CS 294-4: Connectionist and Neural Computation
One half of your final grade will be based on your term project. There are
many exciting projects available on campus and at ICSI and scientists
eager to have your help. We also encourage you to seek a project that
furthers your own interests and fits the course. It is fine to work in teams
of two and it is often interesting to team with someone with a different
- Extensions of the Tlearn system - mainly to support structured nets
- Simplifying large trained networks Prof. Morgan
- We spent a full lecture on Regier's system for learning spatial terms. The
program is still around and a good project would be to resurrect it and extend
it any one of a number of ways.
- Training Bailey's verb-learner on additional languages
- Implementing and testing Bailey's recruitment model
- Augment a search engine using metaphorical matching
- Link the human-body simulator "Jack" to Bailey's verb-learner
- Redo and update Regier's system for learning spatial terms
- Add animation to the Bailey or Narayan system
- Learning first-order context-sensitive rules from examples using
structured connectionist nets.
- The following five term-projects relate to
--- a connectionist model of temporal binding and (rapid) reflexive reasoning
- Develop an X-Schema for posing wh-questions to SHRUTI and extracting
the answer computed by SHRUTI.
Refinement of domain knowledge via backpropagation and hebbian learning.
Integration of reflective (or deliberate) processes with
Demonstrate that binding via temporal synchrony/desynchrony can be an emergent
property of suitably interconnected connectionist models.
Modeling how attention can overcome certain limitations of reflexive reasoning
by (i) "focusing" the spreading of activation into certain directions and
(ii) having improving the tuning of synchronous activity.
Simulating errors in decision making due to stress.
- The following three term-projects relate to
--- a model of episodic memory formation in the hippocampal system.
- Modeling of de'ja` vu.
- Modeling "forgetting" --- both because of "decay" and because of
earlier memories being "overwritten" by subsequent memories. The goals
are to explain: (i) primacy and recency effects, (ii) why irrelevant memories
are more likely to be forgotten than likely ones (though, highly relevant
memories may sometimes be forgotten).
Study the effect on episodic memory of diffuse cell loss in the entorhinal
cortex. One possibility would be the modeling of memory loss characteristic of
early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.
- Detailed quantitative analysis of episodic memory capacity and the formation
of spurious memories.
Pointers to some on going projects at ICSI:
The Neural Theory of Language
(NTL) project, formerly known as the "L0 Project,"
is a research project in computational semantics.
SHRUTI: Connectionist models of reflexive reasoning.
This project attempts to understand how networks of simple and slow neuron-like
elements can encode a large body of knowledge --- containing several million
items --- and perform a wide range of interesting inferences within
hundreds of milliseconds.
SMRITI: A Model of Episodic Memory Formation in the Hippocampal System.
Our ability to remember events and situations in our daily life
demonstrates our ability to rapidly acquire new memories.
This project attempts to demonstrate how a transient pattern
of activity representing an event may be rapidly transformed
into a persistent structural encoding via long-term potentiation (LTP) and
depression (LTD) of synapses.
Speech research at ICSI has primarily been focused on speech recognition
and auditory processing, with three main specializations:
auditory-inspired signal processing, statistical modeling, and models of
phonology and language for speech understanding.