Energy TransformerDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 14 Jul 2024Submitted to ICLR 2023Readers: Everyone
Keywords: Transformers, Hopfield Networks, Graph Anomaly Detection
TL;DR: We propose a network, which describes the forward pass in a transformer as a gradient decent on an energy function.
Abstract: Transformers have become the de facto models of choice in machine learning, typically leading to impressive performance on many applications. At the same time, the architectural development in the transformer world is mostly driven by empirical findings, and the theoretical understanding of their architectural building blocks is rather limited. In contrast, Dense Associative Memory models or Modern Hopfield Networks have a well-established theoretical foundation, but have not yet demonstrated truly impressive practical results. We propose a transformer architecture that replaces the sequence of feedforward transformer blocks with a single large Associative Memory model. Our novel architecture, called Energy Transformer (or ET for short), has many of the familiar architectural primitives that are often used in the current generation of transformers. However, it is not identical to the existing architectures. The sequence of transformer layers in ET is purposely designed to minimize a specifically engineered energy function, which is responsible for representing the relationships between the tokens. As a consequence of this computational principle, the attention in ET is different from the conventional attention mechanism. In this work, we introduce the theoretical foundations of ET, explore it's empirical capabilities using the image completion task, and obtain strong quantitative results on the graph anomaly detection task.
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