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NIPS - Not Even Wrong? A Systematic Review of Empirically Complete Demonstrations of Algorithmic Effectiveness in the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Literature

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Objective: To determine the completeness of argumentative steps necessary to conclude effectiveness of an algorithm in a sample of current ML/AI supervised learning literature. Data Sources: Papers published in the Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS, n\'ee NIPS) journal where the official record showed a 2017 year of publication. Eligibility Criteria: Studies reporting a (semi-)supervised model, or pre-processing fused with (semi-)supervised models for tabular data. Study Appraisal: Three reviewers applied the assessment criteria to determine argumentative completeness. The criteria were split into three groups, including: experiments (e.g real and/or synthetic data), baselines (e.g uninformed and/or state-of-art) and quantitative comparison (e.g. performance quantifiers with confidence intervals and formal comparison of the algorithm against baselines). Results: Of the 121 eligible manuscripts (from the sample of 679 abstracts), 99\% used real-world data and 29\% used synthetic data. 91\% of manuscripts did not report an uninformed baseline and 55\% reported a state-of-art baseline. 32\% reported confidence intervals for performance but none provided references or exposition for how these were calculated. 3\% reported formal comparisons. Limitations: The use of one journal as the primary information source may not be representative of all ML/AI literature. However, the NeurIPS conference is recognised to be amongst the top tier concerning ML/AI studies, so it is reasonable to consider its corpus to be representative of high-quality research. Conclusion: Using the 2017 sample of the NeurIPS supervised learning corpus as an indicator for the quality and trustworthiness of current ML/AI research, it appears that complete argumentative chains in demonstrations of algorithmic effectiveness are rare.


AI researchers develop 'Darwin,' a neuromorphic chip based on spiking neural networks

#artificialintelligence

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are a type of information processing system based on mimicking the principles of biological brains, and have been broadly applied in application domains such as pattern recognition, automatic control, signal processing, decision support systems and artificial intelligence. Spiking neural networks (SNNs) are a type of biologically inspired ANN that perform information processing based on discrete time spikes. They are more biologically realistic than classic ANNs, and can potentially achieve a much better performance-power ratio. Recently, researchers from Zhejiang University and Hangzhou Dianzi University in Hangzhou, China successfully developed the Darwin Neural Processing Unit (NPU), a neuromorphic hardware co-processor based on spiking neural networks, fabricated by standard CMOS technology. With the rapid development of the "Internet of Things" and intelligent hardware systems, intelligent devices are pervasive in today's society, providing many services and conveniences to people's lives.


Attractor Dynamics with Synaptic Depression

Neural Information Processing Systems

The present study investigates the impact of STD on the dynamics of a continuous attractor neural network (CANN) and its potential roles in neural information processing. We find that the network with STD can generate both static and traveling bumps, and STD enhances the performance of the network in tracking external inputs. In particular, we find that STD endows the network with slow-decaying plateau behaviors, namely, the network being initially stimulated to an active state will decay to silence very slowly in the time scale of STD rather than that of neural signaling. We argue that this provides a mechanism for neural systems to hold short-term memory easily and shut off persistent activities naturally. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Push-pull Feedback Implements Hierarchical Information Retrieval Efficiently

Neural Information Processing Systems

Experimental data has revealed that in addition to feedforward connections, there exist abundant feedback connections in a neural pathway. Although the importance of feedback in neural information processing has been widely recognized in the field, the detailed mechanism of how it works remains largely unknown. Here, we investigate the role of feedback in hierarchical information retrieval. Specifically, we consider a hierarchical network storing the hierarchical categorical information of objects, and information retrieval goes from rough to fine, aided by dynamical push-pull feedback from higher to lower layers. We elucidate that the push (positive) and pull (negative) feedbacks suppress the interferences due to neural correlations between different and the same categories, respectively, and their joint effect improves retrieval performance significantly.


Spike Frequency Adaptation Implements Anticipative Tracking in Continuous Attractor Neural Networks

Neural Information Processing Systems

To extract motion information, the brain needs to compensate for time delays that are ubiquitous in neural signal transmission and processing. Here we propose a simple yet effective mechanism to implement anticipative tracking in neural systems. The proposed mechanism utilizes the property of spike-frequency adaptation (SFA), a feature widely observed in neuronal responses. We employ continuous attractor neural networks (CANNs) as the model to describe the tracking behaviors in neural systems. Incorporating SFA, a CANN exhibits intrinsic mobility, manifested by the ability of the CANN to hold self-sustained travelling waves.