Modular Continual Learning in a Unified Visual Environment

Kevin T. Feigelis, Blue Sheffer, Daniel L. K. Yamins

Feb 15, 2018 (modified: Feb 15, 2018) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: A core aspect of human intelligence is the ability to learn new tasks quickly and switch between them flexibly. Here, we describe a modular continual reinforcement learning paradigm inspired by these abilities. We first introduce a visual interaction environment that allows many types of tasks to be unified in a single framework. We then describe a reward map prediction scheme that learns new tasks robustly in the very large state and action spaces required by such an environment. We investigate how properties of module architecture influence efficiency of task learning, showing that a module motif incorporating specific design principles (e.g. early bottlenecks, low-order polynomial nonlinearities, and symmetry) significantly outperforms more standard neural network motifs, needing fewer training examples and fewer neurons to achieve high levels of performance. Finally, we present a meta-controller architecture for task switching based on a dynamic neural voting scheme, which allows new modules to use information learned from previously-seen tasks to substantially improve their own learning efficiency.
  • TL;DR: We propose a neural module approach to continual learning using a unified visual environment with a large action space.
  • Keywords: Continual Learning, Neural Modules, Interface Learning, Task Switching, Reinforcement Learning, Visual Decision Making