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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Computer Science

Year Degree Awarded

2017

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Andrew McCallum

Subject Categories

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Abstract

Knowledge representation and reasoning is one of the central challenges of artificial intelligence, and has important implications in many fields including natural language understanding and robotics. Representing knowledge with symbols, and reasoning via search and logic has been the dominant paradigm for many decades. In this work, we use deep neural networks to learn to both represent symbols and perform reasoning end-to-end from data. By learning powerful non-linear models, our approach generalizes to massive amounts of knowledge and works well with messy real-world data using minimal human effort. First, we show that recurrent neural networks with an attention mechanism achieve state-of-the-art reasoning on a large structured knowledge graph. Next, we develop Neural Programmer, a neural network augmented with discrete operations that can be learned to induce latent programs with backpropagation. We apply Neural Programmer to induce short programs on two datasets: a synthetic dataset requiring arithmetic and logic reasoning, and a natural language question answering dataset that requires reasoning on semi-structured Wikipedia tables. We present what is to our awareness the first weakly supervised, end-to-end neural network model to induce such programs on a real-world dataset. Unlike previous learning approaches to program induction, the model does not require domain-specific grammars, rules, or annotations. Finally, we discuss methods to scale Neural Programmer training to large databases.

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