Multi-task Learning 1

Moderator: Mingsheng Long


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Thu 22 July 17:00 - 17:20 PDT

Composed Fine-Tuning: Freezing Pre-Trained Denoising Autoencoders for Improved Generalization

Sang Michael Xie · Tengyu Ma · Percy Liang

We focus on prediction problems with structured outputs that are subject to output validity constraints, e.g. pseudocode-to-code translation where the code must compile. While labeled input-output pairs are expensive to obtain, "unlabeled" outputs, i.e. outputs without corresponding inputs, are freely available (e.g. code on GitHub) and provide information about output validity. Pre-training captures this structure by training a denoiser to denoise corrupted versions of unlabeled outputs. We first show that standard fine-tuning after pre-training destroys some of this structure. We then propose composed fine-tuning, which trains a predictor composed with the pre-trained denoiser. Importantly, the denoiser is fixed to preserve output structure. Like standard fine-tuning, the predictor is also initialized with the pre-trained denoiser. We prove for two-layer ReLU networks that composed fine-tuning significantly reduces the complexity of the predictor, thus improving generalization. Empirically, we show that composed fine-tuning improves over standard fine-tuning on two pseudocode-to-code translation datasets (3% and 6% relative). The improvement is magnified on out-of-distribution (OOD) examples (4% and 25% relative), suggesting that reducing predictor complexity improves OOD extrapolation.

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Thu 22 July 17:20 - 17:25 PDT

KD3A: Unsupervised Multi-Source Decentralized Domain Adaptation via Knowledge Distillation

Haozhe Feng · Zhaoyang You · Minghao Chen · Tianye Zhang · Minfeng Zhu · Fei Wu · Chao Wu · Wei Chen

Conventional unsupervised multi-source domain adaptation (UMDA) methods assume all source domains can be accessed directly. However, this assumption neglects the privacy-preserving policy, where all the data and computations must be kept decentralized. There exist three challenges in this scenario: (1) Minimizing the domain distance requires the pairwise calculation of the data from the source and target domains, while the data on the source domain is not available. (2) The communication cost and privacy security limit the application of existing UMDA methods, such as the domain adversarial training. (3) Since users cannot govern the data quality, the irrelevant or malicious source domains are more likely to appear, which causes negative transfer. To address the above problems, we propose a privacy-preserving UMDA paradigm named Knowledge Distillation based Decentralized Domain Adaptation (KD3A), which performs domain adaptation through the knowledge distillation on models from different source domains. The extensive experiments show that KD3A significantly outperforms state-of-the-art UMDA approaches. Moreover, the KD3A is robust to the negative transfer and brings a 100x reduction of communication cost compared with other decentralized UMDA methods.

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Thu 22 July 17:25 - 17:30 PDT

REPAINT: Knowledge Transfer in Deep Reinforcement Learning

Yunzhe Tao · Sahika Genc · Jonathan Chung · TAO SUN · Sunil Mallya

Accelerating learning processes for complex tasks by leveraging previously learned tasks has been one of the most challenging problems in reinforcement learning, especially when the similarity between source and target tasks is low. This work proposes REPresentation And INstance Transfer (REPAINT) algorithm for knowledge transfer in deep reinforcement learning. REPAINT not only transfers the representation of a pre-trained teacher policy in the on-policy learning, but also uses an advantage-based experience selection approach to transfer useful samples collected following the teacher policy in the off-policy learning. Our experimental results on several benchmark tasks show that REPAINT significantly reduces the total training time in generic cases of task similarity. In particular, when the source tasks are dissimilar to, or sub-tasks of, the target tasks, REPAINT outperforms other baselines in both training-time reduction and asymptotic performance of return scores.

