Poster Session 12


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Parallel Training of GRU Networks with a Multi-Grid Solver for Long Sequences

Gordon Euhyun Moon · Eric Cyr

Parallelizing Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) is a challenging task, as the training procedure of GRU is inherently sequential. Prior efforts to parallelize GRU have largely focused on conventional parallelization strategies such as data-parallel and model-parallel training algorithms. However, when the given sequences are very long, existing approaches are still inevitably performance limited in terms of both training time and model accuracy. In this paper, we present a novel parallel training scheme (called parallel-in-time) for GRU based on a multigrid reduction in time (MGRIT) solver. MGRIT partitions a sequence into multiple shorter sub-sequences and trains the sub-sequences on different processors in parallel. The key to achieving speedup is a hierarchical correction of the hidden state to accelerate end-to-end communication in both the forward and backward propagation phases of gradient descent. Experimental results on the HMDB51 dataset, where each video is an image sequence, demonstrate that a new parallel training scheme of GRU achieves up to $6.5 \times$ speedup over a serial approach. As efficiency of our new parallelization strategy is associated with the sequence length, our parallel GRU algorithm achieves significant performance improvement as the length of sequence increases. Further, the proposed approach can be applied simultaneously with batch and other forms of model parallelism.

Extending the WILDS Benchmark for Unsupervised Adaptation

Shiori Sagawa · Pang Wei Koh · Tony Lee · Irena Gao · Sang Michael Xie · Kendrick Shen · Ananya Kumar · Weihua Hu · Michihiro Yasunaga · Henrik Marklund · Sara Beery · Etienne David · Ian Stavness · Wei Guo · Jure Leskovec · Kate Saenko · Tatsunori Hashimoto · Sergey Levine · Chelsea Finn · Percy Liang

Machine learning systems deployed in the wild are often trained on a source distribution but deployed on a different target distribution. Unlabeled data can be a powerful point of leverage for mitigating these distribution shifts, as it is frequently much more available than labeled data and can often be obtained from distributions beyond the source distribution as well. However, existing distribution shift benchmarks with unlabeled data do not reflect the breadth of scenarios that arise in real-world applications. In this work, we present the WILDS 2.0 update, which extends 8 of the 10 datasets in the WILDS benchmark of distribution shifts to include curated unlabeled data that would be realistically obtainable in deployment. These datasets span a wide range of applications (from histology to wildlife conservation), tasks (classification, regression, and detection), and modalities (photos, satellite images, microscope slides, text, molecular graphs). The update maintains consistency with the original WILDS benchmark by using identical labeled training, validation, and test sets, as well as identical evaluation metrics. We systematically benchmark state-of-the-art methods that use unlabeled data, including domain-invariant, self-training, and self-supervised methods, and show that their success on WILDS is limited. To facilitate method development, we provide an open-source package that automates data loading and contains the model architectures and methods used in this paper. Code and leaderboards are available at

On the benefits of maximum likelihood estimation for Regression and Forecasting

Pranjal Awasthi · Abhimanyu Das · Rajat Sen · Ananda Suresh

We advocate for a practical Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) approach towards designing loss functions for regression and forecasting, as an alternative to the typical approach of direct empirical risk minimization on a specific target metric. The MLE approach is better suited to capture inductive biases such as prior domain knowledge in datasets, and can output post-hoc estimators at inference time that can optimize different types of target metrics. We present theoretical results to demonstrate that our approach is competitive with any estimator for the target metric under some general conditions. In two example practical settings, Poisson and Pareto regression, we show that our competitive results can be used to prove that the MLE approach has better excess risk bounds than directly minimizing the target metric. We also demonstrate empirically that our method instantiated with a well-designed general purpose mixture likelihood family can obtain superior performance for a variety of tasks across time-series forecasting and regression datasets with different data distributions.

Hybrid Random Features

Krzysztof Choromanski · Han Lin · Haoxian Chen · Arijit Sehanobish · Yuanzhe Ma · Deepali Jain · Jake Varley · Andy Zeng · Michael Ryoo · Valerii Likhosherstov · Dmitry Kalashnikov · Vikas Sindhwani · Adrian Weller

We propose a new class of random feature methods for linearizing softmax and Gaussian kernels called hybrid random features (HRFs) that automatically adapt the quality of kernel estimation to provide most accurate approximation in the defined regions of interest. Special instantiations of HRFs lead to well-known methods such as trigonometric (Rahimi & Recht, 2007) or (recently introduced in the context of linear-attention Transformers) positive random features (Choromanski et al., 2021). By generalizing Bochner’s Theorem for softmax/Gaussian kernels and leveraging random features for compositional kernels, the HRF-mechanism provides strong theoretical guarantees - unbiased approximation and strictly smaller worst-case relative errors than its counterparts. We conduct exhaustive empirical evaluation of HRF ranging from pointwise kernel estimation experiments, through tests on data admitting clustering structure to benchmarking implicit-attention Transformers (also for downstream Robotics applications), demonstrating its quality in a wide spectrum of machine learning problems.

Machine Learning For Elliptic PDEs: Fast Rate Generalization Bound, Neural Scaling Law and Minimax Optimality

Yiping Lu · Haoxuan Chen · Jianfeng Lu · Lexing Ying · Jose Blanchet

In this paper, we study the statistical limits of deep learning techniques for solving elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs) from random samples using the Deep Ritz Method (DRM) and Physics-Informed Neural Networks (PINNs). To simplify the problem, we focus on a prototype elliptic PDE: the Schr\"odinger equation on a hypercube with zero Dirichlet boundary condition, which has wide application in the quantum-mechanical systems. We establish upper and lower bounds for both methods, which improves upon concurrently developed upper bounds for this problem via a fast rate generalization bound. We discover that the current Deep Ritz Methods is sub-optimal and propose a modified version of it. We also prove that PINN and the modified version of DRM can achieve minimax optimal bounds over Sobolev spaces. Empirically, following recent work which has shown that the deep model accuracy will improve with growing training sets according to a power law, we supply computational experiments to show a similar behavior of dimension dependent power law for deep PDE solvers.

Surrogate Gap Minimization Improves Sharpness-Aware Training

Juntang Zhuang · Boqing Gong · Liangzhe Yuan · Yin Cui · Hartwig Adam · Nicha C Dvornek · sekhar tatikonda · James s Duncan · Ting Liu

The recently proposed Sharpness-Aware Minimization (SAM) improves generalization by minimizing a perturbed loss defined as the maximum loss within a neighborhood in the parameter space. However, we show that both sharp and flat minima can have a low perturbed loss, implying that SAM does not always prefer flat minima. Instead, we define a surrogate gap, a measure equivalent to the dominant eigenvalue of Hessian at a local minimum when the radius of neighborhood (to derive the perturbed loss) is small. The surrogate gap is easy to compute and feasible for direct minimization during training. Based on the above observations, we propose Surrogate Gap Guided Sharpness-Aware Minimization (GSAM), a novel improvement over SAM with negligible computation overhead. Conceptually, GSAM consists of two steps: 1) a gradient descent like SAM to minimize the perturbed loss, and 2) an ascent step in the orthogonal direction (after gradient decomposition) to minimize the surrogate gap and yet not affect the perturbed loss. GSAM seeks a region with both small loss (by step 1) and low sharpness (by step 2), giving rise to a model with high generalization capabilities. Theoretically, we show the convergence of GSAM and provably better generalization than SAM.Empirically, GSAM consistently improves generalization (e.g., +3.2% over SAM and +5.4% over AdamW on ImageNet top-1 accuracy for ViT-B/32). Code is released at

Sparse DETR: Efficient End-to-End Object Detection with Learnable Sparsity

Byungseok Roh · JaeWoong Shin · Wuhyun Shin · Saehoon Kim

DETR is the first end-to-end object detector using a transformer encoder-decoder architecture and demonstrates competitive performance but low computational efficiency. The subsequent work, Deformable DETR, enhances the efficiency of DETR by replacing dense attention with deformable attention, which achieves 10x faster convergence and improved performance. Using the multiscale feature to ameliorate performance, however, the number of encoder queries increases by 20x compared to DETR, and the computation cost of the encoder attention remains a bottleneck. We observe that the encoder queries referenced by the decoder account for only 45% of the total, and find out the detection accuracy does not deteriorate significantly even if only the referenced queries are polished in the encoder block. Inspired by this observation, we propose Sparse DETR that selectively updates only the queries expected to be referenced by the decoder, thus help the model effectively detect objects. In addition, we show that applying an auxiliary detection loss on the selected queries in the encoder improves the performance while minimizing computational overhead. We validate that Sparse DETR achieves better performance than Deformable DETR even with only 10% encoder queries on the COCO dataset. Albeit only the encoder queries are sparsified, the total computation cost decreases by 38% and the frames per second (FPS) increases by 42% compared to Deformable DETR. Code will be released.

Neural Parameter Allocation Search

Bryan Plummer · Nikoli Dryden · Julius Frost · Torsten Hoefler · Kate Saenko

Training neural networks requires increasing amounts of memory. Parameter sharing can reduce memory and communication costs, but existing methods assume networks have many identical layers and utilize hand-crafted sharing strategies that fail to generalize. We introduce Neural Parameter Allocation Search (NPAS), a novel task where the goal is to train a neural network given an arbitrary, fixed parameter budget. NPAS covers both low-budget regimes, which produce compact networks, as well as a novel high-budget regime, where additional capacity can be added to boost performance without increasing inference FLOPs. To address NPAS, we introduce Shapeshifter Networks (SSNs), which automatically learn where and how to share parameters in a network to support any parameter budget without requiring any changes to the architecture or loss function. NPAS and SSNs provide a complete framework for addressing generalized parameter sharing, and can also be combined with prior work for additional performance gains. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach using nine network architectures across four diverse tasks, including ImageNet classification and transformers.

