Understanding Benign Overfitting in Gradient-Based Meta LearningDownload PDF

Published: 31 Oct 2022, Last Modified: 14 Jan 2023NeurIPS 2022 AcceptReaders: Everyone
Keywords: meta learning, benign overfitting, excess risk
TL;DR: We analyze gradient-based meta learning excess risk in an overparameterized meta linear model.
Abstract: Meta learning has demonstrated tremendous success in few-shot learning with limited supervised data. In those settings, the meta model is usually overparameterized. While the conventional statistical learning theory suggests that overparameterized models tend to overfit, empirical evidence reveals that overparameterized meta learning methods still work well -- a phenomenon often called ``benign overfitting.'' To understand this phenomenon, we focus on the meta learning settings with a challenging bilevel structure that we term the gradient-based meta learning, and analyze its generalization performance under an overparameterized meta linear regression model. While our analysis uses the relatively tractable linear models, our theory contributes to understanding the delicate interplay among data heterogeneity, model adaptation and benign overfitting in gradient-based meta learning tasks. We corroborate our theoretical claims through numerical simulations.
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