Collaborative learning has successfully applied knowledge transfer to guide a pool of small student networks towards robust local minima. However, previous approaches typically struggle with drastically aggravated student homogenization when the number of students rises. In this paper, we propose Collaborative Group Learning, an efficient framework that aims to diversify the feature representation and conduct an effective regularization. Intuitively, similar to the human group study mechanism, we induce students to learn and exchange different parts of course knowledge as collaborative groups. First, each student is established by randomly routing on a modular neural network, which facilitates flexible knowledge communication between students due to random levels of representation sharing and branching. Second, to resist the student homogenization, students first compose diverse feature sets by exploiting the inductive bias from sub-sets of training data, and then aggregate and distill different complementary knowledge by imitating a random sub-group of students at each time step. Overall, the above mechanisms are beneficial for maximizing the student population to further improve the model generalization without sacrificing computational efficiency. Empirical evaluations on both image and text tasks indicate that our method significantly outperforms various state-of-the-art collaborative approaches whilst enhancing computational efficiency.

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Group一直是研究计算机支持的合作工作、人机交互、计算机支持的协作学习和社会技术研究的主要场所。该会议将社会科学、计算机科学、工程、设计、价值观以及其他与小组工作相关的多个不同主题的工作结合起来,并进行了广泛的概念化。官网链接:https://group.acm.org/conferences/group20/

A major challenge in the Deep RL (DRL) community is to train agents able to generalize their control policy over situations never seen in training. Training on diverse tasks has been identified as a key ingredient for good generalization, which pushed researchers towards using rich procedural task generation systems controlled through complex continuous parameter spaces. In such complex task spaces, it is essential to rely on some form of Automatic Curriculum Learning (ACL) to adapt the task sampling distribution to a given learning agent, instead of randomly sampling tasks, as many could end up being either trivial or unfeasible. Since it is hard to get prior knowledge on such task spaces, many ACL algorithms explore the task space to detect progress niches over time, a costly tabula-rasa process that needs to be performed for each new learning agents, although they might have similarities in their capabilities profiles. To address this limitation, we introduce the concept of Meta-ACL, and formalize it in the context of black-box RL learners, i.e. algorithms seeking to generalize curriculum generation to an (unknown) distribution of learners. In this work, we present AGAIN, a first instantiation of Meta-ACL, and showcase its benefits for curriculum generation over classical ACL in multiple simulated environments including procedurally generated parkour environments with learners of varying morphologies. Videos and code are available at https://sites.google.com/view/meta-acl .

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Traditional knowledge distillation uses a two-stage training strategy to transfer knowledge from a high-capacity teacher model to a compact student model, which relies heavily on the pre-trained teacher. Recent online knowledge distillation alleviates this limitation by collaborative learning, mutual learning and online ensembling, following a one-stage end-to-end training fashion. However, collaborative learning and mutual learning fail to construct an online high-capacity teacher, whilst online ensembling ignores the collaboration among branches and its logit summation impedes the further optimisation of the ensemble teacher. In this work, we propose a novel Peer Collaborative Learning method for online knowledge distillation, which integrates online ensembling and network collaboration into a unified framework. Specifically, given a target network, we construct a multi-branch network for training, in which each branch is called a peer. We perform random augmentation multiple times on the inputs to peers and assemble feature representations outputted from peers with an additional classifier as the peer ensemble teacher. This helps to transfer knowledge from a high-capacity teacher to peers, and in turn further optimises the ensemble teacher. Meanwhile, we employ the temporal mean model of each peer as the peer mean teacher to collaboratively transfer knowledge among peers, which helps each peer to learn richer knowledge and facilitates to optimise a more stable model with better generalisation. Extensive experiments on CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and ImageNet show that the proposed method significantly improves the generalisation of various backbone networks and outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.

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Federated learning (FL) is a decentralized and privacy-preserving machine learning technique in which a group of clients collaborate with a server to learn a global model without sharing clients' data. One challenge associated with FL is statistical diversity among clients, which restricts the global model from delivering good performance on each client's task. To address this, we propose an algorithm for personalized FL (pFedMe) using Moreau envelopes as clients' regularized loss functions, which help decouple personalized model optimization from the global model learning in a bi-level problem stylized for personalized FL. Theoretically, we show that pFedMe's convergence rate is state-of-the-art: achieving quadratic speedup for strongly convex and sublinear speedup of order 2/3 for smooth nonconvex objectives. Experimentally, we verify that pFedMe excels at empirical performance compared with the vanilla FedAvg and Per-FedAvg, a meta-learning based personalized FL algorithm.

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Learning vector representations (aka. embeddings) of users and items lies at the core of modern recommender systems. Ranging from early matrix factorization to recently emerged deep learning based methods, existing efforts typically obtain a user's (or an item's) embedding by mapping from pre-existing features that describe the user (or the item), such as ID and attributes. We argue that an inherent drawback of such methods is that, the collaborative signal, which is latent in user-item interactions, is not encoded in the embedding process. As such, the resultant embeddings may not be sufficient to capture the collaborative filtering effect. In this work, we propose to integrate the user-item interactions --- more specifically the bipartite graph structure --- into the embedding process. We develop a new recommendation framework Neural Graph Collaborative Filtering (NGCF), which exploits the user-item graph structure by propagating embeddings on it. This leads to the expressive modeling of high-order connectivity in user-item graph, effectively injecting the collaborative signal into the embedding process in an explicit manner. We conduct extensive experiments on three public benchmarks, demonstrating significant improvements over several state-of-the-art models like HOP-Rec and Collaborative Memory Network. Further analysis verifies the importance of embedding propagation for learning better user and item representations, justifying the rationality and effectiveness of NGCF. Codes are available at https://github.com/xiangwang1223/neural_graph_collaborative_filtering.

