Learning Iterative Reasoning through Energy Minimization
Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 162:5570-5582, 2022.
Deep learning has excelled on complex pattern recognition tasks such as image classification and object recognition. However, it struggles with tasks requiring nontrivial reasoning, such as algorithmic computation. Humans are able to solve such tasks through iterative reasoning – spending more time to think about harder tasks. Most existing neural networks, however, exhibit a fixed computational budget controlled by the neural network architecture, preventing additional computational processing on harder tasks. In this work, we present a new framework for iterative reasoning with neural networks. We train a neural network to parameterize an energy landscape over all outputs, and implement each step of the iterative reasoning as an energy minimization step to find a minimal energy solution. By formulating reasoning as an energy minimization problem, for harder problems that lead to more complex energy landscapes, we may then adjust our underlying computational budget by running a more complex optimization procedure. We empirically illustrate that our iterative reasoning approach can solve more accurate and generalizable algorithmic reasoning tasks in both graph and continuous domains. Finally, we illustrate that our approach can recursively solve algorithmic problems requiring nested reasoning.