 Meta-Learning Algorithms

# Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning

Introduced by Finn et al. in Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning for Fast Adaptation of Deep Networks

MAML, or Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning, is a model and task-agnostic algorithm for meta-learning that trains a model’s parameters such that a small number of gradient updates will lead to fast learning on a new task.

Consider a model represented by a parametrized function $f_{\theta}$ with parameters $\theta$. When adapting to a new task $\mathcal{T}_{i}$, the model’s parameters $\theta$ become $\theta'_{i}$. With MAML, the updated parameter vector $\theta'_{i}$ is computed using one or more gradient descent updates on task $\mathcal{T}_{i}$. For example, when using one gradient update,

$$\theta'_{i} = \theta - \alpha\nabla_{\theta}\mathcal{L}_{\mathcal{T}_{i}}\left(f_{\theta}\right)$$

The step size $\alpha$ may be fixed as a hyperparameter or metalearned. The model parameters are trained by optimizing for the performance of $f_{\theta'_{i}}$ with respect to $\theta$ across tasks sampled from $p\left(\mathcal{T}_{i}\right)$. More concretely the meta-objective is as follows:

$$\min_{\theta} \sum_{\mathcal{T}_{i} \sim p\left(\mathcal{T}\right)} \mathcal{L}_{\mathcal{T_{i}}}\left(f_{\theta'_{i}}\right) = \sum_{\mathcal{T}_{i} \sim p\left(\mathcal{T}\right)} \mathcal{L}_{\mathcal{T_{i}}}\left(f_{\theta - \alpha\nabla_{\theta}\mathcal{L}_{\mathcal{T}_{i}}\left(f_{\theta}\right)}\right)$$

Note that the meta-optimization is performed over the model parameters $\theta$, whereas the objective is computed using the updated model parameters $\theta'$. In effect MAML aims to optimize the model parameters such that one or a small number of gradient steps on a new task will produce maximally effective behavior on that task. The meta-optimization across tasks is performed via stochastic gradient descent (SGD), such that the model parameters $\theta$ are updated as follows:

$$\theta \leftarrow \theta - \beta\nabla_{\theta} \sum_{\mathcal{T}_{i} \sim p\left(\mathcal{T}\right)} \mathcal{L}_{\mathcal{T_{i}}}\left(f_{\theta'_{i}}\right)$$

where $\beta$ is the meta step size.

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