Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)
Renato Negrinho, Matthew Gormley, Geoffrey J. Gordon
Beam search is widely used for approximate decoding in structured prediction problems. Models often use a beam at test time but ignore its existence at train time, and therefore do not explicitly learn how to use the beam. We develop an unifying meta-algorithm for learning beam search policies using imitation learning. In our setting, the beam is part of the model and not just an artifact of approximate decoding. Our meta-algorithm captures existing learning algorithms and suggests new ones. It also lets us show novel no-regret guarantees for learning beam search policies.