The Statistical Recurrent Unit


Junier B. Oliva, Barnabás Póczos, Jeff Schneider ;
Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 70:2671-2680, 2017.


Sophisticated gated recurrent neural network architectures like LSTMs and GRUs have been shown to be highly effective in a myriad of applications. We develop an un-gated unit, the statistical recurrent unit (SRU), that is able to learn long term dependencies in data by only keeping moving averages of statistics. The SRU’s architecture is simple, un-gated, and contains a comparable number of parameters to LSTMs; yet, SRUs perform favorably to more sophisticated LSTM and GRU alternatives, often outperforming one or both in various tasks. We show the efficacy of SRUs as compared to LSTMs and GRUs in an unbiased manner by optimizing respective architectures’ hyperparameters for both synthetic and real-world tasks.

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