Meta-learning with an Adaptive Task Scheduler

Huaxiu Yao, Yu Wang, Ying Wei, Peilin Zhao, Mehrdad Mahdavi, Defu Lian, Chelsea Finn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

To benefit the learning of a new task, meta-learning has been proposed to transfer a well-generalized meta-model learned from various meta-training tasks. Existing meta-learning algorithms randomly sample meta-training tasks with a uniform probability, under the assumption that tasks are of equal importance. However, it is likely that tasks are detrimental with noise or imbalanced given a limited number of meta-training tasks. To prevent the meta-model from being corrupted by such detrimental tasks or dominated by tasks in the majority, in this paper, we propose an adaptive task scheduler (ATS) for the meta-training process. In ATS, for the first time, we design a neural scheduler to decide which meta-training tasks to use next by predicting the probability being sampled for each candidate task, and train the scheduler to optimize the generalization capacity of the meta-model to unseen tasks. We identify two meta-model-related factors as the input of the neural scheduler, which characterize the difficulty of a candidate task to the meta-model. Theoretically, we show that a scheduler taking the two factors into account improves the meta-training loss and also the optimization landscape. Under the setting of meta-learning with noise and limited budgets, ATS improves the performance on both miniImageNet and a real-world drug discovery benchmark by up to 13% and 18%, respectively, compared to state-of-the-art task schedulers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 - 35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021
EditorsMarc'Aurelio Ranzato, Alina Beygelzimer, Yann Dauphin, Percy S. Liang, Jenn Wortman Vaughan
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
Pages7497-7509
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781713845393
StatePublished - 2021
Event35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 6 2021Dec 14 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Volume9
ISSN (Print)1049-5258

Conference

Conference35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period12/6/2112/14/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing

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