Author

# Laurens van der Maaten

Other affiliations: Maastricht University, Delft University of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University

Bio: Laurens van der Maaten is an academic researcher from Facebook. The author has contributed to research in topics: Network architecture & Computer science. The author has an hindex of 47, co-authored 118 publications receiving 54188 citations. Previous affiliations of Laurens van der Maaten include Maastricht University & Delft University of Technology.

##### Papers published on a yearly basis

##### Papers

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TL;DR: A new technique called t-SNE that visualizes high-dimensional data by giving each datapoint a location in a two or three-dimensional map, a variation of Stochastic Neighbor Embedding that is much easier to optimize, and produces significantly better visualizations by reducing the tendency to crowd points together in the center of the map.

Abstract: We present a new technique called “t-SNE” that visualizes high-dimensional data by giving each datapoint a location in a two or three-dimensional map. The technique is a variation of Stochastic Neighbor Embedding (Hinton and Roweis, 2002) that is much easier to optimize, and produces significantly better visualizations by reducing the tendency to crowd points together in the center of the map. t-SNE is better than existing techniques at creating a single map that reveals structure at many different scales. This is particularly important for high-dimensional data that lie on several different, but related, low-dimensional manifolds, such as images of objects from multiple classes seen from multiple viewpoints. For visualizing the structure of very large datasets, we show how t-SNE can use random walks on neighborhood graphs to allow the implicit structure of all of the data to influence the way in which a subset of the data is displayed. We illustrate the performance of t-SNE on a wide variety of datasets and compare it with many other non-parametric visualization techniques, including Sammon mapping, Isomap, and Locally Linear Embedding. The visualizations produced by t-SNE are significantly better than those produced by the other techniques on almost all of the datasets.

30,124 citations

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21 Jul 2017

TL;DR: DenseNet as mentioned in this paper proposes to connect each layer to every other layer in a feed-forward fashion, which can alleviate the vanishing gradient problem, strengthen feature propagation, encourage feature reuse, and substantially reduce the number of parameters.

Abstract: Recent work has shown that convolutional networks can be substantially deeper, more accurate, and efficient to train if they contain shorter connections between layers close to the input and those close to the output. In this paper, we embrace this observation and introduce the Dense Convolutional Network (DenseNet), which connects each layer to every other layer in a feed-forward fashion. Whereas traditional convolutional networks with L layers have L connections—one between each layer and its subsequent layer—our network has L(L+1)/2 direct connections. For each layer, the feature-maps of all preceding layers are used as inputs, and its own feature-maps are used as inputs into all subsequent layers. DenseNets have several compelling advantages: they alleviate the vanishing-gradient problem, strengthen feature propagation, encourage feature reuse, and substantially reduce the number of parameters. We evaluate our proposed architecture on four highly competitive object recognition benchmark tasks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, SVHN, and ImageNet). DenseNets obtain significant improvements over the state-of-the-art on most of them, whilst requiring less memory and computation to achieve high performance. Code and pre-trained models are available at https://github.com/liuzhuang13/DenseNet.

27,821 citations

01 Jan 2009

TL;DR: The results of the experiments reveal that nonlinear techniques perform well on selected artificial tasks, but that this strong performance does not necessarily extend to real-world tasks.

Abstract: In recent years, a variety of nonlinear dimensionality reduction techniques have been proposed that aim to address the limitations of traditional techniques such as PCA and classical scaling. The paper presents a review and systematic comparison of these techniques. The performances of the nonlinear techniques are investigated on artificial and natural tasks. The results of the experiments reveal that nonlinear techniques perform well on selected artificial tasks, but that this strong performance does not necessarily extend to real-world tasks. The paper explains these results by identifying weaknesses of current nonlinear techniques, and suggests how the performance of nonlinear dimensionality reduction techniques may be improved.

2,141 citations

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TL;DR: Variants of the Barnes-Hut algorithm and of the dual-tree algorithm that approximate the gradient used for learning t-SNE embeddings in O(N log N) are developed and shown to substantially accelerate and make it possible to learnembeddings of data sets with millions of objects.

