Lifelong Learning with Non-i.i.d. Tasks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Anastasia Pentina, Christoph H. Lampert


<p>In this work we aim at extending theoretical foundations of lifelong learning. Previous work analyzing this scenario is based on the assumption that the tasks are sampled i.i.d. from a task environment or limited to strongly constrained data distributions. Instead we study two scenarios when lifelong learning is possible, even though the observed tasks do not form an i.i.d. sample: first, when they are sampled from the same environment, but possibly with dependencies, and second, when the task environment is allowed to change over time. In the first case we prove a PAC-Bayesian theorem, which can be seen as a direct generalization of the analogous previous result for the i.i.d. case. For the second scenario we propose to learn an inductive bias in form of a transfer procedure. We present a generalization bound and show on a toy example how it can be used to identify a beneficial transfer algorithm.</p>