Discriminative Similarity for Data Clustering

Yingzhen Yang · Ping Li

Similarity-based clustering methods separate data into clusters according to the pairwise similarity between the data, and the pairwise similarity is crucial for their performance. In this paper, we propose {\em Clustering by Discriminative Similarity (CDS)}, a novel method which learns discriminative similarity for data clustering. CDS learns an unsupervised similarity-based classifier from each data partition, and searches for the optimal partition of the data by minimizing the generalization error of the learnt classifiers associated with the data partitions. By generalization analysis via Rademacher complexity, the generalization error bound for the unsupervised similarity-based classifier is expressed as the sum of discriminative similarity between the data from different classes. It is proved that the derived discriminative similarity can also be induced by the integrated squared error bound for kernel density classification. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed discriminative similarity, we propose a new clustering method using a kernel as the similarity function, CDS via unsupervised kernel classification (CDSK), with its effectiveness demonstrated by experimental results.

Einops: Clear and Reliable Tensor Manipulations with Einstein-like Notation

Alex Rogozhnikov

Tensor computations underlie modern scientific computing and deep learning.A number of tensor frameworks emerged varying in execution model, hardware support, memory management, model definition, etc.However, tensor operations in all frameworks follow the same paradigm.Recent neural network architectures demonstrate demand for higher expressiveness of tensor operations.The current paradigm is not suited to write readable, reliable, or easy-to-modify code for multidimensional tensor manipulations. Moreover, some commonly used operations do not provide sufficient checks and can break a tensor structure.These mistakes are elusive as no tools or tests can detect them.Independently, API discrepancies complicate code transfer between frameworks.We propose einops notation: a uniform and generic way to manipulate tensor structure, that significantly improves code readability and flexibility by focusing on the structure of input and output tensors.We implement einops notation in a Python package that efficiently supports multiple widely used frameworks and provides framework-independent minimalist API for tensor manipulations.

SketchODE: Learning neural sketch representation in continuous time

Ayan Das · Yongxin Yang · Timothy Hospedales · Tao Xiang · Yi-Zhe Song

Learning meaningful representations for chirographic drawing data such as sketches, handwriting, and flowcharts is a gateway for understanding and emulating human creative expression. Despite being inherently continuous-time data, existing works have treated these as discrete-time sequences, disregarding their true nature. In this work, we model such data as continuous-time functions and learn compact representations by virtue of Neural Ordinary Differential Equations. To this end, we introduce the first continuous-time Seq2Seq model and demonstrate some remarkable properties that set it apart from traditional discrete-time analogues. We also provide solutions for some practical challenges for such models, including introducing a family of parameterized ODE dynamics & continuous-time data augmentation particularly suitable for the task. Our models are validated on several datasets including VectorMNIST, DiDi and Quick, Draw!.

LFPT5: A Unified Framework for Lifelong Few-shot Language Learning Based on Prompt Tuning of T5

Chengwei Qin · Shafiq Joty

Existing approaches to lifelong language learning rely on plenty of labeled data for learning a new task, which is hard to obtain in most real scenarios. Considering that humans can continually learn new tasks from a handful of examples, we expect the models also to be able to generalize well on new few-shot tasks without forgetting the previous ones. In this work, we define this more challenging yet practical problem as Lifelong Few-shot Language Learning (LFLL) and propose a unified framework for it based on prompt tuning of T5. Our framework called LFPT5 takes full advantage of PT's strong few-shot learning ability, and simultaneously trains the model as a task solver and a data generator. Before learning a new domain of the same task type, LFPT5 generates pseudo (labeled) samples of previously learned domains, and later gets trained on those samples to alleviate forgetting of previous knowledge as it learns the new domain. In addition, a KL divergence loss is minimized to achieve label consistency between the previous and the current model. While adapting to a new task type, LFPT5 includes and tunes additional prompt embeddings for the new task. With extensive experiments, we demonstrate that LFPT5 can be applied to various different types of tasks and significantly outperform previous methods in different LFLL settings.

Equivariant and Stable Positional Encoding for More Powerful Graph Neural Networks

Haorui Wang · Haoteng Yin · Muhan Zhang · Pan Li

Graph neural networks (GNN) have shown great advantages in many graph-based learning tasks but often fail to predict accurately for a task-based on sets of nodes such as link/motif prediction and so on. Many works have recently proposed to address this problem by using random node features or node distance features. However, they suffer from either slow convergence, inaccurate prediction, or high complexity. In this work, we revisit GNNs that allow using positional features of nodes given by positional encoding (PE) techniques such as Laplacian Eigenmap, Deepwalk, etc. GNNs with PE often get criticized because they are not generalizable to unseen graphs (inductive) or stable. Here, we study these issues in a principled way and propose a provable solution, a class of GNN layers termed PEG with rigorous mathematical analysis. PEG uses separate channels to update the original node features and positional features. PEG imposes permutation equivariance w.r.t. the original node features and rotation equivariance w.r.t. the positional features simultaneously. Extensive link prediction experiments over 8 real-world networks demonstrate the advantages of PEG in generalization and scalability. Code is available at

Model-augmented Prioritized Experience Replay

Youngmin Oh · Jinwoo Shin · Eunho Yang · Sung Ju Hwang

Experience replay is an essential component in off-policy model-free reinforcement learning (MfRL). Due to its effectiveness, various methods for calculating priority scores on experiences have been proposed for sampling. Since critic networks are crucial to policy learning, TD-error, directly correlated to $Q$-values, is one of the most frequently used features to compute the scores. However, critic networks often under- or overestimate $Q$-values, so it is often ineffective to learn to predict $Q$-values by sampled experiences based heavily on TD-error. Accordingly, it is valuable to find auxiliary features, which positively support TD-error in calculating the scores for efficient sampling. Motivated by this, we propose a novel experience replay method, which we call model-augmented prioritized experience replay (MaPER), that employs new learnable features driven from components in model-based RL (MbRL) to calculate the scores on experiences. The proposed MaPER brings the effect of curriculum learning for predicting $Q$-values better by the critic network with negligible memory and computational overhead compared to the vanilla PER. Indeed, our experimental results on various tasks demonstrate that MaPER can significantly improve the performance of the state-of-the-art off-policy MfRL and MbRL which includes off-policy MfRL algorithms in its policy optimization procedure.

BadPre: Task-agnostic Backdoor Attacks to Pre-trained NLP Foundation Models

Kangjie Chen · Yuxian Meng · Xiaofei Sun · Shangwei Guo · Tianwei Zhang · Jiwei Li · Chun Fan

Pre-trained Natural Language Processing (NLP) models, which can be adapted to a variety of downstream language tasks via fine-tuning, highly accelerate the learning progress of NLP models. However, NLP models have been shown to be vulnerable to backdoor attacks. Previous NLP backdoor attacks mainly focus on one specific task. This limitation makes existing solutions less applicable to different NLP models which have been widely used in various tasks.In this work, we propose BadPre, the first backdoor attack against various downstream models built based on pre-trained NLP models. BadPre can launch trojan attacks against different language tasks with the same trigger.The key insight of our approach is that downstream models can inherit the security characteristics from the pre-trained models. Specifically, we leverage data posing to the pre-trained NLP models and then inference the downstream models with sentences embedded triggers. Furthermore, to fool backdoor detectors, we design a novel adversarial attack method to generate a more robust trigger.Experimental results indicate that our approach can effectively attack a wide range of downstream NLP tasks and exhibit significant robustness against backdoor detectors.

Few-Shot Backdoor Attacks on Visual Object Tracking

Yiming Li · Haoxiang Zhong · Xingjun Ma · Yong Jiang · Shu-Tao Xia

Visual object tracking (VOT) has been widely adopted in mission-critical applications, such as autonomous driving and intelligent surveillance systems. In current practice, third-party resources such as datasets, backbone networks, and training platforms are frequently used to train high-performance VOT models. Whilst these resources bring certain convenience, they also introduce new security threats into VOT models. In this paper, we reveal such a threat where an adversary can easily implant hidden backdoors into VOT models by tempering with the training process. Specifically, we propose a simple yet effective few-shot backdoor attack (FSBA) that optimizes two losses alternately: 1) a \emph{feature loss} defined in the hidden feature space, and 2) the standard \emph{tracking loss}. We show that, once the backdoor is embedded into the target model by our FSBA, it can trick the model to lose track of specific objects even when the \emph{trigger} only appears in one or a few frames. We examine our attack in both digital and physical-world settings and show that it can significantly degrade the performance of state-of-the-art VOT trackers. We also show that our attack is resistant to potential defenses, highlighting the vulnerability of VOT models to potential backdoor attacks.

NASViT: Neural Architecture Search for Efficient Vision Transformers with Gradient Conflict aware Supernet Training

Chengyue Gong · Dilin Wang · Meng Li · Xinlei Chen · Zhicheng Yan · Yuandong Tian · Qiang Liu · Vikas Chandra

Designing accurate and efficient vision transformers (ViTs) is a highly important but challenging task. Supernet-based one-shot neural architecture search (NAS) enables fast architecture optimization and has achieved state-of-the-art (SOTA) results on convolutional neural networks (CNNs). However, directly applying the supernet-based NAS to optimize ViTs leads to poor performance - even worse compared to training single ViTs. In this work, we observe that the poor performance is due to a gradient conflict issue: the gradients of different sub-networks conflict with that of the supernet more severely in ViTs than CNNs, which leads to early saturation in training and inferior convergence. To alleviate this issue, we propose a series of techniques, including a gradient projection algorithm, a switchable layer scaling design, and a simplified data augmentation and regularization training recipe. The proposed techniques significantly improve the convergence and the performance of all sub-networks. Our discovered hybrid ViT model family, dubbed NASViT, achieves top-1 accuracy from 78.2% to 81.8% on ImageNet from 200M to 800M FLOPs, and outperforms all the prior art CNNs and ViTs, including AlphaNet and LeViT, etc. When transferred to semantic segmentation tasks, NASViTs also outperform previous backbones on both Cityscape and ADE20K datasets, achieving 73.2% and 37.9% mIoU with only 5G FLOPs, respectively. Code is available at

Transferable Adversarial Attack based on Integrated Gradients

Yi Huang · Adams Kong

The vulnerability of deep neural networks to adversarial examples has drawn tremendous attention from the community. Three approaches, optimizing standard objective functions, exploiting attention maps, and smoothing decision surfaces, are commonly used to craft adversarial examples. By tightly integrating the three approaches, we propose a new and simple algorithm named Transferable Attack based on Integrated Gradients (TAIG) in this paper, which can find highly transferable adversarial examples for black-box attacks. Unlike previous methods using multiple computational terms or combining with other methods, TAIG integrates the three approaches into one single term. Two versions of TAIG that compute their integrated gradients on a straight-line path and a random piecewise linear path are studied. Both versions offer strong transferability and can seamlessly work together with the previous methods. Experimental results demonstrate that TAIG outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.

