Discrete Autoencoders for Sequence Models

Lukasz Kaiser, Samy Bengio

Feb 15, 2018 (modified: Feb 15, 2018) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Recurrent models for sequences have been recently successful at many tasks, especially for language modeling and machine translation. Nevertheless, it remains challenging to extract good representations from these models. For instance, even though language has a clear hierarchical structure going from characters through words to sentences, it is not apparent in current language models. We propose to improve the representation in sequence models by augmenting current approaches with an autoencoder that is forced to compress the sequence through an intermediate discrete latent space. In order to propagate gradients though this discrete representation we introduce an improved semantic hashing technique. We show that this technique performs well on a newly proposed quantitative efficiency measure. We also analyze latent codes produced by the model showing how they correspond to words and phrases. Finally, we present an application of the autoencoder-augmented model to generating diverse translations.
  • TL;DR: Autoencoders for text with a new method for using discrete latent space.
  • Keywords: autoencoders, sequence models, discrete representations
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