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A Framework for Inference Inspired by Human Memory Mechanisms

Xiangyu Zeng · Jie Lin · Piao Hu · Ruizheng Huang · Zhicheng Zhang

Halle B #41
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Thu 9 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


How humans and machines make sense of current inputs for relation reasoning and question-answering while putting the perceived information into context of our past memories, has been a challenging conundrum in cognitive science and artificial intelligence. Inspired by human brain's memory system and cognitive architectures, we propose a PMI framework that consists of perception, memory and inference components. Notably, the memory module comprises working and long-term memory, with the latter endowed with a higher-order structure to retain extensive and complex relational knowledge and experience. Through a differentiable competitive write access, current perceptions update working memory, which is later merged with long-term memory via outer product associations, reducing information conflicts and averting memory overflow. In the inference module, relevant information is retrieved from two separate memory origins and associatively integrated to attain a more comprehensive and precise interpretation of current perceptions. We exploratively apply our PMI to improve prevailing Transformers and CNN models on question-answering tasks like bAbI-20k and Sort-of-CLEVR datasets, as well as detecting equilateral triangles, language modeling and image classification tasks, and in each case, our PMI enhancements consistently outshine their original counterparts significantly. Visualization analyses reveal that relational memory consolidation, along with the interaction and integration of information from diverse memory sources, substantially contributes to the model effectiveness on inference tasks.

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