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Noisin: Unbiased Regularization for Recurrent Neural Networks
Adji Bousso Dieng · Rajesh Ranganath · Jaan Altosaar · David Blei

Fri Jul 13 08:30 AM -- 08:40 AM (PDT) @ A7

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are powerful models of sequential data. They have been successfully used in domains such as text and speech. However, RNNs are susceptible to overfitting; regularization is important. In this paper we develop Noisin, a new method for regularizing RNNs. Noisin injects random noise into the hidden states of the RNN and then maximizes the corresponding marginal likelihood of the data. We show how Noisin applies to any RNN and we study many different types of noise. Noisin is unbiased--it preserves the underlying RNN on average. We characterize how Noisin regularizes its RNN both theoretically and empirically. On language modeling benchmarks, Noisin improves over dropout by as much as 12.2% on the Penn Treebank and 9.4% on the Wikitext-2 dataset. We also compared the state-of-the-art language model of Yang et al. 2017, both with and without Noisin. On the Penn Treebank, the method with Noisin more quickly reaches state-of-the-art performance.

Author Information

Adji Bousso Dieng (Columbia University)
Rajesh Ranganath (New York University)
Jaan Altosaar (Princeton University)

I am a graduate student.

David Blei (Columbia University)

David Blei is a Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at Columbia University, and a member of the Columbia Data Science Institute. His research is in statistical machine learning, involving probabilistic topic models, Bayesian nonparametric methods, and approximate posterior inference algorithms for massive data. He works on a variety of applications, including text, images, music, social networks, user behavior, and scientific data. David has received several awards for his research, including a Sloan Fellowship (2010), Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2011), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2011), Blavatnik Faculty Award (2013), and ACM-Infosys Foundation Award (2013). He is a fellow of the ACM.

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