13 research outputs found

    Goal-Directed Planning for Habituated Agents by Active Inference Using a Variational Recurrent Neural Network

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    It is crucial to ask how agents can achieve goals by generating action plans using only partial models of the world acquired through habituated sensory-motor experiences. Although many existing robotics studies use a forward model framework, there are generalization issues with high degrees of freedom. The current study shows that the predictive coding (PC) and active inference (AIF) frameworks, which employ a generative model, can develop better generalization by learning a prior distribution in a low dimensional latent state space representing probabilistic structures extracted from well habituated sensory-motor trajectories. In our proposed model, learning is carried out by inferring optimal latent variables as well as synaptic weights for maximizing the evidence lower bound, while goal-directed planning is accomplished by inferring latent variables for maximizing the estimated lower bound. Our proposed model was evaluated with both simple and complex robotic tasks in simulation, which demonstrated sufficient generalization in learning with limited training data by setting an intermediate value for a regularization coefficient. Furthermore, comparative simulation results show that the proposed model outperforms a conventional forward model in goal-directed planning, due to the learned prior confining the search of motor plans within the range of habituated trajectories.Comment: 30 pages, 19 figure

    Generating Goal-directed Visuomotor Plans with Supervised Learning using a Predictive Coding Deep Visuomotor Recurrent Neural Network

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    The ability to plan and visualize object manipulation in advance is vital for both humans and robots to smoothly reach a desired goal state. In this work, we demonstrate how our predictive coding based deep visuomotor recurrent neural network (PDVMRNN) can generate plans for a robot to manipulate objects based on a visual goal. A Tokyo Robotics Torobo Arm robot and a basic USB camera were used to record visuo-proprioceptive sequences of object manipulation. Although limitations in resolution resulted in lower success rates when plans were executed with the robot, our model is able to generate long predictions from novel start and goal states based on the learned patterns

    Emergence of Content-Agnostic Information Processing by a Robot Using Active Inference, Visual Attention, Working Memory, and Planning

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    Generalization by learning is an essential cognitive competency for humans. For example, we can manipulate even unfamiliar objects and can generate mental images before enacting a preplan. How is this possible? Our study investigated this problem by revisiting our previous study (Jung, Matsumoto, & Tani, 2019), which examined the problem of vision-based, goal-directed planning by robots performing a task of block stacking. By extending the previous study, our work introduces a large network comprising dynamically interacting submodules, including visual working memory (VWMs), a visual attention module, and an executive network. The executive network predicts motor signals, visual images, and various controls for attention, as well as masking of visual information. The most significant difference from the previous study is that our current model contains an additional VWM. The entire network is trained by using predictive coding and an optimal visuomotor plan to achieve a given goal state is inferred using active inference. Results indicate that our current model performs significantly better than that used in Jung et al. (2019), especially when manipulating blocks with unlearned colors and textures. Simulation results revealed that the observed generalization was achieved because content-agnostic information processing developed through synergistic interaction between the second VWM and other modules during the course of learning, in which memorizing image contents and transforming them are dissociated. This letter verifies this claim by conducting both qualitative and quantitative analysis of simulation results

    Goal-Directed Behavior under Variational Predictive Coding: Dynamic organization of Visual Attention and Working Memory

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    Mental simulation is a critical cognitive function for goal-directed behavior because it is essential for assessing actions and their consequences. When a self-generated or externally specified goal is given, a sequence of actions that is most likely to attain that goal is selected among other candidates via mental simulation. Therefore, better mental simulation leads to better goal-directed action planning. However, developing a mental simulation model is challenging because it requires knowledge of self and the environment. The current paper studies how adequate goal-directed action plans of robots can be mentally generated by dynamically organizing top-down visual attention and visual working memory. For this purpose, we propose a neural network model based on variational Bayes predictive coding, where goal-directed action planning is formulated by Bayesian inference of latent intentional space. Our experimental results showed that cognitively meaningful competencies, such as autonomous top-down attention to the robot end effector (its hand) as well as dynamic organization of occlusion-free visual working memory, emerged. Furthermore, our analysis of comparative experiments indicated that the introduction of visual working memory and the inference mechanism using variational Bayes predictive coding significantly improved the performance in planning adequate goal-directed actions
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