Gated Feedback Recurrent Neural Networks

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Junyoung Chung, Caglar Gulcehre, Kyunghyun Cho, Yoshua Bengio ;
Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 37:2067-2075, 2015.

Abstract

In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.

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