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Improved Active Multi-Task Representation Learning via Lasso
Yiping Wang · Yifang Chen · Kevin Jamieson · Simon Du

Tue Jul 25 02:00 PM -- 04:30 PM (PDT) @ Exhibit Hall 1 #424
To leverage the copious amount of data from source tasks and overcome the scarcity of the target task samples, representation learning based on multi-task pretraining has become a standard approach in many applications. However, up until now, most existing works design a source task selection strategy from a purely empirical perspective. Recently, [Chen et al., 2022](https://proceedings.mlr.press/v162/chen22j.html) gave the first active multi-task representation learning (A-MTRL) algorithm which adaptively samples from source tasks and can provably reduce the total sample complexity using the L2-regularized-target-source-relevance parameter $\nu^2$. But their work is theoretically suboptimal in terms of total source sample complexity and is less practical in some real-world scenarios where sparse training source task selection is desired. In this paper, we address both issues. Specifically, we show the strict dominance of the L1-regularized-relevance-based ($\nu^1$-based) strategy by giving a lower bound for the $\nu^2$-based strategy. When $\nu^1$ is unknown, we propose a practical algorithm that uses the LASSO program to estimate $\nu^1$. Our algorithm successfully recovers the optimal result in the known case. In addition to our sample complexity results, we also characterize the potential of our $\nu^1$-based strategy in sample-cost-sensitive settings. Finally, we provide experiments on real-world computer vision datasets to illustrate the effectiveness of our proposed method.

Author Information

Yiping Wang (Department of Computer Science, University of Washington)
Yifang Chen (University of Washington)
Kevin Jamieson (University of Washington)
Simon Du (University of Washington)

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