Hierarchical Memory Networks

Sarath Chandar, Sungjin Ahn, Hugo Larochelle, Pascal Vincent, Gerald Tesauro, Yoshua Bengio

Nov 04, 2016 (modified: Nov 06, 2016) ICLR 2017 conference submission readers: everyone
  • Abstract: Memory networks are neural networks with an explicit memory component that can be both read and written to by the network. The memory is often addressed in a soft way using a softmax function, making end-to-end training with backpropagation possible. However, this is not computationally scalable for applications which require the network to read from extremely large memories. On the other hand, it is well known that hard attention mechanisms based on reinforcement learning are challenging to train successfully. In this paper, we explore a form of hierarchical memory network, which can be considered as a hybrid between hard and soft attention memory networks. The memory is organized in a hierarchical structure such that reading from it is done with less computation than soft attention over a flat memory, while also being easier to train than hard attention over a flat memory. Specifically, we propose to incorporate Maximum Inner Product Search (MIPS) in the training and inference procedures for our hierarchical memory network. We explore the use of various state-of-the art approximate MIPS techniques and report results on SimpleQuestions, a challenging large scale factoid question answering task.
  • TL;DR: We propose a hierarchical memory organization strategy for efficient memory access in memory networks with large memory.
  • Conflicts: umontreal.ca, twitter.com, iitm.ac.in, usherbrooke.ca, google.com
  • Authorids: apsarathchandar@gmail.com, sjn.ahn@gmail.com, hugo@twitter.com, vincentp@iro.umontreal.ca, gtesauro@us.ibm.com, yoshua.bengio@umontreal.ca
  • Keywords: Deep learning, Natural language processing

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