OCIM : Object-centric Compositional Imagination for Visual Abstract Reasoning

ICLR 2023(2023)

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Abstract
A long-sought property of machine learning systems is the ability to compose learned concepts in novel ways that would enable them to make sense of new situations. Such capacity for imagination -- a core aspect of human intelligence -- is not yet attained for machines. In this work, we show that object-centric inductive biases can be leveraged to derive an imagination-based learning framework that achieves compositional generalization on a series of tasks. Our method, denoted Object-centric Compositional IMagination (OCIM), decomposes visual reasoning tasks into a series of primitives applied to objects without using a domain-specific language. We show that these primitives can be recomposed to generate new imaginary tasks. By training on such imagined tasks, the model learns to reuse the previously-learned concepts to systematically generalize at test time. We test our model on a series of arithmetic tasks where the model has to infer the sequence of operations (programs) applied to a series of inputs. We find that imagination is key for the model to find the correct solution for unseen combinations of operations.
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Key words
objects,imagination,visual reasoning,representation learning,inductive biases,compositional generalization
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