Joint Data-Task Generation for Auxiliary Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Hong Chen, Xin Wang, Yuwei Zhou, Yijian Qin, Chaoyu Guan, Wenwu Zhu


Current auxiliary learning methods mainly adopt the methodology of reweighing losses for the manually collected auxiliary data and tasks. However, these methods heavily rely on domain knowledge during data collection, which may be hardly available in reality. Therefore, current methods will become less effective and even do harm to the primary task when unhelpful auxiliary data and tasks are employed. To tackle the problem, we propose a joint data-task generation framework for auxiliary learning (DTG-AuxL), which can bring benefits to the primary task by generating the new auxiliary data and task in a joint manner. The proposed DTG-AuxL framework contains a joint generator and a bi-level optimization strategy. Specifically, the joint generator contains a feature generator and a label generator, which are designed to be applicable and expressive for various auxiliary learning scenarios. The bi-level optimization strategy optimizes the joint generator and the task learning model, where the joint generator is effectively optimized in the upper level via the implicit gradient from the primary loss and the explicit gradient of our proposed instance regularization, while the task learning model is optimized in the lower level by the generated data and task. Extensive experiments show that our proposed DTG-AuxL framework consistently outperforms existing methods in various auxiliary learning scenarios, particularly when the manually collected auxiliary data and tasks are unhelpful.