Understanding Domain Randomization for Sim-to-real Transfer

Xiaoyu Chen · Jiachen Hu · Chi Jin · Lihong Li · Liwei Wang

Reinforcement learning encounters many challenges when applied directly in the real world. Sim-to-real transfer is widely used to transfer the knowledge learned from simulation to the real world. Domain randomization---one of the most popular algorithms for sim-to-real transfer---has been demonstrated to be effective in various tasks in robotics and autonomous driving. Despite its empirical successes, theoretical understanding on why this simple algorithm works is largely missing. In this paper, we propose a theoretical framework for sim-to-real transfers, in which the simulator is modeled as a set of MDPs with tunable parameters (corresponding to unknown physical parameters such as friction). We provide sharp bounds on the sim-to-real gap---the difference between the value of policy returned by domain randomization and the value of an optimal policy for the real world. We prove that sim-to-real transfer can succeed under mild conditions without any real-world training samples. Our theory also highlights the importance of using memory (i.e., history-dependent policies) in domain randomization. Our proof is based on novel techniques that reduce the problem of bounding the sim-to-real gap to the problem of designing efficient learning algorithms for infinite-horizon MDPs, which we believe are of independent interest.

Reliable Adversarial Distillation with Unreliable Teachers

Jianing ZHU · Jiangchao Yao · Bo Han · Jingfeng Zhang · Tongliang Liu · Gang Niu · Jingren Zhou · Jianliang Xu · Hongxia Yang

In ordinary distillation, student networks are trained with soft labels (SLs) given by pretrained teacher networks, and students are expected to improve upon teachers since SLs are stronger supervision than the original hard labels. However, when considering adversarial robustness, teachers may become unreliable and adversarial distillation may not work: teachers are pretrained on their own adversarial data, and it is too demanding to require that teachers are also good at every adversarial data queried by students. Therefore, in this paper, we propose reliable introspective adversarial distillation (IAD) where students partially instead of fully trust their teachers. Specifically, IAD distinguishes between three cases given a query of a natural data (ND) and the corresponding adversarial data (AD): (a) if a teacher is good at AD, its SL is fully trusted; (b) if a teacher is good at ND but not AD, its SL is partially trusted and the student also takes its own SL into account; (c) otherwise, the student only relies on its own SL. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of IAD for improving upon teachers in terms of adversarial robustness.

Denoising Likelihood Score Matching for Conditional Score-based Data Generation

Chen-Hao Chao · Wei-Fang Sun · Bo-Wun Cheng · Yi-Chen Lo · Chia-Che Chang · Yu-Lun Liu · Yu-Lin Chang · Chia-Ping Chen · Chun-Yi Lee

Many existing conditional score-based data generation methods utilize Bayes' theorem to decompose the gradients of a log posterior density into a mixture of scores. These methods facilitate the training procedure of conditional score models, as a mixture of scores can be separately estimated using a score model and a classifier. However, our analysis indicates that the training objectives for the classifier in these methods may lead to a serious score mismatch issue, which corresponds to the situation that the estimated scores deviate from the true ones. Such an issue causes the samples to be misled by the deviated scores during the diffusion process, resulting in a degraded sampling quality. To resolve it, we theoretically formulate a novel training objective, called Denoising Likelihood Score Matching (DLSM) loss, for the classifier to match the gradients of the true log likelihood density. Our experimental evidences show that the proposed method outperforms the previous methods on both Cifar-10 and Cifar-100 benchmarks noticeably in terms of several key evaluation metrics. We thus conclude that, by adopting DLSM, the conditional scores can be accurately modeled, and the effect of the score mismatch issue is alleviated.

Generalized Demographic Parity for Group Fairness

Zhimeng Jiang · Xiaotian Han · Chao Fan · Fan Yang · Ali Mostafavi · Xia Hu

This work aims to generalize demographic parity to continuous sensitive attributes while preserving tractable computation. Current fairness metrics for continuous sensitive attributes largely rely on intractable statistical independence between variables, such as Hirschfeld-Gebelein-Renyi (HGR) and mutual information. Statistical fairness metrics estimation relying on either tractable bounds or neural network approximation, however, are not sufficiently trustful to rank algorithms prediction bias due to lack of estimation accuracy guarantee. To make fairness metrics trustable, we propose \textit{\underline{G}eneralized \underline{D}emographic \underline{P}arity} (GDP), a group fairness metric for continuous and discrete attributes. We show the understanding of GDP from the probability perspective and theoretically reveal the connection between GDP regularizer and adversarial debiasing. To estimate GDP, we adopt hard and soft group strategies via the one-hot or the soft group indicator, representing the membership of each sample in different groups of the sensitive attribute. We provably and numerically show that the soft group strategy achieves a faster estimation error convergence rate. Experiments show the better bias mitigation performance of GDP regularizer, compared with adversarial debiasing, for regression and classification tasks in tabular and graph benchmarks.

HTLM: Hyper-Text Pre-Training and Prompting of Language Models

Armen Aghajanyan · Dmytro Okhonko · Mike Lewis · Mandar Joshi · Hu Xu · Gargi Ghosh · Luke Zettlemoyer

We introduce HTLM, a hyper-text language model trained on a large-scale web crawl. Modeling hyper-text has a number of advantages: (1) it is easily gathered at scale, (2) it provides rich document-level and end-task-adjacent supervision (e.g. 'class' and 'id' attributes often encode document category information), and (3) it allows for new structured prompting that follows the established semantics of HTML (e.g. to do zero-shot summarization by infilling '

' tags for a webpage that contains the input text). We show that pretraining with a BART-style denoising loss directly on simplified HTML provides highly effective transfer for a wide range of end tasks and supervision levels. HTLM matches or exceeds the performance of comparably sized text-only LMs for zero-shot prompting and fine-tuning for classification benchmarks, while also setting new state-of-the-art performance levels for zero-shot summarization. We also find that hyper-text prompts provide more value to HTLM, in terms of data efficiency, than plain text prompts do for existing LMs, and that HTLM is highly effective at auto-prompting itself, by simply generating the most likely hyper-text formatting for any available training data. We will release all code and models to support future HTLM research.

Lipschitz-constrained Unsupervised Skill Discovery

Seohong Park · Jongwook Choi · Jaekyeom Kim · Honglak Lee · Gunhee Kim

We study the problem of unsupervised skill discovery, whose goal is to learn a set of diverse and useful skills with no external reward. There have been a number of skill discovery methods based on maximizing the mutual information (MI) between skills and states. However, we point out that their MI objectives usually prefer static skills to dynamic ones, which may hinder the application for downstream tasks. To address this issue, we propose Lipschitz-constrained Skill Discovery (LSD), which encourages the agent to discover more diverse, dynamic, and far-reaching skills. Another benefit of LSD is that its learned representation function can be utilized for solving goal-following downstream tasks even in a zero-shot manner — i.e., without further training or complex planning. Through experiments on various MuJoCo robotic locomotion and manipulation environments, we demonstrate that LSD outperforms previous approaches in terms of skill diversity, state space coverage, and performance on seven downstream tasks including the challenging task of following multiple goals on Humanoid. Our code and videos are available at

Provable Learning-based Algorithm For Sparse Recovery

Xinshi Chen · Haoran Sun · Le Song

Recovering sparse parameters from observational data is a fundamental problem in machine learning with wide applications. Many classic algorithms can solve this problem with theoretical guarantees, but their performances rely on choosing the correct hyperparameters. Besides, hand-designed algorithms do not fully exploit the particular problem distribution of interest. In this work, we propose a deep learning method for algorithm learning called PLISA (Provable Learning-based Iterative Sparse recovery Algorithm). PLISA is designed by unrolling a classic path-following algorithm for sparse recovery, with some components being more flexible and learnable. We theoretically show the improved recovery accuracy achievable by PLISA. Furthermore, we analyze the empirical Rademacher complexity of PLISA to characterize its generalization ability to solve new problems outside the training set. This paper contains novel theoretical contributions to the area of learning-based algorithms in the sense that (i) PLISA is generically applicable to a broad class of sparse estimation problems, (ii) generalization analysis has received less attention so far, and (iii) our analysis makes novel connections between the generalization ability and algorithmic properties such as stability and convergence of the unrolled algorithm, which leads to a tighter bound that can explain the empirical observations. The techniques could potentially be applied to analyze other learning-based algorithms in the literature.

