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Neural Production Systems
Anirudh Goyal · Aniket Didolkar · Nan Rosemary Ke · Charles Blundell · Philippe Beaudoin · Nicolas Heess · Michael Mozer · Yoshua Bengio

Wed Dec 08 12:30 AM -- 02:00 AM (PST) @

Visual environments are structured, consisting of distinct objects or entities. These entities have properties---visible or latent---that determine the manner in which they interact with one another. To partition images into entities, deep-learning researchers have proposed structural inductive biases such as slot-based architectures. To model interactions among entities, equivariant graph neural nets (GNNs) are used, but these are not particularly well suited to the task for two reasons. First, GNNs do not predispose interactions to be sparse, as relationships among independent entities are likely to be. Second, GNNs do not factorize knowledge about interactions in an entity-conditional manner. As an alternative, we take inspiration from cognitive science and resurrect a classic approach, production systems, which consist of a set of rule templates that are applied by binding placeholder variables in the rules to specific entities. Rules are scored on their match to entities, and the best fitting rules are applied to update entity properties. In a series of experiments, we demonstrate that this architecture achieves a flexible, dynamic flow of control and serves to factorize entity-specific and rule-based information. This disentangling of knowledge achieves robust future-state prediction in rich visual environments, outperforming state-of-the-art methods using GNNs, and allows for the extrapolation from simple (few object) environments to more complex environments.

Author Information

Anirudh Goyal (Université de Montréal)
Aniket Didolkar (University of Montreal)
Nan Rosemary Ke (DeepMind)
Charles Blundell (DeepMind)
Philippe Beaudoin (Waverly AI)
Nicolas Heess (Google DeepMind)
Michael Mozer (Google Research / University of Colorado)
Yoshua Bengio (Mila / U. Montreal)

Yoshua Bengio (PhD'1991 in Computer Science, McGill University). After two post-doctoral years, one at MIT with Michael Jordan and one at AT&T Bell Laboratories with Yann LeCun, he became professor at the department of computer science and operations research at Université de Montréal. Author of two books (a third is in preparation) and more than 200 publications, he is among the most cited Canadian computer scientists and is or has been associate editor of the top journals in machine learning and neural networks. Since '2000 he holds a Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms, since '2006 an NSERC Chair, since '2005 his is a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and since 2014 he co-directs its program focused on deep learning. He is on the board of the NIPS foundation and has been program chair and general chair for NIPS. He has co-organized the Learning Workshop for 14 years and co-created the International Conference on Learning Representations. His interests are centered around a quest for AI through machine learning, and include fundamental questions on deep learning, representation learning, the geometry of generalization in high-dimensional spaces, manifold learning and biologically inspired learning algorithms.

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