EMNLP 2017: Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing — September 7–11, 2017 — Copenhagen, Denmark.


SIGDAT, the Association for Computational Linguistics special interest group on linguistic data and corpus-based approaches to NLP, invites you to participate in EMNLP 2017.

Memory Augmented Neural Networks for Natural Language Processing


Designing of general-purpose learning algorithms is a long-standing goal of artificial intelligence. A general purpose AI agent should be able to have a memory that it can store and retrieve information from. Despite the success of deep learning in particular with the introduction of LSTMs and GRUs to this area, there are still a set of complex tasks that can be challenging for conventional neural networks. Those tasks often require a neural network to be equipped with an explicit, external memory in which a larger, potentially unbounded, set of facts need to be stored. They include but are not limited to, reasoning, planning, episodic question-answering and learning compact algorithms. Recently two promising approaches based on neural networks to this type of tasks have been proposed: Memory Networks and Neural Turing Machines.

In this tutorial, we will give an overview of this new paradigm of “neural networks with memory”. We will present a unified architecture for Memory Augmented Neural Networks (MANN) and discuss the ways in which one can address the external memory and hence read/write from it. Then we will introduce Neural Turing Machines and Memory Networks as specific instantiations of this general architecture. In the second half of the tutorial, we will focus on recent advances in MANN which focus on the following questions: How can we read/write from an extremely large memory in a scalable way? How can we design efficient non-linear addressing schemes? How can we do efficient reasoning using large scale memory and an episodic memory? The answer to any one of these questions introduces a variant of MANN. We will conclude the tutorial with several open challenges in MANN and its applications to NLP.

We will introduce several applications of MANN in NLP throughout the tutorial. Few examples include language modeling, question answering, visual question answering, and dialogue systems.

For updated information and material, please refer to our tutorial website.