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Poster Session 10


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Khang Truong Giang · Soohwan Song · Sungho Jo

Multi-view stereo (MVS) is a crucial task for precise 3D reconstruction. Most recent studies tried to improve the performance of matching cost volume in MVS by introducing a skilled design to cost formulation or cost regularization. In this paper, we focus on learning robust feature extraction to enhance the performance of matching costs, without need of heavy computation in the other steps. In particular, we present a dynamic scale feature extraction network, namely, CDSFNet. It is composed of multiple novel convolution layers, each of which can select a proper patch scale for each pixel guided by the normal curvature of image surface. As a result, CDFSNet can estimate the optimal patch scales to learn discriminative features for accurate matching computation between reference and source images. By combining the robust extracted features with an appropriate cost formulation strategy, our final MVS architecture can estimate depth maps more precisely. Extensive experiments showed that the proposed method outperforms other state-of-the-art methods on complex outdoor scenes. It significantly improves the completeness of reconstructed models. Moreover, the method can process the high resolution with faster run-time and lower memory compared to the other MVS methods.

Learning to Extend Molecular Scaffolds with Structural Motifs

Krzysztof Maziarz · Henry Jackson-Flux · Pashmina Cameron · Finton Sirockin · Nadine Schneider · Nikolaus Stiefl · Marwin Segler · Marc Brockschmidt

Recent advancements in deep learning-based modeling of molecules promise to accelerate in silico drug discovery. A plethora of generative models is available, building molecules either atom-by-atom and bond-by-bond or fragment-by-fragment. However, many drug discovery projects require a fixed scaffold to be present in the generated molecule, and incorporating that constraint has only recently been explored. Here, we propose MoLeR, a graph-based model that naturally supports scaffolds as initial seed of the generative procedure, which is possible because it is not conditioned on the generation history. Our experiments show that MoLeR performs comparably to state-of-the-art methods on unconstrained molecular optimization tasks, and outperforms them on scaffold-based tasks, while being an order of magnitude faster to train and sample from than existing approaches. Furthermore, we show the influence of a number of seemingly minor design choices on the overall performance.

FlexConv: Continuous Kernel Convolutions With Differentiable Kernel Sizes

David W. Romero · Robert-Jan Bruintjes · Jakub Tomczak · Erik Bekkers · Mark Hoogendoorn · Jan Gemert

When designing Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), one must select the size of the convolutional kernels before training. Recent works show CNNs benefit from different kernel sizes at different layers, but exploring all possible combinations is unfeasible in practice. A more efficient approach is to learn the kernel size during training. However, existing works that learn the kernel size have a limited bandwidth. These approaches scale kernels by dilation, and thus the detail they can describe is limited. In this work, we propose FlexConv, a novel convolutional operation with which high bandwidth convolutional kernels of learnable kernel size can be learned at a fixed parameter cost. FlexNets model long-term dependencies without the use of pooling, achieve state-of-the-art performance on several sequential datasets, outperform recent works with learned kernel sizes, and are competitive with much deeper ResNets on image benchmark datasets. Additionally, FlexNets can be deployed at higher resolutions than those seen during training. To avoid aliasing, we propose a novel kernel parameterization with which the frequency of the kernels can be analytically controlled. Our novel kernel parameterization shows higher descriptive power and faster convergence speed than existing parameterizations. This leads to important improvements in classification accuracy.

Unraveling Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning via The Adaptation Learning Rate

Yingtian Zou · Fusheng Liu · Qianxiao Li

Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning (MAML) aims to find initial weights that allow fast adaptation to new tasks. The adaptation (inner loop) learning rate in MAML plays a central role in enabling such fast adaptation. However, how to choose this value in practice and how this choice affects the adaptation error remains less explored. In this paper, we study the effect of the adaptation learning rate in meta-learning with mixed linear regression. First, we present a principled way to estimate optimal adaptation learning rates that minimize the population risk of MAML. Second, we interpret the underlying dependence between the optimal adaptation learning rate and the input data. Finally, we prove that compared with empirical risk minimization (ERM), MAML produces an initialization with a smaller average distance to the task optima, consistent with previous practical findings. These results are corroborated with numerical experiments.


Huiqi Deng · Qihan Ren · Hao Zhang · Quanshi Zhang

This paper explores the bottleneck of feature representations of deep neural networks (DNNs), from the perspective of the complexity of interactions between input variables encoded in DNNs. To this end, we focus on the multi-order interaction between input variables, where the order represents the complexity of interactions. We discover that a DNN is more likely to encode both too simple and too complex interactions, but usually fails to learn interactions of intermediate complexity. Such a phenomenon is widely shared by different DNNs for different tasks. This phenomenon indicates a cognition gap between DNNs and humans, and we call it a representation bottleneck. We theoretically prove the underlying reason for the representation bottleneck. Furthermore, we propose losses to encourage/penalize the learning of interactions of specific complexities, and analyze the representation capacities of interactions of different complexities. The code is available at

Policy improvement by planning with Gumbel

Ivo Danihelka · Arthur Guez · Julian Schrittwieser · David Silver

AlphaZero is a powerful reinforcement learning algorithm based on approximate policy iteration and tree search. However, AlphaZero can fail to improve its policy network, if not visiting all actions at the root of a search tree. To address this issue, we propose a policy improvement algorithm based on sampling actions without replacement. Furthermore, we use the idea of policy improvement to replace the more heuristic mechanisms by which AlphaZero selects and uses actions, both at root nodes and at non-root nodes. Our new algorithms, Gumbel AlphaZero and Gumbel MuZero, respectively without and with model-learning, match the state of the art on Go, chess, and Atari, and significantly improve prior performance when planning with few simulations.

Deep Point Cloud Reconstruction

Jaesung Choe · ByeongIn Joung · Francois Rameau · Jaesik Park · In Kweon

Point cloud obtained from 3D scanning is often sparse, noisy, and irregular. To cope with these issues, recent studies have been separately conducted to densify, denoise, and complete inaccurate point cloud. In this paper, we advocate that jointly solving these tasks leads to significant improvement for point cloud reconstruction. To this end, we propose a deep point cloud reconstruction network consisting of two stages: 1) a 3D sparse stacked-hourglass network as for the initial densification and denoising, 2) a refinement via transformers converting the discrete voxels into continuous 3D points. In particular, we further improve the performance of the transformers by a newly proposed module called amplified positional encoding. This module has been designed to differently amplify the magnitude of positional encoding vectors based on the points' distances for adaptive refinements. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our network achieves state-of-the-art performance among the recent studies in the ScanNet, ICL-NUIM, and ShapeNet datasets. Moreover, we underline the ability of our network to generalize toward real-world and unmet scenes.

How Do Vision Transformers Work?

Namuk Park · Songkuk Kim

The success of multi-head self-attentions (MSAs) for computer vision is now indisputable. However, little is known about how MSAs work. We present fundamental explanations to help better understand the nature of MSAs. In particular, we demonstrate the following properties of MSAs and Vision Transformers (ViTs): (1) MSAs improve not only accuracy but also generalization by flattening the loss landscapes. Such improvement is primarily attributable to their data specificity, not long-range dependency. On the other hand, ViTs suffer from non-convex losses. Large datasets and loss landscape smoothing methods alleviate this problem; (2) MSAs and Convs exhibit opposite behaviors. For example, MSAs are low-pass filters, but Convs are high-pass filters. Therefore, MSAs and Convs are complementary; (3) Multi-stage neural networks behave like a series connection of small individual models. In addition, MSAs at the end of a stage play a key role in prediction. Based on these insights, we propose AlterNet, a model in which Conv blocks at the end of a stage are replaced with MSA blocks. AlterNet outperforms CNNs not only in large data regimes but also in small data regimes. The code is available at

GNN-LM: Language Modeling based on Global Contexts via GNN

Yuxian Meng · Shi Zong · Xiaoya Li · Xiaofei Sun · Tianwei Zhang · Fei Wu · Jiwei Li

Inspired by the notion that {\it to copy is easier than to memorize}, in this work, we introduce GNN-LM, which extends vanilla neural language model (LM) by allowing to reference similar contexts in the entire training corpus. We build a directed heterogeneous graph between an input context and its semantically related neighbors selected from the training corpus, where nodes are tokens in the input context and retrieved neighbor contexts, and edges represent connections between nodes. Graph neural networks (GNNs) are constructed upon the graph to aggregate information from similar contexts to decode the token. This learning paradigm provides direct access to the reference contexts and helps improve a model's generalization ability. We conduct comprehensive experiments to validate the effectiveness of the GNN-LM: GNN-LM achieves a new state-of-the-art perplexity of 14.8 on WikiText-103 (a 3.9 point improvement over its counterpart of the vanilla LM model), and shows substantial improvement on One Billion Word and Enwiki8 datasets against strong baselines. In-depth ablation studies are performed to understand the mechanics of GNN-LM. The code can be found at \url{}.

A Deep Variational Approach to Clustering Survival Data

Laura Manduchi · Ričards Marcinkevičs · Michela Massi · Thomas Weikert · Alexander Sauter · Verena Gotta · Timothy Müller · Flavio Vasella · Marian Neidert · Marc Pfister · Bram Stieltjes · Julia E Vogt

In this work, we study the problem of clustering survival data — a challenging and so far under-explored task. We introduce a novel semi-supervised probabilistic approach to cluster survival data by leveraging recent advances in stochastic gradient variational inference. In contrast to previous work, our proposed method employs a deep generative model to uncover the underlying distribution of both the explanatory variables and censored survival times. We compare our model to the related work on clustering and mixture models for survival data in comprehensive experiments on a wide range of synthetic, semi-synthetic, and real-world datasets, including medical imaging data. Our method performs better at identifying clusters and is competitive at predicting survival times. Relying on novel generative assumptions, the proposed model offers a holistic perspective on clustering survival data and holds a promise of discovering subpopulations whose survival is regulated by different generative mechanisms.

Distilling GANs with Style-Mixed Triplets for X2I Translation with Limited Data

Yaxing Wang · Joost van de Weijer · Lu Yu · SHANGLING JUI

Conditional image synthesis is an integral part of many X2I translation systems, including image-to-image, text-to-image and audio-to-image translation systems. Training these large systems generally requires huge amounts of training data. Therefore, we investigate knowledge distillation to transfer knowledge from a high-quality unconditioned generative model (e.g., StyleGAN) to a conditioned synthetic image generation modules in a variety of systems. To initialize the conditional and reference branch (from a unconditional GAN) we exploit the style mixing characteristics of high-quality GANs to generate an infinite supply of style-mixed triplets to perform the knowledge distillation. Extensive experimental results in a number of image generation tasks (i.e., image-to-image, semantic segmentation-to-image, text-to-image and audio-to-image) demonstrate qualitatively and quantitatively that our method successfully transfers knowledge to the synthetic image generation modules, resulting in more realistic images than previous methods as confirmed by a significant drop in the FID.

