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Poster
Improving Coherence and Consistency in Neural Sequence Models with Dual-System, Neuro-Symbolic Reasoning
Maxwell Nye · Michael Tessler · Josh Tenenbaum · Brenden Lake

Thu Dec 09 04:30 PM -- 06:00 PM (PST) @ None #None

Human reasoning can be understood as an interplay between two systems: the intuitive and associative ("System 1") and the deliberative and logical ("System 2"). Neural sequence models---which have been increasingly successful at performing complex, structured tasks---exhibit the advantages and failure modes of System 1: they are fast and learn patterns from data, but are often inconsistent and incoherent. In this work, we seek a lightweight, training-free means of improving existing System 1-like sequence models by adding System 2-inspired logical reasoning. We explore several variations on this theme in which candidate generations from a neural sequence model are examined for logical consistency by a symbolic reasoning module, which can either accept or reject the generations. Our approach uses neural inference to mediate between the neural System 1 and the logical System 2. Results in robust story generation and grounded instruction-following show that this approach can increase the coherence and accuracy of neurally-based generations.

Author Information

Maxwell Nye (MIT)
MH Tessler (DeepMind)
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).

Brenden Lake (New York University)

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