Fast Abductive Learning by Similarity-based Consistency Optimization

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Yu-Xuan Huang, Wang-Zhou Dai, Le-Wen Cai, Stephen Muggleton, Yuan Jiang


To utilize the raw inputs and symbolic knowledge simultaneously, some recent neuro-symbolic learning methods use abduction, i.e., abductive reasoning, to integrate sub-symbolic perception and logical inference. While the perception model, e.g., a neural network, outputs some facts that are inconsistent with the symbolic background knowledge base, abduction can help revise the incorrect perceived facts by minimizing the inconsistency between them and the background knowledge. However, to enable effective abduction, previous approaches need an initialized perception model that discriminates the input raw instances. This limits the application of these methods, as the discrimination ability is usually acquired from a thorough pre-training when the raw inputs are difficult to classify. In this paper, we propose a novel abduction strategy, which leverages the similarity between samples, rather than the output information by the perceptual neural network, to guide the search in abduction. Based on this principle, we further present ABductive Learning with Similarity (ABLSim) and apply it to some difficult neuro-symbolic learning tasks. Experiments show that the efficiency of ABLSim is significantly higher than the state-of-the-art neuro-symbolic methods, allowing it to achieve better performance with less labeled data and weaker domain knowledge.