Wisdom, Scott, Powers, Thomas, Hershey, John, Roux, Jonathan Le, Atlas, Les

Recurrent neural networks are powerful models for processing sequential data, but they are generally plagued by vanishing and exploding gradient problems. Unitary recurrent neural networks (uRNNs), which use unitary recurrence matrices, have recently been proposed as a means to avoid these issues. However, in previous experiments, the recurrence matrices were restricted to be a product of parameterized unitary matrices, and an open question remains: when does such a parameterization fail to represent all unitary matrices, and how does this restricted representational capacity limit what can be learned? To address this question, we propose full-capacity uRNNs that optimize their recurrence matrix over all unitary matrices, leading to significantly improved performance over uRNNs that use a restricted-capacity recurrence matrix. Our contribution consists of two main components. First, we provide a theoretical argument to determine if a unitary parameterization has restricted capacity. Using this argument, we show that a recently proposed unitary parameterization has restricted capacity for hidden state dimension greater than 7. Second,we show how a complete, full-capacity unitary recurrence matrix can be optimized over the differentiable manifold of unitary matrices. The resulting multiplicative gradient step is very simple and does not require gradient clipping or learning rate adaptation. We confirm the utility of our claims by empirically evaluating our new full-capacity uRNNs on both synthetic and natural data, achieving superior performance compared to both LSTMs and the original restricted-capacity uRNNs.

Wisdom, Scott, Powers, Thomas, Hershey, John R., Roux, Jonathan Le, Atlas, Les

Recurrent neural networks are powerful models for processing sequential data, but they are generally plagued by vanishing and exploding gradient problems. Unitary recurrent neural networks (uRNNs), which use unitary recurrence matrices, have recently been proposed as a means to avoid these issues. However, in previous experiments, the recurrence matrices were restricted to be a product of parameterized unitary matrices, and an open question remains: when does such a parameterization fail to represent all unitary matrices, and how does this restricted representational capacity limit what can be learned? To address this question, we propose full-capacity uRNNs that optimize their recurrence matrix over all unitary matrices, leading to significantly improved performance over uRNNs that use a restricted-capacity recurrence matrix. Our contribution consists of two main components. First, we provide a theoretical argument to determine if a unitary parameterization has restricted capacity. Using this argument, we show that a recently proposed unitary parameterization has restricted capacity for hidden state dimension greater than 7. Second, we show how a complete, full-capacity unitary recurrence matrix can be optimized over the differentiable manifold of unitary matrices. The resulting multiplicative gradient step is very simple and does not require gradient clipping or learning rate adaptation. We confirm the utility of our claims by empirically evaluating our new full-capacity uRNNs on both synthetic and natural data, achieving superior performance compared to both LSTMs and the original restricted-capacity uRNNs.

Arjovsky, Martin, Shah, Amar, Bengio, Yoshua

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are notoriously difficult to train. When the eigenvalues of the hidden to hidden weight matrix deviate from absolute value 1, optimization becomes difficult due to the well studied issue of vanishing and exploding gradients, especially when trying to learn long-term dependencies. To circumvent this problem, we propose a new architecture that learns a unitary weight matrix, with eigenvalues of absolute value exactly 1. The challenge we address is that of parametrizing unitary matrices in a way that does not require expensive computations (such as eigendecomposition) after each weight update. We construct an expressive unitary weight matrix by composing several structured matrices that act as building blocks with parameters to be learned. Optimization with this parameterization becomes feasible only when considering hidden states in the complex domain. We demonstrate the potential of this architecture by achieving state of the art results in several hard tasks involving very long-term dependencies.

Complex numbers have long been favoured for digital signal processing, yet complex representations rarely appear in deep learning architectures. RNNs, widely used to process time series and sequence information, could greatly benefit from complex representations. We present a novel complex gate recurrent cell. When used together with norm-preserving state transition matrices, our complex gated RNN exhibits excellent stability and convergence properties. We demonstrate competitive performance of our complex gated RNN on the synthetic memory and adding task, as well as on the real-world task of human motion prediction.

Zhao, Ritchie, Hu, Yuwei, Dotzel, Jordan, De Sa, Christopher, Zhang, Zhiru

We propose unitary group convolutions (UGConvs), a building block for CNNs which compose a group convolution with unitary transforms in feature space to learn a richer set of representations than group convolution alone. UGConvs generalize two disparate ideas in CNN architecture, channel shuffling (i.e. ShuffleNet) and block-circulant networks (i.e. CirCNN), and provide unifying insights that lead to a deeper understanding of each technique. We experimentally demonstrate that dense unitary transforms can outperform channel shuffling in DNN accuracy. On the other hand, different dense transforms exhibit comparable accuracy performance. Based on these observations we propose HadaNet, a UGConv network using Hadamard transforms. HadaNets achieve similar accuracy to circulant networks with lower computation complexity, and better accuracy than ShuffleNets with the same number of parameters and floating-point multiplies.