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Poster
Temporal Latent Bottleneck: Synthesis of Fast and Slow Processing Mechanisms in Sequence Learning
Aniket Didolkar · Kshitij Gupta · Anirudh Goyal · Alex Lamb · Nan Rosemary Ke · Yoshua Bengio

Tue Nov 29 02:00 PM -- 04:00 PM (PST) @ Hall J #526
Recurrent neural networks have a strong inductive bias towards learning temporally compressed representations, as the entire history of a sequence is represented by a single vector. By contrast, Transformers have little inductive bias towards learning temporally compressed representations, as they allow for attention over all previously computed elements in a sequence. Having a more compressed representation of a sequence may be beneficial for generalization, as a high-level representation may be more easily re-used and re-purposed and will contain fewer irrelevant details. At the same time, excessive compression of representations comes at the cost of expressiveness. We propose a solution which divides computation into two streams. A slow stream that is recurrent in nature aims to learn a specialized and compressed representation, by forcing chunks of $K$ time steps into a single representation which is divided into multiple vectors. At the same time, a fast stream is parameterized as a Transformer to process chunks consisting of $K$ time-steps conditioned on the information in the slow-stream. In the proposed approach we hope to gain the expressiveness of the Transformer, while encouraging better compression and structuring of representations in the slow stream. We show the benefits of the proposed method in terms of improved sample efficiency and generalization performance as compared to various competitive baselines for visual perception and sequential decision making tasks.

Author Information

Aniket Didolkar (University of Montreal)
Kshitij Gupta (Université de Montréal)
Anirudh Goyal (Université de Montréal)
Alex Lamb (Universite de Montreal)
Nan Rosemary Ke (DeepMind)
Yoshua Bengio (Mila / U. Montreal)

Yoshua Bengio is Full Professor in the computer science and operations research department at U. Montreal, scientific director and founder of Mila and of IVADO, Turing Award 2018 recipient, Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms, as well as a Canada AI CIFAR Chair. He pioneered deep learning and has been getting the most citations per day in 2018 among all computer scientists, worldwide. He is an officer of the Order of Canada, member of the Royal Society of Canada, was awarded the Killam Prize, the Marie-Victorin Prize and the Radio-Canada Scientist of the year in 2017, and he is a member of the NeurIPS advisory board and co-founder of the ICLR conference, as well as program director of the CIFAR program on Learning in Machines and Brains. His goal is to contribute to uncover the principles giving rise to intelligence through learning, as well as favour the development of AI for the benefit of all.

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