Multi-modal and Meta Learning

Moderator: Boqing Gong


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Thu 22 July 19:00 - 19:20 PDT

Learning Transferable Visual Models From Natural Language Supervision

Alec Radford · Jong Wook Kim · Chris Hallacy · Aditya Ramesh · Gabriel Goh · Sandhini Agarwal · Girish Sastry · Amanda Askell · Pamela Mishkin · Jack Clark · Gretchen Krueger · Ilya Sutskever

State-of-the-art computer vision systems are trained to predict a fixed set of predetermined object categories. This restricted form of supervision limits their generality and usability since additional labeled data is needed to specify any other visual concept. Learning directly from raw text about images is a promising alternative which leverages a much broader source of supervision. We demonstrate that the simple pre-training task of predicting which caption goes with which image is an efficient and scalable way to learn SOTA image representations from scratch on a dataset of 400 million (image, text) pairs collected from the internet. After pre-training, natural language is used to reference learned visual concepts (or describe new ones) enabling zero-shot transfer of the model to downstream tasks. We study the performance of this approach by benchmarking on over 30 different existing computer vision datasets, spanning tasks such as OCR, action recognition in videos, geo-localization, and many types of fine-grained object classification. The model transfers non-trivially to most tasks and is often competitive with a fully supervised baseline without the need for any dataset specific training. For instance, we match the accuracy of the original ResNet-50 on ImageNet zero-shot without needing to use any of the 1.28 million training examples it was trained on.

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Thu 22 July 19:20 - 19:25 PDT

Two Heads are Better Than One: Hypergraph-Enhanced Graph Reasoning for Visual Event Ratiocination

Wenbo Zheng · Lan Yan · Chao Gou · Fei-Yue Wang

Even with a still image, humans can ratiocinate various visual cause-and-effect descriptions before, at present, and after, as well as beyond the given image. However, it is challenging for models to achieve such task--the visual event ratiocination, owing to the limitations of time and space. To this end, we propose a novel multi-modal model, Hypergraph-Enhanced Graph Reasoning. First it represents the contents from the same modality as a semantic graph and mines the intra-modality relationship, therefore breaking the limitations in the spatial domain. Then, we introduce the Graph Self-Attention Enhancement. On the one hand, this enables semantic graph representations from different modalities to enhance each other and captures the inter-modality relationship along the line. On the other hand, it utilizes our built multi-modal hypergraphs in different moments to boost individual semantic graph representations, and breaks the limitations in the temporal domain. Our method illustrates the case of "two heads are better than one" in the sense that semantic graph representations with the help of the proposed enhancement mechanism are more robust than those without. Finally, we re-project these representations and leverage their outcomes to generate textual cause-and-effect descriptions. Experimental results show that our model achieves significantly higher performance in comparison with other state-of-the-arts.

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Thu 22 July 19:25 - 19:30 PDT

A Representation Learning Perspective on the Importance of Train-Validation Splitting in Meta-Learning

Nikunj Umesh Saunshi · Arushi Gupta · Wei Hu

An effective approach in meta-learning is to utilize multiple train tasks'' to learn a good initialization for model parameters that can help solve unseentest tasks'' with very few samples by fine-tuning from this initialization. Although successful in practice, theoretical understanding of such methods is limited. This work studies an important aspect of these methods: splitting the data from each task into train (support) and validation (query) sets during meta-training. Inspired by recent work (Raghu et al., 2020), we view such meta-learning methods through the lens of representation learning and argue that the train-validation split encourages the learned representation to be {\em low-rank} without compromising on expressivity, as opposed to the non-splitting variant that encourages high-rank representations. Since sample efficiency benefits from low-rankness, the splitting strategy will require very few samples to solve unseen test tasks. We present theoretical results that formalize this idea for linear representation learning on a subspace meta-learning instance, and experimentally verify this practical benefit of splitting in simulations and on standard meta-learning benchmarks.