R5: Rule Discovery with Reinforced and Recurrent Relational Reasoning

Shengyao Lu · Bang Liu · Keith G Mills · SHANGLING JUI · Di Niu

Systematicity, i.e., the ability to recombine known parts and rules to form new sequences while reasoning over relational data, is critical to machine intelligence. A model with strong systematicity is able to train on small-scale tasks and generalize to large-scale tasks. In this paper, we propose R5, a relational reasoning framework based on reinforcement learning that reasons over relational graph data and explicitly mines underlying compositional logical rules from observations. R5 has strong systematicity and being robust to noisy data. It consists of a policy value network equipped with Monte Carlo Tree Search to perform recurrent relational prediction and a backtrack rewriting mechanism for rule mining. By alternately applying the two components, R5 progressively learns a set of explicit rules from data and performs explainable and generalizable relation prediction. We conduct extensive evaluations on multiple datasets. Experimental results show that R5 outperforms various embedding-based and rule induction baselines on relation prediction tasks while achieving a high recall rate in discovering ground truth rules.

Enhancing Cross-lingual Transfer by Manifold Mixup

Huiyun Yang · Huadong Chen · Hao Zhou · Lei Li

Based on large-scale pre-trained multilingual representations, recent cross-lingual transfer methods have achieved impressive transfer performances. However, the performance of target languages still lags far behind the source language. In this paper, our analyses indicate such a performance gap is strongly associated with the cross-lingual representation discrepancy. To achieve better cross-lingual transfer performance, we propose the cross-lingual manifold mixup (X-Mixup) method, which adaptively calibrates the representation discrepancy and gives a compromised representation for target languages. Experiments on the XTREME benchmark show X-Mixup achieves 1.8% performance gains on multiple text understanding tasks, compared with strong baselines, and significantly reduces the cross-lingual representation discrepancy.

Model-Based Offline Meta-Reinforcement Learning with Regularization

Sen Lin · Jialin Wan · Tengyu Xu · Yingbin Liang · Junshan Zhang

Existing offline reinforcement learning (RL) methods face a few major challenges, particularly the distributional shift between the learned policy and the behavior policy. Offline Meta-RL is emerging as a promising approach to address these challenges, aiming to learn an informative meta-policy from a collection of tasks. Nevertheless, as shown in our empirical studies, offline Meta-RL could be outperformed by offline single-task RL methods on tasks with good quality of datasets, indicating that a right balance has to be delicately calibrated between "exploring" the out-of-distribution state-actions by following the meta-policy and "exploiting" the offline dataset by staying close to the behavior policy. Motivated by such empirical analysis, we propose model-based offline $\text{\bf Me}$ta-RL with $\text{\bf r}$egularized $\text{\bf P}$olicy $\text{\bf O}$ptimization (MerPO), which learns a meta-model for efficient task structure inference and an informative meta-policy for safe exploration of out-of-distribution state-actions. In particular, we devise a new meta-Regularized model-based Actor-Critic (RAC) method for within-task policy optimization, as a key building block of MerPO, using both conservative policy evaluation and regularized policy improvement; and the intrinsic tradeoff therein is achieved via striking the right balance between two regularizers, one based on the behavior policy and the other on the meta-policy. We theoretically show that the learnt policy offers guaranteed improvement over both the behavior policy and the meta-policy, thus ensuring the performance improvement on new tasks via offline Meta-RL. Our experiments corroborate the superior performance of MerPO over existing offline Meta-RL methods.

Huber Additive Models for Non-stationary Time Series Analysis

Yingjie Wang · Xianrui Zhong · Fengxiang He · Hong Chen · Dacheng Tao

Sparse additive models have shown promising flexibility and interpretability in processing time series data. However, existing methods usually assume the time series data to be stationary and the innovation is sampled from a Gaussian distribution. Both assumptions are too stringent for heavy-tailed and non-stationary time series data that frequently arise in practice, such as finance and medical fields. To address these problems, we propose an adaptive sparse Huber additive model for robust forecasting in both non-Gaussian data and (non)stationary data. In theory, the generalization bounds of our estimator are established for both stationary and nonstationary time series data, which are independent of the widely used mixing conditions in learning theory of dependent observations. Moreover, the error bound for non-stationary time series contains a discrepancy measure for the shifts of the data distributions over time. Such a discrepancy measure can be estimated empirically and used as a penalty in our method. Experimental results on both synthetic and real-world benchmark datasets validate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The code is available at

Reversible Instance Normalization for Accurate Time-Series Forecasting against Distribution Shift

Taesung Kim · Jinhee Kim · Yunwon Tae · Cheonbok Park · Jang-Ho Choi · Jaegul Choo

Statistical properties such as mean and variance often change over time in time series, i.e., time-series data suffer from a distribution shift problem. This change in temporal distribution is one of the main challenges that prevent accurate time-series forecasting. To address this issue, we propose a simple yet effective normalization method called reversible instance normalization (RevIN), a generally-applicable normalization-and-denormalization method with learnable affine transformation. The proposed method is symmetrically structured to remove and restore the statistical information of a time-series instance, leading to significant performance improvements in time-series forecasting, as shown in Fig. 1. We demonstrate the effectiveness of RevIN via extensive quantitative and qualitative analyses on various real-world datasets, addressing the distribution shift problem.

MT3: Multi-Task Multitrack Music Transcription

Josh Gardner · Ian Simon · Ethan Manilow · Curtis Hawthorne · Jesse Engel

Automatic Music Transcription (AMT), inferring musical notes from raw audio, is a challenging task at the core of music understanding. Unlike Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), which typically focuses on the words of a single speaker, AMT often requires transcribing multiple instruments simultaneously, all while preserving fine-scale pitch and timing information. Further, many AMT datasets are ``low-resource'', as even expert musicians find music transcription difficult and time-consuming. Thus, prior work has focused on task-specific architectures, tailored to the individual instruments of each task. In this work, motivated by the promising results of sequence-to-sequence transfer learning for low-resource Natural Language Processing (NLP), we demonstrate that a general-purpose Transformer model can perform multi-task AMT, jointly transcribing arbitrary combinations of musical instruments across several transcription datasets. We show this unified training framework achieves high-quality transcription results across a range of datasets, dramatically improving performance for low-resource instruments (such as guitar), while preserving strong performance for abundant instruments (such as piano). Finally, by expanding the scope of AMT, we expose the need for more consistent evaluation metrics and better dataset alignment, and provide a strong baseline for this new direction of multi-task AMT.

Relational Surrogate Loss Learning

Tao Huang · Zekang Li · Hua Lu · Yong Shan · Shusheng Yang · Yang Feng · Fei Wang · Shan You · Chang Xu

Evaluation metrics in machine learning are often hardly taken as loss functions, as they could be non-differentiable and non-decomposable, e.g., average precision and F1 score. This paper aims to address this problem by revisiting the surrogate loss learning, where a deep neural network is employed to approximate the evaluation metrics. Instead of pursuing an exact recovery of the evaluation metric through a deep neural network, we are reminded of the purpose of the existence of these evaluation metrics, which is to distinguish whether one model is better or worse than another. In this paper, we show that directly maintaining the relation of models between surrogate losses and metrics suffices, and propose a rank correlation-based optimization method to maximize this relation and learn surrogate losses. Compared to previous works, our method is much easier to optimize and enjoys significant efficiency and performance gains. Extensive experiments show that our method achieves improvements on various tasks including image classification and neural machine translation, and even outperforms state-of-the-art methods on human pose estimation and machine reading comprehension tasks. Code is available at:

Neural Spectral Marked Point Processes

Shixiang Zhu · Haoyun Wang · Zheng Dong · Xiuyuan Cheng · Yao Xie

Self- and mutually-exciting point processes are popular models in machine learning and statistics for dependent discrete event data. To date, most existing models assume stationary kernels (including the classical Hawkes processes) and simple parametric models. Modern applications with complex event data require more general point process models that can incorporate contextual information of the events, called marks, besides the temporal and location information. Moreover, such applications often require non-stationary models to capture more complex spatio-temporal dependence. To tackle these challenges, a key question is to devise a versatile influence kernel in the point process model. In this paper, we introduce a novel and general neural network-based non-stationary influence kernel with high expressiveness for handling complex discrete events data while providing theoretical performance guarantees. We demonstrate the superior performance of our proposed method compared with the state-of-the-art on synthetic and real data.

A General Analysis of Example-Selection for Stochastic Gradient Descent

Yucheng Lu · Si Yi Meng · Christopher De Sa

Training example order in SGD has long been known to affect convergence rate. Recent results show that accelerated rates are possible in a variety of cases for permutation-based sample orders, in which each example from the training set is used once before any example is reused. In this paper, we develop a broad condition on the sequence of examples used by SGD that is sufficient to prove tight convergence rates in both strongly convex and non-convex settings. We show that our approach suffices to recover, and in some cases improve upon, previous state-of-the-art analyses for four known example-selection schemes: (1) shuffle once, (2) random reshuffling, (3) random reshuffling with data echoing, and (4) Markov Chain Gradient Descent. Motivated by our theory, we propose two new example-selection approaches. First, using quasi-Monte-Carlo methods, we achieve unprecedented accelerated convergence rates for learning with data augmentation. Second, we greedily choose a fixed scan-order to minimize the metric used in our condition and show that we can obtain more accurate solutions from the same number of epochs of SGD. We conclude by empirically demonstrating the utility of our approach for both convex linear-model and deep learning tasks. Our code is available at:

Topological Experience Replay

Zhang-Wei Hong · Tao Chen · Yen-Chen Lin · Joni Pajarinen · Pulkit Agrawal

State-of-the-art deep Q-learning methods update Q-values using state transition tuples sampled from the experience replay buffer. This strategy often randomly samples or prioritizes data sampling based on measures such as the temporal difference (TD) error. Such sampling strategies can be inefficient at learning Q-function since a state's correct Q-value preconditions on the accurate successor states' Q-value. Disregarding such a successor's value dependency leads to useless updates and even learning wrong values.To expedite Q-learning, we maintain states' dependency by organizing the agent's experience into a graph. Each edge in the graph represents a transition between two connected states. We perform value backups via a breadth-first search that expands vertices in the graph starting from the set of terminal states successively moving backward. We empirically show that our method is substantially more data-efficient than several baselines on a diverse range of goal-reaching tasks. Notably, the proposed method also outperforms baselines that consume more batches of training experience.

