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Unsupervised Learning of Compositional Energy Concepts
Yilun Du · Shuang Li · Yash Sharma · Josh Tenenbaum · Igor Mordatch

Thu Dec 09 08:30 AM -- 10:00 AM (PST) @ None #None

Humans are able to rapidly understand scenes by utilizing concepts extracted from prior experience. Such concepts are diverse, and include global scene descriptors, such as the weather or lighting, as well as local scene descriptors, such as the color or size of a particular object. So far, unsupervised discovery of concepts has focused on either modeling the global scene-level or the local object-level factors of variation, but not both. In this work, we propose COMET, which discovers and represents concepts as separate energy functions, enabling us to represent both global concepts as well as objects under a unified framework. COMET discovers energy functions through recomposing the input image, which we find captures independent factors without additional supervision. Sample generation in COMET is formulated as an optimization process on underlying energy functions, enabling us to generate images with permuted and composed concepts. Finally, discovered visual concepts in COMET generalize well, enabling us to compose concepts between separate modalities of images as well as with other concepts discovered by a separate instance of COMET trained on a different dataset. Code and data available at https://energy-based-model.github.io/comet/.

Author Information

Yilun Du (MIT)
Shuang Li (MIT)
Yash Sharma (University of Tübingen)
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).

Igor Mordatch (University of Washington)

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