Generalization Bounds for Meta-Learning via PAC-Bayes and Uniform Stability

Alec Farid, Anirudha Majumdar

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

Abstract

We are motivated by the problem of providing strong generalization guarantees in the context of meta-learning. Existing generalization bounds are either challenging to evaluate or provide vacuous guarantees in even relatively simple settings. We derive a probably approximately correct (PAC) bound for gradient-based meta-learning using two different generalization frameworks in order to deal with the qualitatively different challenges of generalization at the “base” and “meta” levels. We employ bounds for uniformly stable algorithms at the base level and bounds from the PAC-Bayes framework at the meta level. The result of this approach is a novel PAC bound that is tighter when the base learner adapts quickly, which is precisely the goal of meta-learning. We show that our bound provides a tighter guarantee than other bounds on a toy non-convex problem on the unit sphere and a text-based classification example. We also present a practical regularization scheme motivated by the bound in settings where the bound is loose and demonstrate improved performance over baseline techniques.

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
Pages2173-2186
Number of pages14
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
Volume3
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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