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In Frontiers in neurorobotics

Long-term human-robot interaction requires the continuous acquisition of knowledge. This ability is referred to as lifelong learning (LL). LL is a long-standing challenge in machine learning due to catastrophic forgetting, which states that continuously learning from novel experiences leads to a decrease in the performance of previously acquired knowledge. Two recently published LL approaches are the Growing Dual-Memory (GDM) and the Self-organizing Incremental Neural Network+ (SOINN+). Both are growing neural networks that create new neurons in response to novel sensory experiences. The latter approach shows state-of-the-art clustering performance on sequentially available data with low memory requirements regarding the number of nodes. However, classification capabilities are not investigated. Two novel contributions are made in our research paper: (I) An extended SOINN+ approach, called associative SOINN+ (A-SOINN+), is proposed. It adopts two main properties of the GDM model to facilitate classification. (II) A new LL object recognition dataset (v-NICO-World-LL) is presented. It is recorded in a nearly photorealistic virtual environment, where a virtual humanoid robot manipulates 100 different objects belonging to 10 classes. Real-world and artificially created background images, grouped into four different complexity levels, are utilized. The A-SOINN+ reaches similar state-of-the-art classification accuracy results as the best GDM architecture of this work and consists of 30 to 350 times fewer neurons, evaluated on two LL object recognition datasets, the novel v-NICO-World-LL and the well-known CORe50. Furthermore, we observe an approximately 268 times lower training time. These reduced numbers result in lower memory and computational requirements, indicating higher suitability for autonomous social robots with low computational resources to facilitate a more efficient LL during long-term human-robot interactions.

Logacjov Aleksej, Kerzel Matthias, Wermter Stefan


growing dual-memory, lifelong learning, lifelong learning dataset, long-term human-robot interaction, self-organizing incremental neural network, simulated humanoid robot