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Poster
Noether Networks: meta-learning useful conserved quantities
Ferran Alet · Dylan Doblar · Allan Zhou · Josh Tenenbaum · Kenji Kawaguchi · Chelsea Finn

Tue Dec 07 08:30 AM -- 10:00 AM (PST) @ None #None

Progress in machine learning (ML) stems from a combination of data availability, computational resources, and an appropriate encoding of inductive biases. Useful biases often exploit symmetries in the prediction problem, such as convolutional networks relying on translation equivariance. Automatically discovering these useful symmetries holds the potential to greatly improve the performance of ML systems, but still remains a challenge. In this work, we focus on sequential prediction problems and take inspiration from Noether's theorem to reduce the problem of finding inductive biases to meta-learning useful conserved quantities. We propose Noether Networks: a new type of architecture where a meta-learned conservation loss is optimized inside the prediction function. We show, theoretically and experimentally, that Noether Networks improve prediction quality, providing a general framework for discovering inductive biases in sequential problems.

Author Information

Ferran Alet (MIT)
Dylan Doblar (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Allan Zhou (Stanford University)
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).

Kenji Kawaguchi (MIT)
Chelsea Finn (Stanford University)

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