Learning Scenario Representation for Solving Two-stage Stochastic Integer Programs

Yaoxin Wu · Wen Song · Zhiguang Cao · Jie Zhang

Many practical combinatorial optimization problems under uncertainty can be modeled as stochastic integer programs (SIPs), which are extremely challenging to solve due to the high complexity. To solve two-stage SIPs efficiently, we propose a conditional variational autoencoder (CVAE) based method to learn scenario representation for a class of SIP instances. Specifically, we design a graph convolutional network based encoder to embed each scenario with the deterministic part of its instance (i.e. context) into a low-dimensional latent space, from which a decoder reconstructs the scenario from its latent representation conditioned on the context. Such a design effectively captures the dependencies of the scenarios on their corresponding instances. We apply the trained encoder to two tasks in typical SIP solving, i.e. scenario reduction and objective prediction. Experiments on two SIP problems show that the learned latent representation significantly boosts the solving performance to attain high-quality solutions in short computational time, and generalizes fairly well to problems of larger sizes or with more scenarios.

Online Target Q-learning with Reverse Experience Replay: Efficiently finding the Optimal Policy for Linear MDPs

Naman Agarwal · Syomantak Chaudhuri · Prateek Jain · Dheeraj Nagaraj · Praneeth Netrapalli

Q-learning is a popular Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithm which is widely used in practice with function approximation (Mnih et al., 2015). In contrast, existing theoretical results are pessimistic about Q-learning. For example, (Baird, 1995) shows that Q-learning does not converge even with linear function approximation for linear MDPs. Furthermore, even for tabular MDPs with synchronous updates, Q-learning was shown to have sub-optimal sample complexity (Li et al., 2021, Azar et al., 2013). The goal of this work is to bridge the gap between practical success of Q-learning and the relatively pessimistic theoretical results. The starting point of our work is the observation that in practice, Q-learning is used with two important modifications: (i) training with two networks, called online network and target network simultaneously (online target learning, or OTL) , and (ii) experience replay (ER) (Mnih et al., 2015). While they have been observed to play a significant role in the practical success of Q-learning, a thorough theoretical understanding of how these two modifications improve the convergence behavior of Q-learning has been missing in literature. By carefully combining the Q-learning with OTL and reverse experience replay (RER) (a form of experience replay), we present novel methods Q-Rex and Q-RexDaRe (Q-Rex+data reuse). We show that Q-Rex efficiently finds the optimal policy for linear MDPs and provide non-asymptotic bounds on sample complexity -- the first such result for a Q-learning method with linear MDPs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Q-RexDaRe in fact achieves near optimal sample complexity in the tabular setting, improving upon the existing results for vanilla Q-learning.

FALCON: Fast Visual Concept Learning by Integrating Images, Linguistic descriptions, and Conceptual Relations

Lingjie Mei · Jiayuan Mao · Ziqi Wang · Chuang Gan · Joshua B Tenenbaum

We present a meta-learning framework for learning new visual concepts quickly, from just one or a few examples, guided by multiple naturally occurring data streams: simultaneously looking at images, reading sentences that describe the objects in the scene, and interpreting supplemental sentences that relate the novel concept with other concepts. The learned concepts support downstream applications, such as answering questions by reasoning about unseen images. Our model, namely FALCON, represents individual visual concepts, such as colors and shapes, as axis-aligned boxes in a high-dimensional space (the box embedding space''). Given an input image and its paired sentence, our model first resolves the referential expression in the sentence and associates the novel concept with particular objects in the scene. Next, our model interprets supplemental sentences to relate the novel concept with other known concepts, such asX has property Y'' or ``X is a kind of Y''. Finally, it infers an optimal box embedding for the novel concept that jointly 1) maximizes the likelihood of the observed instances in the image, and 2) satisfies the relationships between the novel concepts and the known ones. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our model on both synthetic and real-world datasets.

OntoProtein: Protein Pretraining With Gene Ontology Embedding

Ningyu Zhang · Zhen Bi · Xiaozhuan Liang · Siyuan Cheng · Haosen Hong · Shumin Deng · Qiang Zhang · Jiazhang Lian · Huajun Chen

Self-supervised protein language models have proved their effectiveness in learning the proteins representations. With the increasing computational power, current protein language models pre-trained with millions of diverse sequences can advance the parameter scale from million-level to billion-level and achieve remarkable improvement. However, those prevailing approaches rarely consider incorporating knowledge graphs (KGs), which can provide rich structured knowledge facts for better protein representations. We argue that informative biology knowledge in KGs can enhance protein representation with external knowledge. In this work, we propose OntoProtein, the first general framework that makes use of structure in GO (Gene Ontology) into protein pre-training models. We construct a novel large-scale knowledge graph that consists of GO and its related proteins, and gene annotation texts or protein sequences describe all nodes in the graph. We propose novel contrastive learning with knowledge-aware negative sampling to jointly optimize the knowledge graph and protein embedding during pre-training. Experimental results show that OntoProtein can surpass state-of-the-art methods with pre-trained protein language models in TAPE benchmark and yield better performance compared with baselines in protein-protein interaction and protein function prediction.

KL Guided Domain Adaptation

A. Tuan Nguyen · Toan Tran · Yarin Gal · Philip Torr · Atilim Gunes Baydin

Domain adaptation is an important problem and often needed for real-world applications. In this problem, instead of i.i.d. training and testing datapoints, we assume that the source (training) data and the target (testing) data have different distributions. With that setting, the empirical risk minimization training procedure often does not perform well, since it does not account for the change in the distribution. A common approach in the domain adaptation literature is to learn a representation of the input that has the same (marginal) distribution over the source and the target domain. However, these approaches often require additional networks and/or optimizing an adversarial (minimax) objective, which can be very expensive or unstable in practice. To improve upon these marginal alignment techniques, in this paper, we first derive a generalization bound for the target loss based on the training loss and the reverse Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence between the source and the target representation distributions. Based on this bound, we derive an algorithm that minimizes the KL term to obtain a better generalization to the target domain. We show that with a probabilistic representation network, the KL term can be estimated efficiently via minibatch samples without any additional network or a minimax objective. This leads to a theoretically sound alignment method which is also very efficient and stable in practice. Experimental results also suggest that our method outperforms other representation-alignment approaches.

Acceleration of Federated Learning with Alleviated Forgetting in Local Training

Chencheng Xu · Zhiwei Hong · Minlie Huang · Tao Jiang

Federated learning (FL) enables distributed optimization of machine learning models while protecting privacy by independently training local models on each client and then aggregating parameters on a central server, thereby producing an effective global model. Although a variety of FL algorithms have been proposed, their training efficiency remains low when the data are not independently and identically distributed (non-i.i.d.) across different clients. We observe that the slow convergence rates of the existing methods are (at least partially) caused by the catastrophic forgetting issue during the local training stage on each individual client, which leads to a large increase in the loss function concerning the previous training data provided at other clients. Here, we propose FedReg, an algorithm to accelerate FL with alleviated knowledge forgetting in the local training stage by regularizing locally trained parameters with the loss on generated pseudo data, which encode the knowledge of previous training data learned by the global model. Our comprehensive experiments demonstrate that FedReg not only significantly improves the convergence rate of FL, especially when the neural network architecture is deep and the clients' data are extremely non-i.i.d., but is also able to protect privacy better in classification problems and more robust against gradient inversion attacks.

Ada-NETS: Face Clustering via Adaptive Neighbour Discovery in the Structure Space

Yaohua Wang · Yaobin Zhang · Fangyi Zhang · Senzhang Wang · Ming Lin · Yuqi Zhang · Xiuyu Sun

Face clustering has attracted rising research interest recently to take advantage of massive amounts of face images on the web. State-of-the-art performance has been achieved by Graph Convolutional Networks (GCN) due to their powerful representation capacity. However, existing GCN-based methods build face graphs mainly according to kNN relations in the feature space, which may lead to a lot of noise edges connecting two faces of different classes. The face features will be polluted when messages pass along these noise edges, thus degrading the performance of GCNs. In this paper, a novel algorithm named Ada-NETS is proposed to cluster faces by constructing clean graphs for GCNs. In Ada-NETS, each face is transformed to a new structure space, obtaining robust features by considering face features of the neighbour images. Then, an adaptive neighbour discovery strategy is proposed to determine a proper number of edges connecting to each face image. It significantly reduces the noise edges while maintaining the good ones to build a graph with clean yet rich edges for GCNs to cluster faces. Experiments on multiple public clustering datasets show that Ada-NETS significantly outperforms current state-of-the-art methods, proving its superiority and generalization. Code is available at

Reverse Engineering of Imperceptible Adversarial Image Perturbations

Yifan Gong · Yuguang Yao · Yize Li · Yimeng Zhang · Xiaoming Liu · Xue Lin · Sijia Liu

It has been well recognized that neural network based image classifiers are easily fooled by images with tiny perturbations crafted by an adversary. There has been a vast volume of research to generate and defend such adversarial attacks. However, the following problem is left unexplored: How to reverse-engineer adversarial perturbations from an adversarial image? This leads to a new adversarial learning paradigm—Reverse Engineering of Deceptions (RED). If successful, RED allows us to estimate adversarial perturbations and recover the original images. However, carefully crafted, tiny adversarial perturbations are difficult to recover by optimizing a unilateral RED objective. For example, the pure image denoising method may overfit to minimizing the reconstruction error but hardly preserve the classification properties of the true adversarial perturbations. To tackle this challenge, we formalize the RED problem and identify a set of principles crucial to the RED approach design. Particularly, we find that prediction alignment and proper data augmentation (in terms of spatial transformations) are two criteria to achieve a generalizable RED approach. By integrating these RED principles with image denoising, we propose a new Class-Discriminative Denoising based RED framework, termed CDD-RED. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of CDD-RED under different evaluation metrics (ranging from the pixel-level, prediction-level to the attribution-level alignment) and a variety of attack generation methods (e.g., FGSM, PGD, CW, AutoAttack, and adaptive attacks).

