Deep Learning with Theano – Christopher Bourez

Chapter 1, Theano Basics, helps the reader to reader learn main concepts of Theano to write code that can compile on different hardware architectures and optimize automatically complex mathematical objective functions.

Chapter 2, Classifying Handwritten Digits with a Feedforward Network, will introduce a simple, well-known and historical example which has been the starting proof of superiority of deep learning algorithms. The initial problem was to recognize handwritten digits.

Chapter 3, Encoding word into Vector, one of the main challenge with neural nets is to connect the real world data to the input of a neural net, in particular for categorical and discrete data. This chapter presents an example on how to build an embedding space through training with Theano. Such embeddings are very useful in machine translation, robotics, image captioning, and so on because they translate the real world data into arrays of vectors that can be processed by neural nets.

Chapter 4, Generating Text with a Recurrent Neural Net, introduces recurrency in neural nets with a simple example in practice, to generate text. Recurrent neural nets (RNN) are a popular topic in deep learning, enabling more possibilities for sequence prediction, sequence generation, machine translation, connected objects. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a second field of interest that has driven the research for new machine learning techniques.

Chapter 5, Analyzing Sentiments with a Bidirectional LSTM, applies embeddings and recurrent layers to a new task of natural language processing, sentiment analysis. It acts as a kind of validation of prior chapters. In the meantime, it demonstrates an alternative way to build neural nets on Theano, with a higher level library, Keras.

Chapter 6, Locating with Spatial Transformer Networks, applies recurrency to image, to read multiple digits on a page at once. This time, we take the opportunity to rewrite the classification network for handwritten digits images, and our recurrent models, with the help of Lasagne, a library of built-in modules for deep learning with Theano.
Lasagne library helps design neural networks for experimenting faster. With this help, we’ll address object localization, a common computer vision challenge, with Spatial Transformer modules to improve our classification scores.

Chapter 7, Classifying Images with Residual Networks, classifies any type of images at the best accuracy. In the mean time, to build more complex nets with ease, we introduce a library based on Theano framework, Lasagne, with many already implemented components to help implement neural nets faster for Theano.

Chapter 8, Translating and Explaining through Encoding – decoding Networks, presents encoding-decoding techniques: applied to text, these techniques are heavily used in machine-translation and simple chatbots systems. Applied to images, they serve scene segmentations and object localization. Last, image captioning is a mixed, encoding images and decoding to texts. This chapter goes one step further with a very popular high level library, Keras,
that simplifies even more the development of neural nets with Theano.

Chapter 9, Selecting Relevant Inputs or Memories with the Mechanism of Attention, for solving more complicated tasks, the machine learning world has been looking for higher level of intelligence, inspired by nature: reasoning, attention and memory. In this chapter, the reader will discover the memory networks on the main purpose of artificial intelligence for natural language processing (NLP): the language understanding.

Chapter 10, Predicting Times Sequence with Advanced RNN, time sequences are an important field where machine learning has been used heavily. This chapter will go for advanced techniques with Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN), to get state-of-art results.

Chapter 11, Learning from the Environment with Reinforcement, reinforcement learning is the vast area of machine learning, which consists in training an agent to behave in an environment (such as a video game) so as to optimize a quantity (maximizing the game score), by performing certain actions in the environment (pressing buttons on the controller) and observing what happens. Reinforcement learning new paradigm opens a complete new path for designing algorithms and interactions between computers and real world.

Chapter 12, Learning Features with Unsupervised Generative Networks, unsupervised learning consists in new training algorithms that do not require the data to be labeled to be trained. These algorithms try to infer the hidden labels from the data, called the factors, and, for some of them, to generate new synthetic data. Unsupervised training is very useful in many cases, either when no labeling exists, or when labeling the data with humans is too expensive, or lastly when the dataset is too small and feature engineering would overfit the data. In this last case, extra amounts of unlabeled data train better features as a basis for supervised learning.

Chapter 13, Extending Deep Learning with Theano, extends the set of possibilities in Deep Learning with Theano. It addresses the way to create new operators for the computation graph, either in Python for simplicity, or in C to overcome the Python overhead, either for the CPU or for the GPU. Also, introduces the basic concept of parallel programming for GPU. Lastly, we open the field of General Intelligence, based on the first skills developped in this book, to develop new skills, in a gradual way, to improve itself one step further.