Learning Causal Models from Conditional Moment Restrictions by Importance Weighting

Masahiro Kato · Masaaki Imaizumi · Kenichiro McAlinn · Shota Yasui · Haruo Kakehi

We consider learning causal relationships under conditional moment restrictions. Unlike causal inference under unconditional moment restrictions, conditional moment restrictions pose serious challenges for causal inference. To address this issue, we propose a method that transforms conditional moment restrictions to unconditional moment restrictions through importance weighting using a conditional density ratio estimator. Then, using this transformation, we propose a method that successfully estimate a parametric or nonparametric functions defined under the conditional moment restrictions. We analyze the estimation error and provide a bound on the structural function, providing theoretical support for our proposed method. In experiments, we confirm the soundness of our proposed method.

ToM2C: Target-oriented Multi-agent Communication and Cooperation with Theory of Mind

Yuanfei Wang · Fangwei Zhong · Jing Xu · Yizhou Wang

Being able to predict the mental states of others is a key factor to effective social interaction. It is also crucial for distributed multi-agent systems, where agents are required to communicate and cooperate. In this paper, we introduce such an important social-cognitive skill, i.e. Theory of Mind (ToM), to build socially intelligent agents who are able to communicate and cooperate effectively to accomplish challenging tasks. With ToM, each agent is capable of inferring the mental states and intentions of others according to its (local) observation. Based on the inferred states, the agents decide "when'' and with "whom'' to share their intentions. With the information observed, inferred, and received, the agents decide their sub-goals and reach a consensus among the team. In the end, the low-level executors independently take primitive actions to accomplish the sub-goals. We demonstrate the idea in two typical target-oriented multi-agent tasks: cooperative navigation and multi-sensor target coverage. The experiments show that the proposed model not only outperforms the state-of-the-art methods on reward and communication efficiency, but also shows good generalization across different scales of the environment.

Federated Learning from Only Unlabeled Data with Class-conditional-sharing Clients

Nan Lu · Zhao Wang · Xiaoxiao Li · Gang Niu · Qi Dou · Masashi Sugiyama

Supervised federated learning (FL) enables multiple clients to share the trained model without sharing their labeled data. However, potential clients might even be reluctant to label their own data, which could limit the applicability of FL in practice. In this paper, we show the possibility of unsupervised FL whose model is still a classifier for predicting class labels, if the class-prior probabilities are shifted while the class-conditional distributions are shared among the unlabeled data owned by the clients. We propose federation of unsupervised learning (FedUL), where the unlabeled data are transformed into surrogate labeled data for each of the clients, a modified model is trained by supervised FL, and the wanted model is recovered from the modified model. FedUL is a very general solution to unsupervised FL: it is compatible with many supervised FL methods, and the recovery of the wanted model can be theoretically guaranteed as if the data have been labeled. Experiments on benchmark and real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of FedUL. Code is available at

Reinforcement Learning in Presence of Discrete Markovian Context Evolution

Hang Ren · Aivar Sootla · Taher Jafferjee · Junxiao Shen · Jun Wang · Haitham Bou Ammar

We consider a context-dependent Reinforcement Learning (RL) setting, which is characterized by: a) an unknown finite number of not directly observable contexts; b) abrupt (discontinuous) context changes occurring during an episode; and c) Markovian context evolution. We argue that this challenging case is often met in applications and we tackle it using a Bayesian model-based approach and variational inference. We adapt a sticky Hierarchical Dirichlet Process (HDP) prior for model learning, which is arguably best-suited for infinite Markov chain modeling. We then derive a context distillation procedure, which identifies and removes spurious contexts in an unsupervised fashion. We argue that the combination of these two components allows inferring the number of contexts from data thus dealing with the context cardinality assumption. We then find the representation of the optimal policy enabling efficient policy learning using off-the-shelf RL algorithms. Finally, we demonstrate empirically (using gym environments cart-pole swing-up, drone, intersection) that our approach succeeds where state-of-the-art methods of other frameworks fail and elaborate on the reasons for such failures.

Nonlinear ICA Using Volume-Preserving Transformations

Xiaojiang Yang · Yi Wang · Jiacheng Sun · Xing Zhang · Shifeng Zhang · Zhenguo Li · Junchi Yan

Nonlinear ICA is a fundamental problem in machine learning, aiming to identify the underlying independent components (sources) from data which is assumed to be a nonlinear function (mixing function) of these sources. Recent works prove that if the sources have some particular structures (e.g. temporal structure), they are theoretically identifiable even if the mixing function is arbitrary. However, in many cases such restrictions on the sources are difficult to satisfy or even verify, hence it inhibits the applicability of the proposed methods. Different from these works, we propose a general framework for nonlinear ICA, in which the mixing function is assumed to be a volume-preserving transformation, and meanwhile the conditions on the sources can be much looser. We provide an insightful proof of the identifiability of the proposed framework. We implement the framework by volume-preserving Flow-based models, and verify our theory by experiments on artificial data and synthesized images. Moreover, results on real-world images indicate that our framework can disentangle interpretable features.

Uncertainty Modeling for Out-of-Distribution Generalization

Xiaotong Li · Yongxing Dai · Yixiao Ge · Jun Liu · Ying Shan · LINGYU DUAN

Though remarkable progress has been achieved in various vision tasks, deep neural networks still suffer obvious performance degradation when tested in out-of-distribution scenarios. We argue that the feature statistics (mean and standard deviation), which carry the domain characteristics of the training data, can be properly manipulated to improve the generalization ability of deep learning models. Common methods often consider the feature statistics as deterministic values measured from the learned features and do not explicitly consider the uncertain statistics discrepancy caused by potential domain shifts during testing. In this paper, we improve the network generalization ability by modeling the uncertainty of domain shifts with synthesized feature statistics during training. Specifically, we hypothesize that the feature statistic, after considering the potential uncertainties, follows a multivariate Gaussian distribution. Hence, each feature statistic is no longer a deterministic value, but a probabilistic point with diverse distribution possibilities. With the uncertain feature statistics, the models can be trained to alleviate the domain perturbations and achieve better robustness against potential domain shifts. Our method can be readily integrated into networks without additional parameters. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our proposed method consistently improves the network generalization ability on multiple vision tasks, including image classification, semantic segmentation, and instance retrieval.

Ab-Initio Potential Energy Surfaces by Pairing GNNs with Neural Wave Functions

Nicholas Gao · Stephan Günnemann

Solving the Schrödinger equation is key to many quantum mechanical properties. However, an analytical solution is only tractable for single-electron systems. Recently, neural networks succeeded at modelling wave functions of many-electron systems. Together with the variational Monte-Carlo (VMC) framework, this led to solutions on par with the best known classical methods. Still, these neural methods require tremendous amounts of computational resources as one has to train a separate model for each molecular geometry. In this work, we combine a Graph Neural Network (GNN) with a neural wave function to simultaneously solve the Schrödinger equation for multiple geometries via VMC. This enables us to model continuous subsets of the potential energy surface with a single training pass. Compared to existing state-of-the-art networks, our Potential Energy Surface Network (PESNet) speeds up training for multiple geometries by up to 40 times while matching or surpassing their accuracy. This may open the path to accurate and orders of magnitude cheaper quantum mechanical calculations.

Group equivariant neural posterior estimation

Maximilian Dax · Stephen Green · Jonathan Gair · Michael Deistler · Bernhard Schoelkopf · Jakob Macke

Simulation-based inference with conditional neural density estimators is a powerful approach to solving inverse problems in science. However, these methods typically treat the underlying forward model as a black box, with no way to exploit geometric properties such as equivariances. Equivariances are common in scientific models, however integrating them directly into expressive inference networks (such as normalizing flows) is not straightforward. We here describe an alternative method to incorporate equivariances under joint transformations of parameters and data. Our method---called group equivariant neural posterior estimation (GNPE)---is based on self-consistently standardizing the "pose" of the data while estimating the posterior over parameters. It is architecture-independent, and applies both to exact and approximate equivariances. As a real-world application, we use GNPE for amortized inference of astrophysical binary black hole systems from gravitational-wave observations. We show that GNPE achieves state-of-the-art accuracy while reducing inference times by three orders of magnitude.

AlphaZero-based Proof Cost Network to Aid Game Solving

Ti-Rong Wu · Chung-Chin Shih · Ting Han Wei · Meng Yu Tsai · Wei-Yuan Hsu · I-Chen Wu

The AlphaZero algorithm learns and plays games without hand-crafted expert knowledge. However, since its objective is to play well, we hypothesize that a better objective can be defined for the related but separate task of solving games. This paper proposes a novel approach to solving problems by modifying the training target of the AlphaZero algorithm, such that it prioritizes solving the game quickly, rather than winning. We train a Proof Cost Network (PCN), where proof cost is a heuristic that estimates the amount of work required to solve problems. This matches the general concept of the so-called proof number from proof number search, which has been shown to be well-suited for game solving. We propose two specific training targets. The first finds the shortest path to a solution, while the second estimates the proof cost. We conduct experiments on solving 15x15 Gomoku and 9x9 Killall-Go problems with both MCTS-based and FDFPN solvers. Comparisons between using AlphaZero networks and PCN as heuristics show that PCN can solve more problems.

Embedded-model flows: Combining the inductive biases of model-free deep learning and explicit probabilistic modeling

Gianluigi Silvestri · Emily Fertig · Dave Moore · Luca Ambrogioni

Normalizing flows have shown great success as general-purpose density estimators. However, many real world applications require the use of domain-specific knowledge, which normalizing flows cannot readily incorporate. We propose embedded-model flows (EMF), which alternate general-purpose transformations with structured layers that embed domain-specific inductive biases. These layers are automatically constructed by converting user-specified differentiable probabilistic models into equivalent bijective transformations. We also introduce gated structured layers, which allow bypassing the parts of the models that fail to capture the statistics of the data. We demonstrate that EMFs can be used to induce desirable properties such as multimodality and continuity. Furthermore, we show that EMFs enable a high performance form of variational inference where the structure of the prior model is embedded in the variational architecture. In our experiments, we show that this approach outperforms a large number of alternative methods in common structured inference problems.

