Learning to Learn Kernels with Variational Random Features

Jul 12, 2020

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The crux of meta-learning for few-shot learning is to design a meta-learner that effectively accrues knowledge during the learning process to improve the performance of a base-learner on new tasks with limited data. In this work, we introduce kernels with random Fourier features in the meta-learning framework to leverage their strong learning ability for few-shot learning. We propose meta variational random features (MetaVRF) to learn adaptive kernels for the base-learner, which is developed in a latent variable model by treating random feature basis as the latent variable. We formulate the optimization of MetaVRF as a variational inference problem by deriving an evidence lower bound under the meta-learning framework. To incorporate shared knowledge from related tasks, we propose a context inference of the posterior, which is established by an LSTM architecture. The LSTM-based inference network can effectively integrate the context information of previous tasks with task-specific information, which can generate informative and adaptive features. The learned MetaVRF can build up kernels of high representational power with a relatively low spectral sampling rate and also enables fast adaptation to new tasks. Experimental results on a variety of few-shot regression and classification tasks demonstrate that MetaVRF delivers much better, or at least competitive, performance compared to existing meta-learning alternatives.

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The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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