Abstract: The paper investigates the acceleration of t-SNE--an embedding technique that is commonly used for the visualization of high-dimensional data in scatter plots--using two tree-based algorithms. In particular, the paper develops variants of the Barnes-Hut algorithm and of the dual-tree algorithm that approximate the gradient used for learning t-SNE embeddings in O(N log N). Our experiments show that the resulting algorithms substantially accelerate t-SNE, and that they make it possible to learn embeddings of data sets with millions of objects. Somewhat counterintuitively, the Barnes-Hut variant of t-SNE appears to outperform the dual-tree variant.

2,079 citations

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01 Jul 2017

TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a diagnostic dataset that tests a range of visual reasoning abilities and provides insights into their abilities and limitations, and use this dataset to analyze a variety of modern visual reasoning systems.

Abstract: When building artificial intelligence systems that can reason and answer questions about visual data, we need diagnostic tests to analyze our progress and discover short-comings. Existing benchmarks for visual question answering can help, but have strong biases that models can exploit to correctly answer questions without reasoning. They also conflate multiple sources of error, making it hard to pinpoint model weaknesses. We present a diagnostic dataset that tests a range of visual reasoning abilities. It contains minimal biases and has detailed annotations describing the kind of reasoning each question requires. We use this dataset to analyze a variety of modern visual reasoning systems, providing novel insights into their abilities and limitations.

1,248 citations

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18 Nov 2016

TL;DR: Deep learning as mentioned in this paper is a form of machine learning that enables computers to learn from experience and understand the world in terms of a hierarchy of concepts, and it is used in many applications such as natural language processing, speech recognition, computer vision, online recommendation systems, bioinformatics, and videogames.

Abstract: Deep learning is a form of machine learning that enables computers to learn from experience and understand the world in terms of a hierarchy of concepts. Because the computer gathers knowledge from experience, there is no need for a human computer operator to formally specify all the knowledge that the computer needs. The hierarchy of concepts allows the computer to learn complicated concepts by building them out of simpler ones; a graph of these hierarchies would be many layers deep. This book introduces a broad range of topics in deep learning. The text offers mathematical and conceptual background, covering relevant concepts in linear algebra, probability theory and information theory, numerical computation, and machine learning. It describes deep learning techniques used by practitioners in industry, including deep feedforward networks, regularization, optimization algorithms, convolutional networks, sequence modeling, and practical methodology; and it surveys such applications as natural language processing, speech recognition, computer vision, online recommendation systems, bioinformatics, and videogames. Finally, the book offers research perspectives, covering such theoretical topics as linear factor models, autoencoders, representation learning, structured probabilistic models, Monte Carlo methods, the partition function, approximate inference, and deep generative models. Deep Learning can be used by undergraduate or graduate students planning careers in either industry or research, and by software engineers who want to begin using deep learning in their products or platforms. A website offers supplementary material for both readers and instructors.

38,208 citations

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TL;DR: It is shown that dropout improves the performance of neural networks on supervised learning tasks in vision, speech recognition, document classification and computational biology, obtaining state-of-the-art results on many benchmark data sets.

Abstract: Deep neural nets with a large number of parameters are very powerful machine learning systems. However, overfitting is a serious problem in such networks. Large networks are also slow to use, making it difficult to deal with overfitting by combining the predictions of many different large neural nets at test time. Dropout is a technique for addressing this problem. The key idea is to randomly drop units (along with their connections) from the neural network during training. This prevents units from co-adapting too much. During training, dropout samples from an exponential number of different "thinned" networks. At test time, it is easy to approximate the effect of averaging the predictions of all these thinned networks by simply using a single unthinned network that has smaller weights. This significantly reduces overfitting and gives major improvements over other regularization methods. We show that dropout improves the performance of neural networks on supervised learning tasks in vision, speech recognition, document classification and computational biology, obtaining state-of-the-art results on many benchmark data sets.

