Recasting gradient-based meta-learning as hierarchical bayes

Erin Grant, Chelsea Finn, Sergey Levine, Trevor Darrell, Thomas Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Meta-learning allows an intelligent agent to leverage prior learning episodes as a basis for quickly improving performance on a novel task. Bayesian hierarchical modeling provides a theoretical framework for formalizing meta-learning as inference for a set of parameters that are shared across tasks. Here, we reformulate the model-agnostic meta-learning algorithm (MAML) of Finn et al. (2017) as a method for probabilistic inference in a hierarchical Bayesian model. In contrast to prior methods for meta-learning via hierarchical Bayes, MAML is naturally applicable to complex function approximators through its use of a scalable gradient descent procedure for posterior inference. Furthermore, the identification of MAML as hierarchical Bayes provides a way to understand the algorithm’s operation as a meta-learning procedure, as well as an opportunity to make use of computational strategies for efficient inference. We use this opportunity to propose an improvement to the MAML algorithm that makes use of techniques from approximate inference and curvature estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2018 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Apr 30 2018May 3 2018

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2018
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period4/30/185/3/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Recasting gradient-based meta-learning as hierarchical bayes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Grant, E., Finn, C., Levine, S., Darrell, T., & Griffiths, T. (2018). Recasting gradient-based meta-learning as hierarchical bayes. Paper presented at 6th International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2018, Vancouver, Canada.