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Workshop: AI for Science: from Theory to Practice

A Transformer Model for Symbolic Regression towards Scientific Discovery

Florian Lalande · Yoshitomo Matsubara · Naoya Chiba · Tatsunori Taniai · Ryo Igarashi · Yoshitaka Ushiku


Symbolic Regression (SR) searches for mathematical expressions which best describe numerical datasets. This allows to circumvent interpretation issues inherent to artificial neural networks, but SR algorithms are often computationally expensive. This work proposes a new Transformer model aiming at Symbolic Regression particularly focused on its application for Scientific Discovery. We propose three encoder architectures with increasing flexibility but at the cost of column-permutation equivariance violation. Training results indicate that the most flexible architecture is required to prevent from overfitting. Once trained, we apply our best model to the SRSD datasets (Symbolic Regression for Scientific Discovery datasets) which yields state-of-the-art results using the normalized tree-based edit distance, at no extra computational cost.

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