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This repository contains code and data for learning to play reference games. The code relies on the mungpy repository for generic utilities to munge the reference game data into a JSON format, vectorize this JSON into several tensor views of the data, and run training/evaluations of the learning models using this tensor data.

The remainder of this README is organized into the following sections:

Summary of repository contents

The repository is organized into a config directory containing configuration files for modeling experiments, a scripts directory containing templates for shell scripts for running the tasks in src/test, an examples directory containing data examples, a src/main directory containing a library of classes and functions for training and evaluating models, and a src/test directory containing tests, experiments, and scripts that call model training and evaluation functions. This separation between the main libraries in src/main and the scripts/tests in src/test was inspired by the layout used in Java Maven projects, and might seem annoyingly over-complicated---leading to unnecessarily deep directory structures that aren't very typical of Python projects. It is true that this is annoying, but the structure has also had the benefit of keeping the one-off scripty type things separated away from the main library code in src/main.

The following sub-sections give more details about what can be found in each of these sub-directories.

Script templates

After being filled in with local paths, the shell script templates in scripts can be run to call various Python scripts in src/test with the configurations in config
to preprocess the data and train various models. The details of the steps for the pre-processing scripts are given in the the data preprocessing section, and the details on the model training and evaluation are given in the modeling section.

Configuration files

The config directory contains configuration files stored in JSON format which are used for setting hyper-parameters within the Python model training and evaluation scripts (e.g.
These configuration files are currently (as of May 2018) split into the following subdirectories of config:

  • game/colorGrids/data - Specifications for feature sets, data, and subsets of the data to use within experiments.

  • game/colorGrids/eval - Specifications for evaluations (log-likelihood, accuracy, etc) to use in evaluating models.

  • game/colorGrids/learn - Specifications for hyper-parameters of the learning algorithm (learning rate, batch size, etc) to use during training

  • game/colorGrids/model - Specifications for model hyper-parameters (e.g. RSA speaker rationality, number of units in hidden layers, etc)

  • game/colorGrids/old - Old specifications that are no longer used, but kept around in case they might be helpful for reference in the future

See the section below on modeling for details on how these are used.

Data subdirectories

The data in examples is organized into the following directories:

  • games/csv/ - Source csv files from mturk containing reference game data for various games

  • games/json/ - Games converted to the JSON format described in the section below on preprocessing the game data. This is the form of the data used by the rest of the featurization/modeling code.

  • games/misc/ - Miscellaneous, relatively unimportant junk

  • games/splits/ - Files describing partitions of the data sets into train/dev/test partitions.

Note that the colorGrids sub-directories under the above (csv, json, etc) contain most of the relevant game data that is used as of May 2018. These contain the recently collected color grids from mturk, and also merged with the colors data set from Monroe et al (2017).
In games/json/colorGrids, there are json versions of the color grid data collected from mturk (sanitized and annotated under clean_nlp), and also merged with the color data from Monroe et al (2017) color data (under merged).
Directories named sua_speaker contain the state-utterance-action format of the data described in the data pre-processing sections of the README below.
The full merged data set used for training all color grid and color RSA models (as of May 2018) is in games/json/colorGrids/merged/sua_speaker. The split for all this data is in games/splits/colorGrids_merged (which represents a 34/33/33 train/dev/test split of the original colors data merged with a
80/10/10 train/dev/test split of the color grid data).

Python modules

The Python libraries in src/main/py/ltprg are organized into the following modules:

Experiment configuration parsing

Data manipulation and pre-processing

  • - Functions for re-ordering data sets according to training curricula (e.g. ordering of game rounds according to the lengths of speaker utterances)

  • - Helper functions for computing vectorized views of the reference game JSON data. These vectorized views are used as inputs to the learning models.

  • - Feature classes used by to compute vectorized views of the reference game JSON data.

Modules specific to particular reference games

  • - Some helper functions for manipulating data from the color reference game (this was imported from another library, and was never fully integrated into this one, but a few of the functions here are used by the data preprocessing code).

