Meta-Learning Requires Meta-Augmentation

NeurIPS 2020

Meta-learning algorithms aim to learn two components: a model that predicts targets for a task, and a base learner that quickly updates that model when given examples from a new task. This additional level of learning can be powerful, but it also creates another potential source for overfitting, since we can now overfit in either the model or the base learner. We describe both of these forms of metalearning overfitting, and demonstrate that they appear experimentally in common meta-learning benchmarks. We then use an information-theoretic framework to discuss meta-augmentation, a way to add randomness that discourages the base learner and model from learning trivial solutions that do not generalize to new tasks. We demonstrate that meta-augmentation produces large complementary benefits to recently proposed meta-regularization techniques. Speakers: Janarthanan Rajendran, Alex Irpan, Eric Jang