Keywords: data augmentation, algorithm learning, RNN
TL;DR: Learned data augmentation instills algorithm-favoring inductive biases that let RNNs learn list-processing algorithms from fewer examples.
Abstract: We address the problem of teaching an RNN to approximate list-processing algorithms given a small number of input-output training examples. Our approach is to generalize the idea of parametricity from programming language theory to formulate a semantic property that distinguishes common algorithms from arbitrary non-algorithmic functions. This characterization leads naturally to a learned data augmentation scheme that encourages RNNs to learn algorithmic behavior and enables small-sample learning in a variety of list-processing tasks.