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Infusing Lattice Symmetry Priors in Attention Mechanisms for Sample-Efficient Abstract Geometric Reasoning

Mattia Atzeni · Mrinmaya Sachan · Andreas Loukas

Exhibit Hall 1 #219
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The Abstraction and Reasoning Corpus (ARC) (Chollet, 2019) and its most recent language-complete instantiation (LARC) has been postulated as an important step towards general AI. Yet, even state-of-the-art machine learning models struggle to achieve meaningful performance on these problems, falling behind non-learning based approaches. We argue that solving these tasks requires extreme generalization that can only be achieved by proper accounting for core knowledge priors. As a step towards this goal, we focus on geometry priors and introduce LatFormer, a model that incorporates lattice symmetry priors in attention masks. We show that, for any transformation of the hypercubic lattice, there exists a binary attention mask that implements that group action. Hence, our study motivates a modification to the standard attention mechanism, where attention weights are scaled using soft masks generated by a convolutional network. Experiments on synthetic geometric reasoning show that LatFormer requires 2 orders of magnitude fewer data than standard attention and transformers. Moreover, our results on ARC and LARC tasks that incorporate geometric priors provide preliminary evidence that these complex datasets do not lie out of the reach of deep learning models.

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