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Robustifying Sequential Neural Processes

Jaesik Yoon · Gautam Singh · Sungjin Ahn

Keywords: [ Deep Generative Models ] [ Deep Sequence Models ] [ Transfer and Multitask Learning ] [ Meta-learning and Automated ML ] [ Sequential, Network, and Time-Series Modeling ]


When tasks change over time, meta-transfer learning seeks to improve the efficiency of learning a new task via both meta-learning and transfer-learning. While the standard attention has been effective in a variety of settings, we question its effectiveness in improving meta-transfer learning since the tasks being learned are dynamic and the amount of context can be substantially smaller. In this paper, using a recently proposed meta-transfer learning model, Sequential Neural Processes (SNP), we first empirically show that it suffers from a similar underfitting problem observed in the functions inferred by Neural Processes. However, we further demonstrate that unlike the meta-learning setting, the standard attention mechanisms are not effective in meta-transfer setting. To resolve, we propose a new attention mechanism, Recurrent Memory Reconstruction (RMR), and demonstrate that providing an imaginary context that is recurrently updated and reconstructed with interaction is crucial in achieving effective attention for meta-transfer learning. Furthermore, incorporating RMR into SNP, we propose Attentive Sequential Neural Processes-RMR (ASNP-RMR) and demonstrate in various tasks that ASNP-RMR significantly outperforms the baselines.

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