Tag Archives: Neural Networks

Detecting objects in images through the timing of the changes in the visual sensor, rather than through the analysis of frames (without time information)

Orchard, G.; Meyer, C.; Etienne-Cummings, R.; Posch, C.; Thakor, N.; Benosman, R., HFirst: A Temporal Approach to Object Recognition, in Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on , vol.37, no.10, pp.2028-2040, Oct. 1 2015 DOI: 10.1109/TPAMI.2015.2392947.

This paper introduces a spiking hierarchical model for object recognition which utilizes the precise timing information inherently present in the output of biologically inspired asynchronous address event representation (AER) vision sensors. The asynchronous nature of these systems frees computation and communication from the rigid predetermined timing enforced by system clocks in conventional systems. Freedom from rigid timing constraints opens the possibility of using true timing to our advantage in computation. We show not only how timing can be used in object recognition, but also how it can in fact simplify computation. Specifically, we rely on a simple temporal-winner-take-all rather than more computationally intensive synchronous operations typically used in biologically inspired neural networks for object recognition. This approach to visual computation represents a major paradigm shift from conventional clocked systems and can find application in other sensory modalities and computational tasks. We showcase effectiveness of the approach by achieving the highest reported accuracy to date (97.5% ± 3.5%) for a previously published four class card pip recognition task and an accuracy of 84.9% ± 1.9% for a new more difficult 36 class character recognition task.

Transfer learning in reinforcement learning through case-based and the use of heuristics for selecting actions

Reinaldo A.C. Bianchi, Luiz A. Celiberto Jr., Paulo E. Santos, Jackson P. Matsuura, Ramon Lopez de Mantaras, Transferring knowledge as heuristics in reinforcement learning: A case-based approach, Artificial Intelligence, Volume 226, September 2015, Pages 102-121, ISSN 0004-3702, DOI: 10.1016/j.artint.2015.05.008.

The goal of this paper is to propose and analyse a transfer learning meta-algorithm that allows the implementation of distinct methods using heuristics to accelerate a Reinforcement Learning procedure in one domain (the target) that are obtained from another (simpler) domain (the source domain). This meta-algorithm works in three stages: first, it uses a Reinforcement Learning step to learn a task on the source domain, storing the knowledge thus obtained in a case base; second, it does an unsupervised mapping of the source-domain actions to the target-domain actions; and, third, the case base obtained in the first stage is used as heuristics to speed up the learning process in the target domain.
A set of empirical evaluations were conducted in two target domains: the 3D mountain car (using a learned case base from a 2D simulation) and stability learning for a humanoid robot in the Robocup 3D Soccer Simulator (that uses knowledge learned from the Acrobot domain). The results attest that our transfer learning algorithm outperforms recent heuristically-accelerated reinforcement learning and transfer learning algorithms.

Reinforcement learning applied to select which parts of a Neural Turing Machine are to be updated with backpropagation during learning

Wojciech Zaremba, Ilya Sutskever, Reinforcement Learning Neural Turing Machines, arXiv.org, arXiv:1505.00521.

The expressive power of a machine learning model is closely related to the number of sequential computational steps it can learn. For example, Deep Neural Networks have been more successful than shallow networks because they can perform a greater number of sequential computational steps (each highly parallel). The Neural Turing Machine (NTM) is a model that can compactly express an even greater number of sequential computational steps, so it is even more powerful than a DNN. Its memory addressing operations are designed to be differentiable; thus the NTM can be trained with backpropagation.
While differentiable memory is relatively easy to implement and train, it necessitates accessing the entire memory content at each computational step. This makes it difficult to implement a fast NTM. In this work, we use the Reinforce algorithm to learn where to access the memory, while using backpropagation to learn what to write to the memory. We call this model the RL-NTM. Reinforce allows our model to access a constant number of memory cells at each computational step, so its implementation can be faster. The RL-NTM is the first model that can, in principle, learn programs of unbounded running time. We successfully trained the RL-NTM to solve a number of algorithmic tasks that are simpler than the ones solvable by the fully differentiable NTM.
As the RL-NTM is a fairly intricate model, we needed a method for verifying the correctness of our implementation. To do so, we developed a simple technique for numerically checking arbitrary implementations of models that use Reinforce, which may be of independent interest.

Mental imaginery for a mobile robot that learns obstacle avoidance

Wilmer Gaona, Esaú Escobar, Jorge Hermosillo, Bruno Lara (2015), Anticipation by multi-modal association through an artificial mental imagery process, Connection Science, 27:1, 68-88, DOI: 10.1080/09540091.2014.95628

Mental imagery has become a central issue in research laboratories seeking to emulate basic cognitive abilities in artificial agents. In this work, we propose a computational model to produce an anticipatory behaviour by means of a multi-modal off-line hebbian association. Unlike the current state of the art, we propose to apply hebbian learning during an internal sensorimotor simulation, emulating a process of mental imagery. We associate visual and tactile stimuli re-enacted by a long-term predictive simulation chain motivated by covert actions. As a result, we obtain a neural network which provides a robot with a mechanism to produce a visually conditioned obstacle avoidance behaviour. We developed our system in a physical Pioneer 3-DX robot and realised two experiments. In the first experiment we test our model on one individual navigating in two different mazes. In the second experiment we assess the robustness of the model by testing in a single environment five individuals trained under different conditions. We believe that our work offers an underpinning mechanism in cognitive robotics for the study of motor control strategies based on internal simulations. These strategies can be seen analogous to the mental imagery process known in humans, opening thus interesting pathways to the construction of upper-level grounded cognitive abilities.