Collaborating Authors

StARformer: Transformer with State-Action-Reward Representations Artificial Intelligence

Reinforcement Learning (RL) can be considered as a sequence modeling task, i.e., given a sequence of past state-action-reward experiences, a model autoregressively predicts a sequence of future actions. Recently, Transformers have been successfully adopted to model this problem. In this work, we propose State-Action-Reward Transformer (StARformer), which explicitly models local causal relations to help improve action prediction in long sequences. A sequence of such local representations combined with state representations, is then used to make action predictions over a long time span. Our experiments show that StARformer outperforms the state-of-the-art Transformer-based method on Atari (image) and Gym (state vector) benchmarks, in both offline-RL and imitation learning settings. StARformer is also more compliant with longer sequences of inputs compared to the baseline. Our code is available at Reinforcement Learning (RL) naturally comes with sequential data: an agent observes a state from the environment, takes an action, observes the next state and receives a reward from the environment.

ActionBert: Leveraging User Actions for Semantic Understanding of User Interfaces Artificial Intelligence

As mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous, regularly interacting with a variety of user interfaces (UIs) is a common aspect of daily life for many people. To improve the accessibility of these devices and to enable their usage in a variety of settings, building models that can assist users and accomplish tasks through the UI is vitally important. However, there are several challenges to achieve this. First, UI components of similar appearance can have different functionalities, making understanding their function more important than just analyzing their appearance. Second, domain-specific features like Document Object Model (DOM) in web pages and View Hierarchy (VH) in mobile applications provide important signals about the semantics of UI elements, but these features are not in a natural language format. Third, owing to a large diversity in UIs and absence of standard DOM or VH representations, building a UI understanding model with high coverage requires large amounts of training data. Inspired by the success of pre-training based approaches in NLP for tackling a variety of problems in a data-efficient way, we introduce a new pre-trained UI representation model called ActionBert. Our methodology is designed to leverage visual, linguistic and domain-specific features in user interaction traces to pre-train generic feature representations of UIs and their components. Our key intuition is that user actions, e.g., a sequence of clicks on different UI components, reveals important information about their functionality. We evaluate the proposed model on a wide variety of downstream tasks, ranging from icon classification to UI component retrieval based on its natural language description. Experiments show that the proposed ActionBert model outperforms multi-modal baselines across all downstream tasks by up to 15.5%.

KVL-BERT: Knowledge Enhanced Visual-and-Linguistic BERT for Visual Commonsense Reasoning Artificial Intelligence

Reasoning is a critical ability towards complete visual understanding. To develop machine with cognition-level visual understanding and reasoning abilities, the visual commonsense reasoning (VCR) task has been introduced. In VCR, given a challenging question about an image, a machine must answer correctly and then provide a rationale justifying its answer. The methods adopting the powerful BERT model as the backbone for learning joint representation of image content and natural language have shown promising improvements on VCR. However, none of the existing methods have utilized commonsense knowledge in visual commonsense reasoning, which we believe will be greatly helpful in this task. With the support of commonsense knowledge, complex questions even if the required information is not depicted in the image can be answered with cognitive reasoning. Therefore, we incorporate commonsense knowledge into the cross-modal BERT, and propose a novel Knowledge Enhanced Visual-and-Linguistic BERT (KVL-BERT for short) model. Besides taking visual and linguistic contents as input, external commonsense knowledge extracted from ConceptNet is integrated into the multi-layer Transformer. In order to reserve the structural information and semantic representation of the original sentence, we propose using relative position embedding and mask-self-attention to weaken the effect between the injected commonsense knowledge and other unrelated components in the input sequence. Compared to other task-specific models and general task-agnostic pre-training models, our KVL-BERT outperforms them by a large margin.

Cost-Sensitive Training for Autoregressive Models Machine Learning

Training autoregressive models to better predict under the test metric, instead of maximizing the likelihood, has been reported to be beneficial in several use cases but brings additional complications, which prevent wider adoption. In this paper, we follow the learning-to-search approach (Daum\'e III et al., 2009; Leblond et al., 2018) and investigate its several components. First, we propose a way to construct a reference policy based on an alignment between the model output and ground truth. Our reference policy is optimal when applied to the Kendall-tau distance between permutations (appear in the task of word ordering) and helps when working with the METEOR score for machine translation. Second, we observe that the learning-to-search approach benefits from choosing the costs related to the test metrics. Finally, we study the effect of different learning objectives and find that the standard KL loss only learns several high-probability tokens and can be replaced with ranking objectives that target these tokens explicitly.

Towards a Multi-modal, Multi-task Learning based Pre-training Framework for Document Representation Learning Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we propose a multi-task learning-based framework that utilizes a combination of self-supervised and supervised pre-training tasks to learn a generic document representation. We design the network architecture and the pre-training tasks to incorporate the multi-modal document information across text, layout, and image dimensions and allow the network to work with multi-page documents. We showcase the applicability of our pre-training framework on a variety of different real-world document tasks such as document classification, document information extraction, and document retrieval. We conduct exhaustive experiments to compare performance against different ablations of our framework and state-of-the-art baselines. We discuss the current limitations and next steps for our work.