Interacting Contour Stochastic Gradient Langevin Dynamics

Wei Deng · Siqi Liang · Botao Hao · Guang Lin · Faming Liang

We propose an interacting contour stochastic gradient Langevin dynamics (ICSGLD) sampler, an embarrassingly parallel multiple-chain contour stochastic gradient Langevin dynamics (CSGLD) sampler with efficient interactions. We show that ICSGLD can be theoretically more efficient than a single-chain CSGLD with an equivalent computational budget. We also present a novel random-field function, which facilitates the estimation of self-adapting parameters in big data and obtains free mode explorations. Empirically, we compare the proposed algorithm with popular benchmark methods for posterior sampling. The numerical results show a great potential of ICSGLD for large-scale uncertainty estimation tasks.

Self-Joint Supervised Learning

Navid Kardan · Mubarak Shah · Mitchell Hill

Supervised learning is a fundamental framework used to train machine learning systems. A supervised learning problem is often formulated using an i.i.d. assumption that restricts model attention to a single relevant signal at a time when predicting. This contrasts with the human ability to actively use related samples as reference when making decisions. We hypothesize that the restriction to a single signal for each prediction in the standard i.i.d. framework contributes to well-known drawbacks of supervised learning: making overconfident predictions and vulnerability to overfitting, adversarial attacks, and out-of-distribution data. To address these limitations, we propose a new supervised learning paradigm called self-joint learning that generalizes the standard approach by modeling the joint conditional distribution of two observed samples, where each sample is an image and its label. Rather than assuming samples are independent, our models explicitly learn the sample-to-sample relation of conditional independence. Our framework can naturally incorporate auxiliary unlabeled data to further improve the performance. Experiments on benchmark image datasets show our method offers significant improvement over standard supervised learning in terms of accuracy, robustness against adversarial attacks, out-of-distribution detection, and overconfidence mitigation.

Variational Inference for Discriminative Learning with Generative Modeling of Feature Incompletion

Kohei Miyaguchi · Takayuki Katsuki · Akira Koseki · Toshiya Iwamori

We are concerned with the problem of distributional prediction with incomplete features: The goal is to estimate the distribution of target variables given feature vectors with some of the elements missing. A typical approach to this problem is to perform missing-value imputation and regression, simultaneously or sequentially, which we call the generative approach. Another approach is to perform regression after appropriately encoding missing values into the feature, which we call the discriminative approach. In comparison, the generative approach is more robust to the feature corruption while the discriminative approach is more favorable to maximize the performance of prediction. In this study, we propose a hybrid method to take the best of both worlds. Our method utilizes the black-box variational inference framework so that it can be applied to a wide variety of modern machine learning models, including the variational autoencoders. We also confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed method empirically.

Few-shot Learning via Dirichlet Tessellation Ensemble

Chunwei Ma · Ziyun Huang · Mingchen Gao · Jinhui Xu

Few-shot learning (FSL) is the process of rapid generalization from abundant base samples to inadequate novel samples. Despite extensive research in recent years, FSL is still not yet able to generate satisfactory solutions for a wide range of real-world applications. To confront this challenge, we study the FSL problem from a geometric point of view in this paper. One observation is that the widely embraced ProtoNet model is essentially a Voronoi Diagram (VD) in the feature space. We retrofit it by making use of a recent advance in computational geometry called Cluster-induced Voronoi Diagram (CIVD). Starting from the simplest nearest neighbor model, CIVD gradually incorporates cluster-to-point and then cluster-to-cluster relationships for space subdivision, which is used to improve the accuracy and robustness at multiple stages of FSL. Specifically, we use CIVD (1) to integrate parametric and nonparametric few-shot classifiers; (2) to combine feature representation and surrogate representation; (3) and to leverage feature-level, transformation-level, and geometry-level heterogeneities for a better ensemble. Our CIVD-based workflow enables us to achieve new state-of-the-art results on mini-ImageNet, CUB, and tiered-ImagenNet datasets, with ${\sim}2\%{-}5\%$ improvements upon the next best. To summarize, CIVD provides a mathematically elegant and geometrically interpretable framework that compensates for extreme data insufficiency, prevents overfitting, and allows for fast geometric ensemble for thousands of individual VD. These together make FSL stronger.

Natural Language Descriptions of Deep Features

Evan Hernandez · Sarah Schwettmann · David Bau · Teona Bagashvili · Antonio Torralba · Jacob Andreas

Some neurons in deep networks specialize in recognizing highly specific perceptual, structural, or semantic features of inputs. In computer vision, techniques exist for identifying neurons that respond to individual concept categories like colors, textures, and object classes. But these techniques are limited in scope, labeling only a small subset of neurons and behaviors in any network. Is a richer characterization of neuron-level computation possible? We introduce a procedure (called MILAN, for mutual information-guided linguistic annotation of neurons) that automatically labels neurons with open-ended, compositional, natural language descriptions. Given a neuron, MILAN generates a description by searching for a natural language string that maximizes pointwise mutual information with the image regions in which the neuron is active. MILAN produces fine-grained descriptions that capture categorical, relational, and logical structure in learned features. These descriptions obtain high agreement with human-generated feature descriptions across a diverse set of model architectures and tasks, and can aid in understanding and controlling learned models. We highlight three applications of natural language neuron descriptions. First, we use MILAN for analysis, characterizing the distribution and importance of neurons selective for attribute, category, and relational information in vision models. Second, we use MILAN for auditing, surfacing neurons sensitive to human faces in datasets designed to obscure them. Finally, we use MILAN for editing, improving robustness in an image classifier by deleting neurons sensitive to text features spuriously correlated with class labels.

Shuffle Private Stochastic Convex Optimization

Albert Cheu · Matthew Joseph · Jieming Mao · Binghui Peng

In shuffle privacy, each user sends a collection of randomized messages to a trusted shuffler, the shuffler randomly permutes these messages, and the resulting shuffled collection of messages must satisfy differential privacy. Prior work in this model has largely focused on protocols that use a single round of communication to compute algorithmic primitives like means, histograms, and counts. In this work, we present interactive shuffle protocols for stochastic convex optimization. Our optimization protocols rely on a new noninteractive protocol for summing vectors of bounded $\ell_2$ norm. By combining this sum subroutine with techniques including mini-batch stochastic gradient descent, accelerated gradient descent, and Nesterov's smoothing method, we obtain loss guarantees for a variety of convex loss functions that significantly improve on those of the local model and sometimes match those of the central model.

Reinforcement Learning under a Multi-agent Predictive State Representation Model: Method and Theory

Zhi Zhang · Zhuoran Yang · Han Liu · Pratap Tokekar · Furong Huang

This paper proposes a new algorithm for learning the optimal policies under a novel multi-agent predictive state representation reinforcement learning model. Compared to the state-of-the-art methods, the most striking feature of our approach is the introduction of a dynamic interaction graph to the model, which allows us to represent each agent's predictive state by considering the behaviors of its ``neighborhood'' agents. Methodologically, we develop an online algorithm that simultaneously learns the predictive state representation and agent policies. Theoretically, we provide an upper bound of the $L_2$-norm of the learned predictive state representation. Empirically, to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed method, we provide thorough numerical results on both a MAMuJoCo robotic learning experiment and a multi-agent particle learning environment.

TAMP-S2GCNets: Coupling Time-Aware Multipersistence Knowledge Representation with Spatio-Supra Graph Convolutional Networks for Time-Series Forecasting

Yuzhou Chen · Ignacio Segovia-Dominguez · Baris Coskunuzer · Yulia Gel

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are proven to be a powerful machinery for learning complex dependencies in multivariate spatio-temporal processes. However, most existing GNNs have inherently static architectures, and as a result, do not explicitly account for time dependencies of the encoded knowledge and are limited in their ability to simultaneously infer latent time-conditioned relations among entities. We postulate that such hidden time-conditioned properties may be captured by the tools of multipersistence, i.e, a emerging machinery in topological data analysis which allows us to quantify dynamics of the data shape along multiple geometric dimensions. We make the first step toward integrating the two rising research directions, that is, time-aware deep learning and multipersistence, and propose a new model, Time-Aware Multipersistence Spatio-Supra Graph Convolutional Network (TAMP-S2GCNets). We summarize inherent time-conditioned topological properties of the data as time-aware multipersistence Euler-Poincar\'e surface and prove its stability. We then construct a supragraph convolution module which simultaneously accounts for the extracted intra- and inter- spatio-temporal dependencies in the data. Our extensive experiments on highway traffic flow, Ethereum token prices, and COVID-19 hospitalizations demonstrate that TAMP-S2GCNets outperforms the state-of-the-art tools in multivariate time series forecasting tasks.

Out-of-distribution Generalization in the Presence of Nuisance-Induced Spurious Correlations

Aahlad Puli · Lily Zhang · Eric Oermann · Rajesh Ranganath

In many prediction problems, spurious correlations are induced by a changing relationship between the label and a nuisance variable that is also correlated with the covariates. For example, in classifying animals in natural images, the background, which is a nuisance, can predict the type of animal. This nuisance-label relationship does not always hold, and the performance of a model trained under one such relationship may be poor on data with a different nuisance-label relationship. To build predictive models that perform well regardless of the nuisance-label relationship, we develop Nuisance-Randomized Distillation (NURD). We introduce the nuisance-randomized distribution, a distribution where the nuisance and the label are independent. Under this distribution, we define the set of representations such that conditioning on any member, the nuisance and the label remain independent. We prove that the representations in this set always perform better than chance, while representations outside of this set may not. NURD finds a representation from this set that is most informative of the label under the nuisance-randomized distribution, and we prove that this representation achieves the highest performance regardless of the nuisance-label relationship. We evaluate NURD on several tasks including chest X-ray classification where, using non-lung patches as the nuisance, NURD produces models that predict pneumonia under strong spurious correlations.