  • - Model evaluations specific to the color reference game (e.g. for outputting visualizations of learned meaning functions computed over Hue x Saturation color space)

  • - Utilities specific to color games

Model components

  • ltprg.model.dist - Represenations of probability distributions

  • ltprg.model.meaning - Modules for computing RSA meaning functions

  • ltprg.model.obs - Modules to compute over observations within RSA when prior to conditioning the world and utterance priors (these are used within ltprg.model.rsa as observation_fns, especially for SNLI RSA models and others that condition the priors on embeddings from observed sequences)

  • ltprg.model.prior - Modules for computing utterance and world priors within RSA models

  • ltprg.model.rsa - RSA modeling and evaluation modules

  • ltprg.model.seq_heuristic - Heuristics to guide sequence model sampling and search procedures (e.g. used for sampling utterance prior supports that contain utterances which score highly according to literal listeners)

  • ltprg.model.seq - Sequence model modules

Miscellaneous utilities

Python scripts

Some scripts in src/test/py are:

Data manipulation and pre-processing

Scripts specific to color grid (and merged colors) reference games

The ltprg/game/colorGrids directory contains Python scripts particular to the color grids data set (and also the colors data set that has been converted and merged into this same format). There are older scripts specific to other reference games in other subdirectories of ltprg/game, but currently (as of May 2018), the only actively used scripts are the colorGrids ones. They are as follows:

Data pre-processing

Results post-processing

Visualization and investigation of learned meaning functions

  • ltprg/meaning/ - This directory contains scripts and tools for investigating learned meanings


Other stuff (e.g. game visualization)

The directory src/test/html/viewData/ contains web pages used to visualize the data set. Specifically, the color and colorGrids data, and also utterance priors output by ltprg/game/colorGrids/model/ can be visualized using src/test/html/viewData/colorGrids/view.html (by just opening this file in a browser, and using the form to select a JSON file representing a game or the utterance prior output)

Setup instructions

To setup, first clone the repository:

git clone

You will also need to clone the mungpy repository that contains several data munging and experiment utilities upon which ltprg relies:

git clone

Next, set your PYTHONPATH environment variable to include the paths to the Python libraries within these cloned repositories:

export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/path/to/ltprg/src/main/py/:/path/to/mungpy/src/main/py/

The code generally relies on PyTorch for training models, so install that if it is not already installed. Currently, PyTorch version 0.3.0.post4 is used. You can download it at

How to preprocess reference game data for modeling

Before running modeling experiments, it's useful to push all the reference game data into a standard format that can be manipuated by models through a common set of data structures. This section describes how to push CSV data generated by mturk experiments into a more easily manipulable JSON format, and then generate vectorized views of this data that are used by the learning models. The main steps in pipeline include:

  1. Converting CSV game data to the JSON format
  2. Producing NLP annotations for the JSON data
  3. Extracting state-utterance-action data sets from JSON data
  4. Partitioning data into train-dev-test splits
  5. Computing and saving feature matrices from the data
  6. Reloading saved feature matrices into memory

Steps 1 though 5 can be performed just once for a new reference game data set, and step 6 is used in experiments to load the processed data for modeling, etc. A template for a single script that performs steps 1 through 5 is given in scripts/
To setup the pipeline, this script template should be copied and filled in with paths to data that are specific to the local environment. Each of the pre-processing steps is described in some detail below.

(Note that the color and color grids data sets under examples/games/json/colorGrids have been generated through additional steps to the pipeline described here. These additional steps were necessary for merging the color and color grids data into a single format, and they can be pefromed using the color-grid preprocessing script template at scripts/ In general, when new reference game data comes through a single CSV format, it's likely that the steps described below, and performed by scripts/ should be at least nearly sufficient for pre-processing.)

