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Spotlight Poster

Project and Probe: Sample-Efficient Adaptation by Interpolating Orthogonal Features

Annie Chen · Yoonho Lee · Amrith Setlur · Sergey Levine · Chelsea Finn

Halle B #116
[ ]
Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT

Abstract: Transfer learning with a small amount of target data is an effective and common approach to adapting a pre-trained model to distribution shifts. In some situations, target data labels may be expensive to obtain, so we may only have access to a limited number of target data points. To make the most of a very small target dataset, we propose a lightweight, sample-efficient approach that learns a diverse set of features and adapts to a target distribution by interpolating these features. Our approach, Project and Probe (Pro$^2$), first learns a linear projection that maps a pre-trained embedding onto orthogonal directions while being predictive of labels in the source dataset. The goal of this step is to learn a variety of predictive features, so that at least some of them remain useful after distribution shift. Pro$^2$ then learns a linear classifier on top of these projected features using a small target dataset. Theoretically, we find that Pro$^2$ results in more sample-efficient generalization by inducing a favorable bias-variance tradeoff. Our experiments on four datasets, with multiple distribution shift settings for each, show that Pro$^2$ improves performance by 5-15% when given limited target data compared to prior methods such as standard linear probing.

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