Closed Loop Neural-Symbolic Learning via Integrating Neural Perception, Grammar Parsing, and Symbolic Reasoning

Jul 12, 2020



The goal of neural-symbolic computation is to integrate the connectionist and symbolist paradigms. Prior methods learn the neural-symbolic models using reinforcement learning (RL) approaches, which ignore the error propagation in the symbolic reasoning module and thus converge slowly with sparse rewards. In this paper, we address these issues and close the loop of neural-symbolic learning by (1) introducing the grammar model as a symbolic prior to bridge neural perception and symbolic reasoning, and (2) proposing a novel back-search algorithm which mimics the top-down human-like learning procedure to propagate the error through the symbolic reasoning module efficiently. We further interpret the proposed learning framework as maximum likelihood estimation using Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling and the back-search algorithm as a Metropolis-Hastings sampler. The experiments are conducted on two weakly-supervised neural-symbolic tasks: (1) handwritten formula recognition on the CROHME dataset; (2) visual question answering on the CLEVR dataset. The results show that our approach significantly outperforms the RL methods in terms of performance, converging speed, and data efficiency.



About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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