# publications

Publications by categories in reversed chronological order. See my Google scholar for the latest updates

## 2024

- UAIBEARS Make Neuro-Symbolic Models Aware of Their Reasoning ShortcutsEmanuele Marconato, Samuele Bortolotti,
*Emile van Krieken*, and 3 more authors*In*, 2024Neuro-Symbolic (NeSy) predictors that conform to symbolic knowledge - encoding, e.g., safety constraints - can be affected by Reasoning Shortcuts (RSs): They learn concepts consistent with the symbolic knowledge by exploiting unintended semantics. RSs compromise reliability and generalization and, as we show in this paper, they are linked to NeSy models being overconfident about the predicted concepts. Unfortunately, the only trustworthy mitigation strategy requires collecting costly dense supervision over the concepts. Rather than attempting to avoid RSs altogether, we propose to ensure NeSy models are aware of the semantic ambiguity of the concepts they learn, thus enabling their users to identify and distrust low-quality concepts. Starting from three simple desiderata, we derive bears (BE Aware of Reasoning Shortcuts), an ensembling technique that calibrates the model’s concept-level confidence without compromising prediction accuracy, thus encouraging NeSy architectures to be uncertain about concepts affected by RSs. We show empirically that bears improves RS-awareness of several state-of-the-art NeSy models, and also facilitates acquiring informative dense annotations for mitigation purposes.

- ICMLOn the Independence Assumption in Neurosymbolic Learning
*Emile van Krieken*, Pasquale Minervini, Edoardo M Ponti, and 1 more author*In International Conference on Machine Learning*, 2024State-of-the-art neurosymbolic learning systems use probabilistic reasoning to guide neural networks towards predictions that conform to logical constraints over symbols. Many such systems assume that the probabilities of the considered symbols are conditionally independent given the input to simplify learning and reasoning. We study and criticise this assumption, highlighting how it can hinder optimisation and prevent uncertainty quantification. We prove that loss functions bias conditionally independent neural networks to become overconfident in their predictions. As a result, they are unable to represent uncertainty over multiple valid options. Furthermore, we prove that these loss functions are difficult to optimise: they are non-convex, and their minima are usually highly disconnected. Our theoretical analysis gives the foundation for replacing the conditional independence assumption and designing more expressive neurosymbolic probabilistic models.

- ULLER: A Unified Language for Learning and Reasoning
*Emile van Krieken*, Samy Badreddine, Robin Manhaeve, and 1 more author2024The field of neuro-symbolic artificial intelligence (NeSy), which combines learning and reasoning, has recently experienced significant growth. There now are a wide variety of NeSy frameworks, each with its own specific language for expressing background knowledge and how to relate it to neural networks. This heterogeneity hinders accessibility for newcomers and makes comparing different NeSy frameworks challenging. We propose a unified language for NeSy, which we call ULLER, a Unified Language for LEarning and Reasoning. ULLER encompasses a wide variety of settings, while ensuring that knowledge described in it can be used in existing NeSy systems. ULLER has a neuro-symbolic first-order syntax for which we provide example semantics including classical, fuzzy, and probabilistic logics. We believe ULLER is a first step towards making NeSy research more accessible and comparable, paving the way for libraries that streamline training and evaluation across a multitude of semantics, knowledge bases, and NeSy systems.

- GRAPES: Learning to Sample Graphs for Scalable Graph Neural NetworksTaraneh Younesian, Thiviyan Thanapalasingam,
*Emile van Krieken*, and 2 more authors2024Graph neural networks (GNNs) learn the representation of nodes in a graph by aggregating the neighborhood information in various ways. As these networks grow in depth, their receptive field grows exponentially due to the increase in neighborhood sizes, resulting in high memory costs. Graph sampling solves memory issues in GNNs by sampling a small ratio of the nodes in the graph. This way, GNNs can scale to much larger graphs. Most sampling methods focus on fixed sampling heuristics, which may not generalize to different structures or tasks. We introduce GRAPES, an adaptive graph sampling method that learns to identify sets of influential nodes for training a GNN classifier. GRAPES uses a GFlowNet to learn node sampling probabilities given the classification objectives. We evaluate GRAPES across several small- and large-scale graph benchmarks and demonstrate its effectiveness in accuracy and scalability. In contrast to existing sampling methods, GRAPES maintains high accuracy even with small sample sizes and, therefore, can scale to very large graphs. Our code is publicly available at this https URL.

