Recurrent neural networks have achieved remarkable success at generating sequences with complex structures, thanks to advances that include richer embeddings of input and cures for vanishing gradients. Trained only on sequences from a known grammar, though, they can still struggle to learn rules and constraints of the grammar. Neural Attribute Machines (NAMs) are equipped with a logical machine that represents the underlying grammar, which is used to teach the constraints to the neural machine by (i) augmenting the input sequence, and (ii) optimizing a custom loss function. Unlike traditional RNNs, NAMs are exposed to the grammar, as well as samples from the language of the grammar. During generation, NAMs make significantly fewer violations of the constraints of the underlying grammar than RNNs trained only on samples from the language of the grammar.

Click to Read Paper
Planning robust executions under uncertainty is a fundamental challenge for building autonomous robots. Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs) provide a standard framework for modeling uncertainty in many applications. In this work, we study POMDPs with safe-reachability objectives, which require that with a probability above some threshold, a goal state is eventually reached while keeping the probability of visiting unsafe states below some threshold. This POMDP formulation is different from the traditional POMDP models with optimality objectives and we show that in some cases, POMDPs with safe-reachability objectives can provide a better guarantee of both safety and reachability than the existing POMDP models through an example. A key algorithmic problem for POMDPs is policy synthesis, which requires reasoning over a vast space of beliefs (probability distributions). To address this challenge, we introduce the notion of a goal-constrained belief space, which only contains beliefs reachable from the initial belief under desired executions that can achieve the given safe-reachability objective. Our method compactly represents this space over a bounded horizon using symbolic constraints, and employs an incremental Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) solver to efficiently search for a valid policy over it. We evaluate our method using a case study involving a partially observable robotic domain with uncertain obstacles. The results show that our method can synthesize policies over large belief spaces with a small number of SMT solver calls by focusing on the goal-constrained belief space.

Click to Read Paper
We study the problem of generating source code in a strongly typed, Java-like programming language, given a label (for example a set of API calls or types) carrying a small amount of information about the code that is desired. The generated programs are expected to respect a "realistic" relationship between programs and labels, as exemplified by a corpus of labeled programs available during training. Two challenges in such conditional program generation are that the generated programs must satisfy a rich set of syntactic and semantic constraints, and that source code contains many low-level features that impede learning. We address these problems by training a neural generator not on code but on program sketches, or models of program syntax that abstract out names and operations that do not generalize across programs. During generation, we infer a posterior distribution over sketches, then concretize samples from this distribution into type-safe programs using combinatorial techniques. We implement our ideas in a system for generating API-heavy Java code, and show that it can often predict the entire body of a method given just a few API calls or data types that appear in the method.

Click to Read Paper
We present a neurosymbolic framework for the lifelong learning of algorithmic tasks that mix perception and procedural reasoning. Reusing high-level concepts across domains and learning complex procedures are key challenges in lifelong learning. We show that a program synthesis approach that combines gradient descent with combinatorial search over programs can be a more effective response to these challenges than purely neural methods. Our framework, called HOUDINI, represents neural networks as strongly typed, differentiable functional programs that use symbolic higher-order combinators to compose a library of neural functions. Our learning algorithm consists of: (1) a symbolic program synthesizer that performs a type-directed search over parameterized programs, and decides on the library functions to reuse, and the architectures to combine them, while learning a sequence of tasks; and (2) a neural module that trains these programs using stochastic gradient descent. We evaluate HOUDINI on three benchmarks that combine perception with the algorithmic tasks of counting, summing, and shortest-path computation. Our experiments show that HOUDINI transfers high-level concepts more effectively than traditional transfer learning and progressive neural networks, and that the typed representation of networks significantly accelerates the search.

Click to Read Paper
We present a reinforcement learning framework, called Programmatically Interpretable Reinforcement Learning (PIRL), that is designed to generate interpretable and verifiable agent policies. Unlike the popular Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) paradigm, which represents policies by neural networks, PIRL represents policies using a high-level, domain-specific programming language. Such programmatic policies have the benefits of being more easily interpreted than neural networks, and being amenable to verification by symbolic methods. We propose a new method, called Neurally Directed Program Search (NDPS), for solving the challenging nonsmooth optimization problem of finding a programmatic policy with maximal reward. NDPS works by first learning a neural policy network using DRL, and then performing a local search over programmatic policies that seeks to minimize a distance from this neural "oracle". We evaluate NDPS on the task of learning to drive a simulated car in the TORCS car-racing environment. We demonstrate that NDPS is able to discover human-readable policies that pass some significant performance bars. We also show that PIRL policies can have smoother trajectories, and can be more easily transferred to environments not encountered during training, than corresponding policies discovered by DRL.

* Accepted by The 35th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2018)
Click to Read Paper