Generative adversarial nets (GANs) have generated a lot of excitement. Despite their popularity, they exhibit a number of well-documented issues in practice, which apparently contradict theoretical guarantees. A number of enlightening papers have pointed out that these issues arise from unjustified assumptions that are commonly made, but the message seems to have been lost amid the optimism of recent years. We believe the identified problems deserve more attention, and highlight the implications on both the properties of GANs and the trajectory of research on probabilistic models. We recently proposed an alternative method that sidesteps these problems.

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We present foundations for using Model Predictive Control (MPC) as a differentiable policy class for reinforcement learning in continuous state and action spaces. This provides one way of leveraging and combining the advantages of model-free and model-based approaches. Specifically, we differentiate through MPC by using the KKT conditions of the convex approximation at a fixed point of the controller. Using this strategy, we are able to learn the cost and dynamics of a controller via end-to-end learning. Our experiments focus on imitation learning in the pendulum and cartpole domains, where we learn the cost and dynamics terms of an MPC policy class. We show that our MPC policies are significantly more data-efficient than a generic neural network and that our method is superior to traditional system identification in a setting where the expert is unrealizable.

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We introduce a new family of deep neural network models. Instead of specifying a discrete sequence of hidden layers, we parameterize the derivative of the hidden state using a neural network. The output of the network is computed using a black-box differential equation solver. These continuous-depth models have constant memory cost, adapt their evaluation strategy to each input, and can explicitly trade numerical precision for speed. We demonstrate these properties in continuous-depth residual networks and continuous-time latent variable models. We also construct continuous normalizing flows, a generative model that can train by maximum likelihood, without partitioning or ordering the data dimensions. For training, we show how to scalably backpropagate through any ODE solver, without access to its internal operations. This allows end-to-end training of ODEs within larger models.

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Memory-based neural networks model temporal data by leveraging an ability to remember information for long periods. It is unclear, however, whether they also have an ability to perform complex relational reasoning with the information they remember. Here, we first confirm our intuitions that standard memory architectures may struggle at tasks that heavily involve an understanding of the ways in which entities are connected -- i.e., tasks involving relational reasoning. We then improve upon these deficits by using a new memory module -- a \textit{Relational Memory Core} (RMC) -- which employs multi-head dot product attention to allow memories to interact. Finally, we test the RMC on a suite of tasks that may profit from more capable relational reasoning across sequential information, and show large gains in RL domains (e.g. Mini PacMan), program evaluation, and language modeling, achieving state-of-the-art results on the WikiText-103, Project Gutenberg, and GigaWord datasets.

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This paper reviews recent studies in emerging directions of understanding neural-network representations and learning neural networks with interpretable/disentangled middle-layer representations. Although deep neural networks have exhibited superior performance in various tasks, the interpretability is always an Achilles' heel of deep neural networks. At present, deep neural networks obtain a high discrimination power at the cost of low interpretability of their black-box representations. We believe that the high model interpretability may help people to break several bottlenecks of deep learning, e.g., learning from very few annotations, learning via human-computer communications at the semantic level, and semantically debugging network representations. In this paper, we focus on convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and we revisit the visualization of CNN representations, methods of diagnosing representations of pre-trained CNNs, approaches for disentangling pre-trained CNN representations, learning of CNNs with disentangled representations, and middle-to-end learning based on model interpretability. Finally, we discuss prospective trends of explainable artificial intelligence.

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In this paper, we study the optimal convergence rate for distributed convex optimization problems in networks. We model the communication restrictions imposed by the network as a set of affine constraints and provide optimal complexity bounds for four different setups, namely: the function $F(\xb) \triangleq \sum_{i=1}^{m}f_i(\xb)$ is strongly convex and smooth, either strongly convex or smooth or just convex. Our results show that Nesterov's accelerated gradient descent on the dual problem can be executed in a distributed manner and obtains the same optimal rates as in the centralized version of the problem (up to constant or logarithmic factors) with an additional cost related to the spectral gap of the interaction matrix. Finally, we discuss some extensions to the proposed setup such as proximal friendly functions, time-varying graphs, improvement of the condition numbers.

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