Converting game data to the JSON format

Pushing the data from all the reference games into a standard format allows for easy re-use of featurization and modeling code. Currently, we use the format shown in the JSON schema below. There are more examples of this format from the color data set in examples/games/json/color.

 "gameid" : "*unique game identifier string*",
 "records": [{ "roundNum": 1,
               "events": [
                   { "type": "*StateSubtype*", "time": 1476996301986, "..." : "..." },
                   { "type": "Utterance", "time": 1476996265147, "sender": "speaker",
                     "contents": "*Stuff said by speaker*"
                   { "type": "Utterance", "time": 1476996265180, "sender": "listener",
                     "contents": "*Stuff said by listener*"
                   { "type": "Utterance", "time": 1476996265190, "sender": "speaker",
                     "contents": "*More stuff said by speaker*"
                   { "..." : "..." },
                   { "type": "*ActionSubtype*", "time": 1476996267239, "..." : "..." }
             { "roundNum": 2, "events": [ { "...": "..." } ]},
             { "roundNum": 3, "events": [ { "...": "..." } ]},
             { "..." : "..."}

Note that in the above schema, place-holder values are given between the asterisks, and the "..." fields indicate that the object could contain more fields.

In this format, each reference game is represented by a single JSON object containing a "gameid" unique identifier field for the game, and a "records" field that contains a list of numbered game-round objects. Each round object consists of a "roundNum" (round number) and a list of events. Each event is either a state, an utterance, or an action. Each of these events can have several game-specific dimensions with arbitrarily complicated substructure determined by the dimensions of the events of a particular game.

There are two options for converting reference game data into this format. The first is to write a custom script to convert from your source format to the JSON format. Alternatively, if you have a CSV representation of your data, then you can use test/py/ltprg/data/ to convert to the JSON format. See the documentation at the top of that script for details about the CSV format that this script expects.

Producing NLP annotations for JSON game data

When the reference game data is in JSON format, the utterances from the game can be pushed through the Stanford CoreNLP pipeline using the script at test/py/ltprg/data/ See the documentation at the top of that script for details. Also, there are examples of NLP annotated JSON color data in examples/games/json/color_nlp (each line of each file contains a JSON object representing a game).

Extracting state-utterance-action data sets

Several reference game learning models depend on training from examples that consist of a single round represented by a game state, speaker utterances, and a listener action. For example, training the RSA listener models to play the color reference game depends on having one example per game round---with a state of three colors, the speaker utterances, and either the target color referred to by the speaker or the color clicked on by the listener. The script at test/py/ltprg/data/ constructs state-utterance-action examples like this from the JSON game data. Also, there are examples of state-utterance-action data for the color data set in examples/games/json/color_sua_speaker.

Partitioning data for training and evaluation

When training and evaluating models, it's useful to partition the data into train/dev/test sets---or other splits. For this purpose, the class is useful for loading partitions of the data into memory, and splitting data sets and feature matrices according to these partitions. The class assumes that the partitions are stored in the following JSON format:

  "size": 948,
  "parts": {
    "train": { "1124-1": 1, "8235-6": 1, "..." : 1 },
    "dev": { "2641-2": 1, "4235-3": 1, "..." : 1 },
    "test": { "5913-4": 1, "1212-5": 1, "..." : 1 }

The "size" field specifies the number of elements across all parts of the partition, and the "parts" field contains the parts of the partition.
Each part contains all of the keys representing objects in the partition. In the example shown above, each key is a game ID. The can split a data set according to this partition and a "key function" that maps datums from a data set to the keys in the partition. Since the keys are game IDs in the above example, the "key function" would need to map datums to their game IDs to split a data set.

The script at test/py/ltprg/data/ takes a path to a set of JSON game data, and uses to create a split based on game ID. There are many examples of data splits in examples/games/splits.

