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COTA: Improving the Speed and Accuracy of Customer Support through Ranking and Deep Networks

P. Molino, H. Zheng, Y.-C. Wang
For a company looking to provide delightful user experiences, it is of paramount importance to take care of any customer issues. This paper proposes COTA, a system to improve speed and reliability of customer support for end users through automated ticket classification and answers selection for support representatives. […] [PDF]
ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Science (KDD), 2018

Variational Bayesian dropout: pitfalls and fixes

J. Hron, A. Matthews, Z. Ghahramani
Dropout, a stochastic regularisation technique for training of neural networks, has recently been reinterpreted as a specific type of approximate inference algorithm for Bayesian neural networks. The main contribution of the reinterpretation is in providing a theoretical framework useful for analysing and extending the algorithm […] [PDF]
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2018

Reviving and Improving Recurrent Back Propagation

R. Liao, Y. Xiong, E. Fetaya, L. Zhang, K. Yoon, X. Pitkow, R. Urtasun, R. Zemel
In this paper, we revisit the recurrent back-propagation (RBP) algorithm, discuss the conditions under which it applies as well as how to satisfy them in deep neural networks. We show that RBP can be unstable and propose two variants based on conjugate gradient on the normal equations (CG-RBP) and Neumann series (Neumann-RBP). […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (ICML), 2018

Learning to Reweight Examples for Robust Deep Learning

M. Ren, W. Zeng, B. Yang, R. Urtasun
Deep neural networks have been shown to be very powerful modeling tools for many supervised learning tasks involving complex input patterns. However, they can also easily overfit to training set biases and label noises. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Machine Learning ( ICML), 2018

Evolving Multimodal Robot Behavior via Many Stepping Stones with the Combinatorial Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm

J. Huizinga, J. Clune
An important challenge in reinforcement learning, including evolutionary robotics, is to solve multimodal problems, where agents have to act in qualitatively different ways depending on the circumstances. Because multimodal problems are often too difficult to solve directly, it is helpful to take advantage of staging, where a difficult task is divided into simpler subtasks that can serve as stepping stones for solving the overall problem. […] [PDF]

An Intriguing Failing of Convolutional Neural Networks and the CoordConv Solution

R. Liu, J. Lehman, P. Molino, F.i Such, E. Frank, A. Sergeev, J. Yosinski
Few ideas have enjoyed as large an impact on deep learning as convolution. For any problem involving pixels or spatial representations, common intuition holds that convolutional neural networks may be appropriate. In this paper we show a striking counterexample to this intuition via the seemingly trivial coordinate transform problem, which simply requires learning a mapping between coordinates in (x,y) Cartesian space and one-hot pixel space. […] [PDF]
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), 2018

GeoNet: Geometric Neural Network for Joint Depth and Surface Normal Estimation

X. Qi, R. Liao, Z. Liu, R. Urtasun, J. Jia
In this paper, we propose Geometric Neural Network (GeoNet) to jointly predict depth and surface normal maps from a single image. Building on top of two-stream CNNs, our GeoNet incorporates geometric relation between depth and surface normal via the new depth-to-normal and normal-to-depth networks. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

Matching Adversarial Networks

G. Mattyus, R. Urtasun
Generative Adversarial Nets (GANs) and Conditonal GANs (CGANs) show that using a trained network as loss function (discriminator) enables to synthesize highly structured outputs (e.g. natural images). However, applying a discriminator network as a universal loss function for common supervised tasks (e.g. semantic segmentation, line detection, depth estimation) is considerably less successful. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

Deep Parametric Continuous Convolutional Neural Networks

S. Wang, S. Suo, W. Ma, A. PokrovskyR. Urtasun
We propose an approach for semi-automatic annotation of object instances. While most current methods treat object segmentation as a pixel-labeling problem, we here cast it as a polygon prediction task, mimicking how most current datasets have been annotated. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

Learning deep structured active contours end-to-end

D. Marcos, D. Tuia, B. Kellenberger, L. Zhang, M. Bai, R. Liao, R. Urtasun
The world is covered with millions of buildings, and precisely knowing each instance’s position and extents is vital to a multitude of applications. Recently, automated building footprint segmentation models have shown superior detection accuracy thanks to the usage of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

