Online-Within-Online Meta-Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Giulia Denevi, Dimitris Stamos, Carlo Ciliberto, Massimiliano Pontil


We study the problem of learning a series of tasks in a fully online Meta-Learning setting. The goal is to exploit similarities among the tasks to incrementally adapt an inner online algorithm in order to incur a low averaged cumulative error over the tasks. We focus on a family of inner algorithms based on a parametrized variant of online Mirror Descent. The inner algorithm is incrementally adapted by an online Mirror Descent meta-algorithm using the corresponding within-task minimum regularized empirical risk as the meta-loss. In order to keep the process fully online, we approximate the meta-subgradients by the online inner algorithm. An upper bound on the approximation error allows us to derive a cumulative error bound for the proposed method. Our analysis can also be converted to the statistical setting by online-to-batch arguments. We instantiate two examples of the framework in which the meta-parameter is either a common bias vector or feature map. Finally, preliminary numerical experiments confirm our theoretical findings.