Universalizing Weak Supervision

Changho Shin · Winfred Li · Harit Vishwakarma · Nicholas Roberts · Frederic Sala

Weak supervision (WS) frameworks are a popular way to bypass hand-labeling large datasets for training data-hungry models.These approaches synthesize multiple noisy but cheaply-acquired estimates of labels into a set of high-quality pseudo-labels for downstream training. However, the synthesis technique is specific to a particular kind of label, such as binary labels or sequences, and each new label type requires manually designing a new synthesis algorithm. Instead, we propose a universal technique that enables weak supervision over any label type while still offering desirable properties, including practical flexibility, computational efficiency, and theoretical guarantees. We apply this technique to important problems previously not tackled by WS frameworks including learning to rank, regression, and learning in hyperbolic space. Theoretically, our synthesis approach produces a consistent estimators for learning some challenging but important generalizations of the exponential family model. Experimentally, we validate our framework and show improvement over baselines in diverse settings including real-world learning-to-rank and regression problems along with learning on hyperbolic manifolds.

On the Generalization of Models Trained with SGD: Information-Theoretic Bounds and Implications

Ziqiao Wang · Yongyi Mao

This paper follows up on a recent work of Neu et al. (2021) and presents some new information-theoretic upper bounds for the generalization error of machine learning models, such as neural networks, trained with SGD. We apply these bounds to analyzing the generalization behaviour of linear and two-layer ReLU networks. Experimental study of these bounds provide some insights on the SGD training of neural networks. They also point to a new and simple regularization scheme which we show performs comparably to the current state of the art.

Vector-quantized Image Modeling with Improved VQGAN

Jiahui Yu · Xin Li · Jing Yu Koh · Han Zhang · Ruoming Pang · James Qin · Alexander Ku · Yuanzhong Xu · Jason Baldridge · Yonghui Wu

Pretraining language models with next-token prediction on massive text corpora has delivered phenomenal zero-shot, few-shot, transfer learning and multi-tasking capabilities on both generative and discriminative language tasks. Motivated by this success, we explore a Vector-quantized Image Modeling (VIM) approach that involves pretraining a Transformer to predict rasterized image tokens autoregressively. The discrete image tokens are encoded from a learned Vision-Transformer-based VQGAN (ViT-VQGAN). We first propose multiple improvements over vanilla VQGAN from architecture to codebook learning, yielding better efficiency and reconstruction fidelity. The improved ViT-VQGAN further improves vector-quantized image modeling tasks, including unconditional, class-conditioned image generation and unsupervised representation learning. When trained on ImageNet at 256x256 resolution, we achieve Inception Score (IS) of 175.1 and Fr'echet Inception Distance (FID) of 4.17, a dramatic improvement over the vanilla VQGAN, which obtains 70.6 and 17.04 for IS and FID, respectively. Based on ViT-VQGAN and unsupervised pretraining, we further evaluate the pretrained Transformer by averaging intermediate features, similar to Image GPT (iGPT). This ImageNet-pretrained VIM-L significantly beats iGPT-L on linear-probe accuracy from 60.3% to 73.2% for a similar model size. ViM-L also outperforms iGPT-XL which is trained with extra web image data and larger model size.

Adversarial Robustness Through the Lens of Causality

Yonggang Zhang · Mingming Gong · Tongliang Liu · Gang Niu · Xinmei Tian · Bo Han · Bernhard Schoelkopf · Kun Zhang

The adversarial vulnerability of deep neural networks has attracted significant attention in machine learning. As causal reasoning has an instinct for modeling distribution change, it is essential to incorporate causality into analyzing this specific type of distribution change induced by adversarial attacks. However, causal formulations of the intuition of adversarial attacks and the development of robust DNNs are still lacking in the literature. To bridge this gap, we construct a causal graph to model the generation process of adversarial examples and define the adversarial distribution to formalize the intuition of adversarial attacks. From the causal perspective, we study the distinction between the natural and adversarial distribution and conclude that the origin of adversarial vulnerability is the focus of models on spurious correlations. Inspired by the causal understanding, we propose the \emph{Causal}-inspired \emph{Adv}ersarial distribution alignment method, CausalAdv, to eliminate the difference between natural and adversarial distributions by considering spurious correlations. Extensive experiments demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed method. Our work is the first attempt towards using causality to understand and mitigate the adversarial vulnerability.

Sample Efficient Stochastic Policy Extragradient Algorithm for Zero-Sum Markov Game

Ziyi Chen · Shaocong Ma · Yi Zhou

Two-player zero-sum Markov game is a fundamental problem in reinforcement learning and game theory. Although many algorithms have been proposed for solving zero-sum Markov games in the existing literature, many of them either require a full knowledge of the environment or are not sample-efficient. In this paper, we develop a fully decentralized and sample-efficient stochastic policy extragradient algorithm for solving tabular zero-sum Markov games. In particular, our algorithm utilizes multiple stochastic estimators to accurately estimate the value functions involved in the stochastic updates, and leverages entropy regularization to accelerate the convergence. Specifically, with a proper entropy-regularization parameter, we prove that the stochastic policy extragradient algorithm has a sample complexity of the order $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(\frac{A_{\max}}{\mu_{\text{min}}\epsilon^{5.5}(1-\gamma)^{13.5}})$ for finding a solution that achieves $\epsilon$-Nash equilibrium duality gap, where $A_{\max}$ is the maximum number of actions between the players, $\mu_{\min}$ is the lower bound of state stationary distribution, and $\gamma$ is the discount factor. Such a sample complexity result substantially improves the state-of-the-art complexity result.

Do deep networks transfer invariances across classes?

Allan Zhou · Fahim Tajwar · Alexander Robey · Tom Knowles · George Pappas · Hamed Hassani · Chelsea Finn

In order to generalize well, classifiers must learn to be invariant to nuisance transformations that do not alter an input's class. Many problems have "class-agnostic" nuisance transformations that apply similarly to all classes, such as lighting and background changes for image classification. Neural networks can learn these invariances given sufficient data, but many real-world datasets are heavily class imbalanced and contain only a few examples for most of the classes. We therefore pose the question: how well do neural networks transfer class-agnostic invariances learned from the large classes to the small ones? Through careful experimentation, we observe that invariance to class-agnostic transformations is still heavily dependent on class size, with the networks being much less invariant on smaller classes. This result holds even when using data balancing techniques, and suggests poor invariance transfer across classes. Our results provide one explanation for why classifiers generalize poorly on unbalanced and long-tailed distributions. Based on this analysis, we show how a generative approach for learning the nuisance transformations can help transfer invariances across classes and improve performance on a set of imbalanced image classification benchmarks.

Automatic Loss Function Search for Predict-Then-Optimize Problems with Strong Ranking Property

Boshi Wang · Jialin Yi · Hang Dong · Bo Qiao · Chuan Luo · Qingwei Lin

Combinatorial optimization problems with parameters to be predicted from side information are commonly seen in a variety of problems during the paradigm shift from reactive decision making to proactive decision making. Due to the misalignment between the continuous prediction results and the discrete decisions in optimization problems, it is hard to achieve a satisfactory prediction result with the ordinary $l_2$ loss in the prediction phase. To properly connect the prediction loss with the optimization goal, in this paper we propose a total group preorder (TGP) loss and its differential version called approximated total group preorder (ATGP) loss for predict-then-optimize (PTO) problems with strong ranking property. These new losses are provably more robust than the usual $l_2$ loss in a linear regression setting and have great potential to extend to other settings. We also propose an automatic searching algorithm that adapts the ATGP loss to PTO problems with different combinatorial structures. Extensive experiments on the ranking problem, the knapsack problem, and the shortest path problem have demonstrated that our proposed method can achieve a significant performance compared to the other methods designed for PTO problems.

Constructing Orthogonal Convolutions in an Explicit Manner

Tan Yu · Jun Li · YUNFENG CAI · Ping Li

Convolutions with orthogonal input-output Jacobian matrix, i.e., orthogonal convolution, have recently attracted substantial attention. A convolution layer with an orthogonal Jacobian matrix is 1-Lipschitz in the 2-norm, making the output robust to the perturbation in input. Meanwhile, an orthogonal Jacobian matrix preserves the gradient norm in back-propagation, which is critical for stable training deep networks. Nevertheless, existing orthogonal convolutions are burdened by high computational costs for preserving orthogonality.In this work, we exploit the relation between the singular values of the convolution layer's Jacobian and the structure of the convolution kernel. To achieve orthogonality, we explicitly construct the convolution kernel for enforcing all singular values of the convolution layer's Jacobian to be $1$s. After training, the explicitly constructed orthogonal (ECO) convolution is constructed only once, and their weights are stored. Then, in evaluation, we only need to load the stored weights of the trained ECO convolution, and the computational cost of ECO convolution is the same as the standard dilated convolution. It is more efficient than the recent state-of-the-art approach, skew orthogonal convolution (SOC) in evaluation. Experiments on CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 demonstrate that the proposed ECO convolution is faster than SOC in evaluation while leading to competitive standard and certified robust accuracies.