SBNet: Sparse Block’s Network for Fast Inference

M. Ren, A. Pokrovsky, B. Yang, R. Urtasun
Conventional deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) apply convolution operators uniformly in space across all feature maps for hundreds of layers – this incurs a high computational cost for real-time applications. For many problems such as object detection and semantic segmentation, we are able to obtain a low-cost computation mask, either from a priori problem knowledge, or from a low-resolution segmentation network. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

iMapper: Interaction-guided Scene Mapping from Monocular Videos

A. Monszpart, P. Guerrero, D. Ceylan, E. Yumer, N. Mitra
A long-standing challenge in scene analysis is the recovery of scene arrangements under moderate to heavy occlusion, directly from monocular video. While the problem remains a subject of active research, concurrent advances have been made in the context of human pose reconstruction from monocular video, including image-space feature point detection and 3D pose recovery. These methods, however, start to fail under moderate to heavy occlusion as the problem becomes severely under-constrained. We approach the problems differently. We observe that people interact similarly in similar scenes. […] [PDF]
Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Conference, (SIGGRAPH), 2018

SurfConv: Bridging 3D and 2D Convolution for RGBD Images

H. Chu, W. Ma, K. Kundu, R. Urtasun, S. Fidler
The last few years have seen approaches trying to combine the increasing popularity of depth sensors and the success of the convolutional neural networks. Using depth as additional channel alongside the RGB input has the scale variance problem present in image convolution based approaches. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

Fast and Furious: Real Time End-to-End 3D Detection, Tracking and Motion Forecasting with a Single Convolutional Net

W. Luo, B. Yang, R. Urtasun
In this paper we propose a novel deep neural network that is able to jointly reason about 3D detection, tracking and motion forecasting given data captured by a 3D sensor. By jointly reasoning about these tasks, our holistic approach is more robust to occlusion as well as sparse data at range. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

End-to-end Learning of Multi-sensor 3D Tracking by Detection

D. Frossard, R. Urtasun
In this paper we propose a novel approach to tracking by detection that can exploit both cameras as well as LIDAR data to produce very accurate 3D trajectories. Towards this goal, we formulate the problem as a linear program that can be solved exactly, and learn convolutional networks for detection as well as matching in an end-to-end manner. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2018

Automatically identifying, counting, and describing wild animals in camera-trap images with deep learning

M. Norouzzadeh, A. Nguyen, M. Kosmala, A. Swanson, M. Palmer, C. Parker, J. Clune
Having accurate, detailed, and up-to-date information about the location and behavior of animals in the wild would revolutionize our ability to study and conserve ecosystems. We investigate the ability to automatically, accurately, and inexpensively collect such data, which could transform many fields of biology, ecology, and zoology into “big data” sciences. […] [PDF]
PNAS Vol. 115 no. 25, 2018

Pathwise Derivatives for Multivariate Distributions

M. Jankowiak, T. Karaletsos
We exploit the link between the transport equation and derivatives of expectations to construct efficient pathwise gradient estimators for multivariate distributions. We focus on two main threads. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AI STATS) (in submission), 2019

Hierarchical Recurrent Attention Networks for Structured Online Maps

N. Homayounfar, W. Ma, S. Lakshmikanth, R. Urtasun
In this paper, we tackle the problem of online road network extraction from sparse 3D point clouds. Our method is inspired by how an annotator builds a lane graph, by first identifying how many lanes there are and then drawing each one in turn. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

PIXOR: Real-time 3D Object Detection from Point Clouds

B. Yang, W. Luo, R. Urtasun
We address the problem of real-time 3D object detection from point clouds in the context of autonomous driving. […] [PDF]
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018

Deep Curiosity Search: Intra-Life Exploration Can Improve Performance on Challenging Deep Reinforcement Learning Problems

C. Stanton, J. Clune
Traditional exploration methods in RL require agents to perform random actions to find rewards. But these approaches struggle on sparse-reward domains like Montezuma’s Revenge where the probability that any random action sequence leads to reward is extremely low. Recent algorithms have performed well on such tasks by encouraging agents to visit new states or perform new actions in relation to all prior training episodes (which we call across-training novelty). […] [PDF]

Pathwise Derivatives Beyond the Reparameterization Trick

M. Jankowiak, F. Obermeyer
We observe that gradients computed via the reparameterization trick are in direct correspondence with solutions of the transport equation in the formalism of optimal transport. We use this perspective to compute (approximate) pathwise gradients for probability distributions not directly amenable to the reparameterization trick: Gamma, Beta, and Dirichlet. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2018

