Uncertainty-Aware Attention for Reliable Interpretation and Prediction

Neural Information Processing Systems

Attention mechanism is effective in both focusing the deep learning models on relevant features and interpreting them. However, attentions may be unreliable since the networks that generate them are often trained in a weakly-supervised manner. To overcome this limitation, we introduce the notion of input-dependent uncertainty to the attention mechanism, such that it generates attention for each feature with varying degrees of noise based on the given input, to learn larger variance on instances it is uncertain about. We learn this Uncertainty-aware Attention (UA) mechanism using variational inference, and validate it on various risk prediction tasks from electronic health records on which our model significantly outperforms existing attention models. The analysis of the learned attentions shows that our model generates attentions that comply with clinicians' interpretation, and provide richer interpretation via learned variance. Further evaluation of both the accuracy of the uncertainty calibration and the prediction performance with "I don't know'' decision show that UA yields networks with high reliability as well.


Uncertainty-Aware Attention for Reliable Interpretation and Prediction

Neural Information Processing Systems

Attention mechanism is effective in both focusing the deep learning models on relevant features and interpreting them. However, attentions may be unreliable since the networks that generate them are often trained in a weakly-supervised manner. To overcome this limitation, we introduce the notion of input-dependent uncertainty to the attention mechanism, such that it generates attention for each feature with varying degrees of noise based on the given input, to learn larger variance on instances it is uncertain about. We learn this Uncertainty-aware Attention (UA) mechanism using variational inference, and validate it on various risk prediction tasks from electronic health records on which our model significantly outperforms existing attention models. The analysis of the learned attentions shows that our model generates attentions that comply with clinicians' interpretation, and provide richer interpretation via learned variance. Further evaluation of both the accuracy of the uncertainty calibration and the prediction performance with "I don't know'' decision show that UA yields networks with high reliability as well.


[$5000/$2500/$1250/$750/$500] - Phase 2 Urban World Prediction Challenge

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For challenges that have a reliability bonus, the bonus depends on the reliability rating at the moment of registration for that project. A participant with no previous projects is considered to have no reliability rating, and therefore gets no bonus. Reliability bonus does not apply to Digital Run winnings. Since reliability rating is based on the past 15 projects, it can only have 15 discrete values.


Latent Alignment and Variational Attention

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Neural attention has become central to many state-of-the-art models in natural language processing and related domains. Attention networks are an easy-to-train and effective method for softly simulating alignment; however, the approach does not marginalize over latent alignments in a probabilistic sense. This property makes it difficult to compare attention to other alignment approaches, to compose it with probabilistic models, and to perform posterior inference conditioned on observed data. A related latent approach, hard attention, fixes these issues, but is generally harder to train and less accurate. This work considers variational attention networks, alternatives to soft and hard attention for learning latent variable alignment models, with tighter approximation bounds based on amortized variational inference. We further propose methods for reducing the variance of gradients to make these approaches computationally feasible. Experiments show that for machine translation and visual question answering, inefficient exact latent variable models outperform standard neural attention, but these gains go away when using hard attention based training. On the other hand, variational attention retains most of the performance gain but with training speed comparable to neural attention.


Latent Alignment and Variational Attention

Neural Information Processing Systems

Neural attention has become central to many state-of-the-art models in natural language processing and related domains. Attention networks are an easy-to-train and effective method for softly simulating alignment; however, the approach does not marginalize over latent alignments in a probabilistic sense. This property makes it difficult to compare attention to other alignment approaches, to compose it with probabilistic models, and to perform posterior inference conditioned on observed data. A related latent approach, hard attention, fixes these issues, but is generally harder to train and less accurate. This work considers variational attention networks, alternatives to soft and hard attention for learning latent variable alignment models, with tighter approximation bounds based on amortized variational inference.