- Abstract: Inspired by neurophysiological discoveries of navigation cells in the mammalian brain, we introduce the first deep neural network architecture for modeling Egocentric Spatial Memory (ESM). It learns to estimate the pose of the agent and progressively construct top-down 2D global maps from egocentric views in a spatially extended environment. During the exploration, our proposed ESM network model updates belief of the global map based on local observations using a recurrent neural network. It also augments the local mapping with a novel external memory to encode and store latent representations of the visited places based on their corresponding locations in the egocentric coordinate. This enables the agents to perform loop closure and mapping correction. This work contributes in the following aspects: first, our proposed ESM network provides an accurate mapping ability which is vitally important for embodied agents to navigate to goal locations. In the experiments, we demonstrate the functionalities of the ESM network in random walks in complicated 3D mazes by comparing with several competitive baselines and state-of-the-art Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms. Secondly, we faithfully hypothesize the functionality and the working mechanism of navigation cells in the brain. Comprehensive analysis of our model suggests the essential role of individual modules in our proposed architecture and demonstrates efficiency of communications among these modules. We hope this work would advance research in the collaboration and communications over both fields of computer science and computational neuroscience.
- TL;DR: first deep neural network for modeling Egocentric Spatial Memory inspired by neurophysiological discoveries of navigation cells in mammalian brain
- Keywords: spatial memory, egocentric vision, deep neural network, navigation