Section: New Results


Dialogue Systems and Natural Language

End-to-end Optimization of Goal-driven and Visually Grounded Dialogue Systems, [51]

End-to-end design of dialogue systems has recently become a popular research topic thanks to powerful tools such as encoder-decoder architectures for sequence-to-sequence learning. Yet, most current approaches cast human-machine dialogue management as a supervised learning problem, aiming at predicting the next utterance of a participant given the full history of the dialogue. This vision is too simplistic to render the intrinsic planning problem inherent to dialogue as well as its grounded nature , making the context of a dialogue larger than the sole history. This is why only chitchat and question answering tasks have been addressed so far using end-to-end architectures. In this paper, we introduce a Deep Reinforcement Learning method to optimize visually grounded task-oriented dialogues , based on the policy gradient algorithm. This approach is tested on a dataset of 120k dialogues collected through Mechanical Turk and provides encouraging results at solving both the problem of generating natural dialogues and the task of discovering a specific object in a complex picture.

Online Learning and Transfer for User Adaptation in Dialogue Systems, [58]

We address the problem of user adaptation in Spoken Dialogue Systems. The goal is to quickly adapt online to a new user given a large amount of dialogues collected with other users. Previous works using Transfer for Reinforcement Learning tackled this problem when the number of source users remains limited. In this paper, we overcome this constraint by clustering the source users: each user cluster, represented by its centroid, is used as a potential source in the state-of-the-art Transfer Reinforcement Learning algorithm. Our benchmark compares several clustering approaches , including one based on a novel metric. All experiments are led on a negotiation dialogue task, and their results show significant improvements over baselines.

GuessWhat?! Visual Object Discovery Through Multi-modal Dialogue, [29]

We introduce GuessWhat?!, a two-player guessing game as a testbed for research on the interplay of computer vision and dialogue systems. The goal of the game is to locate an unknown object in a rich image scene by asking a sequence of questions. Higher-level image understanding, like spatial reasoning and language grounding, is required to solve the proposed task. Our key contribution is the collection of a large-scale dataset consisting of 150K human-played games with a total of 800K visual question-answer pairs on 66K images. We explain our design decisions in collecting the dataset and introduce the oracle and questioner tasks that are associated with the two players of the game. We prototyped deep learning models to establish initial base-lines of the introduced tasks.

LIG-CRIStAL System for the WMT17 Automatic Post-Editing Task, [25]

This paper presents the LIG-CRIStAL submission to the shared Automatic Post-Editing task of WMT 2017. We propose two neural post-editing models: a mono-source model with a task-specific attention mechanism, which performs particularly well in a low-resource scenario; and a chained architecture which makes use of the source sentence to provide extra context. This latter architecture manages to slightly improve our results when more training data is available. We present and discuss our results on two datasets (en-de and de-en) that are made available for the task.

Recommendation systems

A Multi-Armed Bandit Model Selection for Cold-Start User Recommendation, [32]

How can we effectively recommend items to a user about whom we have no information? This is the problem we focus on, known as the cold-start problem. In this paper, we focus on the cold user problem.In most existing works, the cold-start problem is handled through the use of many kinds of information available about the user. However, what happens if we do not have any information?Recommender systems usually keep a substantial amount of prediction models that are available for analysis. Moreover, recommendations to new users yield uncertain returns. Assuming a number of alternative prediction models is available to select items to recommend to a cold user, this paper introduces a multi-armed bandit based model selection, named PdMS.In comparison with two baselines, PdMS improves the performance as measured by the nDCG.These improvements are demonstrated on real, public datasets.

Software development

A Large-scale Study of Call Graph-based Impact Prediction using Mutation Testing, [20]

In software engineering, impact analysis consists in predicting the software elements (e.g. modules, classes, methods) potentially impacted by a change in the source code. Impact analysis is required to optimize the testing effort. In this paper, we propose a framework to predict error propagation. Based on 10 open-source Java projects and 5 classical mutation operators, we create 17000 mutants and study how the error they introduce propagates. This framework enables us to analyze impact prediction based on four types of call graph. Our results show that the sophistication indeed increases completeness of impact prediction. However, and surprisingly to us, the most basic call graph gives the highest trade-off between precision and recall for impact prediction.

Correctness Attraction: A Study of Stability of Software Behavior under Runtime Perturbation, [15]

Can the execution of a software be perturbed without breaking the correctness of the output? In this paper, we devise a novel protocol to answer this rarely investigated question. In an experimental study, we observe that many perturbations do not break the correctness in ten subject programs. We call this phenomenon “correctness attraction”. The uniqueness of this protocol is that it considers a systematic exploration of the perturbation space as well as perfect oracles to determine the correctness of the output. To this extent, our findings on the stability of software under execution perturbations have a level of validity that has never been reported before in the scarce related work. A qualitative manual analysis enables us to set up the first taxonomy ever of the reasons behind correctness attraction.

