A Simple Neural Attentive Meta-Learner

Nikhil Mishra, Mostafa Rohaninejad, Xi Chen, Pieter Abbeel

Feb 15, 2018 (modified: Feb 15, 2018) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Deep neural networks excel in regimes with large amounts of data, but tend to struggle when data is scarce or when they need to adapt quickly to changes in the task. In response, recent work in meta-learning proposes training a meta-learner on a distribution of similar tasks, in the hopes of generalization to novel but related tasks by learning a high-level strategy that captures the essence of the problem it is asked to solve. However, many recent meta-learning approaches are extensively hand-designed, either using architectures specialized to a particular application, or hard-coding algorithmic components that constrain how the meta-learner solves the task. We propose a class of simple and generic meta-learner architectures that use a novel combination of temporal convolutions and soft attention; the former to aggregate information from past experience and the latter to pinpoint specific pieces of information. In the most extensive set of meta-learning experiments to date, we evaluate the resulting Simple Neural AttentIve Learner (or SNAIL) on several heavily-benchmarked tasks. On all tasks, in both supervised and reinforcement learning, SNAIL attains state-of-the-art performance by significant margins.
  • TL;DR: a simple RNN-based meta-learner that achieves SOTA performance on popular benchmarks
  • Keywords: meta-learning, few-shot learning