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Minimum Description Length Recurrent Neural Networks


We train neural networks to optimize a Minimum Description Length score, i.e., to balance between the complexity of the network and its accuracy at a task. We show that networks optimizing this objective function master tasks involving memory challenges and go beyond context-free languages. These learners master languages such as $a^nb^n$, $a^nb^nc^n$, $a^nb^{2n}$, $a^nb^mc^{n+m}$, and they perform addition. Moreover, they often do so with 100% accuracy. The networks are small, and their inner workings are transparent. We thus provide formal proofs that their perfect accuracy holds not only on a given test set, but for any input sequence. To our knowledge, no other connectionist model has been shown to capture the underlying grammars for these languages in full generality.

Article at MIT Press