Focus on What’s Informative and Ignore What’s not: Communication Strategies in a Referential Game


Workshop on Emergent Communication: Towards Natural Language. Neurips 2019


September, 2019


Dessì, Roberto, Bouchacourt, Diane, Crepaldi, Davide and Baroni, Marco

In a simple referential game with two neural network-based agents, we analyze the object-symbol mapping trying to understand what kind of strategy was used to develop the emergent language. We see that, when the environment is uniformly distributed, the agents rely on a random subset of features to describe the objects. When we modify the objects making one feature non-uniformly distributed, the agents realize it is less informative and start to ignore it. Surprisingly, they make a better use of the remaining features. This interesting result suggests that more natural, less uniformly distributed environments might aid in spurring the emergence of better-behaved languages. [The paper is available on arXiv]