Collaborating Authors

Lu, Zhengdong

People Tracking with the Laplacian Eigenmaps Latent Variable Model

Neural Information Processing Systems

Reliably recovering 3D human pose from monocular video requires constraints that bias the estimates towards typical human poses and motions. We define priors for people tracking using a Laplacian Eigenmaps Latent Variable Model (LELVM). LELVM is a probabilistic dimensionality reduction model that naturally combines the advantages of latent variable models---definining a multimodal probability density for latent and observed variables, and globally differentiable nonlinear mappings for reconstruction and dimensionality reduction---with those of spectral manifold learning methods---no local optima, ability to unfold highly nonlinear manifolds, and good practical scaling to latent spaces of high dimension. LELVM is computationally efficient, simple to learn from sparse training data, and compatible with standard probabilistic trackers such as particle filters. We analyze the performance of a LELVM-based probabilistic sigma point mixture tracker in several real and synthetic human motion sequences and demonstrate that LELVM provides sufficient constraints for robust operation in the presence of missing, noisy and ambiguous image measurements.

Hierarchical Fisher Kernels for Longitudinal Data

Neural Information Processing Systems

We develop new techniques for time series classification based on hierarchical Bayesian generative models (called mixed-effect models) and the Fisher kernel derived from them. A key advantage of the new formulation is that one can compute the Fisher information matrix despite varying sequence lengths and sampling times. We therefore can avoid the ad hoc replacement of Fisher information matrix with the identity matrix commonly used in literature, which destroys the geometrical grounding of the kernel construction. In contrast, our construction retains the proper geometric structure resulting in a kernel that is properly invariant under change of coordinates in the model parameter space. Experiments on detecting cognitive decline show that classifiers based on the proposed kernel out-perform those based on generative models and other feature extraction routines.

A Denoising View of Matrix Completion

Neural Information Processing Systems

In matrix completion, we are given a matrix where the values of only some of the entries are present, and we want to reconstruct the missing ones. Much work has focused on the assumption that the data matrix has low rank. We propose a more general assumption based on denoising, so that we expect that the value of a missing entry can be predicted from the values of neighboring points. We propose a nonparametric version of denoising based on local, iterated averaging with mean-shift, possibly constrained to preserve local low-rank manifold structure. The few user parameters required (the denoising scale, number of neighbors and local dimensionality) and the number of iterations can be estimated by cross-validating the reconstruction error.

A Deep Architecture for Matching Short Texts

Neural Information Processing Systems

Many machine learning problems can be interpreted as learning for matching two types of objects (e.g., images and captions, users and products, queries and documents). The matching level of two objects is usually measured as the inner product in a certain feature space, while the modeling effort focuses on mapping of objects from the original space to the feature space. This schema, although proven successful on a range of matching tasks, is insufficient for capturing the rich structure in the matching process of more complicated objects. In this paper, we propose a new deep architecture to more effectively model the complicated matching relations between two objects from heterogeneous domains. More specifically, we apply this model to matching tasks in natural language, e.g., finding sensible responses for a tweet, or relevant answers to a given question.

Convolutional Neural Network Architectures for Matching Natural Language Sentences

Neural Information Processing Systems

Semantic matching is of central importance to many natural language tasks \cite{bordes2014semantic,RetrievalQA}. A successful matching algorithm needs to adequately model the internal structures of language objects and the interaction between them. As a step toward this goal, we propose convolutional neural network models for matching two sentences, by adapting the convolutional strategy in vision and speech. The proposed models not only nicely represent the hierarchical structures of sentences with their layer-by-layer composition and pooling, but also capture the rich matching patterns at different levels. Our models are rather generic, requiring no prior knowledge on language, and can hence be applied to matching tasks of different nature and in different languages.

Neural Entity Reasoner for Global Consistency in NER Artificial Intelligence

We propose Neural Entity Reasoner (NE-Reasoner), a framework to introduce global consistency of recognized entities into Neural Reasoner over Named Entity Recognition (NER) task. Given an input sentence, the NE-Reasoner layer can infer over multiple entities to increase the global consistency of output labels, which then be transfered into entities for the input of next layer. NE-Reasoner inherits and develops some features from Neural Reasoner 1) a symbolic memory, allowing it to exchange entities between layers. 2) the specific interaction-pooling mechanism, allowing it to connect each local word to multiple global entities, and 3) the deep architecture, allowing it to bootstrap the recognized entity set from coarse to fine. Like human beings, NE-Reasoner is able to accommodate ambiguous words and Name Entities that rarely or never met before. Despite the symbolic information the model introduced, NE-Reasoner can still be trained effectively in an end-to-end manner via parameter sharing strategy. NE-Reasoner can outperform conventional NER models in most cases on both English and Chinese NER datasets. For example, it achieves state-of-art on CoNLL-2003 English NER dataset.

