Models, code, and papers for "Andrei A. Rusu":
A versatile and effective approach to meta-learning is to infer a gradient-based up-date rule directly from data that promotes rapid learning of new tasks from the same distribution. Current methods rely on backpropagating through the learning process, limiting their scope to few-shot learning. In this work, we introduce Warped Gradient Descent (WarpGrad), a family of modular optimisers that can scale to arbitrary adaptation processes. WarpGrad methods meta-learn to warp task loss surfaces across the joint task-parameter distribution to facilitate gradient descent, which is achieved by a reparametrisation of neural networks that interleaves warp layers in the architecture. These layers are shared across task learners and fixed during adaptation; they represent a projection of task parameters into a meta-learned space that is conducive to task adaptation and standard backpropagation induces a form of gradient preconditioning. WarpGrad methods are computationally efficient and easy to implement as they rely on parameter sharing and backpropagation. They are readily combined with other meta-learners and can scale both in terms of model size and length of adaptation trajectories as meta-learning warp parameters do not require differentiation through task adaptation processes. We show empirically that WarpGrad optimisers meta-learn a warped space where gradient descent is well behaved, with faster convergence and better performance in a variety of settings, including few-shot, standard supervised, continual, and reinforcement learning.
While neural networks are powerful function approximators, they suffer from catastrophic forgetting when the data distribution is not stationary. One particular formalism that studies learning under non-stationary distribution is provided by continual learning, where the non-stationarity is imposed by a sequence of distinct tasks. Most methods in this space assume, however, the knowledge of task boundaries, and focus on alleviating catastrophic forgetting. In this work, we depart from this view and move the focus towards faster remembering -- i.e measuring how quickly the network recovers performance rather than measuring the network's performance without any adaptation. We argue that in many settings this can be more effective and that it opens the door to combining meta-learning and continual learning techniques, leveraging their complementary advantages. We propose a framework specific for the scenario where no information about task boundaries or task identity is given. It relies on a separation of concerns into what task is being solved and how the task should be solved. This framework is implemented by differentiating task specific parameters from task agnostic parameters, where the latter are optimized in a continual meta learning fashion, without access to multiple tasks at the same time. We showcase this framework in a supervised learning scenario and discuss the implication of the proposed formalism.
Applying end-to-end learning to solve complex, interactive, pixel-driven control tasks on a robot is an unsolved problem. Deep Reinforcement Learning algorithms are too slow to achieve performance on a real robot, but their potential has been demonstrated in simulated environments. We propose using progressive networks to bridge the reality gap and transfer learned policies from simulation to the real world. The progressive net approach is a general framework that enables reuse of everything from low-level visual features to high-level policies for transfer to new tasks, enabling a compositional, yet simple, approach to building complex skills. We present an early demonstration of this approach with a number of experiments in the domain of robot manipulation that focus on bridging the reality gap. Unlike other proposed approaches, our real-world experiments demonstrate successful task learning from raw visual input on a fully actuated robot manipulator. Moreover, rather than relying on model-based trajectory optimisation, the task learning is accomplished using only deep reinforcement learning and sparse rewards.
Gradient-based meta-learning techniques are both widely applicable and proficient at solving challenging few-shot learning and fast adaptation problems. However, they have practical difficulties when operating on high-dimensional parameter spaces in extreme low-data regimes. We show that it is possible to bypass these limitations by learning a data-dependent latent generative representation of model parameters, and performing gradient-based meta-learning in this low-dimensional latent space. The resulting approach, latent embedding optimization (LEO), decouples the gradient-based adaptation procedure from the underlying high-dimensional space of model parameters. Our evaluation shows that LEO can achieve state-of-the-art performance on the competitive miniImageNet and tieredImageNet few-shot classification tasks. Further analysis indicates LEO is able to capture uncertainty in the data, and can perform adaptation more effectively by optimizing in latent space.