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Thu 22 July 17:30 - 17:35 PDT

Exploiting Shared Representations for Personalized Federated Learning

Liam Collins · Hamed Hassani · Aryan Mokhtari · Sanjay Shakkottai

Deep neural networks have shown the ability to extract universal feature representations from data such as images and text that have been useful for a variety of learning tasks. However, the fruits of representation learning have yet to be fully-realized in federated settings. Although data in federated settings is often non-i.i.d. across clients, the success of centralized deep learning suggests that data often shares a global {\em feature representation}, while the statistical heterogeneity across clients or tasks is concentrated in the {\em labels}. Based on this intuition, we propose a novel federated learning framework and algorithm for learning a shared data representation across clients and unique local heads for each client. Our algorithm harnesses the distributed computational power across clients to perform many local-updates with respect to the low-dimensional local parameters for every update of the representation. We prove that this method obtains linear convergence to the ground-truth representation with near-optimal sample complexity in a linear setting, demonstrating that it can efficiently reduce the problem dimension for each client. Further, we provide extensive experimental results demonstrating the improvement of our method over alternative personalized federated learning approaches in heterogeneous settings.

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Thu 22 July 17:35 - 17:40 PDT

Large-Scale Meta-Learning with Continual Trajectory Shifting

JaeWoong Shin · Hae Beom Lee · Boqing Gong · Sung Ju Hwang

Meta-learning of shared initialization parameters has shown to be highly effective in solving few-shot learning tasks. However, extending the framework to many-shot scenarios, which may further enhance its practicality, has been relatively overlooked due to the technical difficulties of meta-learning over long chains of inner-gradient steps. In this paper, we first show that allowing the meta-learners to take a larger number of inner gradient steps better captures the structure of heterogeneous and large-scale task distributions, thus results in obtaining better initialization points. Further, in order to increase the frequency of meta-updates even with the excessively long inner-optimization trajectories, we propose to estimate the required shift of the task-specific parameters with respect to the change of the initialization parameters. By doing so, we can arbitrarily increase the frequency of meta-updates and thus greatly improve the meta-level convergence as well as the quality of the learned initializations. We validate our method on a heterogeneous set of large-scale tasks, and show that the algorithm largely outperforms the previous first-order meta-learning methods in terms of both generalization performance and convergence, as well as multi-task learning and fine-tuning baselines.

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Thu 22 July 17:40 - 17:45 PDT

Exploration in Approximate Hyper-State Space for Meta Reinforcement Learning

Luisa Zintgraf · Leo Feng · Cong Lu · Maximilian Igl · Kristian Hartikainen · Katja Hofmann · Shimon Whiteson

To rapidly learn a new task, it is often essential for agents to explore efficiently - especially when performance matters from the first timestep. One way to learn such behaviour is via meta-learning. Many existing methods however rely on dense rewards for meta-training, and can fail catastrophically if the rewards are sparse. Without a suitable reward signal, the need for exploration during meta-training is exacerbated. To address this, we propose HyperX, which uses novel reward bonuses for meta-training to explore in approximate hyper-state space (where hyper-states represent the environment state and the agent's task belief). We show empirically that HyperX meta-learns better task-exploration and adapts more successfully to new tasks than existing methods.

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Thu 22 July 17:45 - 17:50 PDT

LogME: Practical Assessment of Pre-trained Models for Transfer Learning

Kaichao You · Yong Liu · Jianmin Wang · Mingsheng Long

This paper studies task adaptive pre-trained model selection, an underexplored problem of assessing pre-trained models for the target task and select best ones from the model zoo \emph{without fine-tuning}. A few pilot works addressed the problem in transferring supervised pre-trained models to classification tasks, but they cannot handle emerging unsupervised pre-trained models or regression tasks. In pursuit of a practical assessment method, we propose to estimate the maximum value of label evidence given features extracted by pre-trained models. Unlike the maximum likelihood, the maximum evidence is \emph{immune to over-fitting}, while its expensive computation can be dramatically reduced by our carefully designed algorithm. The Logarithm of Maximum Evidence (LogME) can be used to assess pre-trained models for transfer learning: a pre-trained model with a high LogME value is likely to have good transfer performance. LogME is \emph{fast, accurate, and general}, characterizing itself as the first practical method for assessing pre-trained models. Compared with brute-force fine-tuning, LogME brings at most $3000\times$ speedup in wall-clock time and requires only $1\%$ memory footprint. It outperforms prior methods by a large margin in their setting and is applicable to new settings. It is general enough for diverse pre-trained models (supervised pre-trained and unsupervised pre-trained), downstream tasks (classification and regression), and modalities (vision and language). Code is available at this repository: \href{}{}.

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Thu 22 July 17:50 - 17:55 PDT