Incremental Pragmatics and Emergent Communication

Nicholas Tomlin & Ellie Pavlick

This work presents an initial progress report on undergraduate honors thesis at Brown University, supervised by Prof. Ellie Pavlick. It is a precursor to my CogSci 2019 submission.

Abstract: Recent work has demonstrated the ability of reinforcement learning agents to develop rich communication protocols in certain cooperative environments. However, it has remained unclear how and to what extent these communication strategies may generalize to unseen referents. We argue that the constraints imposed on these multi-agent environments crucially determine the structure and productivity of emergent communication. In particular, we show that incrementality and pragmatic reasoning are two key building blocks leading to productivity, with evidence from the Task & Talk reference game (Das et al., 2017).

Presented at 2nd NeurIPS Workshop on Emergent Communication.

[Full Paper] [Slides]