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Home Authors Posts by Aditya Rawal

Aditya Rawal

Aditya Rawal
2 BLOG ARTICLES 3 RESEARCH PAPERS
Aditya Rawal is a research scientist at Uber AI Labs. His interests lies at the convergence of two research fields - neuroevolution and deep learning. His belief is that evolutionary search can replace human ingenuity in creating next generation of deep networks. Previously, Aditya received his MS/PhD in Computer Science from University of Texas at Austin, advised by Prof. Risto Miikkulainen. During his PhD, he developed neuroevolution algorithms to evolve recurrent architectures for sequence-prediction problems and construct multi-agent systems that cooperate, compete and communicate.

Engineering Blog Articles

Enhanced POET: Open-Ended Reinforcement Learning through Unbounded Invention of Learning Challenges and their Solutions

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Jeff Clune and Kenneth Stanley were co-senior authors on this work and our associated research paper.

Machine learning (ML) powers many technologies and services that underpin Uber’s platforms, and we invest in advancing fundamental ML research and engaging with

Generative Teaching Networks: Accelerating Neural Architecture Search by Learning to Generate Synthetic Training Data

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Kenneth O. Stanley and Jeff Clune served as co-senior authors of this article and its corresponding paper.

At Uber, many of the hard problems we work on can benefit from machine learning, such as improving safety, improving ETAs,

Research Papers

First-Order Preconditioning via Hypergradient Descent

T. Moskovitz, R. Wang, J. Lan, S. Kapoor, T. Miconi, J. Yosinski, A. Rawal
Standard gradient descent methods are susceptible to a range of issues that can impede training, such as high correlations and different scaling in parameter space.These difficulties can be addressed by second-order approaches that apply a pre-conditioning matrix to the gradient to improve convergence. Unfortunately, such algorithms typically struggle to scale to high-dimensional problems, in part because the calculation of specific preconditioners such as the inverse Hessian or Fisher information matrix is highly expensive. We introduce first-order preconditioning (FOP), a fast, scalable approach that generalizes previous work on hypergradient descent (Almeida et al., 1998; Maclaurin et al., 2015; Baydin et al.,2017) to learn a preconditioning matrix that only makes use of first-order information. [...] [PDF]
Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurlPS), 2019

Enhanced POET: Open-Ended Reinforcement Learning through Unbounded Invention of Learning Challenges and their Solutions

R. Wang, J. Lehman, A. Rawal, J. Zhi, Y. Li, J. Clune, K. Stanley
Creating open-ended algorithms, which generate their own never-ending stream of novel and appropriately challenging learning opportunities, could help to automate and accelerate progress in machine learning. A recent step in this direction is the Paired Open-Ended Trailblazer (POET), an algorithm that generates and solves its own challenges, and allows solutions to goal-switch between challenges to avoid local optima. Here we introduce and empirically validate two new innovations to the original algorithm, as well as two external innovations designed to help elucidate its full potential. [...] [PDF]
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2020

Backpropamine: training self-modifying neural networks with differentiable neuromodulated plasticity

T. Miconi, A. Rawal, J. Clune, K. Stanley
A grand challenge in reinforcement learning is intelligent exploration, especially when rewards are sparse or deceptive. Two Atari games serve as benchmarks for such hard-exploration domains: Montezuma's Revenge and Pitfall. On both games, current RL algorithms perform poorly, even those with intrinsic motivation, which is the dominant method to improve performance on hard-exploration domains. To address this shortfall, we introduce a new algorithm called Go-Explore. [...] [PDF]
International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), 2019

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