836 research outputs found

    A Novel Predictive-Coding-Inspired Variational RNN Model for Online Prediction and Recognition

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    This study introduces PV-RNN, a novel variational RNN inspired by the predictive-coding ideas. The model learns to extract the probabilistic structures hidden in fluctuating temporal patterns by dynamically changing the stochasticity of its latent states. Its architecture attempts to address two major concerns of variational Bayes RNNs: how can latent variables learn meaningful representations and how can the inference model transfer future observations to the latent variables. PV-RNN does both by introducing adaptive vectors mirroring the training data, whose values can then be adapted differently during evaluation. Moreover, prediction errors during backpropagation, rather than external inputs during the forward computation, are used to convey information to the network about the external data. For testing, we introduce error regression for predicting unseen sequences as inspired by predictive coding that leverages those mechanisms. The model introduces a weighting parameter, the meta-prior, to balance the optimization pressure placed on two terms of a lower bound on the marginal likelihood of the sequential data. We test the model on two datasets with probabilistic structures and show that with high values of the meta-prior the network develops deterministic chaos through which the data's randomness is imitated. For low values, the model behaves as a random process. The network performs best on intermediate values, and is able to capture the latent probabilistic structure with good generalization. Analyzing the meta-prior's impact on the network allows to precisely study the theoretical value and practical benefits of incorporating stochastic dynamics in our model. We demonstrate better prediction performance on a robot imitation task with our model using error regression compared to a standard variational Bayes model lacking such a procedure.Comment: The paper is accepted in Neural Computatio

    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

    From Biological to Synthetic Neurorobotics Approaches to Understanding the Structure Essential to Consciousness (Part 3)

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    This third paper locates the synthetic neurorobotics research reviewed in the second paper in terms of themes introduced in the first paper. It begins with biological non-reductionism as understood by Searle. It emphasizes the role of synthetic neurorobotics studies in accessing the dynamic structure essential to consciousness with a focus on system criticality and self, develops a distinction between simulated and formal consciousness based on this emphasis, reviews Tani and colleagues' work in light of this distinction, and ends by forecasting the increasing importance of synthetic neurorobotics studies for cognitive science and philosophy of mind going forward, finally in regards to most- and myth-consciousness

    Predictive Coding for Dynamic Visual Processing: Development of Functional Hierarchy in a Multiple Spatio-Temporal Scales RNN Model

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    The current paper proposes a novel predictive coding type neural network model, the predictive multiple spatio-temporal scales recurrent neural network (P-MSTRNN). The P-MSTRNN learns to predict visually perceived human whole-body cyclic movement patterns by exploiting multiscale spatio-temporal constraints imposed on network dynamics by using differently sized receptive fields as well as different time constant values for each layer. After learning, the network becomes able to proactively imitate target movement patterns by inferring or recognizing corresponding intentions by means of the regression of prediction error. Results show that the network can develop a functional hierarchy by developing a different type of dynamic structure at each layer. The paper examines how model performance during pattern generation as well as predictive imitation varies depending on the stage of learning. The number of limit cycle attractors corresponding to target movement patterns increases as learning proceeds. And, transient dynamics developing early in the learning process successfully perform pattern generation and predictive imitation tasks. The paper concludes that exploitation of transient dynamics facilitates successful task performance during early learning periods.Comment: Accepted in Neural Computation (MIT press

    Self-organization of action hierarchy and compositionality by reinforcement learning with recurrent neural networks

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    Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) for reinforcement learning (RL) have shown distinct advantages, e.g., solving memory-dependent tasks and meta-learning. However, little effort has been spent on improving RNN architectures and on understanding the underlying neural mechanisms for performance gain. In this paper, we propose a novel, multiple-timescale, stochastic RNN for RL. Empirical results show that the network can autonomously learn to abstract sub-goals and can self-develop an action hierarchy using internal dynamics in a challenging continuous control task. Furthermore, we show that the self-developed compositionality of the network enhances faster re-learning when adapting to a new task that is a re-composition of previously learned sub-goals, than when starting from scratch. We also found that improved performance can be achieved when neural activities are subject to stochastic rather than deterministic dynamics

    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 introduction of visual working memory and the inference mechanism using variational Bayes predictive coding significantly improve the performance in planning adequate goal-directed actions