Generative Pseudo-Inverse Memory

Kha Pham · Hung Le · Man Ngo · Truyen Tran · Bao Ho · Svetha Venkatesh

We propose Generative Pseudo-Inverse Memory (GPM), a class of deep generative memory models that are fast to write in and read out. Memory operations are recast as seeking robust solutions of linear systems, which naturally lead to the use of matrix pseudo-inverses. The pseudo-inverses are iteratively approximated, with practical computation complexity of almost $O(1)$. We prove theoretically and verify empirically that our model can retrieve exactly what have been written to the memory under mild conditions. A key capability of GPM is iterative reading, during which the attractor dynamics towards fixed points are enabled, allowing the model to iteratively improve sample quality in denoising and generating. More impressively, GPM can store a large amount of data while maintaining key abilities of accurate retrieving of stored patterns, denoising of corrupted data and generating novel samples. Empirically we demonstrate the efficiency and versatility of GPM on a comprehensive suite of experiments involving binarized MNIST, binarized Omniglot, FashionMNIST, CIFAR10 & CIFAR100 and CelebA.

Sparsity Winning Twice: Better Robust Generalization from More Efficient Training

Tianlong Chen · Zhenyu Zhang · pengjun wang · Santosh Balachandra · Haoyu Ma · Zehao Wang · Zhangyang Wang

Recent studies demonstrate the deep networks, even robustified by the state-of-the-art adversarial training (AT), still suffer from large robust generalization gaps, in addition to the much more expensive training costs than standard training. In this paper, we investigate this intriguing problem from a new perspective, i.e., $\textit{injecting appropriate forms of sparsity}$ during adversarial training. We introduce two alternatives for sparse adversarial training: (i) $\textit{static sparsity}$, by leveraging recent results from the lottery ticket hypothesis to identify critical sparse subnetworks arising from the early training; (ii) $\textit{dynamic sparsity}$, by allowing the sparse subnetwork to adaptively adjust its connectivity pattern (while sticking to the same sparsity ratio) throughout training. We find both static and dynamic sparse methods to yield win-win: substantially shrinking the robust generalization gap and alleviating the robust overfitting, meanwhile significantly saving training and inference FLOPs. Extensive experiments validate our proposals with multiple network architectures on diverse datasets, including CIFAR-10/100 and Tiny-ImageNet. For example, our methods reduce robust generalization gap and overfitting by $34.44\%$ and $4.02\%$, with comparable robust/standard accuracy boosts and $87.83\%$/$87.82\%$ training/inference FLOPs savings on CIFAR-100 with ResNet-18. Besides, our approaches can be organically combined with existing regularizers, establishing new state-of-the-art results in AT. All codes are included.

Pareto Set Learning for Neural Multi-Objective Combinatorial Optimization

Xi Lin · Zhiyuan Yang · Qingfu Zhang

Multiobjective combinatorial optimization (MOCO) problems can be found in many real-world applications. However, exactly solving these problems would be very challenging, particularly when they are NP-hard. Many handcrafted heuristic methods have been proposed to tackle different MOCO problems over the past decades. In this work, we generalize the idea of neural combinatorial optimization, and develop a learning-based approach to approximate the whole Pareto set for a given MOCO problem without further search procedure. We propose a single preference-conditioned model to directly generate approximate Pareto solutions for any trade-off preference, and design an efficient multiobjective reinforcement learning algorithm to train this model. Our proposed method can be treated as a learning-based extension for the widely-used decomposition-based multiobjective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA/D). It uses a single model to accommodate all the possible preferences, whereas other methods use a finite number of solution to approximate the Pareto set. Experimental results show that our proposed method significantly outperforms some other methods on the multiobjective traveling salesman problem, multiobjective vehicle routing problem and multiobjective knapsack problem in terms of solution quality, speed, and model efficiency.

CADDA: Class-wise Automatic Differentiable Data Augmentation for EEG Signals

Cédric Rommel · Thomas Moreau · Joseph Paillard · Alexandre Gramfort

Data augmentation is a key element of deep learning pipelines, as it informs the network during training about transformations of the input data that keep the label unchanged. Manually finding adequate augmentation methods and parameters for a given pipeline is however rapidly cumbersome. In particular, while intuition can guide this decision for images, the design and choice of augmentation policies remains unclear for more complex types of data, such as neuroscience signals. Besides, class-dependent augmentation strategies have been surprisingly unexplored in the literature, although it is quite intuitive: changing the color of a car image does not change the object class to be predicted, but doing the same to the picture of an orange does. This paper investigates gradient-based automatic data augmentation algorithms amenable to class-wise policies with exponentially larger search spaces. Motivated by supervised learning applications using EEG signals for which good augmentation policies are mostly unknown, we propose a new differentiable relaxation of the problem. In the class-agnostic setting, results show that our new relaxation leads to optimal performance with faster training than competing gradient-based methods, while also outperforming gradient-free methods in the class-wise setting. This work proposes also novel differentiable augmentation operations relevant for sleep stage classification.

Variational Predictive Routing with Nested Subjective Timescales

Alex Zakharov · Qinghai Guo · Zafeirios Fountas

Discovery and learning of an underlying spatiotemporal hierarchy in sequential data is an important topic for machine learning. Despite this, little work has been done to explore hierarchical generative models that can flexibly adapt their layerwise representations in response to datasets with different temporal dynamics. Here, we present Variational Predictive Routing (VPR) – a neural probabilistic inference system that organizes latent representations of video features in a temporal hierarchy, based on their rates of change, thus modeling continuous data as a hierarchical renewal process. By employing an event detection mechanism that relies solely on the system’s latent representations (without the need of a separate model), VPR is able to dynamically adjust its internal state following changes in the observed features, promoting an optimal organisation of representations across the levels of the model’s latent hierarchy. Using several video datasets, we show that VPR is able to detect event boundaries, disentangle spatiotemporal features across its hierarchy, adapt to the dynamics of the data, and produce accurate time-agnostic rollouts of the future. Our approach integrates insights from neuroscience and introduces a framework with high potential for applications in model-based reinforcement learning, where flexible and informative state-space rollouts are of particular interest.

ADAVI: Automatic Dual Amortized Variational Inference Applied To Pyramidal Bayesian Models

Louis Rouillard · Demian Wassermann

Frequently, population studies feature pyramidally-organized data represented using Hierarchical Bayesian Models (HBM) enriched with plates. These models can become prohibitively large in settings such as neuroimaging, where a sample is composed of a functional MRI signal measured on 300 brain locations, across 4 measurement sessions, and 30 subjects, resulting in around 1 million latent parameters.Such high dimensionality hampers the usage of modern, expressive flow-based techniques.To infer parameter posterior distributions in this challenging class of problems, we designed a novel methodology that automatically produces a variational family dual to a target HBM. This variational family, represented as a neural network, consists in the combination of an attention-based hierarchical encoder feeding summary statistics to a set of normalizing flows. Our automatically-derived neural network exploits exchangeability in the plate-enriched HBM and factorizes its parameter space. The resulting architecture reduces by orders of magnitude its parameterization with respect to that of a typical flow-based representation, while maintaining expressivity.Our method performs inference on the specified HBM in an amortized setup: once trained, it can readily be applied to a new data sample to compute the parameters' full posterior.We demonstrate the capability and scalability of our method on simulated data, as well as a challenging high-dimensional brain parcellation experiment. We also open up several questions that lie at the intersection between normalizing flows, SBI, structured Variational Inference, and inference amortization.

Evaluating Disentanglement of Structured Representations

Raphaël Dang-Nhu

We introduce the first metric for evaluating disentanglement at individual hierarchy levels of a structured latent representation. Applied to object-centric generative models, this offers a systematic, unified approach to evaluating (i) object separation between latent slots (ii) disentanglement of object properties inside individual slots (iii) disentanglement of intrinsic and extrinsic object properties. We theoretically show that our framework gives stronger guarantees of selecting a good model than previous disentanglement metrics. Experimentally, we demonstrate that viewing object compositionality as a disentanglement problem addresses several issues with prior visual metrics of object separation. As a core technical component, we present the first representation probing algorithm handling slot permutation invariance.

Exploiting Class Activation Value for Partial-Label Learning

Fei Zhang · Lei Feng · Bo Han · Tongliang Liu · Gang Niu · Tao Qin · Masashi Sugiyama

Partial-label learning (PLL) solves the multi-class classification problem, where each training instance is assigned a set of candidate labels that include the true label. Recent advances showed that PLL can be compatible with deep neural networks, which achieved state-of-the-art performance. However, most of the existing deep PLL methods focus on designing proper training objectives under various assumptions on the collected data, which may limit their performance when the collected data cannot satisfy the adopted assumptions. In this paper, we propose to exploit the learned intrinsic representation of the model to identify the true label in the training process, which does not rely on any assumptions on the collected data. We make two key contributions. As the first contribution, we empirically show that the class activation map (CAM), a simple technique for discriminating the learning patterns of each class in images, could surprisingly be utilized to make accurate predictions on selecting the true label from candidate labels. Unfortunately, as CAM is confined to image inputs with convolutional neural networks, we are yet unable to directly leverage CAM to address the PLL problem with general inputs and models. Thus, as the second contribution, we propose the class activation value (CAV), which owns similar properties of CAM, while CAV is versatile in various types of inputs and models. Building upon CAV, we propose a novel method named CAV Learning (CAVL) that selects the true label by the class with the maximum CAV for model training. Extensive experiments on various datasets demonstrate that our proposed CAVL method achieves state-of-the-art performance.

Omni-Dimensional Dynamic Convolution

Chao Li · Aojun Zhou · Anbang Yao

Learning a single static convolutional kernel in each convolutional layer is the common training paradigm of modern Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). Instead, recent research in dynamic convolution shows that learning a linear combination of n convolutional kernels weighted with their input-dependent attentions can significantly improve the accuracy of light-weight CNNs, while maintaining efficient inference. However, we observe that existing works endow convolutional kernels with the dynamic property through one dimension (regarding the convolutional kernel number) of the kernel space, but the other three dimensions (regarding the spatial size, the input channel number and the output channel number for each convolutional kernel) are overlooked. Inspired by this, we present Omni-dimensional Dynamic Convolution (ODConv), a more generalized yet elegant dynamic convolution design, to advance this line of research. ODConv leverages a novel multi-dimensional attention mechanism with a parallel strategy to learn complementary attentions for convolutional kernels along all four dimensions of the kernel space at any convolutional layer. As a drop-in replacement of regular convolutions, ODConv can be plugged into many CNN architectures. Extensive experiments on the ImageNet and MS-COCO datasets show that ODConv brings solid accuracy boosts for various prevailing CNN backbones including both light-weight and large ones, e.g., 3.77%~5.71%|1.86%~3.72% absolute top-1 improvements to MobivleNetV2|ResNet family on the ImageNet dataset. Intriguingly, thanks to its improved feature learning ability, ODConv with even one single kernel can compete with or outperform existing dynamic convolution counterparts with multiple kernels, substantially reducing extra parameters. Furthermore, ODConv is also superior to other attention modules for modulating the output features or the convolutional weights. Code and models will be available at

Scalable One-Pass Optimisation of High-Dimensional Weight-Update Hyperparameters by Implicit Differentiation

Ross Clarke · Elre Oldewage · José Miguel Hernández Lobato

Machine learning training methods depend plentifully and intricately on hyperparameters, motivating automated strategies for their optimisation. Many existing algorithms restart training for each new hyperparameter choice, at considerable computational cost. Some hypergradient-based one-pass methods exist, but these either cannot be applied to arbitrary optimiser hyperparameters (such as learning rates and momenta) or take several times longer to train than their base models. We extend these existing methods to develop an approximate hypergradient-based hyperparameter optimiser which is applicable to any continuous hyperparameter appearing in a differentiable model weight update, yet requires only one training episode, with no restarts. We also provide a motivating argument for convergence to the true hypergradient, and perform tractable gradient-based optimisation of independent learning rates for each model parameter. Our method performs competitively from varied random hyperparameter initialisations on several UCI datasets and Fashion-MNIST (using a one-layer MLP), Penn Treebank (using an LSTM) and CIFAR-10 (using a ResNet-18), in time only 2-3x greater than vanilla training.

