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The Relationship between Representational Conflicts, Generalization, and Encoding Requirements in an Instance Memory Network

Authors: Mathew Wakefield, Matthew Mitchell, Lisa Wise, Christopher McCarthy


This paper aims to provide an interpretation of artificial neural networks (ANNs) and explore some of its implications. The interpretation views ANNs as a memory which encodes instances of experience. An experiment explores the behavior of encoding and retrieval of instances from memory. A localised representation ANN is created that allows control over encoding and retrieved memory sample size and is experimented with using the MNIST digits dataset. The relationship between input familiarity, conflict within retrieved samples, and error rates is described and demonstrated to be an effective driver for memory encoding. Results indicate that selective encoding and retrieval samples that allow detection of memory conflicts produce optimal performance, and that error rates are normally distributed with input familiarity and conflict. By using input familiarity and sample consistency to guide memory encoding, the number of encoding trials on the dataset were reduced to 18.33% of the training data while maintaining good recognition performance on the test data.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks, ANNs, representation, memory, conflict monitoring, confidence.

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