Graph theory

A generative model for sparse, evolving digraphs, [43]

Generating graphs that are similar to real ones is an open problem, while the similarity notion is quite elusive and hard to formalize. In this paper, we focus on sparse digraphs and propose SDG, an algorithm that aims at generating graphs similar to real ones. Since real graphs are evolving and this evolution is important to study in order to understand the underlying dynamical system, we tackle the problem of generating series of graphs. We propose SEDGE, an algorithm meant to generate series of graphs similar to a real series. SEDGE is an extension of SDG. We consider graphs that are representations of software programs and show experimentally that our approach outperforms other existing approaches. Experiments show the performance of both algorithms.

A Spectral Algorithm with Additive Clustering for the Recovery of Overlapping Communities in Networks, [17]

This paper presents a novel spectral algorithm with additive clustering designed to identify overlapping communities in networks. The algorithm is based on geometric properties of the spectrum of the expected adjacency matrix in a random graph model that we call stochastic blockmodel with overlap (SBMO). An adaptive version of the algorithm, that does not require the knowledge of the number of hidden communities, is proved to be consistent under the SBMO when the degrees in the graph are (slightly more than) logarithmic. The algorithm is shown to perform well on simulated data and on real-world graphs with known overlapping communities.

Deep Learning

Modulating early visual processing by language, [30]

It is commonly assumed that language refers to high-level visual concepts while leaving low-level visual processing unaffected. This view dominates the current literature in computational models for language-vision tasks, where visual and linguistic inputs are mostly processed independently before being fused into a single representation. In this paper, we deviate from this classic pipeline and propose to modulate the entire visual processing by a linguistic input. Specifically, we introduce Conditional Batch Normalization (CBN) as an efficient mechanism to modulate convolutional feature maps by a linguistic embedding. We apply CBN to a pre-trained Residual Network (ResNet), leading to the MODulatEd ResNet (MODERN) architecture, and show that this significantly improves strong baselines on two visual question answering tasks. Our ablation study confirms that modulating from the early stages of the visual processing is beneficial.

FiLM: Visual Reasoning with a General Conditioning Layer, [45]

We introduce a general-purpose conditioning method for neural networks called FiLM: Feature-wise Linear Modulation. FiLM layers influence neural network computation via a simple , feature-wise affine transformation based on conditioning information. We show that FiLM layers are highly effective for visual reasoning - answering image-related questions which require a multi-step, high-level process - a task which has proven difficult for standard deep learning methods that do not explicitly model reasoning. Specifically, we show on visual reasoning tasks that FiLM layers 1) halve state-of-the-art error for the CLEVR benchmark, 2) modulate features in a coherent manner, 3) are robust to ablations and architectural modifications, and 4) generalize well to challenging, new data from few examples or even zero-shot.

Learning Visual Reasoning Without Strong Priors, [44]

Achieving artificial visual reasoning - the ability to answer image-related questions which require a multi-step, high-level process - is an important step towards artificial general intelligence. This multi-modal task requires learning a question-dependent, structured reasoning process over images from language. Standard deep learning approaches tend to exploit biases in the data rather than learn this underlying structure, while leading methods learn to visually reason successfully but are hand-crafted for reasoning. We show that a general-purpose, Conditional Batch Normalization approach achieves state-of-the-art results on the CLEVR Visual Reasoning benchmark with a 2.4% error rate. We outperform the next best end-to-end method (4.5%) and even methods that use extra supervision (3.1%). We probe our model to shed light on how it reasons, showing it has learned a question-dependent, multi-step process. Previous work has operated under the assumption that visual reasoning calls for a specialized architecture, but we show that a general architecture with proper conditioning can learn to visually reason effectively. Index Terms: Deep Learning, Language and Vision Note: A full paper extending this study is available at http: //arxiv.org/abs/1709.07871, with additional references , experiments, and analysis.

HoME: a Household Multimodal Environment, [24]

We introduce HoME: a Household Multimodal Environment for artificial agents to learn from vision, audio, semantics, physics, and interaction with objects and other agents, all within a realistic context. HoME integrates over 45,000 diverse 3D house layouts based on the SUNCG dataset, a scale which may facilitate learning, generalization, and transfer. HoME is an open-source, OpenAI Gym-compatible platform extensible to tasks in reinforcement learning, language grounding, sound-based navigation, robotics, multi-agent learning, and more. We hope HoME better enables artificial agents to learn as humans do: in an interactive, multimodal, and richly contextualized setting.