SOSP: Efficiently Capturing Global Correlations by Second-Order Structured Pruning

Manuel Nonnenmacher · Thomas Pfeil · Ingo Steinwart · David Reeb

Pruning neural networks reduces inference time and memory costs. On standard hardware, these benefits will be especially prominent if coarse-grained structures, like feature maps, are pruned. We devise two novel saliency-based methods for second-order structured pruning (SOSP) which include correlations among all structures and layers. Our main method SOSP-H employs an innovative second-order approximation, which enables saliency evaluations by fast Hessian-vector products. SOSP-H thereby scales like a first-order method despite taking into account the full Hessian. We validate SOSP-H by comparing it to our second method SOSP-I that uses a well-established Hessian approximation, and to numerous state-of-the-art methods. While SOSP-H performs on par or better in terms of accuracy, it has clear advantages in terms of scalability and efficiency. This allowed us to scale SOSP-H to large-scale vision tasks, even though it captures correlations across all layers of the network. To underscore the global nature of our pruning methods, we evaluate their performance not only by removing structures from a pretrained network, but also by detecting architectural bottlenecks. We show that our algorithms allow to systematically reveal architectural bottlenecks, which we then remove to further increase the accuracy of the networks.

Pyraformer: Low-Complexity Pyramidal Attention for Long-Range Time Series Modeling and Forecasting

Shi Zhan Liu · Hang Yu · Cong Liao · Jianguo Li · Weiyao Lin · Alex Liu ·

Accurate prediction of the future given the past based on time series data is of paramount importance, since it opens the door for decision making and risk management ahead of time. In practice, the challenge is to build a flexible but parsimonious model that can capture a wide range of temporal dependencies. In this paper, we propose Pyraformer by exploring the multiresolution representation of the time series. Specifically, we introduce the pyramidal attention module (PAM) in which the inter-scale tree structure summarizes features at different resolutions and the intra-scale neighboring connections model the temporal dependencies of different ranges. Under mild conditions, the maximum length of the signal traversing path in Pyraformer is a constant (i.e., $\mathcal O(1)$) with regard to the sequence length $L$, while its time and space complexity scale linearly with $L$. Extensive numerical results show that Pyraformer typically achieves the highest prediction accuracy in both single-step and long-range forecasting tasks with the least amount of time and memory consumption, especially when the sequence is long.

Dynamic Token Normalization improves Vision Transformers

Wenqi Shao · Yixiao Ge · Zhaoyang Zhang · XUYUAN XU · Xiaogang Wang · Ying Shan · Ping Luo

Vision Transformer (ViT) and its variants (e.g., Swin, PVT) have achieved great success in various computer vision tasks, owing to their capability to learn long-range contextual information. Layer Normalization (LN) is an essential ingredient in these models. However, we found that the ordinary LN makes tokens at different positions similar in magnitude because it normalizes embeddings within each token. It is difficult for Transformers to capture inductive bias such as the positional context in an image with LN. We tackle this problem by proposing a new normalizer, termed Dynamic Token Normalization (DTN), where normalization is performed both within each token (intra-token) and across different tokens (inter-token). DTN has several merits. Firstly, it is built on a unified formulation and thus can represent various existing normalization methods. Secondly, DTN learns to normalize tokens in both intra-token and inter-token manners, enabling Transformers to capture both the global contextual information and the local positional context. Thirdly, by simply replacing LN layers, DTN can be readily plugged into various vision transformers, such as ViT, Swin, and PVT. Extensive experiments show that the transformer equipped with DTN consistently outperforms baseline model with minimal extra parameters and computational overhead. For example, DTN outperforms LN on small ViT by $1.1\%$ top-1 accuracy on ImageNet.

CrossFormer: A Versatile Vision Transformer Hinging on Cross-scale Attention

Wenxiao Wang · Lu Yao · Long Chen · Binbin Lin · Deng Cai · Xiaofei He · Wei Liu

Transformers have made great progress in dealing with computer vision tasks. However, existing vision transformers have not yet possessed the ability of building the interactions among features of different scales, which is perceptually important to visual inputs. The reasons are two-fold: (1) Input embeddings of each layer are equal-scale, so no cross-scale feature can be extracted; (2) to lower the computational cost, some vision transformers merge adjacent embeddings inside the self-attention module, thus sacrificing small-scale (fine-grained) features of the embeddings and also disabling the cross-scale interactions. To this end, we propose Cross-scale Embedding Layer (CEL) and Long Short Distance Attention (LSDA). On the one hand, CEL blends each embedding with multiple patches of different scales, providing the self-attention module itself with cross-scale features. On the other hand, LSDA splits the self-attention module into a short-distance one and a long-distance counterpart, which not only reduces the computational burden but also keeps both small-scale and large-scale features in the embeddings. Through the above two designs, we achieve cross-scale attention. Besides, we put forward a dynamic position bias for vision transformers to make the popular relative position bias apply to variable-sized images. Hinging on the cross-scale attention module, we construct a versatile vision architecture, dubbed CrossFormer, which accommodates variable-sized inputs. Extensive experiments show that CrossFormer outperforms the other vision transformers on image classification, object detection, instance segmentation, and semantic segmentation tasks.

Prototypical Contrastive Predictive Coding

Kyungmin Lee

Transferring representational knowledge of a model to another is a wide-ranging topic in machine learning. Those applications include the distillation of a large supervised or self-supervised teacher model to a smaller student model or self-supervised learning via self-distillation. Knowledge distillation is an original method to solve these problems, which minimizes a cross-entropy loss between the prototypical probabilistic outputs of teacher and student networks. On the other hand, contrastive learning has shown its competency in transferring representations as they allow students to capture the information of teacher representations. In this paper, we amalgamate the advantages of knowledge distillation and contrastive learning by modeling the critic of a contrastive objective by the prototypical probabilistic discrepancy between two features. We refer to it as prototypical contrastive predictive coding and present efficient implementation using the proposed objective for three distillation tasks: supervised model compression, self-supervised model compression, and self-supervised learning via self-distillation. Through extensive experiments, we validate the effectiveness of our method and show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance in supervised / self-supervised model compression.

Dive Deeper Into Integral Pose Regression

Kerui Gu · Linlin Yang · Angela Yao

Integral pose regression combines an implicit heatmap with end-to-end training for human body and hand pose estimation. Unlike detection-based heatmap methods, which decode final joint positions from the heatmap with a non-differentiable argmax operation, integral regression methods apply a differentiable expectation operation. This paper offers a deep dive into the inference and back-propagation of integral pose regression to better understand the differences in performance and training compared to detection-based methods. For inference, we give theoretical support why expectation should always be better than the argmax operation, \ie integral regression should always outperform detection. Yet in practice, this is observed only in hard cases because the heatmap activation for regression shrinks in easy cases. We then experimentally show that the activation shrinkage is one of the leading causes for integral regression's inferior performance. For back-propagation, we theoretically and empirically analyze the gradients to explain the slow training speed for integral regression. Based on these findings, we incorporate the supervision of spatial prior to speed up training and improve performance.

Partial Wasserstein Adversarial Network for Non-rigid Point Set Registration

Ziming Wang · Nan Xue · Ling Lei · Gui-Song Xia

Given two point sets, the problem of registration is to recover a transformation that matches one set to the other. This task is challenging due to the presence of large number of outliers, the unknown non-rigid deformations and the large sizes of point sets. To obtain strong robustness against outliers, we formulate the registration problem as a partial distribution matching (PDM) problem, where the goal is to partially match the distributions represented by point sets in a metric space. To handle large point sets, we propose a scalable PDM algorithm by utilizing the efficient partial Wasserstein-1 (PW) discrepancy. Specifically, we derive the Kantorovich-Rubinstein duality for the PW discrepancy, and show its gradient can be explicitly computed. Based on these results, we propose a partial Wasserstein adversarial network (PWAN), which is able to approximate the PW discrepancy by a neural network, and minimize it by gradient descent. In addition,it also incorporates an efficient coherence regularizer for non-rigid transformations to avoid unrealistic deformations. We evaluate PWAN on practical point set registration tasks, and show that the proposed PWAN is robust, scalable and performs more favorably than the state-of-the-art methods.

CKConv: Continuous Kernel Convolution For Sequential Data

David W. Romero · Anna Kuzina · Erik Bekkers · Jakub Tomczak · Mark Hoogendoorn

Conventional neural architectures for sequential data present important limitations. Recurrent neural networks suffer from exploding and vanishing gradients, small effective memory horizons, and must be trained sequentially. Convolutional neural networks cannot handle sequences of unknown size and their memory horizon must be defined a priori. In this work, we show that these problems can be solved by formulating the convolutional kernels of CNNs as continuous functions. The resulting Continuous Kernel Convolution (CKConv) handles arbitrarily long sequences in a parallel manner, within a single operation, and without relying on any form of recurrence. We show that Continuous Kernel Convolutional Networks (CKCNNs) obtain state-of-the-art results in multiple datasets, e.g., permuted MNIST, and, thanks to their continuous nature, are able to handle non-uniformly sampled datasets and irregularly-sampled data natively. CKCNNs match or perform better than neural ODEs designed for these purposes in a faster and simpler manner.

