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Bayesian Recurrent Neural Networks

Abstract · Apr 10, 2017 10:59 ·

rnns posterior bayesian batch bayes variational uncertainty regularisation blundell truncated cs-lg stat-ml

Arxiv Abstract

  • Meire Fortunato
  • Charles Blundell
  • Oriol Vinyals

In this work we explore a straightforward variational Bayes scheme for Recurrent Neural Networks. Firstly, we show that a simple adaptation of truncated backpropagation through time can yield good quality uncertainty estimates and superior regularisation at only a small extra computational cost during training. Secondly, we demonstrate how a novel kind of posterior approximation yields further improvements to the performance of Bayesian RNNs. We incorporate local gradient information into the approximate posterior to sharpen it around the current batch statistics. This technique is not exclusive to recurrent neural networks and can be applied more widely to train Bayesian neural networks. We also empirically demonstrate how Bayesian RNNs are superior to traditional RNNs on a language modelling benchmark and an image captioning task, as well as showing how each of these methods improve our model over a variety of other schemes for training them. We also introduce a new benchmark for studying uncertainty for language models so future methods can be easily compared.

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