Computing and saving feature matrices from the data

Feature matrices can be computed from the state-utterance-action and game data sets in the JSON format described above. In particular, the mungpy.feature_helpers module (from mungpy) contains functions for constructing feature matrices and sequences of feature matrices (e.g. representing utterances). The features in the matrices can represent values stored in the JSON data examples. These values can be either numerical values stored directly in properties of the JSON objects, or tokens from an enumerable vocabulary (e.g. of utterance words/lemmas). The following functions from mung.feature_helpers are used to construct the matrices:

  • featurize_path_enum : This constructs a feature matrix where each column
    represents a token from some enumerable vocabulary extracted from the data, and each row represents the values of the features for a particular datum. So, the entry at row i and column j indicates whether token j occurs in datum i.
    As a more compact alternative to this sparse one-hot representation, this function can also store the token index numbers directly in the matrix. Prior to constructing the matrix, this function also constructs the token vocabulary by gathering all possible tokens from across the data set.

  • featurize_path_enum_seqs : This works similar to featurize_path_enum, except that it computes a sequence of matrices rather than a single matrix, where matrix i contains a representation of token i in the sequence for each datum. If some datum sequences contain fewer elements than others, then they are padded. Currently, such matrix sequences are used to represent the sequences of words in utterances across a data set.

  • featurize_path_scalars : This constructs a feature matrix where each column represents some numerical dimension from the examples in the data set.

As an example of how these functions are used, consider the state-utterance-action datums from the color data set. Each of these datums has the following form:

  "id": "6655-7_1_0", "gameid": "6655-7", "sua": 0, "roundNum": 1,
  "state": {
    "type": "StateColor",
    "lH_0": "248", "lH_1": "294", "lH_2": "101",
    "lS_0": "31", "lS_1": "48", "lS_2": "77",
    "lL_0": "50", "lL_1": "50", "lL_2": "50",
    "..." : "..."
  "utterances": [
      "type": "Utterance",
      "sender": "speaker", "contents": "bright blue", "time": 1476989293766,
      "nlp": {
        "type": "CoreNLPAnnotations",
        "lemmas": { "lemmas": [ "bright", "blue" ], "..." : "..." },
        "tokens": "...", "sents": "...", "pos": "..."
  "action": {
    "type": "ActionColor",
    "time": 1476989295346,
    "lClicked_0": "1", "lClicked_1": "0", "lClicked_2": "0"

Note that in this example, there are indicators of which color the listener clicked in the "lClicked_i" fields of the "action" sub-object. Given datums in this form stored at input_data_dir, the following function will compute a feature matrix containing rows of these "lClicked_i" indicators for each datum:

    input_data_dir, # Source data set
    join(output_feature_dir, "listener_clicked"), # Output directory
    partition_file, # Data partition
    lambda d : d.get("gameid"), # Function that partitions the data
    "listener_clicked", # Name of the feature
    ["action.lClicked_0", "action.lClicked_1", "action.lClicked_2"], # JSON paths to feature values

The first two arguments to the function specify the input and output locations on disk. The third and fourth argument specify the location of a file storing a data partition and the "key function" for partitioning the data (see the section on partitions), and the final init_data specifies the part of this partition on which to initialize the features (this is necessary when the feature initialization depends on some property of the data, but should not depend on the values from the test data). The "listener_clicked" argument just gives a name for the feature. Finally, the list of "action.lClicked_0", "action.lClicked_1", and "action.lClicked_2" specifies the JSON paths within the data from which to gather the feature values. This will construct a matrix where each row represents a state-utterance-action example, and each the columns represent values from "action.lClicked_0", "action.lClicked_1", and "action.lClicked_2".

As another example, the following function computes sequences of feature matrices representing utterances from the state-utterance action data:

    input_data_dir, # Source data set
    join(output_feature_dir, "utterance_lemma_idx"), # Output directory
    partition_file, # Data partition
    lambda d : d.get("gameid"), # Function that partitions the data
    "utterance_lemmas_idx", # Name of the feature
    ["utterances[*].nlp.lemmas.lemmas"], # JSON path into data examples
    15, # Maximum utterance length
    token_fn=lambda x : x.lower(), # Function applied to tokens to construct the vocabulary
    indices=True, # Indicates that indices will be computed instead of one-hot vectors

The function first computes a vocabulary of lower-cased lemmas gathered from the "utterances[*].nlp.lemmas.lemmas" JSON path across the data set. Then, it computes a sequence of 15 padded feature matrices representing the lemmas of utterance tokens for each datum.

