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Abstract: We propose a meta-learning approach that learns from multiple tasks in a transductive setting, by leveraging the unlabeled query set in addition to the support set to generate a more powerful model for each task. To develop our framework, we revisit the empirical Bayes formulation for multi-task learning. The evidence lower bound of the marginal log-likelihood of empirical Bayes decomposes as a sum of local KL divergences between the variational posterior and the true posterior on the query set of each task. We derive a novel amortized variational inference that couples all the variational posteriors via a meta-model, which consists of a synthetic gradient network and an initialization network. Each variational posterior is derived from synthetic gradient descent to approximate the true posterior on the query set, although where we do not have access to the true gradient. Our results on the Mini-ImageNet and CIFAR-FS benchmarks for episodic few-shot classification outperform previous state-of-the-art methods. Besides, we conduct two zero-shot learning experiments to further explore the potential of the synthetic gradient.
Keywords: Meta-learning, Empirical Bayes, Synthetic Gradient, Information Bottleneck
TL;DR: We propose a transductive meta-learning algorithm using synthetic gradients, analyze its generalization via information bottleneck, show SOTA results on few-shot learning.