Understanding approximate and unrolled dictionary learning for pattern recovery

Benoît Malézieux · Thomas Moreau · Matthieu Kowalski

Dictionary learning consists of finding a sparse representation from noisy data and is a common way to encode data-driven prior knowledge on signals. Alternating minimization (AM) is standard for the underlying optimization, where gradient descent steps alternate with sparse coding procedures. The major drawback of this method is its prohibitive computational cost, making it unpractical on large real-world data sets. This work studies an approximate formulation of dictionary learning based on unrolling and compares it to alternating minimization to find the best trade-off between speed and precision. We analyze the asymptotic behavior and convergence rate of gradients estimates in both methods. We show that unrolling performs better on the support of the inner problem solution and during the first iterations. Finally, we apply unrolling on pattern learning in magnetoencephalography (MEG) with the help of a stochastic algorithm and compare the performance to a state-of-the-art method.

On the Pitfalls of Analyzing Individual Neurons in Language Models

Omer Antverg · Yonatan Belinkov

While many studies have shown that linguistic information is encoded in hidden word representations, few have studied individual neurons, to show how and in which neurons it is encoded.Among these, the common approach is to use an external probe to rank neurons according to their relevance to some linguistic attribute, and to evaluate the obtained ranking using the same probe that produced it.We show two pitfalls in this methodology: 1. It confounds distinct factors: probe quality and ranking quality. We separate them and draw conclusions on each. 2. It focuses on encoded information, rather than information that is used by the model. We show that these are not the same.We compare two recent ranking methods and a simple one we introduce, and evaluate them with regard to both of these aspects.

IGLU: Efficient GCN Training via Lazy Updates

S Deepak Narayanan · Aditya Sinha · Prateek Jain · Purushottam Kar · SUNDARARAJAN SELLAMANICKAM

Training multi-layer Graph Convolution Networks (GCN) using standard SGD techniques scales poorly as each descent step ends up updating node embeddings for a large portion of the graph. Recent attempts to remedy this sub-sample the graph that reduces compute but introduce additional variance and may offer suboptimal performance. This paper develops the IGLU method that caches intermediate computations at various GCN layers thus enabling lazy updates that significantly reduce the compute cost of descent. IGLU introduces bounded bias into the gradients but nevertheless converges to a first-order saddle point under standard assumptions such as objective smoothness. Benchmark experiments show that IGLU offers up to 1.2% better accuracy despite requiring up to 88% less compute.

LORD: Lower-Dimensional Embedding of Log-Signature in Neural Rough Differential Equations

Jaehoon Lee · Jeon Jinsung · Sheo yon Jhin · Jihyeon Hyeong · Jayoung Kim · Minju Jo · Kook Seungji · Noseong Park

The problem of processing very long time-series data (e.g., a length of more than 10,000) is a long-standing research problem in machine learning. Recently, one breakthrough, called neural rough differential equations (NRDEs), has been proposed and has shown that it is able to process such data. Their main concept is to use the log-signature transform, which is known to be more efficient than the Fourier transform for irregular long time-series, to convert a very long time-series sample into a relatively shorter series of feature vectors. However, the log-signature transform causes non-trivial spatial overheads. To this end, we present the method of LOweR-Dimensional embedding of log-signature (LORD), where we define an NRDE-based autoencoder to implant the higher-depth log-signature knowledge into the lower-depth log-signature. We show that the encoder successfully combines the higher-depth and the lower-depth log-signature knowledge, which greatly stabilizes the training process and increases the model accuracy. In our experiments with benchmark datasets, the improvement ratio by our method is up to 75\% in terms of various classification and forecasting evaluation metrics.

CoBERL: Contrastive BERT for Reinforcement Learning

Andrea Banino · Adria Puigdomenech Badia · Jacob C Walker · Tim Scholtes · Jovana Mitrovic · Charles Blundell

Many reinforcement learning (RL) agents require a large amount of experience to solve tasks. We propose Contrastive BERT for RL (COBERL), an agent that combines a new contrastive loss and a hybrid LSTM-transformer architecture to tackle the challenge of improving data efficiency. COBERL enables efficient and robust learning from pixels across a wide variety of domains. We use bidirectional masked prediction in combination with a generalization of a recent contrastive method to learn better representations for RL, without the need of hand engineered data augmentations. We find that COBERL consistently improves data efficiency across the full Atari suite, a set of control tasks and a challenging 3D environment, and often it also increases final score performance.

Differentiable Expectation-Maximization for Set Representation Learning

Minyoung Kim

We tackle the set2vec problem, the task of extracting a vector representation from an input set comprised of a variable number of feature vectors. Although recent approaches based on self attention such as (Set)Transformers were very successful due to the capability of capturing complex interaction between set elements, the computational overhead is the well-known downside. The inducing-point attention and the latest optimal transport kernel embedding (OTKE) are promising remedies that attain comparable or better performance with reduced computational cost, by incorporating a fixed number of learnable queries in attention. In this paper we approach the set2vec problem from a completely different perspective. The elements of an input set are considered as i.i.d.~samples from a mixture distribution, and we define our set embedding feed-forward network as the maximum-a-posterior (MAP) estimate of the mixture which is approximately attained by a few Expectation-Maximization (EM) steps. The whole MAP-EM steps are differentiable operations with a fixed number of mixture parameters, allowing efficient auto-diff back-propagation for any given downstream task. Furthermore, the proposed mixture set data fitting framework allows unsupervised set representation learning naturally via marginal likelihood maximization aka the empirical Bayes. Interestingly, we also find that OTKE can be seen as a special case of our framework, specifically a single-step EM with extra balanced assignment constraints on the E-step. Compared to OTKE, our approach provides more flexible set embedding as well as prior-induced model regularization. We evaluate our approach on various tasks demonstrating improved performance over the state-of-the-arts.

PEARL: Data Synthesis via Private Embeddings and Adversarial Reconstruction Learning

Seng Pei Liew · Tsubasa Takahashi · Michihiko Ueno

We propose a new framework of synthesizing data using deep generative models in a differentially private manner.Within our framework, sensitive data are sanitized with rigorous privacy guarantees in a one-shot fashion, such that training deep generative models is possible without re-using the original data.Hence, no extra privacy costs or model constraints are incurred, in contrast to popular gradient sanitization approaches, which, among other issues, cause degradation in privacy guarantees as the training iteration increases.We demonstrate a realization of our framework by making use of the characteristic function and an adversarial re-weighting objective, which are of independent interest as well.Our proposal has theoretical guarantees of performance, and empirical evaluations on multiple datasets show that our approach outperforms other methods at reasonable levels of privacy.

Vitruvion: A Generative Model of Parametric CAD Sketches

Ari Seff · Wenda Zhou · Nick Richardson · Ryan P Adams

Parametric computer-aided design (CAD) tools are the predominant way that engineers specify physical structures, from bicycle pedals to airplanes to printed circuit boards. The key characteristic of parametric CAD is that design intent is encoded not only via geometric primitives, but also by parameterized constraints between the elements. This relational specification can be viewed as the construction of a constraint program, allowing edits to coherently propagate to other parts of the design. Machine learning offers the intriguing possibility of accelerating the design process via generative modeling of these structures, enabling new tools such as autocompletion, constraint inference, and conditional synthesis. In this work, we present such an approach to generative modeling of parametric CAD sketches, which constitute the basic computational building blocks of modern mechanical design. Our model, trained on real-world designs from the SketchGraphs dataset, autoregressively synthesizes sketches as sequences of primitives, with initial coordinates, and constraints that reference back to the sampled primitives. As samples from the model match the constraint graph representation used in standard CAD software, they may be directly imported, solved, and edited according to downstream design tasks. In addition, we condition the model on various contexts, including partial sketches (primers) and images of hand-drawn sketches. Evaluation of the proposed approach demonstrates its ability to synthesize realistic CAD sketches and its potential to aid the mechanical design workflow.

Near-Optimal Reward-Free Exploration for Linear Mixture MDPs with Plug-in Solver

Xiaoyu Chen · Jiachen Hu · Lin Yang · Liwei Wang

Although model-based reinforcement learning (RL) approaches are considered more sample efficient, existing algorithms are usually relying on sophisticated planning algorithm to couple tightly with the model-learning procedure. Hence the learned models may lack the ability of being re-used with more specialized planners. In this paper we address this issue and provide approaches to learn an RL model efficiently without the guidance of a reward signal. In particular, we take a plug-in solver approach, where we focus on learning a model in the exploration phase and demand that \emph{any planning algorithm} on the learned model can give a near-optimal policy. Specicially, we focus on the linear mixture MDP setting, where the probability transition matrix is a (unknown) convex combination of a set of existing models. We show that, by establishing a novel exploration algorithm, the plug-in approach learns a model by taking $\tilde{O}(d^2H^3/\epsilon^2)$ interactions with the environment and \emph{any} $\epsilon$-optimal planner on the model gives an $O(\epsilon)$-optimal policy on the original model. This sample complexity matches lower bounds for non-plug-in approaches and is \emph{statistically optimal}. We achieve this result by leveraging a careful maximum total-variance bound using Bernstein inequality and properties specified to linear mixture MDP.

Explaining Point Processes by Learning Interpretable Temporal Logic Rules

Shuang Li · Mingquan Feng · Lu Wang · Abdelmajid Essofi · Yufeng Cao · Junchi Yan · Le Song

We propose a principled method to learn a set of human-readable logic rules to explain temporal point processes. We assume that the generative mechanisms underlying the temporal point processes are governed by a set of first-order temporal logic rules, as a compact representation of domain knowledge. Our method formulates the rule discovery process from noisy event data as a maximum likelihood problem, and designs an efficient and tractable branch-and-price algorithm to progressively search for new rules and expand existing rules. The proposed algorithm alternates between the rule generation stage and the rule evaluation stage, and uncovers the most important collection of logic rules within a fixed time limit for both synthetic and real event data. In a real healthcare application, we also had human experts (i.e., doctors) verify the learned temporal logic rules and provide further improvements. These expert-revised interpretable rules lead to a point process model which outperforms previous state-of-the-arts for symptom prediction, both in their occurrence times and types.

On Covariate Shift of Latent Confounders in Imitation and Reinforcement Learning

Guy Tennenholtz · Assaf Hallak · Gal Dalal · Shie Mannor · Gal Chechik · Uri Shalit

We consider the problem of using expert data with unobserved confounders for imitation and reinforcement learning. We begin by defining the problem of learning from confounded expert data in a contextual MDP setup. We analyze the limitations of learning from such data with and without external reward and propose an adjustment of standard imitation learning algorithms to fit this setup. In addition, we discuss the problem of distribution shift between the expert data and the online environment when partial observability is present in the data. We prove possibility and impossibility results for imitation learning under arbitrary distribution shift of the missing covariates. When additional external reward is provided, we propose a sampling procedure that addresses the unknown shift and prove convergence to an optimal solution. Finally, we validate our claims empirically on challenging assistive healthcare and recommender system simulation tasks.

