Deep Sensing: Active Sensing using Multi-directional Recurrent Neural Networks


Nov 03, 2017 (modified: Nov 03, 2017) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: For every prediction we might wish to make, we must decide what to observe (what source of information) and when to observe it. Because making observations is costly, this decision must trade off the value of information against the cost of observation. Making observations (sensing) should be an active choice. To solve the problem of active sensing we develop a novel deep learning architecture: Deep Sensing. At training time, Deep Sensing learns how to issue predictions at various cost-performance points. To do this, it creates multiple representations at various performance levels associated with different measurement rates (costs). This requires learning how to estimate the value of real measurements vs. inferred measurements, which in turn requires learning how to infer missing (unobserved) measurements. To infer missing measurements, we develop a Multi-directional Recurrent Neural Network (M-RNN). An M-RNN differs from a bi-directional RNN in that it sequentially operates across streams in addition to within streams, and because the timing of inputs into the hidden layers is both lagged and advanced. At runtime, the operator prescribes a performance level or a cost constraint, and Deep Sensing determines what measurements to take and what to infer from those measurements, and then issues predictions. To demonstrate the power of our method, we apply it to two real-world medical datasets with significantly improved performance.
  • Keywords: Active Sensing, Timely Prediction, Irregular Sampling, Missing Data