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State-of-the-art named entity recognition (NER) systems have been improving continuously using neural architectures over the past several years. However, many tasks including NER require large sets of annotated data to achieve such performance. In particular, we focus on NER from clinical notes, which is one of the most fundamental and critical problems for medical text analysis. Our work centers on effectively adapting these neural architectures towards low-resource settings using parameter transfer methods. We complement a standard hierarchical NER model with a general transfer learning framework consisting of parameter sharing between the source and target tasks, and showcase scores significantly above the baseline architecture. These sharing schemes require an exponential search over tied parameter sets to generate an optimal configuration. To mitigate the problem of exhaustively searching for model optimization, we propose the Dynamic Transfer Networks (DTN), a gated architecture which learns the appropriate parameter sharing scheme between source and target datasets. DTN achieves the improvements of the optimized transfer learning framework with just a single training setting, effectively removing the need for exponential search.

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Meta learning is a promising solution to few-shot learning problems. However, existing meta learning methods are restricted to the scenarios where training and application tasks share the same out-put structure. To obtain a meta model applicable to the tasks with new structures, it is required to collect new training data and repeat the time-consuming meta training procedure. This makes them inefficient or even inapplicable in learning to solve heterogeneous few-shot learning tasks. We thus develop a novel and principled HierarchicalMeta Learning (HML) method. Different from existing methods that only focus on optimizing the adaptability of a meta model to similar tasks, HML also explicitly optimizes its generalizability across heterogeneous tasks. To this end, HML first factorizes a set of similar training tasks into heterogeneous ones and trains the meta model over them at two levels to maximize adaptation and generalization performance respectively. The resultant model can then directly generalize to new tasks. Extensive experiments on few-shot classification and regression problems clearly demonstrate the superiority of HML over fine-tuning and state-of-the-art meta learning approaches in terms of generalization across heterogeneous tasks.

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Person re-identification (PReID) has received increasing attention due to it is an important part in intelligent surveillance. Recently, many state-of-the-art methods on PReID are part-based deep models. Most of them focus on learning the part feature representation of person body in horizontal direction. However, the feature representation of body in vertical direction is usually ignored. Besides, the spatial information between these part features and the different feature channels is not considered. In this study, we introduce a multi-branches deep model for PReID. Specifically, the model consists of five branches. Among the five branches, two of them learn the local feature with spatial information from horizontal or vertical orientations, respectively. The other one aims to learn interdependencies knowledge between different feature channels generated by the last convolution layer. The remains of two other branches are identification and triplet sub-networks, in which the discriminative global feature and a corresponding measurement can be learned simultaneously. All the five branches can improve the representation learning. We conduct extensive comparative experiments on three PReID benchmarks including CUHK03, Market-1501 and DukeMTMC-reID. The proposed deep framework outperforms many state-of-the-art in most cases.

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Deep learning (DL) is a high dimensional data reduction technique for constructing high-dimensional predictors in input-output models. DL is a form of machine learning that uses hierarchical layers of latent features. In this article, we review the state-of-the-art of deep learning from a modeling and algorithmic perspective. We provide a list of successful areas of applications in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Image Processing, Robotics and Automation. Deep learning is predictive in its nature rather then inferential and can be viewed as a black-box methodology for high-dimensional function estimation.

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Meta-learning is a powerful tool that builds on multi-task learning to learn how to quickly adapt a model to new tasks. In the context of reinforcement learning, meta-learning algorithms can acquire reinforcement learning procedures to solve new problems more efficiently by meta-learning prior tasks. The performance of meta-learning algorithms critically depends on the tasks available for meta-training: in the same way that supervised learning algorithms generalize best to test points drawn from the same distribution as the training points, meta-learning methods generalize best to tasks from the same distribution as the meta-training tasks. In effect, meta-reinforcement learning offloads the design burden from algorithm design to task design. If we can automate the process of task design as well, we can devise a meta-learning algorithm that is truly automated. In this work, we take a step in this direction, proposing a family of unsupervised meta-learning algorithms for reinforcement learning. We describe a general recipe for unsupervised meta-reinforcement learning, and describe an effective instantiation of this approach based on a recently proposed unsupervised exploration technique and model-agnostic meta-learning. We also discuss practical and conceptual considerations for developing unsupervised meta-learning methods. Our experimental results demonstrate that unsupervised meta-reinforcement learning effectively acquires accelerated reinforcement learning procedures without the need for manual task design, significantly exceeds the performance of learning from scratch, and even matches performance of meta-learning methods that use hand-specified task distributions.

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Weakly supervised object detection has recently received much attention, since it only requires image-level labels instead of the bounding-box labels consumed in strongly supervised learning. Nevertheless, the save in labeling expense is usually at the cost of model accuracy. In this paper, we propose a simple but effective weakly supervised collaborative learning framework to resolve this problem, which trains a weakly supervised learner and a strongly supervised learner jointly by enforcing partial feature sharing and prediction consistency. For object detection, taking WSDDN-like architecture as weakly supervised detector sub-network and Faster-RCNN-like architecture as strongly supervised detector sub-network, we propose an end-to-end Weakly Supervised Collaborative Detection Network. As there is no strong supervision available to train the Faster-RCNN-like sub-network, a new prediction consistency loss is defined to enforce consistency of predictions between the two sub-networks as well as within the Faster-RCNN-like sub-networks. At the same time, the two detectors are designed to partially share features to further guarantee the model consistency at perceptual level. Extensive experiments on PASCAL VOC 2007 and 2012 data sets have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed framework.

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