Learning Discrete Structured Variational Auto-Encoder using Natural Evolution Strategies

Alon Berliner · Guy Rotman · Yossi Adi · Roi Reichart · Tamir Hazan

Discrete variational auto-encoders (VAEs) are able to represent semantic latent spaces in generative learning. In many real-life settings, the discrete latent space consists of high-dimensional structures, and propagating gradients through the relevant structures often requires enumerating over an exponentially large latent space. Recently, various approaches were devised to propagate approximated gradients without enumerating over the space of possible structures. In this work, we use Natural Evolution Strategies (NES), a class of gradient-free black-box optimization algorithms, to learn discrete structured VAEs. The NES algorithms are computationally appealing as they estimate gradients with forward pass evaluations only, thus they do not require to propagate gradients through their discrete structures. We demonstrate empirically that optimizing discrete structured VAEs using NES is as effective as gradient-based approximations. Lastly, we prove NES converges for non-Lipschitz functions as appear in discrete structured VAEs.

Universal Approximation Under Constraints is Possible with Transformers

Anastasis Kratsios · Behnoosh Zamanlooy · Tianlin Liu · Ivan Dokmanic

Many practical problems need the output of a machine learning model to satisfy a set of constraints, $K$. Nevertheless, there is no known guarantee that classical neural network architectures can exactly encode constraints while simultaneously achieving universality. We provide a quantitative constrained universal approximation theorem which guarantees that for any non-convex compact set $K$ and any continuous function $f:\mathbb{R}^n\rightarrow K$, there is a probabilistic transformer $\hat{F}$ whose randomized outputs all lie in $K$ and whose expected output uniformly approximates $f$. Our second main result is a ``deep neural version'' of Berge's Maximum Theorem (1963). The result guarantees that given an objective function $L$, a constraint set $K$, and a family of soft constraint sets, there is a probabilistic transformer $\hat{F}$ that approximately minimizes $L$ and whose outputs belong to $K$; moreover, $\hat{F}$ approximately satisfies the soft constraints. Our results imply the first universal approximation theorem for classical transformers with exact convex constraint satisfaction. They also yield that a chart-free universal approximation theorem for Riemannian manifold-valued functions subject to suitable geodesically convex constraints.

D-CODE: Discovering Closed-form ODEs from Observed Trajectories

Zhaozhi Qian · Krzysztof Kacprzyk · Mihaela van der Schaar

For centuries, scientists have manually designed closed-form ordinary differential equations (ODEs) to model dynamical systems. An automated tool to distill closed-form ODEs from observed trajectories would accelerate the modeling process. Traditionally, symbolic regression is used to uncover a closed-form prediction function $a=f(b)$ with label-feature pairs $(a_i, b_i)$ as training examples. However, an ODE models the time derivative $\dot{x}(t)$ of a dynamical system, e.g. $\dot{x}(t) = f(x(t),t)$, and the "label" $\dot{x}(t)$ is usually *not* observed. The existing ways to bridge this gap only perform well for a narrow range of settings with low measurement noise, frequent sampling, and non-chaotic dynamics. In this work, we propose the Discovery of Closed-form ODE framework (D-CODE), which advances symbolic regression beyond the paradigm of supervised learning. D-CODE leverages a novel objective function based on the variational formulation of ODEs to bypass the unobserved time derivative. For formal justification, we prove that this objective is a valid proxy for the estimation error of the true (but unknown) ODE. In the experiments, D-CODE successfully discovered the governing equations of a diverse range of dynamical systems under challenging measurement settings with high noise and infrequent sampling.

Direct then Diffuse: Incremental Unsupervised Skill Discovery for State Covering and Goal Reaching

Pierre-Alexandre Kamienny · Jean Tarbouriech · sylvain lamprier · Alessandro Lazaric · Ludovic Denoyer

Learning meaningful behaviors in the absence of reward is a difficult problem in reinforcement learning. A desirable and challenging unsupervised objective is to learn a set of diverse skills that provide a thorough coverage of the state space while being directed, i.e., reliably reaching distinct regions of the environment. In this paper, we build on the mutual information framework for skill discovery and introduce UPSIDE, which addresses the coverage-directedness trade-off in the following ways: 1) We design policies with a decoupled structure of a directed skill, trained to reach a specific region, followed by a diffusing part that induces a local coverage. 2) We optimize policies by maximizing their number under the constraint that each of them reaches distinct regions of the environment (i.e., they are sufficiently discriminable) and prove that this serves as a lower bound to the original mutual information objective. 3) Finally, we compose the learned directed skills into a growing tree that adaptively covers the environment. We illustrate in several navigation and control environments how the skills learned by UPSIDE solve sparse-reward downstream tasks better than existing baselines.

Self-supervised Learning is More Robust to Dataset Imbalance

Hong Liu · Jeff Z. HaoChen · Adrien Gaidon · Tengyu Ma

Self-supervised learning (SSL) is a scalable way to learn general visual representations since it learns without labels. However, large-scale unlabeled datasets in the wild often have long-tailed label distributions, where we know little about the behavior of SSL. In this work, we systematically investigate self-supervised learning under dataset imbalance. First, we find via extensive experiments that off-the-shelf self-supervised representations are already more robust to class imbalance than supervised representations. The performance gap between balanced and imbalanced pre-training with SSL is significantly smaller than the gap with supervised learning, across sample sizes, for both in-domain and, especially, out-of-domain evaluation. Second, towards understanding the robustness of SSL, we hypothesize that SSL learns richer features from frequent data: it may learn label-irrelevant-but-transferable features that help classify the rare classes and downstream tasks. In contrast, supervised learning has no incentive to learn features irrelevant to the labels from frequent examples. We validate this hypothesis with semi-synthetic experiments as well as rigorous mathematical analyses on a simplified setting. Third, inspired by the theoretical insights, we devise a re-weighted regularization technique that consistently improves the SSL representation quality on imbalanced datasets with several evaluation criteria, closing the small gap between balanced and imbalanced datasets with the same number of examples.

Evaluation Metrics for Graph Generative Models: Problems, Pitfalls, and Practical Solutions

Leslie O'Bray · Max Horn · Bastian Rieck · Karsten Borgwardt

Graph generative models are a highly active branch of machine learning. Given the steady development of new models of ever-increasing complexity, it is necessary to provide a principled way to evaluate and compare them. In this paper, we enumerate the desirable criteria for such a comparison metric and provide an overview of the status quo of graph generative model comparison in use today, which predominantly relies on the maximum mean discrepancy (MMD). We perform a systematic evaluation of MMD in the context of graph generative model comparison, highlighting some of the challenges and pitfalls researchers inadvertently may encounter. After conducting a thorough analysis of the behaviour of MMD on synthetically-generated perturbed graphs as well as on recently-proposed graph generative models, we are able to provide a suitable procedure to mitigate these challenges and pitfalls. We aggregate our findings into a list of practical recommendations for researchers to use when evaluating graph generative models.

FedPara: Low-rank Hadamard Product for Communication-Efficient Federated Learning

Nam Hyeon-Woo · Moon Ye-Bin · Tae-Hyun Oh

In this work, we propose a communication-efficient parameterization, $\texttt{FedPara}$, for federated learning (FL) to overcome the burdens on frequent model uploads and downloads. Our method re-parameterizes weight parameters of layers using low-rank weights followed by the Hadamard product. Compared to the conventional low-rank parameterization, our $\texttt{FedPara}$ method is not restricted to low-rank constraints, and thereby it has a far larger capacity. This property enables to achieve comparable performance while requiring 3 to 10 times lower communication costs than the model with the original layers, which is not achievable by the traditional low-rank methods. The efficiency of our method can be further improved by combining with other efficient FL optimizers. In addition, we extend our method to a personalized FL application, $\texttt{pFedPara}$, which separates parameters into global and local ones. We show that $\texttt{pFedPara}$ outperforms competing personalized FL methods with more than three times fewer parameters.

Counterfactual Plans under Distributional Ambiguity

Ngoc Bui · Duy Nguyen · Viet Anh Nguyen

Counterfactual explanations are attracting significant attention due to the flourishing applications of machine learning models in consequential domains. A counterfactual plan consists of multiple possibilities to modify a given instance so that the model's prediction will be altered. As the predictive model can be updated subject to the future arrival of new data, a counterfactual plan may become ineffective or infeasible, with respect to the future values of the model parameters. In this work, we study the counterfactual plans under model uncertainty, in which the distribution of the model parameters is partially prescribed using only the first- and second-moment information. First, we propose an uncertainty quantification tool to compute the lower and upper bounds of the probability of feasibility for any given counterfactual plan. We then provide corrective methods to adjust the counterfactual plan to improve the feasibility measure. The numerical experiments validate our bounds and demonstrate that our correction increases the robustness of the counterfactual plans in different real-world datasets.

Active Hierarchical Exploration with Stable Subgoal Representation Learning

Siyuan Li · Jin Zhang · Jianhao Wang · Yang Yu · Chongjie Zhang

Goal-conditioned hierarchical reinforcement learning (GCHRL) provides a promising approach to solving long-horizon tasks. Recently, its success has been extended to more general settings by concurrently learning hierarchical policies and subgoal representations. Although GCHRL possesses superior exploration ability by decomposing tasks via subgoals, existing GCHRL methods struggle in temporally extended tasks with sparse external rewards, since the high-level policy learning relies on external rewards. As the high-level policy selects subgoals in an online learned representation space, the dynamic change of the subgoal space severely hinders effective high-level exploration. In this paper, we propose a novel regularization that contributes to both stable and efficient subgoal representation learning. Building upon the stable representation, we design measures of novelty and potential for subgoals, and develop an active hierarchical exploration strategy that seeks out new promising subgoals and states without intrinsic rewards. Experimental results show that our approach significantly outperforms state-of-the-art baselines in continuous control tasks with sparse rewards.

Spread Spurious Attribute: Improving Worst-group Accuracy with Spurious Attribute Estimation

Junhyun Nam · Jaehyung Kim · Jaeho Lee · Jinwoo Shin

The paradigm of worst-group loss minimization has shown its promise in avoiding to learn spurious correlations, but requires costly additional supervision on spurious attributes. To resolve this, recent works focus on developing weaker forms of supervision---e.g., hyperparameters discovered with a small number of validation samples with spurious attribute annotation---but none of the methods retain comparable performance to methods using full supervision on the spurious attribute. In this paper, instead of searching for weaker supervisions, we ask: Given access to a fixed number of samples with spurious attribute annotations, what is the best achievable worst-group loss if we ''fully exploit'' them? To this end, we propose a pseudo-attribute-based algorithm, coined Spread Spurious Attribute (SSA), for improving the worst-group accuracy. In particular, we leverage samples both with and without spurious attribute annotations to train a model to predict the spurious attribute, then use the pseudo-attribute predicted by the trained model as supervision on the spurious attribute to train a new robust model having minimal worst-group loss. Our experiments on various benchmark datasets show that our algorithm consistently outperforms the baseline methods using the same number of validation samples with spurious attribute annotations. We also demonstrate that the proposed SSA can achieve comparable performances to methods using full (100%) spurious attribute supervision, by using a much smaller number of annotated samples---from 0.6% and up to 1.5%, depending on the dataset.