Viet Vo · Ehsan Abbasnejad · Damith Ranasinghe

Despite our best efforts, deep learning models remain highly vulnerable to even tiny adversarial perturbations applied to the inputs. The ability to extract information from solely the output of a machine learning model to craft adversarial perturbations to black-box models is a practical threat against real-world systems, such as Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS), particularly $sparse~attacks$. The realization of sparse attacks in black-box settings demonstrates that machine learning models are more vulnerable than we believe. Because, these attacks aim to $minimize~the~number~of~perturbed~pixels$—measured by $l_0$ norm—required to mislead a model by $solely$ observing the decision ($the~predicted~label$) returned to a model query; the so-called $decision-based~setting$. But, such an attack leads to an NP-hard optimization problem. We develop an evolution-based algorithm—$SparseEvo$—for the problem and evaluate against both convolutional deep neural networks and $vision~transformers$. Notably, vision transformers are yet to be investigated under a decision-based attack setting. SparseEvo requires significantly fewer queries than the state-of-the-art sparse attack $Pointwise$ for both untargeted and targeted attacks. The attack algorithm, although conceptually simple, is competitive with only a limited query budget against the state-of-the-art gradient-based $white-box$ attacks in standard computer vision tasks such as $ImageNet$. Importantly, the query efficient SparseEvo, along with decision-based attacks, in general, raise new questions regarding the safety of deployed systems and poses new directions to study and understand the robustness of machine learning models.

CrossBeam: Learning to Search in Bottom-Up Program Synthesis

Kensen Shi · Hanjun Dai · Kevin Ellis · Charles Sutton

Many approaches to program synthesis perform a search within an enormous space of programs to find one that satisfies a given specification. Prior works have used neural models to guide combinatorial search algorithms, but such approaches still explore a huge portion of the search space and quickly become intractable as the size of the desired program increases. To tame the search space blowup, we propose training a neural model to learn a hands-on search policy for bottom-up synthesis, instead of relying on a combinatorial search algorithm. Our approach, called CrossBeam, uses the neural model to choose how to combine previously-explored programs into new programs, taking into account the search history and partial program executions. Motivated by work in structured prediction on learning to search, CrossBeam is trained on-policy using data extracted from its own bottom-up searches on training tasks. We evaluate CrossBeam in two very different domains, string manipulation and logic programming. We observe that CrossBeam learns to search efficiently, exploring much smaller portions of the program space compared to the state-of-the-art.

Rethinking Class-Prior Estimation for Positive-Unlabeled Learning

Yu Yao · Tongliang Liu · Bo Han · Mingming Gong · Gang Niu · Masashi Sugiyama · Dacheng Tao

Given only positive (P) and unlabeled (U) data, PU learning can train a binary classifier without any negative data. It has two building blocks: PU class-prior estimation (CPE) and PU classification; the latter has been well studied while the former has received less attention. Hitherto, the distributional-assumption-free CPE methods rely on a critical assumption that the support of the positive data distribution cannot be contained in the support of the negative data distribution. If this is violated, those CPE methods will systematically overestimate the class prior; it is even worse that we cannot verify the assumption based on the data. In this paper, we rethink CPE for PU learning—can we remove the assumption to make CPE always valid? We show an affirmative answer by proposing Regrouping CPE (ReCPE) that builds an auxiliary probability distribution such that the support of the positive data distribution is never contained in the support of the negative data distribution. ReCPE can work with any CPE method by treating it as the base method. Theoretically, ReCPE does not affect its base if the assumption already holds for the original probability distribution; otherwise, it reduces the positive bias of its base. Empirically, ReCPE improves all state-of-the-art CPE methods on various datasets, implying that the assumption has indeed been violated here.

Improving the Accuracy of Learning Example Weights for Imbalance Classification

Yuqi Liu · Bin Cao · JING FAN

To solve the imbalance classification, methods of weighting examples have been proposed. Recent work has studied to assign adaptive weights to training examples through learning mechanisms, that is, the weights, similar to classification models, are regarded as parameters that need to be learned. However, the algorithms in recent work use local information to approximately optimize the weights, which may lead to inaccurate learning of the weights. In this work, we first propose a novel mechanism of learning with a constraint, which can accurately train the weights and model. Then, we propose a combined method of our learning mechanism and the work by Hu et al., which can promote each other to perform better. Our proposed method can be applied to any type of deep network model. Experiments show that compared with the state-of-the-art algorithms, our method has significant improvement in varieties of settings, including text and image classification over different imbalance ratios, binary and multi-class classification.

InfinityGAN: Towards Infinite-Pixel Image Synthesis

Chieh Hubert Lin · Hsin-Ying Lee · Yen-Chi Cheng · Sergey Tulyakov · Ming-Hsuan Yang

We present InfinityGAN, a method to generate arbitrary-sized images. The problem is associated with several key challenges. First, scaling existing models to an arbitrarily large image size is resource-constrained, both in terms of computation and availability of large-field-of-view training data. InfinityGAN trains and infers patch-by-patch seamlessly with low computational resources. Second, large images should be locally and globally consistent, avoid repetitive patterns, and look realistic. To address these, InfinityGAN takes global appearance, local structure and texture into account. With this formulation, we can generate images with spatial size and level of detail not attainable before. Experimental evaluation supports that InfinityGAN generates images with superior global structure compared to baselines and features parallelizable inference. Finally, we show several applications unlocked by our approach, such as fusing styles spatially, multi-modal outpainting and image inbetweening at arbitrary input and output sizes.

Gradient Matching for Domain Generalization

Yuge Shi · Jeffrey Seely · Philip Torr · Siddharth N · Awni Hannun · Nicolas Usunier · Gabriel Synnaeve

Machine learning systems typically assume that the distributions of training and test sets match closely. However, a critical requirement of such systems in the real world is their ability to generalize to unseen domains. Here, we propose an inter-domain gradient matching objective that targets domain generalization by maximizing the inner product between gradients from different domains. Since direct optimization of the gradient inner product can be computationally prohibitive --- it requires computation of second-order derivatives –-- we derive a simpler first-order algorithm named Fish that approximates its optimization. We perform experiments on the Wilds benchmark, which captures distribution shift in the real world, as well as the DomainBed benchmark that focuses more on synthetic-to-real transfer. Our method produces competitive results on both benchmarks, demonstrating its effectiveness across a wide range of domain generalization tasks.

Analyzing and Improving the Optimization Landscape of Noise-Contrastive Estimation

Bingbin Liu · Elan Rosenfeld · Pradeep K Ravikumar · Andrej Risteski

Noise-contrastive estimation (NCE) is a statistically consistent method for learning unnormalized probabilistic models. It has been empirically observed that the choice of the noise distribution is crucial for NCE’s performance. However, such observation has never been made formal or quantitative. In fact, it is not even clear whether the difficulties arising from a poorly chosen noise distribution are statistical or algorithmic in nature.In this work, we formally pinpoint reasons for NCE’s poor performance when an inappropriate noise distribution is used. Namely, we prove these challenges arise due to an ill-behaved (more precisely, flat) loss landscape.To address this, we introduce a variant of NCE called \emph{eNCE} which uses an exponential loss and for which \emph{normalized gradient descent} addresses the landscape issues \emph{provably} when the target and noise distributions are in a given exponential family.

Structure-Aware Transformer Policy for Inhomogeneous Multi-Task Reinforcement Learning

Sunghoon Hong · Deunsol Yoon · Kee-Eung Kim

Modular Reinforcement Learning, where the agent is assumed to be morphologically structured as a graph, for example composed of limbs and joints, aims to learn a policy that is transferable to a structurally similar but different agent. Compared to traditional Multi-Task Reinforcement Learning, this promising approach allows us to cope with inhomogeneous tasks where the state and action space dimensions differ across tasks. Graph Neural Networks are a natural model for representing the pertinent policies, but a recent work has shown that their multi-hop message passing mechanism is not ideal for conveying important information to other modules and thus a transformer model without morphological information was proposed. In this work, we argue that the morphological information is still very useful and propose a transformer policy model that effectively encodes such information. Specifically, we encode the morphological information in terms of the traversal-based positional embedding and the graph-based relational embedding. We empirically show that the morphological information is crucial for modular reinforcement learning, substantially outperforming prior state-of-the-art methods on multi-task learning as well as transfer learning settings with different state and action space dimensions.

Model Zoo: A Growing Brain That Learns Continually

Rahul Ramesh · Pratik A Chaudhari

This paper argues that continual learning methods can benefit by splitting the capacity of the learner across multiple models. We use statistical learning theory and experimental analysis to show how multiple tasks can interact with each other in a non-trivial fashion when a single model is trained on them. The generalization error on a particular task can improve when it is trained with synergistic tasks, but can also deteriorate when trained with competing tasks. This theory motivates our method named Model Zoo which, inspired from the boosting literature, grows an ensemble of small models, each of which is trained during one episode of continual learning. We demonstrate that Model Zoo obtains large gains in accuracy on a wide variety of continual learning benchmark problems.

LoRA: Low-Rank Adaptation of Large Language Models

Edward Hu · yelong shen · Phillip Wallis · Zeyuan Allen-Zhu · Yuanzhi Li · Shean Wang · Lu Wang · Weizhu Chen

An important paradigm of natural language processing consists of large-scale pre-training on general domain data and adaptation to particular tasks or domains. As we pre-train larger models, full fine-tuning, which retrains all model parameters, becomes less feasible.Using GPT-3 175B as an example -- deploying independent instances of fine-tuned models, each with 175B parameters, is prohibitively expensive. We propose Low-Rank Adaptation, or LoRA, which freezes the pre-trained model weights and injects trainable rank decomposition matrices into each layer of the Transformer architecture, greatly reducing the number of trainable parameters for downstream tasks. Compared to GPT-3 175B fine-tuned with Adam, LoRA can reduce the number of trainable parameters by a factor of 10,000 and the GPU memory requirement by a factor of 3. LoRA performs on-par or better than fine-tuning in model quality on RoBERTa, DeBERTa, GPT-2, and GPT-3, despite having fewer trainable parameters, a higher training throughput, and, unlike adapters, no additional inference latency. We also provide an empirical investigation into rank-deficiency in language model adaptation, which sheds light on the efficacy of LoRA. We release a package that facilitates the integration of LoRA with PyTorch models and provide our implementations and model checkpoints for RoBERTa, DeBERTa, and GPT-2 at