Emil Carlsson, Computer Science and Engineering

​Efficient Communication via Reinforcement Learning
Why do languages partition mental concepts into words the way the do? Recent works have taken a information-theoretic view on human language and suggested that it is shaped by the need for efficient communication. This means that human language is shaped by a simultaneous pressure for being informative, while also being simple in order to minimize the cognitive load.

In this thesis we combine the information-theoretic perspective on language with recent advances in deep multi-agent reinforcement learning. We explore how efficient communication emerges between two artificial agents in a signaling game as a by-product of them maximizing a shared reward signal. This is tested in the domain of colors and numeral systems, two domains in which human languages tends to support efficient communication. We find that the communication developed by the artificial agents in these domains shares characteristics with human languages when it comes to efficiency and structure of semantic partitions. even though the agents lack the full perceptual and linguistic architecture of humans.

Our results offer a computational learning perspective that may complement the information-theoretic view on the structure of human languages. The results also suggests that reinforcement learning is a powerful and flexible framework that can be used to test and generate hypotheses in silico.

​Discussion leader

Noah Goodman, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, USA

(with link to online-seminar)
Category Licentiate seminar
Location: Online
Starts: 24 January, 2022, 16:00
Ends: 24 January, 2022, 18:30

Page manager Published: Fri 21 Jan 2022.