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Oleg Solopchuk, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics Tübingen Department Computational Neuroscience

Jul 18, 2022 | 04:00 PM

Active sensing with artificial neural networks

"The fitness of behaving agents depends on their knowledge of the environment, which demands efficient exploration strategies. Active sensing formalizes exploration as reduction of uncertainty about the current state of the environment. Despite strong theoretical justifications, active sensing has had limited applicability due to difficulty in estimating information gain. Here we address this issue by proposing a linear approximation to information gain and by implementing efficient gradient-based action selection within an artificial neural network setting. We compare information gain estimation with state of the art, and validate our model on an active sensing task based on MNIST dataset. We also propose an approximation that exploits the amortized inference network, and performs equally well in certain contexts