Learning Representations that Support Extrapolation

Part of Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning 1 pre-proceedings (ICML 2020)

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Taylor Webb, Zachary Dulberg, Steven Frankland, Alexander Petrov, Randall O'Reilly, Jonathan Cohen


<p>Extrapolation -- the ability to make inferences that go beyond the scope of one's experiences -- is a hallmark of human intelligence. By contrast, the generalization exhibited by contemporary neural network algorithms is largely limited to interpolation between data points in their training corpora. In this paper, we consider the challenge of learning representations that support extrapolation. We introduce a novel visual analogy benchmark that allows the graded evaluation of extrapolation as a function of distance from the convex domain defined by the training data. We also introduce a simple technique, context normalization, that encourages representations that emphasize the relations between objects. We find that this technique enables a significant improvement in the ability to extrapolate, considerably outperforming a number of competitive techniques.</p>