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Neurally-Guided Structure Inference
Sidi Lu · Jiayuan Mao · Josh Tenenbaum · Jiajun Wu

Tue Jun 11 06:30 PM -- 09:00 PM (PDT) @ Pacific Ballroom #233

Most structure inference methods either rely on exhaustive search or are purely data-driven. Exhaustive search robustly infers the structure of arbitrarily complex data, but it is slow. Data-driven methods allow efficient inference, but do not generalize when test data have more complex structures than training data. In this paper, we propose a hybrid inference algorithm, the Neurally-Guided Structure Inference (NG-SI), keeping the advantages of both search-based and data-driven methods. The key idea of NG-SI is to use a neural network to guide the hierarchical, layer-wise search over the compositional space of structures. We evaluate our algorithm on two representative structure inference tasks: probabilistic matrix decomposition and symbolic program parsing. It outperforms data-driven and search-based alternatives on both tasks.

Author Information

Sidi Lu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
Jiayuan Mao (Tsinghua University and MIT CSAIL)
Josh Tenenbaum (MIT)

Joshua Brett Tenenbaum is Professor of Cognitive Science and Computation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is known for contributions to mathematical psychology and Bayesian cognitive science. He previously taught at Stanford University, where he was the Wasow Visiting Fellow from October 2010 to January 2011. Tenenbaum received his undergraduate degree in physics from Yale University in 1993, and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1999. His work primarily focuses on analyzing probabilistic inference as the engine of human cognition and as a means to develop machine learning.

Jiajun Wu (MIT)

Jiajun Wu is a fourth-year Ph.D. student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, advised by Professor Bill Freeman and Professor Josh Tenenbaum. His research interests lie on the intersection of computer vision, machine learning, and computational cognitive science. Before coming to MIT, he received his B.Eng. from Tsinghua University, China, advised by Professor Zhuowen Tu. He has also spent time working at research labs of Microsoft, Facebook, and Baidu.

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