Robust and Scalable SDE Learning: A Functional Perspective

Scott Cameron · Tyron Cameron · Arnu Pretorius · S Roberts

Stochastic differential equations provide a rich class of flexible generativemodels, capable of describing a wide range of spatio-temporal processes. A hostof recent work looks to learn data-representing SDEs, using neural networks andother flexible function approximators. Despite these advances, learning remainscomputationally expensive due to the sequential nature of SDE integrators. Inthis work, we propose an importance-sampling estimator for probabilities ofobservations of SDEs for the purposes of learning. Crucially, the approach wesuggest does not rely on such integrators. The proposed method produceslower-variance gradient estimates compared to algorithms based on SDEintegrators and has the added advantage of being embarrassingly parallelizable.This facilitates the effective use of large-scale parallel hardware for massivedecreases in computation time.

Multi-Critic Actor Learning: Teaching RL Policies to Act with Style

Siddharth Mysore · George Cheng · yunqi zhao · Kate Saenko · Meng Wu

Using a single value function (critic) shared over multiple tasks in Actor-Critic multi-task reinforcement learning (MTRL) can result in negative interference between tasks, which can compromise learning performance. Multi-Critic Actor Learning (MultiCriticAL) proposes instead maintaining separate critics for each task being trained while training a single multi-task actor. Explicitly distinguishing between tasks also eliminates the need for critics to learn to do so and mitigates interference between task-value estimates. MultiCriticAL is tested in the context of multi-style learning, a special case of MTRL where agents are trained to behave with different distinct behavior styles, and yields up to 56% performance gains over the single-critic baselines and even successfully learns behavior styles in cases where single-critic approaches may simply fail to learn. In a simulated real-world use case, MultiCriticAL enables learning policies that smoothly transition between multiple fighting styles on an experimental build of EA’s UFC game.

Adversarially Robust Conformal Prediction

Asaf Gendler · Tsui-Wei Weng · Luca Daniel · Yaniv Romano

Conformal prediction is a model-agnostic tool for constructing prediction sets that are valid under the common i.i.d. assumption, which has been applied to quantify the prediction uncertainty of deep net classifiers. In this paper, we generalize this framework to the case where adversaries exist during inference time, under which the i.i.d. assumption is grossly violated. By combining conformal prediction with randomized smoothing, our proposed method forms a prediction set with finite-sample coverage guarantee that holds for any data distribution with $\ell_2$-norm bounded adversarial noise, generated by any adversarial attack algorithm. The core idea is to bound the Lipschitz constant of the non-conformity score by smoothing it with Gaussian noise and leverage this knowledge to account for the effect of the unknown adversarial perturbation. We demonstrate the necessity of our method in the adversarial setting and the validity of our theoretical guarantee on three widely used benchmark data sets: CIFAR10, CIFAR100, and ImageNet.

Crystal Diffusion Variational Autoencoder for Periodic Material Generation

Tian Xie · Xiang Fu · Octavian Ganea · Regina Barzilay · Tommi Jaakkola

Generating the periodic structure of stable materials is a long-standing challenge for the material design community. This task is difficult because stable materials only exist in a low-dimensional subspace of all possible periodic arrangements of atoms: 1) the coordinates must lie in the local energy minimum defined by quantum mechanics, and 2) global stability also requires the structure to follow the complex, yet specific bonding preferences between different atom types. Existing methods fail to incorporate these factors and often lack proper invariances. We propose a Crystal Diffusion Variational Autoencoder (CDVAE) that captures the physical inductive bias of material stability. By learning from the data distribution of stable materials, the decoder generates materials in a diffusion process that moves atomic coordinates towards a lower energy state and updates atom types to satisfy bonding preferences between neighbors. Our model also explicitly encodes interactions across periodic boundaries and respects permutation, translation, rotation, and periodic invariances. We significantly outperform past methods in three tasks: 1) reconstructing the input structure, 2) generating valid, diverse, and realistic materials, and 3) generating materials that optimize a specific property. We also provide several standard datasets and evaluation metrics for the broader machine learning community.

Post hoc Explanations may be Ineffective for Detecting Unknown Spurious Correlation

Julius Adebayo · Michael Muelly · Harold Abelson · Been Kim

We investigate whether three types of post hoc model explanations--feature attribution, concept activation, and training point ranking--are effective for detecting a model's reliance on spurious signals in the training data. Specifically, we consider the scenario where the spurious signal to be detected is unknown, at test-time, to the user of the explanation method. We design an empirical methodology that uses semi-synthetic datasets along with pre-specified spurious artifacts to obtain models that verifiably rely on these spurious training signals. We then provide a suite of metrics that assess an explanation method's reliability for spurious signal detection under various conditions. We find that the post hoc explanation methods tested are ineffective when the spurious artifact is unknown at test-time especially for non-visible artefacts like a background blur. Further, we find that feature attribution methods are susceptible to erroneously indicating dependence on spurious signals even when the model being explained does not rely on spurious artefacts. This finding casts doubt on the utility of these approaches, in the hands of a practitioner, for detecting a model's reliance on spurious signals.

Constraining Linear-chain CRFs to Regular Languages

Sean Papay · Roman Klinger · Sebastian Pado

A major challenge in structured prediction is to represent the interdependencies within output structures. When outputs are structured as sequences, linear-chain conditional random fields (CRFs) are a widely used model class which can learn local dependencies in the output. However, the CRF's Markov assumption makes it impossible for CRFs to represent distributions with nonlocal dependencies, and standard CRFs are unable to respect nonlocal constraints of the data (such as global arity constraints on output labels). We present a generalization of CRFs that can enforce a broad class of constraints, including nonlocal ones, by specifying the space of possible output structures as a regular language $\mathcal{L}$. The resulting regular-constrained CRF (RegCCRF) has the same formal properties as a standard CRF, but assigns zero probability to all label sequences not in $\mathcal{L}$. Notably, RegCCRFs can incorporate their constraints during training, while related models only enforce constraints during decoding. We prove that constrained training is never worse than constrained decoding, and show empirically that it can be substantially better in practice. Additionally, we demonstrate a practical benefit on downstream tasks by incorporating a RegCCRF into a deep neural model for semantic role labeling, exceeding state-of-the-art results on a standard dataset.

Entroformer: A Transformer-based Entropy Model for Learned Image Compression

Yichen Qian · Xiuyu Sun · Ming Lin · Zhiyu Tan · Rong Jin

One critical component in lossy deep image compression is the entropy model, which predicts the probability distribution of the quantized latent representation in the encoding and decoding modules. Previous works build entropy models upon convolutional neural networks which are inefficient in capturing global dependencies. In this work, we propose a novel transformer-based entropy model, termed Entroformer, to capture long-range dependencies in probability distribution estimation effectively and efficiently. Different from vision transformers in image classification, the Entroformer is highly optimized for image compression, including a top-k self-attention and a diamond relative position encoding. Meanwhile, we further expand this architecture with a parallel bidirectional context model to speed up the decoding process. The experiments show that the Entroformer achieves state-of-the-art performance on image compression while being time-efficient.

Representation-Agnostic Shape Fields

Xiaoyang Huang · Jiancheng Yang · Yanjun Wang · Ziyu Chen · Linguo Li · Teng Li · Bingbing Ni · Wenjun Zhang

3D shape analysis has been widely explored in the era of deep learning. Numerous models have been developed for various 3D data representation formats, e.g., MeshCNN for meshes, PointNet for point clouds and VoxNet for voxels. In this study, we present Representation-Agnostic Shape Fields (RASF), a generalizable and computation-efficient shape embedding module for 3D deep learning. RASF is implemented with a learnable 3D grid with multiple channels to store local geometry. Based on RASF, shape embeddings for various 3D shape representations (point clouds, meshes and voxels) are retrieved by coordinate indexing. While there are multiple ways to optimize the learnable parameters of RASF, we provide two effective schemes among all in this paper for RASF pre-training: shape reconstruction and normal estimation. Once trained, RASF becomes a plug-and-play performance booster with negligible cost. Extensive experiments on diverse 3D representation formats, networks and applications, validate the universal effectiveness of the proposed RASF. Code and pre-trained models are publicly available\footnote{\url{}}.

High Probability Bounds for a Class of Nonconvex Algorithms with AdaGrad Stepsize

Ali Kavis · Kfir Y Levy · Volkan Cevher

In this paper, we propose a new, simplified high probability analysis of AdaGrad for smooth, non-convex problems. More specifically, we focus on a particular accelerated gradient (AGD) template (Lan, 2020), through which we recover the original AdaGrad and its variant with averaging, and prove a convergence rate of $\mathcal O (1/ \sqrt{T})$ with high probability without the knowledge of smoothness and variance. We use a particular version of Freedman's concentration bound for martingale difference sequences (Kakade & Tewari, 2008) which enables us to achieve the best-known dependence of $\log (1 / \delta )$ on the probability margin $\delta$. We present our analysis in a modular way and obtain a complementary $\mathcal O (1 / T)$ convergence rate in the deterministic setting. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first high probability result for AdaGrad with a truly adaptive scheme, i.e., completely oblivious to the knowledge of smoothness and uniform variance bound, which simultaneously has best-known dependence of $\log( 1/ \delta)$. We further prove noise adaptation property of AdaGrad under additional noise assumptions.

Defending Against Image Corruptions Through Adversarial Augmentations

Dan A. Calian · Florian Stimberg · Olivia Wiles · Sylvestre-Alvise Rebuffi · Andras Gyorgy · Timothy A Mann · Sven Gowal

Modern neural networks excel at image classification, yet they remain vulnerable to common image corruptions such as blur, speckle noise or fog. Recent methods that focus on this problem, such as AugMix and DeepAugment, introduce defenses that operate in expectation over a distribution of image corruptions. In contrast, the literature on Lp-norm bounded perturbations focuses on defenses against worst-case corruptions. In this work, we reconcile both approaches by proposing AdversarialAugment, a technique which optimizes the parameters of image-to-image models to generate adversarially corrupted augmented images. We theoretically motivate our method and give sufficient conditions for the consistency of its idealized version as well as that of DeepAugment. Our classifiers improve upon the state-of-the-art on common image corruption benchmarks conducted in expectation on CIFAR-10-C and improve worst-case performance against Lp-norm bounded perturbations on both CIFAR-10 and ImageNet.