## 2023

- ML JournalRefining Neural Network Predictions Using Background KnowledgeAlessandro Daniele,
*Emile van Krieken*, Luciano Serafini, and 1 more author*In Machine Learning*, 2023Recent work has shown learning systems can use logical background knowledge to compensate for a lack of labeled training data. Many methods work by creating a loss function that encodes this knowledge. However, often the logic is discarded after training, even if it is still helpful at test time. Instead, we ensure neural network predictions satisfy the knowledge by refining the predictions with an extra computation step. We introduce differentiable refinement functions that find a corrected prediction close to the original prediction. We study how to effectively and efficiently compute these refinement functions. Using a new algorithm called iterative local refinement (ILR), we combine refinement functions to find refined predictions for logical formulas of any complexity. ILR finds refinements on complex SAT formulas in significantly fewer iterations and frequently finds solutions where gradient descent can not. Finally, ILR produces competitive results in the MNIST addition task.

- NeurIPSA-NeSI: A Scalable Approximate Method for Probabilistic Neurosymbolic Inference
*Emile van Krieken*, Thiviyan Thanapalasingam, Jakub Tomczak, and 2 more authors*In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems*, 2023We study the problem of combining neural networks with symbolic reasoning. Recently introduced frameworks for Probabilistic Neurosymbolic Learning (PNL), such as DeepProbLog, perform exponential-time exact inference, limiting the scalability of PNL solutions. We introduce Approximate Neurosymbolic Inference (A-NeSI): a new framework for PNL that uses neural networks for scalable approximate inference. A-NeSI 1) performs approximate inference in polynomial time without changing the semantics of probabilistic logics; 2) is trained using data generated by the background knowledge; 3) can generate symbolic explanations of predictions; and 4) can guarantee the satisfaction of logical constraints at test time, which is vital in safety-critical applications. Our experiments show that A-NeSI is the first end-to-end method to solve three neurosymbolic tasks with exponential combinatorial scaling. Finally, our experiments show that A-NeSI achieves explainability and safety without a penalty in performance.

- DatasetIntelliGraphs: Datasets for Benchmarking Knowledge Graph GenerationThiviyan Thanapalasingam,
*Emile van Krieken*, Peter Bloem, and 1 more author2023Knowledge Graph Embedding (KGE) models are used to learn continuous representations of entities and relations. A key task in the literature is predicting missing links between entities. However, Knowledge Graphs are not just sets of links but also have semantics underlying their structure. Semantics is crucial in several downstream tasks, such as query answering or reasoning. We introduce the subgraph inference task, where a model has to generate likely and semantically valid subgraphs. We propose IntelliGraphs, a set of five new Knowledge Graph datasets. The IntelliGraphs datasets contain subgraphs with semantics expressed in logical rules for evaluating subgraph inference. We also present the dataset generator that produced the synthetic datasets. We designed four novel baseline models, which include three models based on traditional KGEs. We evaluate their expressiveness and show that these models cannot capture the semantics. We believe this benchmark will encourage the development of machine learning models that emphasize semantic understanding.

## 2022

- Competition winnerPrompting as Probing: Using Language Models for Knowledge Base ConstructionDimitrios Alivanistos, Selene Báez Santamarı́a, Michael Cochez, and 4 more authors2022
Language Models (LMs) have proven to be useful in various downstream applications, such as summarisation, translation, question answering and text classification. LMs are becoming increasingly important tools in Artificial Intelligence, because of the vast quantity of information they can store. In this work, we present ProP (Prompting as Probing), which utilizes GPT-3, a large Language Model originally proposed by OpenAI in 2020, to perform the task of Knowledge Base Construction (KBC). ProP implements a multi-step approach that combines a variety of prompting techniques to achieve this. Our results show that manual prompt curation is essential, that the LM must be encouraged to give answer sets of variable lengths, in particular including empty answer sets, that true/false questions are a useful device to increase precision on suggestions generated by the LM, that the size of the LM is a crucial factor, and that a dictionary of entity aliases improves the LM score. Our evaluation study indicates that these proposed techniques can substantially enhance the quality of the final predictions: ProP won track 2 of the LM-KBC competition, outperforming the baseline by 36.4 percentage points. Our implementation is available on this https URL.

- WSCAnalysis of Measure-Valued Derivatives in a Reinforcement Learning Actor-Critic FrameworkKim van den Houten,
*Emile van Krieken*, and Bernd Heidergott*In 2022 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC)*, 2022Policy gradient methods are successful for a wide range of reinforcement learning tasks. Traditionally, such methods utilize the score function as stochastic gradient estimator. We investigate the effect of replacing the score function with a measure-valued derivative within an on-policy actor-critic algorithm. The hypothesis is that measure-valued derivatives reduce the need for score function variance reduction techniques that are common in policy gradient algorithms. We adapt the actor-critic to measure-valued derivatives and develop a novel algorithm. This method keeps the computational complexity of the measure-valued derivative within bounds by using a parameterized state-value function approximation. We show empirically that measure-valued derivatives have comparable performance to score functions on the environments Pendulum and MountainCar. The empirical results of this study suggest that measure-valued derivatives can serve as low-variance alternative to score functions in on-policy actor-critic and indeed reduce the need for variance reduction techniques.

