Dataset2Vec: Learning Dataset Meta-Features

27 May 2019  ·  Hadi S. Jomaa, Lars Schmidt-Thieme, Josif Grabocka ·

Meta-learning, or learning to learn, is a machine learning approach that utilizes prior learning experiences to expedite the learning process on unseen tasks. As a data-driven approach, meta-learning requires meta-features that represent the primary learning tasks or datasets, and are estimated traditonally as engineered dataset statistics that require expert domain knowledge tailored for every meta-task. In this paper, first, we propose a meta-feature extractor called Dataset2Vec that combines the versatility of engineered dataset meta-features with the expressivity of meta-features learned by deep neural networks. Primary learning tasks or datasets are represented as hierarchical sets, i.e., as a set of sets, esp. as a set of predictor/target pairs, and then a DeepSet architecture is employed to regress meta-features on them. Second, we propose a novel auxiliary meta-learning task with abundant data called dataset similarity learning that aims to predict if two batches stem from the same dataset or different ones. In an experiment on a large-scale hyperparameter optimization task for 120 UCI datasets with varying schemas as a meta-learning task, we show that the meta-features of Dataset2Vec outperform the expert engineered meta-features and thus demonstrate the usefulness of learned meta-features for datasets with varying schemas for the first time.

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