StyleNeRF: A Style-based 3D Aware Generator for High-resolution Image Synthesis

Jiatao Gu · Lingjie Liu · Peng Wang · Christian Theobalt

We propose StyleNeRF, a 3D-aware generative model for photo-realistic high-resolution image synthesis with high multi-view consistency, which can be trained on unstructured 2D images. Existing approaches either cannot synthesize high-resolution images with fine details or yield clearly noticeable 3D-inconsistent artifacts. In addition, many of them lack control on style attributes and explicit 3D camera poses. To address these issues, StyleNeRF integrates the neural radiance field (NeRF) into a style-based generator to tackle the aforementioned challenges, i.e., improving rendering efficiency and 3D consistency for high-resolution image generation. To address the first issue, we perform volume rendering only to produce a low-resolution feature map, and progressively apply upsampling in 2D. To mitigate the inconsistencies caused by 2D upsampling, we propose multiple designs including a better upsampler choice and a new regularization loss to enforce 3D consistency. With these designs, StyleNeRF is able to synthesize high-resolution images at interactive rates while preserving 3D consistency at high quality. StyleNeRF also enables control of camera poses and different levels of styles, which can generalize to unseen views. It also supports challenging tasks such as style mixing, inversion and simple semantic edits.

Exploring Memorization in Adversarial Training

Yinpeng Dong · Ke Xu · Xiao Yang · Tianyu Pang · Zhijie Deng · Hang Su · Jun Zhu

Deep learning models have a propensity for fitting the entire training set even with random labels, which requires memorization of every training sample. In this paper, we explore the memorization effect in adversarial training (AT) for promoting a deeper understanding of model capacity, convergence, generalization, and especially robust overfitting of the adversarially trained models. We first demonstrate that deep networks have sufficient capacity to memorize adversarial examples of training data with completely random labels, but not all AT algorithms can converge under the extreme circumstance. Our study of AT with random labels motivates further analyses on the convergence and generalization of AT. We find that some AT approaches suffer from a gradient instability issue and the recently suggested complexity measures cannot explain robust generalization by considering models trained on random labels. Furthermore, we identify a significant drawback of memorization in AT that it could result in robust overfitting. We then propose a new mitigation algorithm motivated by detailed memorization analyses. Extensive experiments on various datasets validate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Sequential Reptile: Inter-Task Gradient Alignment for Multilingual Learning

Seanie Lee · Hae Beom Lee · Juho Lee · Sung Ju Hwang

Multilingual models jointly pretrained on multiple languages have achieved remarkable performance on various multilingual downstream tasks. Moreover, models finetuned on a single monolingual downstream task have shown to generalize to unseen languages. In this paper, we first show that it is crucial for those tasks to align gradients between them in order to maximize knowledge transfer while minimizing negative transfer. Despite its importance, the existing methods for gradient alignment either have a completely different purpose, ignore inter-task alignment, or aim to solve continual learning problems in rather inefficient ways. As a result of the misaligned gradients between tasks, the model suffers from severe negative transfer in the form of catastrophic forgetting of the knowledge acquired from the pretraining. To overcome the limitations, we propose a simple yet effective method that can efficiently align gradients between tasks. Specifically, we perform each inner-optimization by sequentially sampling batches from all the tasks, followed by a Reptile outer update. Thanks to the gradients aligned between tasks by our method, the model becomes less vulnerable to negative transfer and catastrophic forgetting. We extensively validate our method on various multi-task learning and zero-shot cross-lingual transfer tasks, where our method largely outperforms all the relevant baselines we consider.

AS-MLP: An Axial Shifted MLP Architecture for Vision

Dongze Lian · Zehao Yu · Xing Sun · Shenghua Gao

An Axial Shifted MLP architecture (AS-MLP) is proposed in this paper. Different from MLP-Mixer, where the global spatial feature is encoded for information flow through matrix transposition and one token-mixing MLP, we pay more attention to the local features interaction. By axially shifting channels of the feature map, AS-MLP is able to obtain the information flow from different axial directions, which captures the local dependencies. Such an operation enables us to utilize a pure MLP architecture to achieve the same local receptive field as CNN-like architecture. We can also design the receptive field size and dilation of blocks of AS-MLP, \emph{etc}, in the same spirit of convolutional neural networks. With the proposed AS-MLP architecture, our model obtains 83.3\% Top-1 accuracy with 88M parameters and 15.2 GFLOPs on the ImageNet-1K dataset. Such a simple yet effective architecture outperforms all MLP-based architectures and achieves competitive performance compared to the transformer-based architectures (\emph{e.g.}, Swin Transformer) even with slightly lower FLOPs. In addition, AS-MLP is also the first MLP-based architecture to be applied to the downstream tasks (\emph{e.g.}, object detection and semantic segmentation). The experimental results are also impressive. Our proposed AS-MLP obtains 51.5 mAP on the COCO validation set and 49.5 MS mIoU on the ADE20K dataset, which is competitive compared to the transformer-based architectures. Our AS-MLP establishes a strong baseline of MLP-based architecture. Code is available at \url{}.

PSA-GAN: Progressive Self Attention GANs for Synthetic Time Series

Paul Jeha · Michael Bohlke-Schneider · Pedro Mercado · Shubham Kapoor · Rajbir Nirwan · Valentin Flunkert · Jan Gasthaus · Tim Januschowski

Realistic synthetic time series data of sufficient length enables practical applications in time series modeling tasks, such as forecasting, but remains a challenge. In this paper we present PSA-GAN, a generative adversarial network (GAN) that generates long time series samples of high quality using progressive growing of GANs and self-attention. We show that PSA-GAN can be used to reduce the error in several downstream forecasting tasks over baselines that only use real data. We also introduce a Frechet-Inception Distance-like score for time series, Context-FID, assessing the quality of synthetic time series samples. We find that Context-FID is indicative for downstream performance. Therefore, Context-FID could be a useful tool to develop time series GAN models.

It Takes Two to Tango: Mixup for Deep Metric Learning

Shashanka Venkataramanan · Bill Psomas · Ewa Kijak · laurent amsaleg · Konstantinos Karantzalos · Yannis Avrithis

Metric learning involves learning a discriminative representation such that embeddings of similar classes are encouraged to be close, while embeddings of dissimilar classes are pushed far apart. State-of-the-art methods focus mostly on sophisticated loss functions or mining strategies. On the one hand, metric learning losses consider two or more examples at a time. On the other hand, modern data augmentation methods for classification consider two or more examples at a time. The combination of the two ideas is under-studied.In this work, we aim to bridge this gap and improve representations using mixup, which is a powerful data augmentation approach interpolating two or more examples and corresponding target labels at a time. This task is challenging because, unlike classification, the loss functions used in metric learning are not additive over examples, so the idea of interpolating target labels is not straightforward. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to investigate mixing both examples and target labels for deep metric learning. We develop a generalized formulation that encompasses existing metric learning loss functions and modify it to accommodate for mixup, introducing Metric Mix, or Metrix. We also introduce a new metric---utilization---to demonstrate that by mixing examples during training, we are exploring areas of the embedding space beyond the training classes, thereby improving representations. To validate the effect of improved representations, we show that mixing inputs, intermediate representations or embeddings along with target labels significantly outperforms state-of-the-art metric learning methods on four benchmark deep metric learning datasets.

Training Data Generating Networks: Shape Reconstruction via Bi-level Optimization

Biao Zhang · Peter Wonka

We propose a novel 3d shape representation for 3d shape reconstruction from a single image. Rather than predicting a shape directly, we train a network to generate a training set which will be fed into another learning algorithm to define the shape. The nested optimization problem can be modeled by bi-level optimization. Specifically, the algorithms for bi-level optimization are also being used in meta learning approaches for few-shot learning. Our framework establishes a link between 3D shape analysis and few-shot learning. We combine training data generating networks with bi-level optimization algorithms to obtain a complete framework for which all components can be jointly trained. We improve upon recent work on standard benchmarks for 3d shape reconstruction.

Neural Markov Controlled SDE: Stochastic Optimization for Continuous-Time Data

Sung Woo Park · Kyungjae Lee · Junseok Kwon

We propose a novel probabilistic framework for modeling stochastic dynamics with the rigorous use of stochastic optimal control theory. The proposed model called the neural Markov controlled stochastic differential equation (CSDE) overcomes the fundamental and structural limitations of conventional dynamical models by introducing the following two components: (1) Markov dynamic programming to efficiently train the proposed CSDE and (2) multi-conditional forward-backward losses to provide rich information for accurate inference and to assure theoretical optimality. We demonstrate that our dynamical model efficiently generates a complex time series in the data space without extra networks while showing comparable performance against existing model-based methods on several datasets.

Reducing Excessive Margin to Achieve a Better Accuracy vs. Robustness Trade-off

Rahul Rade · Seyed-Mohsen Moosavi-Dezfooli

While adversarial training has become the de facto approach for training robust classifiers, it leads to a drop in accuracy. This has led to prior works postulating that accuracy is inherently at odds with robustness. Yet, the phenomenon remains inexplicable. In this paper, we closely examine the changes induced in the decision boundary of a deep network during adversarial training. We find that adversarial training leads to unwarranted increase in the margin along certain adversarial directions, thereby hurting accuracy. Motivated by this observation, we present a novel algorithm, called Helper-based Adversarial Training (HAT), to reduce this effect by incorporating additional wrongly labelled examples during training. Our proposed method provides a notable improvement in accuracy without compromising robustness. It achieves a better trade-off between accuracy and robustness in comparison to existing defenses. Code is available at

You Mostly Walk Alone: Analyzing Feature Attribution in Trajectory Prediction

Osama Makansi · Julius von Kuegelgen · Francesco Locatello · Peter Gehler · Dominik Janzing · Thomas Brox · Bernhard Schoelkopf

Predicting the future trajectory of a moving agent can be easy when the past trajectory continues smoothly but is challenging when complex interactions with other agents are involved. Recent deep learning approaches for trajectory prediction show promising performance and partially attribute this to successful reasoning about agent-agent interactions. However, it remains unclear which features such black-box models actually learn to use for making predictions. This paper proposes a procedure that quantifies the contributions of different cues to model performance based on a variant of Shapley values. Applying this procedure to state-of-the-art trajectory prediction methods on standard benchmark datasets shows that they are, in fact, unable to reason about interactions. Instead, the past trajectory of the target is the only feature used for predicting its future. For a task with richer social interaction patterns, on the other hand, the tested models do pick up such interactions to a certain extent, as quantified by our feature attribution method. We discuss the limits of the proposed method and its links to causality.