Poster
Assessing the Scalability of Biologically-Motivated Deep Learning Algorithms and Architectures
Sergey Bartunov · Adam Santoro · Blake Richards · Luke Marris · Geoffrey E Hinton · Timothy Lillicrap

Thu Dec 6th 10:45 AM -- 12:45 PM @ Room 210 #98

The backpropagation of error algorithm (BP) is impossible to implement in a real brain. The recent success of deep networks in machine learning and AI, however, has inspired proposals for understanding how the brain might learn across multiple layers, and hence how it might approximate BP. As of yet, none of these proposals have been rigorously evaluated on tasks where BP-guided deep learning has proved critical, or in architectures more structured than simple fully-connected networks. Here we present results on scaling up biologically motivated models of deep learning on datasets which need deep networks with appropriate architectures to achieve good performance. We present results on the MNIST, CIFAR-10, and ImageNet datasets and explore variants of target-propagation (TP) and feedback alignment (FA) algorithms, and explore performance in both fully- and locally-connected architectures. We also introduce weight-transport-free variants of difference target propagation (DTP) modified to remove backpropagation from the penultimate layer. Many of these algorithms perform well for MNIST, but for CIFAR and ImageNet we find that TP and FA variants perform significantly worse than BP, especially for networks composed of locally connected units, opening questions about whether new architectures and algorithms are required to scale these approaches. Our results and implementation details help establish baselines for biologically motivated deep learning schemes going forward.

Author Information

Sergey Bartunov (DeepMind)
Adam Santoro (DeepMind)
Blake Richards (University of Toronto)
Luke Marris (DeepMind)
Geoffrey E Hinton (Google & University of Toronto)

Geoffrey Hinton received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh in 1978 and spent five years as a faculty member at Carnegie-Mellon where he pioneered back-propagation, Boltzmann machines and distributed representations of words. In 1987 he became a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and moved to the University of Toronto. In 1998 he founded the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London, returning to the University of Toronto in 2001. His group at the University of Toronto then used deep learning to change the way speech recognition and object recognition are done. He currently splits his time between the University of Toronto and Google. In 2010 he received the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada's top award in Science and Engineering.

Timothy Lillicrap (Google DeepMind)

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