- Abstract: Recurrent neural networks like long short-term memory (LSTM) are important architectures for sequential prediction tasks. LSTMs (and RNNs in general) model sequences along the forward time direction. Bidirectional LSTMs (Bi-LSTMs), which model sequences along both forward and backward directions, generally perform better at such tasks because they capture a richer representation of the data. In the training of Bi-LSTMs, the forward and backward paths are learned independently. We propose a variant of the Bi-LSTM architecture, which we call Variational Bi-LSTM, that creates a dependence between the two paths (during training, but which may be omitted during inference). Our model acts as a regularizer and encourages the two networks to inform each other in making their respective predictions using distinct information. We perform ablation studies to better understand the different components of our model and evaluate the method on various benchmarks, showing state-of-the-art performance.