount of computation scales linearly with the number of image pixels. We present a novel recurrent neural network model that is capable of extracting information from an image or video by adaptively selecting a sequence of regions or locations and only processing the selected regions at high resolution. Like convolutional neural networks, the proposed model has a degree of translation invariance built-in, but the amount of computation it performs can be controlled independently of the input image size. While the model is non-differentiable, it can be trained using reinforcement learning methods to learn task-specific policies. We evaluate our model on several image classification tasks, where it significantly outperforms a convolutional neural network baseline on cluttered images, and on a dynamic visual control problem, where it learns to track a simple object without an explicit training signal for doing so.

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Pedestrian detection is a problem of considerable practical interest. Adding to the list of successful applications of deep learning methods to vision, we report state-of-the-art and competitive results on all major pedestrian datasets with a convolutional network model. The model uses a few new twists, such as multi-stage features, connections that skip layers to integrate global shape information with local distinctive motif information, and an unsupervised method based on convolutional sparse coding to pre-train the filters at each stage.

* 12 pages
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In this paper, we propose a new unsupervised feature learning framework, namely Deep Sparse Coding (DeepSC), that extends sparse coding to a multi-layer architecture for visual object recognition tasks. The main innovation of the framework is that it connects the sparse-encoders from different layers by a sparse-to-dense module. The sparse-to-dense module is a composition of a local spatial pooling step and a low-dimensional embedding process, which takes advantage of the spatial smoothness information in the image. As a result, the new method is able to learn several levels of sparse representation of the image which capture features at a variety of abstraction levels and simultaneously preserve the spatial smoothness between the neighboring image patches. Combining the feature representations from multiple layers, DeepSC achieves the state-of-the-art performance on multiple object recognition tasks.

* 9 pages, submitted to ICLR
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We explore efficient neural architecture search methods and show that a simple yet powerful evolutionary algorithm can discover new architectures with excellent performance. Our approach combines a novel hierarchical genetic representation scheme that imitates the modularized design pattern commonly adopted by human experts, and an expressive search space that supports complex topologies. Our algorithm efficiently discovers architectures that outperform a large number of manually designed models for image classification, obtaining top-1 error of 3.6% on CIFAR-10 and 20.3% when transferred to ImageNet, which is competitive with the best existing neural architecture search approaches. We also present results using random search, achieving 0.3% less top-1 accuracy on CIFAR-10 and 0.1% less on ImageNet whilst reducing the search time from 36 hours down to 1 hour.

* Accepted as a conference paper at ICLR 2018
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Learning from a few examples remains a key challenge in machine learning. Despite recent advances in important domains such as vision and language, the standard supervised deep learning paradigm does not offer a satisfactory solution for learning new concepts rapidly from little data. In this work, we employ ideas from metric learning based on deep neural features and from recent advances that augment neural networks with external memories. Our framework learns a network that maps a small labelled support set and an unlabelled example to its label, obviating the need for fine-tuning to adapt to new class types. We then define one-shot learning problems on vision (using Omniglot, ImageNet) and language tasks. Our algorithm improves one-shot accuracy on ImageNet from 87.6% to 93.2% and from 88.0% to 93.8% on Omniglot compared to competing approaches. We also demonstrate the usefulness of the same model on language modeling by introducing a one-shot task on the Penn Treebank.

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With the advent of kernel methods, automating the task of specifying a suitable kernel has become increasingly important. In this context, the Multiple Kernel Learning (MKL) problem of finding a combination of pre-specified base kernels that is suitable for the task at hand has received significant attention from researchers. In this paper we show that Multiple Kernel Learning can be framed as a standard binary classification problem with additional constraints that ensure the positive definiteness of the learned kernel. Framing MKL in this way has the distinct advantage that it makes it easy to leverage the extensive research in binary classification to develop better performing and more scalable MKL algorithms that are conceptually simpler, and, arguably, more accessible to practitioners. Experiments on nine data sets from different domains show that, despite its simplicity, the proposed technique compares favorably with current leading MKL approaches.

* Appears in Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2012)
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We introduce a method for automatically selecting the path, or syllabus, that a neural network follows through a curriculum so as to maximise learning efficiency. A measure of the amount that the network learns from each data sample is provided as a reward signal to a nonstationary multi-armed bandit algorithm, which then determines a stochastic syllabus. We consider a range of signals derived from two distinct indicators of learning progress: rate of increase in prediction accuracy, and rate of increase in network complexity. Experimental results for LSTM networks on three curricula demonstrate that our approach can significantly accelerate learning, in some cases halving the time required to attain a satisfactory performance level.

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Reasoning about objects, relations, and physics is central to human intelligence, and a key goal of artificial intelligence. Here we introduce the interaction network, a model which can reason about how objects in complex systems interact, supporting dynamical predictions, as well as inferences about the abstract properties of the system. Our model takes graphs as input, performs object- and relation-centric reasoning in a way that is analogous to a simulation, and is implemented using deep neural networks. We evaluate its ability to reason about several challenging physical domains: n-body problems, rigid-body collision, and non-rigid dynamics. Our results show it can be trained to accurately simulate the physical trajectories of dozens of objects over thousands of time steps, estimate abstract quantities such as energy, and generalize automatically to systems with different numbers and configurations of objects and relations. Our interaction network implementation is the first general-purpose, learnable physics engine, and a powerful general framework for reasoning about object and relations in a wide variety of complex real-world domains.

* Published in NIPS 2016
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We propose a unified neural network architecture and learning algorithm that can be applied to various natural language processing tasks including: part-of-speech tagging, chunking, named entity recognition, and semantic role labeling. This versatility is achieved by trying to avoid task-specific engineering and therefore disregarding a lot of prior knowledge. Instead of exploiting man-made input features carefully optimized for each task, our system learns internal representations on the basis of vast amounts of mostly unlabeled training data. This work is then used as a basis for building a freely available tagging system with good performance and minimal computational requirements.

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When training neural networks, the use of Synthetic Gradients (SG) allows layers or modules to be trained without update locking - without waiting for a true error gradient to be backpropagated - resulting in Decoupled Neural Interfaces (DNIs). This unlocked ability of being able to update parts of a neural network asynchronously and with only local information was demonstrated to work empirically in Jaderberg et al (2016). However, there has been very little demonstration of what changes DNIs and SGs impose from a functional, representational, and learning dynamics point of view. In this paper, we study DNIs through the use of synthetic gradients on feed-forward networks to better understand their behaviour and elucidate their effect on optimisation. We show that the incorporation of SGs does not affect the representational strength of the learning system for a neural network, and prove the convergence of the learning system for linear and deep linear models. On practical problems we investigate the mechanism by which synthetic gradient estimators approximate the true loss, and, surprisingly, how that leads to drastically different layer-wise representations. Finally, we also expose the relationship of using synthetic gradients to other error approximation techniques and find a unifying language for discussion and comparison.

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