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Source code for Emergent Communication in a Multi-Modal, Multi-Step Referential Game.


  • Python2.7
  • Pytorch

You should install Pytorch using instructions from here. Otherwise, can install dependencies using pip: pip install -r requirements.txt

Building the Datasets

This model requires an hdf5 file containing image features and csv file containing class descriptions. To build such a dataset using images from Imagenet, you can simply run the following script:

cd ./utils

This will download image urls from Imagenet (~300mb compressed), save urls from 30 classes, split them into train/dev/test, download the relevant images, extract the necessary features using a pretrained ResNet-34, and build the descriptions file.

This model also depends on pretrained word embeddings. We recommend using the 6B.100d GloVe embeddings availabe here.

Running the Code

Here is an example command for running the agents in an "Adaptive" setting, where the Receiver has the option to terminate the conversation and make a prediction before the maximum number of exchange steps have been exhausted.

python \
-experiment_name demo \ # used to save various log files
-exchange_samples 5 \ # print samples of the communication
-model_type Adaptive \ # the receiver will determine when to stop the conversation
-max_exchange 10 \ # max number of exchange steps in the agents' conversation
-batch_size 64 \
-rec_w_dim 32 \ # message dimension of the receiver (this should match the sender)
-sender_out_dim 32 \ # message dimension of the sender (this should match the receiver)
-img_h_dim 256 \ # hidden dimension of the sender
-rec_hidden 64 \ # hidden dimension of the receiver
-learning_rate 1e-4 \ # learning rate for gradient descent
-entropy_rec 0.01 \ # regularize the receiver's messages
-entropy_sen 0.01 \ # regularize the sender's messages
-entropy_s 0.08 \ # regularize the stop bit 
-use_binary \ # specify binary communication (continuous values are also an option)
-max_epoch 500 \ # number of epochs to train
-top_k_dev 6 \ # specify tok-k for dev
-top_k_train 6 \ # specify top-k for train
-descr_train ./utils/descriptions.csv \
-descr_dev ./utils/descriptions.csv \
-train_file ./utils/train.hdf5 \
-dev_file ./utils/dev.hdf5 \
-wv_dim 100 \ # dimension of word vector
-glove_path ~/data/glove/glove.6B.100d.txt

Message Analysis

After training a model, it's desirable to examine the binary messages used in the communication between the Sender and Receiver. These can be retrieved with a command along the lines of the following:

    python \
    -log_load ./logs/${EXPERIMENT_NAME}.json \ # load model configuration from here
    -binary_only \ # specify to only extract binary messages (`eval_only` is also an option)
    -experiment_name demo-binary \ # write output to a log file different from training
    -checkpoint ./logs/${EXPERIMENT_NAME}.pt_best \ # load this checkpoint
    -binary_output ./logs/${EXPERIMENT_NAME}.bv.hdf5 \ # save messages as an hdf5
    -fixed_exchange # use `fixed_exchange` since the adaptive length can be determined with the stop bits

We've included a notebook with a couple examples for how you might want to analyse the binary messages here.


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