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A normalizing flow is an invertible mapping between an arbitrary probability distribution and a standard normal distribution; it can be used for density estimation and statistical inference. Computing the flow follows the change of variables formula and thus requires invertibility of the mapping and an efficient way to compute the determinant of its Jacobian. To satisfy these requirements, normalizing flows typically consist of carefully chosen components. Continuous normalizing flows (CNFs) are mappings obtained by solving a neural ordinary differential equation (ODE). The neural ODE's dynamics can be chosen almost arbitrarily while ensuring invertibility. Moreover, the log-determinant of the flow's Jacobian can be obtained by integrating the trace of the dynamics' Jacobian along the flow. Our proposed OT-Flow approach tackles two critical computational challenges that limit a more widespread use of CNFs. First, OT-Flow leverages optimal transport (OT) theory to regularize the CNF and enforce straight trajectories that are easier to integrate. Second, OT-Flow features exact trace computation with time complexity equal to trace estimators used in existing CNFs. On five high-dimensional density estimation and generative modeling tasks, OT-Flow performs competitively to state-of-the-art CNFs while on average requiring one-fourth of the number of weights with an 8x speedup in training timemore »
We propose a neural network approach for solving high-dimensional optimal control problems. In particular, we focus on multi-agent control problems with obstacle and collision avoidance. These problems immediately become high-dimensional, even for moderate phase-space dimensions per agent. Our approach fuses the Pontryagin Maximum Principle and Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) approaches and parameterizes the value function with a neural network. Our approach yields controls in a feedback form for quick calculation and robustness to moderate disturbances to the system. We train our model using the objective function and optimality conditions of the control problem. Therefore, our training algorithm neither involves a data generation phase nor solutions from another algorithm. Our model uses empirically effective HJB penalizers for efficient training. By training on a distribution of initial states, we ensure the controls' optimality is achieved on a large portion of the state-space. Our approach is grid-free and scales efficiently to dimensions where grids become impractical or infeasible. We demonstrate our approach's effectiveness on a 150-dimensional multi-agent problem with obstacles.
Deep convolutional neural networks have revolutionized many machine learning and computer vision tasks, however, some remaining key challenges limit their wider use. These challenges include improving the network's robustness to perturbations of the input image and the limited ``field of view'' of convolution operators. We introduce the IMEXnet that addresses these challenges by adapting semi-implicit methods for partial differential equations. Compared to similar explicit networks, such as residual networks, our network is more stable, which has recently shown to reduce the sensitivity to small changes in the input features and improve generalization. The addition of an implicit step connects all pixels in each channel of the image and therefore addresses the field of view problem while still being comparable to standard convolutions in terms of the number of parameters and computational complexity. We also present a new dataset for semantic segmentation and demonstrate the effectiveness of our architecture using the NYU Depth dataset.
Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) filter the input data using spatial convolution operators with compact stencils. Commonly, the convolution operators couple features from all channels, which leads to immense computational cost in the training of and prediction with CNNs. To improve the efficiency of CNNs, we introduce lean convolution operators that reduce the number of parameters and computational complexity, and can be used in a wide range of existing CNNs. Here, we exemplify their use in residual networks (ResNets), which have been very reliable for a few years now and analyzed intensively. In our experiments on three image classification problems, the proposed LeanResNet yields results that are comparable to other recently proposed reduced architectures using similar number of parameters.