Mathieu Rita


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On the Correspondence between Compositionality and Imitation in Emergent Neural Communication
Emily Cheng | Mathieu Rita | Thierry Poibeau
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Compositionality is a hallmark of human language that not only enables linguistic generalization, but also potentially facilitates acquisition. When simulating language emergence with neural networks, compositionality has been shown to improve communication performance; however, its impact on imitation learning has yet to be investigated. Our work explores the link between compositionality and imitation in a Lewis game played by deep neural agents. Our contributions are twofold: first, we show that the learning algorithm used to imitate is crucial: supervised learning tends to produce more average languages, while reinforcement learning introduces a selection pressure toward more compositional languages. Second, our study reveals that compositional languages are easier to imitate, which may induce the pressure toward compositional languages in RL imitation settings.


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LazImpa”: Lazy and Impatient neural agents learn to communicate efficiently
Mathieu Rita | Rahma Chaabouni | Emmanuel Dupoux
Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Previous work has shown that artificial neural agents naturally develop surprisingly non-efficient codes. This is illustrated by the fact that in a referential game involving a speaker and a listener neural networks optimizing accurate transmission over a discrete channel, the emergent messages fail to achieve an optimal length. Furthermore, frequent messages tend to be longer than infrequent ones, a pattern contrary to the Zipf Law of Abbreviation (ZLA) observed in all natural languages. Here, we show that near-optimal and ZLA-compatible messages can emerge, but only if both the speaker and the listener are modified. We hence introduce a new communication system, “LazImpa”, where the speaker is made increasingly lazy, i.e., avoids long messages, and the listener impatient, i.e., seeks to guess the intended content as soon as possible.