Poster
Unsupervised Learning by Program Synthesis
Kevin Ellis · Armando Solar-Lezama · Josh Tenenbaum

Tue Dec 8th 07:00 -- 11:59 PM @ 210 C #15 #None

We introduce an unsupervised learning algorithmthat combines probabilistic modeling with solver-based techniques for program synthesis.We apply our techniques to both a visual learning domain and a language learning problem,showing that our algorithm can learn many visual concepts from only a few examplesand that it can recover some English inflectional morphology.Taken together, these results give both a new approach to unsupervised learning of symbolic compositional structures,and a technique for applying program synthesis tools to noisy data.

Author Information

Kevin Ellis (MIT)
Armando Solar-Lezama (MIT)
Josh Tenenbaum (MIT)

Josh Tenenbaum is an Associate Professor of Computational Cognitive Science at MIT in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He received his PhD from MIT in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002. He studies learning and inference in humans and machines, with the twin goals of understanding human intelligence in computational terms and bringing computers closer to human capacities. He focuses on problems of inductive generalization from limited data -- learning concepts and word meanings, inferring causal relations or goals -- and learning abstract knowledge that supports these inductive leaps in the form of probabilistic generative models or 'intuitive theories'. He has also developed several novel machine learning methods inspired by human learning and perception, most notably Isomap, an approach to unsupervised learning of nonlinear manifolds in high-dimensional data. He has been Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive Science, has been active on program committees for the CogSci and NIPS conferences, and has co-organized a number of workshops, tutorials and summer schools in human and machine learning. Several of his papers have received outstanding paper awards or best student paper awards at the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), NIPS, and Cognitive Science conferences. He is the recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology (2005), the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2007), and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (in the area of cognition and human learning) from the American Psychological Association (2008).

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