33,597 citations

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TL;DR: A new technique called t-SNE that visualizes high-dimensional data by giving each datapoint a location in a two or three-dimensional map, a variation of Stochastic Neighbor Embedding that is much easier to optimize, and produces significantly better visualizations by reducing the tendency to crowd points together in the center of the map.

Abstract: We present a new technique called “t-SNE” that visualizes high-dimensional data by giving each datapoint a location in a two or three-dimensional map. The technique is a variation of Stochastic Neighbor Embedding (Hinton and Roweis, 2002) that is much easier to optimize, and produces significantly better visualizations by reducing the tendency to crowd points together in the center of the map. t-SNE is better than existing techniques at creating a single map that reveals structure at many different scales. This is particularly important for high-dimensional data that lie on several different, but related, low-dimensional manifolds, such as images of objects from multiple classes seen from multiple viewpoints. For visualizing the structure of very large datasets, we show how t-SNE can use random walks on neighborhood graphs to allow the implicit structure of all of the data to influence the way in which a subset of the data is displayed. We illustrate the performance of t-SNE on a wide variety of datasets and compare it with many other non-parametric visualization techniques, including Sammon mapping, Isomap, and Locally Linear Embedding. The visualizations produced by t-SNE are significantly better than those produced by the other techniques on almost all of the datasets.

30,124 citations

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Google

^{1}TL;DR: This work bridges the divide between high-dimensional sensory inputs and actions, resulting in the first artificial agent that is capable of learning to excel at a diverse array of challenging tasks.

Abstract: The theory of reinforcement learning provides a normative account, deeply rooted in psychological and neuroscientific perspectives on animal behaviour, of how agents may optimize their control of an environment. To use reinforcement learning successfully in situations approaching real-world complexity, however, agents are confronted with a difficult task: they must derive efficient representations of the environment from high-dimensional sensory inputs, and use these to generalize past experience to new situations. Remarkably, humans and other animals seem to solve this problem through a harmonious combination of reinforcement learning and hierarchical sensory processing systems, the former evidenced by a wealth of neural data revealing notable parallels between the phasic signals emitted by dopaminergic neurons and temporal difference reinforcement learning algorithms. While reinforcement learning agents have achieved some successes in a variety of domains, their applicability has previously been limited to domains in which useful features can be handcrafted, or to domains with fully observed, low-dimensional state spaces. Here we use recent advances in training deep neural networks to develop a novel artificial agent, termed a deep Q-network, that can learn successful policies directly from high-dimensional sensory inputs using end-to-end reinforcement learning. We tested this agent on the challenging domain of classic Atari 2600 games. We demonstrate that the deep Q-network agent, receiving only the pixels and the game score as inputs, was able to surpass the performance of all previous algorithms and achieve a level comparable to that of a professional human games tester across a set of 49 games, using the same algorithm, network architecture and hyperparameters. This work bridges the divide between high-dimensional sensory inputs and actions, resulting in the first artificial agent that is capable of learning to excel at a diverse array of challenging tasks.

23,074 citations

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Aalto University

^{1}, Université de Montréal^{2}, École Polytechnique de Montréal^{3}, AT&T^{4}, Alcatel-Lucent^{5}TL;DR: In this paper, the encoder and decoder of the RNN Encoder-Decoder model are jointly trained to maximize the conditional probability of a target sequence given a source sequence.

Abstract: In this paper, we propose a novel neural network model called RNN Encoder‐ Decoder that consists of two recurrent neural networks (RNN). One RNN encodes a sequence of symbols into a fixedlength vector representation, and the other decodes the representation into another sequence of symbols. The encoder and decoder of the proposed model are jointly trained to maximize the conditional probability of a target sequence given a source sequence. The performance of a statistical machine translation system is empirically found to improve by using the conditional probabilities of phrase pairs computed by the RNN Encoder‐Decoder as an additional feature in the existing log-linear model. Qualitatively, we show that the proposed model learns a semantically and syntactically meaningful representation of linguistic phrases.

19,998 citations