Advocacy Learning

Ian Fox, Jenna Wiens

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: We introduce advocacy learning, a novel supervised training scheme for classification problems. This training scheme applies to a framework consisting of two connected networks: 1) the Advocates, composed of one subnetwork per class, which take the input and provide a convincing class-conditional argument in the form of an attention map, and 2) a Judge, which predicts the inputs class label based on these arguments. Each Advocate aims to convince the Judge that the input example belongs to their corresponding class. In contrast to a standard network, in which all subnetworks are trained to jointly cooperate, we train the Advocates to competitively argue for their class, even when the input belongs to a different class. We also explore a variant, honest advocacy learning, where the Advocates are only trained on data corresponding to their class. Applied to several different classification tasks, we show that advocacy learning can lead to small improvements in classification accuracy over an identical supervised baseline. Through a series of follow-up experiments, we analyze when and how Advocates improve discriminative performance. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, a framework in which subnetworks are trained to competitively provide evidence in support of their class shows promise, performing as well as or better than standard approaches. This provides a foundation for further exploration into the effect of competition and class-conditional representations.
  • Keywords: competition, supervision, deep learning, adversarial, debate
  • TL;DR: We introduce a method that encourages different components in a networks to compete, and show that this can improve attention quality.
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