See test/py/ltprg/game/color/data/ for some further examples of how feature matrices are constructed from the color reference game data. Also see test/py/ltprg/game/colorGrids/data/ for a similar script that featurizes the more recent merged color/color-grid data.

Reloading saved feature matrices into memory

Assuming a state-utterance-action data set in sua_data_dir has been featurized using the methods described in the previous section, the feature matrices can be reloaded into memory from features_dir using code like the following:

D = MultiviewDataSet.load(
        "listener_clicked" : join(features_dir, "listener_clicked"),
        "listener_colors" : join(features_dir, "listener_colors"),
        "speaker_colors" : join(features_dir, "speaker_colors"),
        "speaker_observed" : join(features_dir, "speaker_observed"),
        "speaker_target_color" : join(features_dir, "speaker_target_color"),
        "speaker_target" : join(features_dir, "speaker_target")
        "utterance_lemma_idx" : join(features_dir, "utterance_lemma_idx")
partition = Partition.load(partition_file)
D_parts = D.partition(partition, lambda d : d.get("gameid"))
D_train = D_parts["train"]

batch = D_train.get_random_batch(5)

This loads feature matrices from each of the sub-directories under features_dir as specified by the dfmat_paths argument, and feature matrix sequences from the paths specified by the dfmatseq_paths argument. The data is then split according to the partition loaded from partition_file (see the section on partitions). Sub-matrices representing a random batch of 5 examples are extracted using the get_random_batch method on the last line. The returned batch object is a dictionary with keys for each of the loaded feature matrices and feature matrix sequences. So for example, batch["listener_clicked"] will contain a matrix with 5 rows, and columns representing where the listener clicked (as computed in the previous section).

See the unit tests at test/py/ltprg/game/color/data/ for more examples of how to access the data.

How to train and evaluate models

After the data has been preprocessed according to the steps described above (and given in the script template scripts/, we can train and evaluate models on the resulting vectorized data sets. This training/evaluation can be run using scripts based on the templates in scripts, which train RSA listeners and language models based on the color and color grid subsets of the merged data in examples/games/json/colorGrids/merged/sua_speaker. These shell script templates call the Python scripts in src/test/py/ltprg/game/colorGrids/model/. Each Python script takes a set of configuration files from config, and trains/evaluates a single model, logging the results to some directory. The first three subsections below give the high level details of this process.

  1. Configuring experiments
  2. Training and evaluating models
  3. Understanding evaluation output

The fourth and fifth sections give lower level details of the design for training RSA and sequence models:

  1. Design for RSA models
  2. Design for sequence models

Configuring experiments

The Python training and evaluation scripts (e.g. for training RSA models in are configured through the JSON configuration files in the config directory. These configuration files contain hyper-parameter settings and specifications for architectural details of the model. As a concrete example, the script loads data, model, learning, and evaluation configurations through the following lines:

data_config = Config.load(, environment=env)
model_config = Config.load(args.model, environment=env)
learn_config = Config.load(args.learn, environment=env)
train_evals_config = Config.load(args.train_evals, environment=env)
dev_evals_config = Config.load(args.dev_evals, environment=env)
test_evals_config = Config.load(args.test_evals, environment=env)

An example of a configuration that can be loaded into the learn_config line above is given in cgmerged_src_color3_data.json.
This file contains the following JSON object, which specifies the parameters for the training algorithm:

    "max_evaluation" : true,
    "data" : "$!{train_data}",
    "data_size" : "$!{train_data_size}",
    "iterations" : 10000,
    "batch_size" : 128,
    "optimizer_type" : "ADAM",
    "learning_rate" : 0.005,
    "weight_decay" : 0.0,
    "gradient_clipping" : 5.0,
    "log_interval" : 100