Surge Pricing Moves Uber’s Driver-Partners

A. Lu, P. I. Frazier, O. Kislev
We study the impact of dynamic pricing (so-called “surge pricing”) on relocation decisions by Uber’s driver-partners and the corresponding revenue they collected. Using a natural experiment arising from an outage in the system that produces the surge pricing heatmap for a portion of Uber’s driver-partners over 10 major cities, and a difference-in-differences approach, we study the short-run effect that visibility of the surge heatmap has on 1) drivers’ decisions to relocate to areas with higher or lower prices and 2) drivers’ revenue. […] [PDF]
ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (ACM EC), 2018

VINE: An Open Source Interactive Data Visualization Tool for Neuroevolution

R. Wang, J. Clune, K. Stanley
Recent advances in deep neuroevolution have demonstrated that evolutionary algorithms, such as evolution strategies (ES) and genetic algorithms (GA), can scale to train deep neural networks to solve difficult reinforcement learning (RL) problems. However, it remains a challenge to analyze and interpret the underlying process of neuroevolution in such high dimensions. To begin to address this challenge, this paper presents an interactive data visualization tool called VINE (Visual Inspector for NeuroEvolution) aimed at helping neuroevolution researchers and end-users better understand and explore this family of algorithms. […] [PDF]
Visualization Workshop at The Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO), 2018

Robust Dense Mapping for Large-Scale Dynamic Environments

I. Bârsan, P. Liu, M. Pollefeys, A. Geiger
We present a stereo-based dense mapping algorithm for large-scale dynamic urban environments. In contrast to other existing methods, we simultaneously reconstruct the static background, the moving objects, and the potentially moving but currently stationary objects separately, which is desirable for high-level mobile robotic tasks such as path planning in crowded environments. […] [PDF]
Video: [LINK]
Project Page: [LINK]
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2018

Driver Surge Pricing

H. Nazerzadeh, N. Garg
Uber and Lyft ride-hailing marketplaces use dynamic pricing, often called surge, to balance the supply of available drivers with the demand for rides. We study pricing mechanisms for such marketplaces from the perspective of drivers, presenting the theoretical foundation that has informed the design of Uber’s new additive driver surge mechanism. We present a dynamic stochastic model to capture the impact of surge pricing on driver earnings and their strategies to maximize such earnings. […] [PDF]

Leveraging Constraint Logic Programming for Neural Guided Program Synthesis

L. Zhang, G. Rosenblatt, E. Fetaya, R. Liao, W. Byrd, R. Urtasun, R. Zemel
We present a method for solving Programming by Example (PBE) problems that tightly integrates a neural network with a constraint logic programming system called miniKanren. Internally, miniKanren searches for a program that satisfies the recursive constraints imposed by the provided examples. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICLR), 2018

Understanding Short-Horizon Bias in Stochastic Meta-Optimization

Y. Wu, M. Ren, R. Liao, R. Grosse
Careful tuning of the learning rate, or even schedules thereof, can be crucial to effective neural net training. There has been much recent interest in gradient-based meta-optimization, where one tunes hyperparameters, or even learns an optimizer, in order to minimize the expected loss when the training procedure is unrolled. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), 2018

Measuring the Intrinsic Dimension of Objective Landscapes

Chunyuan Li, Heerad Farkhoor, R. Liu, J. Yosinski
Many recently trained neural networks employ large numbers of parameters to achieve good performance. One may intuitively use the number of parameters required as a rough gauge of the difficulty of a problem. But how accurate are such notions? How many parameters are really needed? In this paper we attempt to answer this question by training networks not in their native parameter space, but instead in a smaller, randomly oriented subspace. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), 2018

Gaussian Process Behaviour in Wide Deep Neural Networks

Alexander G. de G. Matthews, Mark Rowland, Jiri Hron, Richard E. Turner, Zoubin Ghahramani
Whilst deep neural networks have shown great empirical success, there is still much work to be done to understand their theoretical properties. In this paper, we study the relationship between random, wide, fully connected, feedforward networks with more than one hidden layer and Gaussian processes with a recursive kernel definition. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), 2018

Differentiable plasticity: training plastic neural networks with backpropagation

T. Miconi, J. Clune, K. Stanley
How can we build agents that keep learning from experience, quickly and efficiently, after their initial training? Here we take inspiration from the main mechanism of learning in biological brains: synaptic plasticity, carefully tuned by evolution to produce efficient lifelong learning. We show that plasticity, just like connection weights, can be optimized by gradient descent in large (millions of parameters) recurrent networks with Hebbian plastic connections. […] [PDF]
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2018

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