Training fair machine learning models, aiming for their interpretability and solving the problem of domain shift has gained a lot of interest in the last years. There is a vast amount of work addressing these topics, mostly in separation. In this work we show that they can be seen as a common framework of learning invariant representations. The representations should allow to predict the target while at the same time being invariant to sensitive attributes which split the dataset into subgroups. Our approach is based on the simple observation that it is impossible for any learning algorithm to differentiate samples if they have the same feature representation. This is formulated as an additional loss (regularizer) enforcing a common feature representation across subgroups. We apply it to learn fair models and interpret the influence of the sensitive attribute. Furthermore it can be used for domain adaptation, transferring knowledge and learning effectively from very few examples. In all applications it is essential not only to learn to predict the target, but also to learn what to ignore.

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Zero-shot Learning (ZSL), which aims to predict for those classes that have never appeared in the training data, has arisen hot research interests. The key of implementing ZSL is to leverage the prior knowledge of classes which builds the semantic relationship between classes and enables the transfer of the learned models (e.g., features) from training classes (i.e., seen classes) to unseen classes. However, the priors adopted by the existing methods are relatively limited with incomplete semantics. In this paper, we explore richer and more competitive prior knowledge to model the inter-class relationship for ZSL via ontology-based knowledge representation and semantic embedding. Meanwhile, to address the data imbalance between seen classes and unseen classes, we developed a generative ZSL framework with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). Our main findings include: (i) an ontology-enhanced ZSL framework that can be applied to different domains, such as image classification (IMGC) and knowledge graph completion (KGC); (ii) a comprehensive evaluation with multiple zero-shot datasets from different domains, where our method often achieves better performance than the state-of-the-art models. In particular, on four representative ZSL baselines of IMGC, the ontology-based class semantics outperform the previous priors e.g., the word embeddings of classes by an average of 12.4 accuracy points in the standard ZSL across two example datasets (see Figure 4).

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We address the question of characterizing and finding optimal representations for supervised learning. Traditionally, this question has been tackled using the Information Bottleneck, which compresses the inputs while retaining information about the targets, in a decoder-agnostic fashion. In machine learning, however, our goal is not compression but rather generalization, which is intimately linked to the predictive family or decoder of interest (e.g. linear classifier). We propose the Decodable Information Bottleneck (DIB) that considers information retention and compression from the perspective of the desired predictive family. As a result, DIB gives rise to representations that are optimal in terms of expected test performance and can be estimated with guarantees. Empirically, we show that the framework can be used to enforce a small generalization gap on downstream classifiers and to predict the generalization ability of neural networks.

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Zero-shot learning (ZSL) aims to discriminate images from unseen classes by exploiting relations to seen classes via their semantic descriptions. Some recent papers have shown the importance of localized features together with fine-tuning the feature extractor to obtain discriminative and transferable features. However, these methods require complex attention or part detection modules to perform explicit localization in the visual space. In contrast, in this paper we propose localizing representations in the semantic/attribute space, with a simple but effective pipeline where localization is implicit. Focusing on attribute representations, we show that our method obtains state-of-the-art performance on CUB and SUN datasets, and also achieves competitive results on AWA2 dataset, outperforming generally more complex methods with explicit localization in the visual space. Our method can be implemented easily, which can be used as a new baseline for zero shot learning.

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Reinforcement learning (RL) is a popular paradigm for addressing sequential decision tasks in which the agent has only limited environmental feedback. Despite many advances over the past three decades, learning in many domains still requires a large amount of interaction with the environment, which can be prohibitively expensive in realistic scenarios. To address this problem, transfer learning has been applied to reinforcement learning such that experience gained in one task can be leveraged when starting to learn the next, harder task. More recently, several lines of research have explored how tasks, or data samples themselves, can be sequenced into a curriculum for the purpose of learning a problem that may otherwise be too difficult to learn from scratch. In this article, we present a framework for curriculum learning (CL) in reinforcement learning, and use it to survey and classify existing CL methods in terms of their assumptions, capabilities, and goals. Finally, we use our framework to find open problems and suggest directions for future RL curriculum learning research.

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We present a new method to learn video representations from large-scale unlabeled video data. Ideally, this representation will be generic and transferable, directly usable for new tasks such as action recognition and zero or few-shot learning. We formulate unsupervised representation learning as a multi-modal, multi-task learning problem, where the representations are shared across different modalities via distillation. Further, we introduce the concept of loss function evolution by using an evolutionary search algorithm to automatically find optimal combination of loss functions capturing many (self-supervised) tasks and modalities. Thirdly, we propose an unsupervised representation evaluation metric using distribution matching to a large unlabeled dataset as a prior constraint, based on Zipf's law. This unsupervised constraint, which is not guided by any labeling, produces similar results to weakly-supervised, task-specific ones. The proposed unsupervised representation learning results in a single RGB network and outperforms previous methods. Notably, it is also more effective than several label-based methods (e.g., ImageNet), with the exception of large, fully labeled video datasets.

