In Your Pace: Learning the Right Example at the Right Time

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Training neural networks is traditionally done by sequentially providing random mini-batches sampled uniformly from the entire dataset. In our work, we show that sampling mini-batches non-uniformly can both enhance the speed of learning and improve the final accuracy of the trained network. Specifically, we decompose the problem using the principles of curriculum learning: first, we sort the data by some difficulty measure; second, we sample mini-batches with a gradually increasing level of difficulty. We focus on CNNs trained on image recognition. Initially, we define the difficulty of a training image using transfer learning from some competitive "teacher" network trained on the Imagenet database, showing improvement in learning speed and final performance for both small and competitive networks, using the CIFAR-10 and the CIFAR-100 datasets. We then suggest a bootstrap alternative to evaluate the difficulty of points using the same network without relying on a "teacher" network, thus increasing the applicability of our suggested method. We compare this approach to a related version of Self-Paced Learning, showing that our method benefits learning while SPL impairs it.
  • Keywords: Curriculum Learning, Transfer Learning, Self-Paced Learning, Image Recognition
  • TL;DR: We provide a formal definition of curriculum learning for deep neural networks, empirically showing how it can improve learning performance without additional human supervision and in a problem-free manner.
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