Dynamic Capacity Networks


Amjad Almahairi, Nicolas Ballas, Tim Cooijmans, Yin Zheng, Hugo Larochelle, Aaron Courville ;
Proceedings of The 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 48:2549-2558, 2016.


We introduce the Dynamic Capacity Network (DCN), a neural network that can adaptively assign its capacity across different portions of the input data. This is achieved by combining modules of two types: low-capacity sub-networks and high-capacity sub-networks. The low-capacity sub-networks are applied across most of the input, but also provide a guide to select a few portions of the input on which to apply the high-capacity sub-networks. The selection is made using a novel gradient-based attention mechanism, that efficiently identifies input regions for which the DCN’s output is most sensitive and to which we should devote more capacity. We focus our empirical evaluation on the Cluttered MNIST and SVHN image datasets. Our findings indicate that DCNs are able to drastically reduce the number of computations, compared to traditional convolutional neural networks, while maintaining similar or even better performance.

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