- AI JournalAnalyzing Differentiable Fuzzy Logic Operators
*Emile van Krieken*, Erman Acar, and Frank Harmelen*In Artificial Intelligence*, 2022The AI community is increasingly putting its attention towards combining symbolic and neural approaches, as it is often argued that the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches are complementary. One recent trend in the literature is weakly supervised learning techniques that employ operators from fuzzy logics. In particular, these use prior background knowledge described in such logics to help the training of a neural network from unlabeled and noisy data. By interpreting logical symbols using neural networks, this background knowledge can be added to regular loss functions, hence making reasoning a part of learning. We study, both formally and empirically, how a large collection of logical operators from the fuzzy logic literature behave in a differentiable learning setting. We find that many of these operators, including some of the most well-known, are highly unsuitable in this setting. A further finding concerns the treatment of implication in these fuzzy logics, and shows a strong imbalance between gradients driven by the antecedent and the consequent of the implication. Furthermore, we introduce a new family of fuzzy implications (called sigmoidal implications) to tackle this phenomenon. Finally, we empirically show that it is possible to use Differentiable Fuzzy Logics for semi-supervised learning, and compare how different operators behave in practice. We find that, to achieve the largest performance improvement over a supervised baseline, we have to resort to non-standard combinations of logical operators which perform well in learning, but no longer satisfy the usual logical laws.

## 2021

- NeurIPSStorchastic: A Framework for General Stochastic Automatic Differentiation
*Emile van Krieken*, Jakub Tomczak, and Annette Ten Teije*In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems*, 2021Modelers use automatic differentiation (AD) of computation graphs to implement complex Deep Learning models without defining gradient computations. Stochastic AD extends AD to stochastic computation graphs with sampling steps, which arise when modelers handle the intractable expectations common in Reinforcement Learning and Variational Inference. However, current methods for stochastic AD are limited: They are either only applicable to continuous random variables and differentiable functions, or can only use simple but high variance score-function estimators. To overcome these limitations, we introduce Storchastic, a new framework for AD of stochastic computation graphs. Storchastic allows the modeler to choose from a wide variety of gradient estimation methods at each sampling step, to optimally reduce the variance of the gradient estimates. Furthermore, Storchastic is provably unbiased for estimation of any-order gradients, and generalizes variance reduction techniques to higher-order gradient estimates. Finally, we implement Storchastic as a PyTorch library at this https URL.

## 2020

- KRAnalyzing Differentiable Fuzzy Implications
*Emile van Krieken*, Erman Acar, and Frank van Harmelen*In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning*, 2020Combining symbolic and neural approaches has gained considerable attention in the AI community, as it is often argued that the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches are complementary. One such trend in the literature are weakly supervised learning techniques that employ operators from fuzzy logics. In particular, they use prior background knowledge described in such logics to help the training of a neural network from unlabeled and noisy data. By interpreting logical symbols using neural networks (or grounding them), this background knowledge can be added to regular loss functions, hence making reasoning a part of learning. In this paper, we investigate how implications from the fuzzy logic literature behave in a differentiable setting. In such a setting, we analyze the differences between the formal properties of these fuzzy implications. It turns out that various fuzzy implications, including some of the most well-known, are highly unsuitable for use in a differentiable learning setting. A further finding shows a strong imbalance between gradients driven by the antecedent and the consequent of the implication. Furthermore, we introduce a new family of fuzzy implications (called sigmoidal implications) to tackle this phenomenon. Finally, we empirically show that it is possible to use Differentiable Fuzzy Logics for semi-supervised learning, and show that sigmoidal implications outperform other choices of fuzzy implications.

## 2019

- IFCoLogSemi-Supervised Learning Using Differentiable Reasoning
*Emile van Krieken*, Erman Acar, and Frank Harmelen*In IFCoLog Journal of Logic and its Applications*, 2019We introduce Differentiable Reasoning (DR), a novel semi-supervised learning technique which uses relational background knowledge to benefit from unlabeled data. We apply it to the Semantic Image Interpretation (SII) task and show that background knowledge provides significant improvement. We find that there is a strong but interesting imbalance between the contributions of updates from Modus Ponens (MP) and its logical equivalent Modus Tollens (MT) to the learning process, suggesting that our approach is very sensitive to a phenomenon called the Raven Paradox. We propose a solution to overcome this situation.

## 2018

- IEEE SSCIBenefits of Social Learning in Physical RobotsJacqueline Heinerman, Bart Bussmann, Rick Groenendijk, and 5 more authors
*In 2018 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI)*, 2018