Transferring Knowledge across Learning Processes

Sebastian Flennerhag, Pablo G. Moreno, Neil D. Lawrence, Andreas Damianou

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: In complex transfer learning scenarios new tasks might not be tightly linked to previous tasks. Approaches that transfer information contained only in the final parameters of a source model will therefore struggle. Instead, transfer learning at at higher level of abstraction is needed. We propose Leap, a framework that achieves this by transferring knowledge across learning processes. We associate each task with a manifold on which the training process travels from initialization to final parameters and construct a meta-learning objective that minimizes the expected length of this path. Our framework leverages only information obtained during training and can be computed on the fly at negligible cost. We demonstrate that our framework outperforms competing methods, both in meta-learning and transfer learning, on a set of computer vision tasks. Finally, we demonstrate that Leap can transfer knowledge across learning processes in demanding reinforcement learning environments (Atari) that involve millions of gradient steps.
  • Keywords: meta-learning, transfer learning
  • TL;DR: We propose Leap, a framework that transfers knowledge across learning processes by minimizing the expected distance the training process travels on a task's loss surface.
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