Object-oriented Neural Programming (OONP) for Document Understanding Artificial Intelligence

We propose Object-oriented Neural Programming (OONP), a framework for semantically parsing documents in specific domains. Basically, OONP reads a document and parses it into a predesigned object-oriented data structure (referred to as ontology in this paper) that reflects the domain-specific semantics of the document. An OONP parser models semantic parsing as a decision process: a neural net-based Reader sequentially goes through the document, and during the process it builds and updates an intermediate ontology to summarize its partial understanding of the text it covers. OONP supports a rich family of operations (both symbolic and differentiable) for composing the ontology, and a big variety of forms (both symbolic and differentiable) for representing the state and the document. An OONP parser can be trained with supervision of different forms and strength, including supervised learning (SL) , reinforcement learning (RL) and hybrid of the two. Our experiments on both synthetic and real-world document parsing tasks have shown that OONP can learn to handle fairly complicated ontology with training data of modest sizes.

JUMPER: Learning When to Make Classification Decisions in Reading Artificial Intelligence

In early years, text classification is typically accomplished by feature-based machine learning models; recently, deep neural networks, as a powerful learning machine, make it possible to work with raw input as the text stands. However, exiting end-to-end neural networks lack explicit interpretation of the prediction. In this paper, we propose a novel framework, JUMPER, inspired by the cognitive process of text reading, that models text classification as a sequential decision process. Basically, JUMPER is a neural system that scans a piece of text sequentially and makes classification decisions at the time it wishes. Both the classification result and when to make the classification are part of the decision process, which is controlled by a policy network and trained with reinforcement learning. Experimental results show that a properly trained JUMPER has the following properties: (1) It can make decisions whenever the evidence is enough, therefore reducing total text reading by 30-40% and often finding the key rationale of prediction. (2) It achieves classification accuracy better than or comparable to state-of-the-art models in several benchmark and industrial datasets.

Coupling Distributed and Symbolic Execution for Natural Language Queries Artificial Intelligence

Building neural networks to query a knowledge base (a table) with natural language is an emerging research topic in deep learning. An executor for table querying typically requires multiple steps of execution because queries may have complicated structures. In previous studies, researchers have developed either fully distributed executors or symbolic executors for table querying. A distributed executor can be trained in an end-to-end fashion, but is weak in terms of execution efficiency and explicit interpretability. A symbolic executor is efficient in execution, but is very difficult to train especially at initial stages. In this paper, we propose to couple distributed and symbolic execution for natural language queries, where the symbolic executor is pretrained with the distributed executor's intermediate execution results in a step-by-step fashion. Experiments show that our approach significantly outperforms both distributed and symbolic executors, exhibiting high accuracy, high learning efficiency, high execution efficiency, and high interpretability.

Neural Machine Translation Advised by Statistical Machine Translation

AAAI Conferences

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) is a new approach to machine translation that has made great progress in recent years. However, recent studies show that NMT generally produces fluent but inadequate translations (Tu et al. 2016b; 2016a; He et al. 2016; Tu et al. 2017). This is in contrast to conventional Statistical Machine Translation (SMT), which usually yields adequate but non-fluent translations. It is natural, therefore, to leverage the advantages of both models for better translations, and in this work we propose to incorporate SMT model into NMT framework. More specifically, at each decoding step, SMT offers additional recommendations of generated words based on the decoding information from NMT (e.g., the generated partial translation and attention history). Then we employ an auxiliary classifier to score the SMT recommendations and a gating function to combine the SMT recommendations with NMT generations, both of which are jointly trained within the NMT architecture in an end-to-end manner. Experimental results on Chinese-English translation show that the proposed approach achieves significant and consistent improvements over state-of-the-art NMT and SMT systems on multiple NIST test sets.