Notice that the data and data_size fields in this object contain $!{train_data} and $!{train_data_size} placeholders for the name of the data and the size of the subset to train on. These placeholders are defined through the local environment, which is specified either through command-line options (i.e. giving --train_data_size 1000 when calling the script) or through a local environment configuration file which specifies local paths to data and other resources. The file env.json gives a template for this local environment configuration, and it should be copied to a local env_local.json, and filled in with paths specific to the local machine. This separation between the local environment and the configuration gives (1) a means by which to keep local information out of the repository, and (2) a way to re-use parameter settings that tend to stay the same while also offering the flexibility of specifying other parameters through the command line.

The data field in the above configuration gives the name of the data subset to train on, where this data is defined through a data configuration file (e.g. see here for example data configurations). In general, the data configurations take some initial featurized data set, and split it into named subsets representing conditions that are useful for training and evaluation (e.g. close, split, and far conditions in the color data).

When setting up new experiments, you can get an idea of what configurations are necessary by looking through some of the examples in the config directory, but there is also some documentation on what configuration fields are required in the Python modules responsible for parsing the configurations. The following modules are responsible for parsing various types of configurations:

Model training and evaluation

The Python training scripts (like and configure the main training loop through the training configuration module.
This module constructs a Trainer class from Among other arguments, the Trainer takes a "data parameter", loss criterion, evaluation metrics, a model, and some data. The trainer runs some SGD variant to train the model for a specified number of iterations while logging the evaluation results to a log file at regular intervals. The trainer keeps track of the best evaluation of the model, and returns both the final model from the full set of iterations, and the best model according to the main evaluation.

The trainer assumes that the model is a Python class that extends PyTorch's nn.Module, and also has a forward_batch and loss methods. The purpose of these methods is that they give a consistent signature that the Trainer can use across many model types with different kinds of inputs and outputs. The forward_batch method should take a data batch and a "data parameter", and compute a forward pass of the module on the batch, indexing into it using the "data parameter". The loss method should take a data batch, a "data parameter", and a loss criterion, compute the forward pass, and then use the modules output to compute the loss according to the loss criterion. Example implementations of forward_batch and loss methods are given in for sequence models and for RSA models.

The "data parameter" argument to forward_batch and loss specifies names of views within the data batch that should be used by the model. This gives a mapping between the types of data that the model expects (e.g. sequences for sequence models) and their names within the given data set (e.g. utterances within reference games). For example, there is a DataParameter class specific to sequence models at the top of This class stores the name of the sequence view within the data, and the name of the non-sequential input view within the data. In the model configuration file for specifying an S0 sequence model, these view names are given as "utterance" and "target_obj". These view names refer to the data views specified at the top of the data configuration file. Every batch of data fed into forward_batch or loss by trainer will contain these vectorized views of the data, indexed by the names "utterance" and "target_obj".

The Trainer class assumes that the given evaluations implement the Evaluation class in An evaluation should take a model, and output a number. Several examples of existing evaluations (e.g. accuracy, loss according to some criterion, etc) are also given in There also several RSA specific evaluations at the end of

Training and evaluation output

The Python training scripts, and, create new directories in which to store their output. The output conists of:

  • log - A log tsv file giving training evaluations at regular intervals during training

  • config.json - A JSON file storing all the configurations and arguments that were used to run the training.

  • model - The stored trained model which can be reloaded into memory later for further training or evaluation

  • results - A tsv file containing a single line of final evaluations of the final model on the dev set

  • test_results - A tsv file containing a single line of final evaluation of the final model on the test set. This is only output by the training scripts if explicitly specified (to avoid unnecessary test set evaluations)

Note that the final results in result and test_results just containing a single line of evaluations of a single model. Typically, it's useful to gather the results for many model trainings into a single tsv file. The script is useful for aggregating the results files from many training runs into a single tsv (possibly averaging over some runs, like if running under the same hyper-parameters with multiple random seeds).

