Abstract Reasoning with Distracting Features

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Kecheng Zheng, Zheng-Jun Zha, Wei Wei


Abstraction reasoning is a long-standing challenge in artificial intelligence. Recent studies suggest that many of the deep architectures that have triumphed over other domains failed to work well in abstract reasoning. In this paper, we first illustrate that one of the main challenges in such a reasoning task is the presence of distracting features, which requires the learning algorithm to leverage counter-evidence and to reject any of false hypothesis in order to learn the true patterns. We later show that carefully designed learning trajectory over different categories of training data can effectively boost learning performance by mitigating the impacts of distracting features. Inspired this fact, we propose feature robust abstract reasoning (FRAR) model, which consists of a reinforcement learning based teacher network to determine the sequence of training and a student network for predictions. Experimental results demonstrated strong improvements over baseline algorithms and we are able to beat the state-of-the-art models by 18.7\% in RAVEN dataset and 13.3\% in the PGM dataset.