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Theory and Algorithms for Hypothesis Transfer Learning
Type of publication: Thesis
Citation: Kuzborskij_THESIS_2018
Year: 2018
School: EPFL
DOI: 10.5075/epfl-thesis-8011
Abstract: The design and analysis of machine learning algorithms typically considers the problem of learning on a single task, and the nature of learning in such scenario is well explored. On the other hand, very often tasks faced by machine learning systems arrive sequentially, and therefore it is reasonable to ask whether a better approach can be taken than retraining such systems from scratch given newly available data. Indeed, by drawing analogy from human learning, a novel skill could be acquired more easily whenever the learner shares a relevant past experience. In response to this observation, the machine learning community has drawn its attention towards a form of learning known as transfer learning - learning a novel task by leveraging upon auxiliary information extracted from previous tasks. Tangible progress has been made in both theory and practice of transfer learning; however, many questions are still to be addressed. In this thesis we will focus on an efficient type of transfer learning, known as the Hypothesis Transfer Learning (HTL), where auxiliary information is retained in a form of previously induced hypotheses. This is in contrast to the large body of work where one transfers from the data associated with previously encountered tasks. In particular, we theoretically investigate conditions when HTL guarantees improved generalization on a novel task subject to the relevant auxiliary (source) hypotheses. We investigate HTL theoretically by considering three scenarios: HTL through regularized least squares with biased regularization, through convex empirical risk minimization, and through stochastic optimization, which also touches the theory of non-convex transfer learning problems. In addition, we demonstrate the benefits of HTL empirically, by proposing two algorithms tailored for real-life situations with application to visual learning problems - learning a new class in a multi-class classification setting by transferring from known classes, and an efficient greedy HTL algorithm for learning with large number of source hypotheses. From theoretical point of view this thesis consistently identifies the key quantitative characteristics of relatedness between novel and previous tasks, and explicitates them in generalization bounds. These findings corroborate many previous works in the transfer learning literature and provide a theoretical basis for design and analysis of new HTL algorithms.
Keywords: domain adaptation, statistical learning theory, stochastic optimization, transfer learning, visual recognition
Projects Idiap
Authors Kuzborskij, Ilja
Added by: [UNK]
Total mark: 0
  • Kuzborskij_THESIS_2018.pdf