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This paper presents SimCLR: a simple framework for contrastive learning of visual representations. We simplify recently proposed contrastive self-supervised learning algorithms without requiring specialized architectures or a memory bank. In order to understand what enables the contrastive prediction tasks to learn useful representations, we systematically study the major components of our framework. We show that (1) composition of data augmentations plays a critical role in defining effective predictive tasks, (2) introducing a learnable nonlinear transformation between the representation and the contrastive loss substantially improves the quality of the learned representations, and (3) contrastive learning benefits from larger batch sizes and more training steps compared to supervised learning. By combining these findings, we are able to considerably outperform previous methods for self-supervised and semi-supervised learning on ImageNet. A linear classifier trained on self-supervised representations learned by SimCLR achieves 76.5% top-1 accuracy, which is a 7% relative improvement over previous state-of-the-art, matching the performance of a supervised ResNet-50. When fine-tuned on only 1% of the labels, we achieve 85.8% top-5 accuracy, outperforming AlexNet with 100X fewer labels.

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Reasoning is essential for the development of large knowledge graphs, especially for completion, which aims to infer new triples based on existing ones. Both rules and embeddings can be used for knowledge graph reasoning and they have their own advantages and difficulties. Rule-based reasoning is accurate and explainable but rule learning with searching over the graph always suffers from efficiency due to huge search space. Embedding-based reasoning is more scalable and efficient as the reasoning is conducted via computation between embeddings, but it has difficulty learning good representations for sparse entities because a good embedding relies heavily on data richness. Based on this observation, in this paper we explore how embedding and rule learning can be combined together and complement each other's difficulties with their advantages. We propose a novel framework IterE iteratively learning embeddings and rules, in which rules are learned from embeddings with proper pruning strategy and embeddings are learned from existing triples and new triples inferred by rules. Evaluations on embedding qualities of IterE show that rules help improve the quality of sparse entity embeddings and their link prediction results. We also evaluate the efficiency of rule learning and quality of rules from IterE compared with AMIE+, showing that IterE is capable of generating high quality rules more efficiently. Experiments show that iteratively learning embeddings and rules benefit each other during learning and prediction.

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Few-shot Learning aims to learn classifiers for new classes with only a few training examples per class. Existing meta-learning or metric-learning based few-shot learning approaches are limited in handling diverse domains with various number of labels. The meta-learning approaches train a meta learner to predict weights of homogeneous-structured task-specific networks, requiring a uniform number of classes across tasks. The metric-learning approaches learn one task-invariant metric for all the tasks, and they fail if the tasks diverge. We propose to deal with these limitations with meta metric learning. Our meta metric learning approach consists of task-specific learners, that exploit metric learning to handle flexible labels, and a meta learner, that discovers good parameters and gradient decent to specify the metrics in task-specific learners. Thus the proposed model is able to handle unbalanced classes as well as to generate task-specific metrics. We test our approach in the `$k$-shot $N$-way' few-shot learning setting used in previous work and new realistic few-shot setting with diverse multi-domain tasks and flexible label numbers. Experiments show that our approach attains superior performances in both settings.

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One of the key limitations of modern deep learning based approaches lies in the amount of data required to train them. Humans, on the other hand, can learn to recognize novel categories from just a few examples. Instrumental to this rapid learning ability is the compositional structure of concept representations in the human brain - something that deep learning models are lacking. In this work we make a step towards bridging this gap between human and machine learning by introducing a simple regularization technique that allows the learned representation to be decomposable into parts. We evaluate the proposed approach on three datasets: CUB-200-2011, SUN397, and ImageNet, and demonstrate that our compositional representations require fewer examples to learn classifiers for novel categories, outperforming state-of-the-art few-shot learning approaches by a significant margin.

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Low-dimensional embeddings of nodes in large graphs have proved extremely useful in a variety of prediction tasks, from content recommendation to identifying protein functions. However, most existing approaches require that all nodes in the graph are present during training of the embeddings; these previous approaches are inherently transductive and do not naturally generalize to unseen nodes. Here we present GraphSAGE, a general, inductive framework that leverages node feature information (e.g., text attributes) to efficiently generate node embeddings for previously unseen data. Instead of training individual embeddings for each node, we learn a function that generates embeddings by sampling and aggregating features from a node's local neighborhood. Our algorithm outperforms strong baselines on three inductive node-classification benchmarks: we classify the category of unseen nodes in evolving information graphs based on citation and Reddit post data, and we show that our algorithm generalizes to completely unseen graphs using a multi-graph dataset of protein-protein interactions.

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