For artificial general intelligence (AGI) it would be efficient if multiple users trained the same giant neural network, permitting parameter reuse, without catastrophic forgetting. PathNet is a first step in this direction. It is a neural network algorithm that uses agents embedded in the neural network whose task is to discover which parts of the network to re-use for new tasks. Agents are pathways (views) through the network which determine the subset of parameters that are used and updated by the forwards and backwards passes of the backpropogation algorithm. During learning, a tournament selection genetic algorithm is used to select pathways through the neural network for replication and mutation. Pathway fitness is the performance of that pathway measured according to a cost function. We demonstrate successful transfer learning; fixing the parameters along a path learned on task A and re-evolving a new population of paths for task B, allows task B to be learned faster than it could be learned from scratch or after fine-tuning. Paths evolved on task B re-use parts of the optimal path evolved on task A. Positive transfer was demonstrated for binary MNIST, CIFAR, and SVHN supervised learning classification tasks, and a set of Atari and Labyrinth reinforcement learning tasks, suggesting PathNets have general applicability for neural network training. Finally, PathNet also significantly improves the robustness to hyperparameter choices of a parallel asynchronous reinforcement learning algorithm (A3C).
Learning to solve complex sequences of tasks--while both leveraging transfer and avoiding catastrophic forgetting--remains a key obstacle to achieving human-level intelligence. The progressive networks approach represents a step forward in this direction: they are immune to forgetting and can leverage prior knowledge via lateral connections to previously learned features. We evaluate this architecture extensively on a wide variety of reinforcement learning tasks (Atari and 3D maze games), and show that it outperforms common baselines based on pretraining and finetuning. Using a novel sensitivity measure, we demonstrate that transfer occurs at both low-level sensory and high-level control layers of the learned policy.
Domain adaptation is an important open problem in deep reinforcement learning (RL). In many scenarios of interest data is hard to obtain, so agents may learn a source policy in a setting where data is readily available, with the hope that it generalises well to the target domain. We propose a new multi-stage RL agent, DARLA (DisentAngled Representation Learning Agent), which learns to see before learning to act. DARLA's vision is based on learning a disentangled representation of the observed environment. Once DARLA can see, it is able to acquire source policies that are robust to many domain shifts - even with no access to the target domain. DARLA significantly outperforms conventional baselines in zero-shot domain adaptation scenarios, an effect that holds across a variety of RL environments (Jaco arm, DeepMind Lab) and base RL algorithms (DQN, A3C and EC).
The scope of the Baldwin effect was recently called into question by two papers that closely examined the seminal work of Hinton and Nowlan. To this date there has been no demonstration of its necessity in empirically challenging tasks. Here we show that the Baldwin effect is capable of evolving few-shot supervised and reinforcement learning mechanisms, by shaping the hyperparameters and the initial parameters of deep learning algorithms. Furthermore it can genetically accommodate strong learning biases on the same set of problems as a recent machine learning algorithm called MAML "Model Agnostic Meta-Learning" which uses second-order gradients instead of evolution to learn a set of reference parameters (initial weights) that can allow rapid adaptation to tasks sampled from a distribution. Whilst in simple cases MAML is more data efficient than the Baldwin effect, the Baldwin effect is more general in that it does not require gradients to be backpropagated to the reference parameters or hyperparameters, and permits effectively any number of gradient updates in the inner loop. The Baldwin effect learns strong learning dependent biases, rather than purely genetically accommodating fixed behaviours in a learning independent manner.
Policies for complex visual tasks have been successfully learned with deep reinforcement learning, using an approach called deep Q-networks (DQN), but relatively large (task-specific) networks and extensive training are needed to achieve good performance. In this work, we present a novel method called policy distillation that can be used to extract the policy of a reinforcement learning agent and train a new network that performs at the expert level while being dramatically smaller and more efficient. Furthermore, the same method can be used to consolidate multiple task-specific policies into a single policy. We demonstrate these claims using the Atari domain and show that the multi-task distilled agent outperforms the single-task teachers as well as a jointly-trained DQN agent.
The ability to learn tasks in a sequential fashion is crucial to the development of artificial intelligence. Neural networks are not, in general, capable of this and it has been widely thought that catastrophic forgetting is an inevitable feature of connectionist models. We show that it is possible to overcome this limitation and train networks that can maintain expertise on tasks which they have not experienced for a long time. Our approach remembers old tasks by selectively slowing down learning on the weights important for those tasks. We demonstrate our approach is scalable and effective by solving a set of classification tasks based on the MNIST hand written digit dataset and by learning several Atari 2600 games sequentially.