Pre-Learning Environment Representations for Data-Efficient Neural Instruction Following

ACL 2019  ·  David Gaddy, Dan Klein ·

We consider the problem of learning to map from natural language instructions to state transitions (actions) in a data-efficient manner. Our method takes inspiration from the idea that it should be easier to ground language to concepts that have already been formed through pre-linguistic observation. We augment a baseline instruction-following learner with an initial environment-learning phase that uses observations of language-free state transitions to induce a suitable latent representation of actions before processing the instruction-following training data. We show that mapping to pre-learned representations substantially improves performance over systems whose representations are learned from limited instructional data alone.

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