A model for discovering ‘containment’ relations

TitleA model for discovering ‘containment’ relations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsUllman, S, Dorfman, N, Harari, D
Pagination67 - 81
Date Published02/2019
KeywordsComputational model; Containment relation; Developmental trajectory; Infants’ perceptual learning; Spatial relations learning; Unsupervised learning

Rapid developments in the fields of learning and object recognition have been obtained by successfully developing and using methods for learning from a large number of labeled image examples. However, such current methods cannot explain infants' learning of new concepts based on their visual experience, in particular, the ability to learn complex concepts without external guidance, as well as the natural order in which related concepts are acquired. A remarkable example of early visual learning is the category of 'containers' and the notion of 'containment'. Surprisingly, this is one of the earliest spatial relations to be learned, starting already around 3 month of age, and preceding other common relations (e.g., 'support', 'in-between'). In this work we present a model, which explains infants' capacity of learning 'containment' and related concepts by 'just looking', together with their empirical development trajectory. Learning occurs in the model fast and without external guidance, relying only on perceptual processes that are present in the first months of life. Instead of labeled training examples, the system provides its own internal supervision to guide the learning process. We show how the detection of so-called 'paradoxical occlusion' provides natural internal supervision, which guides the system to gradually acquire a range of useful containment-related concepts. Similar mechanisms of using implicit internal supervision can have broad application in other cognitive domains as well as artificial intelligent systems, because they alleviate the need for supplying extensive external supervision, and because they can guide the learning process to extract concepts that are meaningful to the observer, even if they are not by themselves obvious, or salient in the input.

Short TitleCognition

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