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Thu 22 July 19:30 - 19:35 PDT

Meta-Learning Bidirectional Update Rules

Mark Sandler · Max Vladymyrov · Andrey Zhmoginov · Nolan Miller · Tom Madams · Andrew Jackson · Blaise Agüera y Arcas

In this paper, we introduce a new type of generalized neural network where neurons and synapses maintain multiple states. We show that classical gradient-based backpropagation in neural networks can be seen as a special case of a two-state network where one state is used for activations and another for gradients, with update rules derived from the chain rule. In our generalized framework, networks have neither explicit notion of nor ever receive gradients. The synapses and neurons are updated using a bidirectional Hebb-style update rule parameterized by a shared low-dimensional "genome". We show that such genomes can be meta-learned from scratch, using either conventional optimization techniques, or evolutionary strategies, such as CMA-ES. Resulting update rules generalize to unseen tasks and train faster than gradient descent based optimizers for several standard computer vision and synthetic tasks.

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Thu 22 July 19:35 - 19:40 PDT

Function Contrastive Learning of Transferable Meta-Representations

Muhammad Waleed Gondal · Shruti Joshi · Nasim Rahaman · Stefan Bauer · Manuel Wuthrich · Bernhard Schölkopf

Meta-learning algorithms adapt quickly to new tasks that are drawn from the same task distribution as the training tasks. The mechanism leading to fast adaptation is the conditioning of a downstream predictive model on the inferred representation of the task's underlying data generative process, or \emph{function}. This \emph{meta-representation}, which is computed from a few observed examples of the underlying function, is learned jointly with the predictive model. In this work, we study the implications of this joint training on the transferability of the meta-representations. Our goal is to learn meta-representations that are robust to noise in the data and facilitate solving a wide range of downstream tasks that share the same underlying functions. To this end, we propose a decoupled encoder-decoder approach to supervised meta-learning, where the encoder is trained with a contrastive objective to find a good representation of the underlying function. In particular, our training scheme is driven by the self-supervision signal indicating whether two sets of examples stem from the same function. Our experiments on a number of synthetic and real-world datasets show that the representations we obtain outperform strong baselines in terms of downstream performance and noise robustness, even when these baselines are trained in an end-to-end manner.

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Thu 22 July 19:40 - 19:45 PDT

A Discriminative Technique for Multiple-Source Adaptation

Corinna Cortes · Mehryar Mohri · Ananda Theertha Suresh · Ningshan Zhang

We present a new discriminative technique for the multiple-source adaptation (MSA) problem. Unlike previous work, which relies on density estimation for each source domain, our solution only requires conditional probabilities that can be straightforwardly accurately estimated from unlabeled data from the source domains. We give a detailed analysis of our new technique, including general guarantees based on R\'enyi divergences, and learning bounds when conditional Maxent is used for estimating conditional probabilities for a point to belong to a source domain. We show that these guarantees compare favorably to those that can be derived for the generative solution, using kernel density estimation. Our experiments with real-world applications further demonstrate that our new discriminative MSA algorithm outperforms the previous generative solution as well as other domain adaptation baselines.

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Thu 22 July 19:45 - 19:50 PDT

Debiasing Model Updates for Improving Personalized Federated Training

Durmus Alp Emre Acar · Yue Zhao · Ruizhao Zhu · Ramon Matas · Matthew Mattina · Paul Whatmough · Venkatesh Saligrama

We propose a novel method for federated learning that is customized specifically to the objective of a given edge device. In our proposed method, a server trains a global meta-model by collaborating with devices without actually sharing data. The trained global meta-model is then personalized locally by each device to meet its specific objective. Different from the conventional federated learning setting, training customized models for each device is hindered by both the inherent data biases of the various devices, as well as the requirements imposed by the federated architecture. We propose gradient correction methods leveraging prior works, and explicitly de-bias the meta-model in the distributed heterogeneous data setting to learn personalized device models. We present convergence guarantees of our method for strongly convex, convex and nonconvex meta objectives. We empirically evaluate the performance of our method on benchmark datasets and demonstrate significant communication savings.

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Thu 22 July 19:50 - 19:55 PDT