Given that in practice training data is scarce for all but a small set of
problems, a core question is how to incorporate prior knowledge into a model. In this paper, we consider the case of prior procedural knowledge for neural
networks, such as knowing how a program should traverse a sequence, but not
what local actions should be performed at each step...
To this end, we present an
end-to-end differentiable interpreter for the programming language Forth which
enables programmers to write program sketches with slots that can be filled
with behaviour trained from program input-output data. We can optimise this
behaviour directly through gradient descent techniques on user-specified
objectives, and also integrate the program into any larger neural computation
graph. We show empirically that our interpreter is able to effectively leverage
different levels of prior program structure and learn complex behaviours such
as sequence sorting and addition. When connected to outputs of an LSTM and
trained jointly, our interpreter achieves state-of-the-art accuracy for
end-to-end reasoning about quantities expressed in natural language stories.