Training RSA modules can also produce an evaluation for utterance priors which outputs a directory containing JSON files storing the utterance prior supports at successive iterations of training for a subset of example contexts. These output priors can be visualized for the color grid and color games using web page visualization src/test/html/viewData/colorGrids/view.html.

Design for RSA models

The RSA module trained using the script produces listener RSA distributions (it can also produce speakers, but it has mostly been used for listeners up until now (May 2018)). A forward pass of the listener module (referred to briefly as "L" within the code) assumes that data examples contain listener "observations", speaker "utterances", and world "targets". An observation consists of a context observable to the listener upon hearing the speaker's utterance, and the target is the referent that the listener should infer within that context.
So, the listener's forward pass computes an RSA distribution over targets given observations and speaker utterances. The computation is batched, and so the module takes observations of shape (Batch size x Observation), utterances of shape (Batch size x Utterance), and produces batches of distributions of shape (Batch size x Support size) stored in distribution batch objects from
Internally, the RSA distributions are computed using
an utterance prior, a world prior, and a meaning function. The RSA listener module in computes these components using sub-modules from:

  • - PyTorch sub-modules which take (Batch size x Observation) batches of observations, and produce (Batch size x Support size) prior distributions over utterances and worlds.

  • - PyTorch sub-modules which take (Batch size x Utterance prior support size) batches of utterance prior supports and (Batch size x World prior support size), and produce batches of meaning matrices of shape (Batch size x Utterance prior support size x World prior support size).

Many of the sub-modules in produce distributions over sequences, and sub-modules in compute meanings over sequential utterance inputs. The architectures for operating over these sequential inputs are defined by the SequenceModel sub-modules from

Note that the listener RSA module is also overloaded to operate as an internal distribution within the RSA recursion (e.g. as an L0 computed within an L1).
This means that it can optionally take (Batch size x Utterance prior support size x Utterance) inputs from the utterance prior supports of a higher level pragmatic speaker (instead of the simpler top-level (Batch size x Utterance) utterance batches), and produce (Batch size x Utterance prior support size x World distributions). This makes the code a bit more difficult to understand, but if you're only interested in using the module (not editing it), you can ignore this detail, and treat the listener module as though it just overates over (Batch size x Utterance) batches and produces batches of world distributions.

Also, note that the RSA modules can take an optional "observation_fn" which computes some function over observations before they are fed into the utterance and world prior modules. This is especially useful when the observed context is a sequence (e.g. a premise sentence in SNLI), and it makes sense to compute embeddings of this sequnce to use as "worlds" in the supports of the world priors. However, note that this functionality was tacked on in a hacky way, and is not completely implemented for the case of computing top-level speaker distributions.

Design for sequence models

The sequence modeling modules in are used as sub-modules within RSA (for computing utterance priors and meaning functions), and also can be trained on their own (e.g. for language modeling) using using the Python script There is a generic SequenceModel PyTorch module defined near the top of, and below it there are several specific RNN extensions of this module. The SequenceModel class implements several generic sequence model methods (e.g. for sampling, beam search, etc), and the extensions implement specific network architectures.

The sequence models generally assume that the input data examples consist of sequences (abbreviated seq) along with non-sequential inputs referred to as input (but some sequence models do not have this additional non-sequential input).
The sequences are represented as (Max sequence length x Batch size) tensors of indices into a token vocabulary or (Max sequence length x Batch size x Vector size) tensors containing batches of sequences of vectors. These sequences also come with a vector of size (Batch size) containing the sequence lengths, and the possible non-sequential inputs have size (Batch size x Input vector size). Given these inputs, the sequence models produce sequential output tensors of size (Sequence length x Batch size x Vector size) where the output "Vector size" is the same as the input vector (or token vocabulary) size.


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