skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: VariGrow: Variational Architecture Growing for Task-Agnostic Continual Learning based on Bayesian Novelty
Continual Learning (CL) is the problem of sequentially learning a set of tasks and preserving all the knowledge acquired. Many existing methods assume that the data stream is explicitly divided into a sequence of known contexts (tasks), and use this information to know when to transfer knowledge from one context to another. Unfortunately, many real-world CL scenarios have no clear task nor context boundaries, motivating the study of task-agnostic CL, where neither the specific tasks nor their switches are known both in training and testing. This paper proposes a variational architecture growing framework dubbed VariGrow. By interpreting dynamically growing neural networks as a Bayesian approximation, and defining flexible implicit variational distributions, VariGrow detects if a new task is arriving through an energy-based novelty score. If the novelty score is high and the sample is “detected" as a new task, VariGrow will grow a new expert module to be responsible for it. Otherwise, the sample will be assigned to one of the existing experts who is most “familiar" with it (i.e., one with the lowest novelty score). We have tested VariGrow on several CIFAR and ImageNet-based benchmarks for the strict task-agnostic CL setting and demonstrate its consistent superior performance. Perhaps surprisingly, its performance can even be competitive compared to task-aware methods.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2119103
NSF-PAR ID:
10460966
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of Machine Learning Research
Volume:
162
Issue:
17-23 Jul
Page Range / eLocation ID:
865-877
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. By learning a sequence of tasks continually, an agent in continual learning (CL) can improve the learning performance of both a new task and `old' tasks by leveraging the forward knowledge transfer and the backward knowledge transfer, respectively. However, most existing CL methods focus on addressing catastrophic forgetting in neural networks by minimizing the modification of the learnt model for old tasks. This inevitably limits the backward knowledge transfer from the new task to the old tasks, because judicious model updates could possibly improve the learning performance of the old tasks as well. To tackle this problem, we first theoretically analyze the conditions under which updating the learnt model of old tasks could be beneficial for CL and also lead to backward knowledge transfer, based on the gradient projection onto the input subspaces of old tasks. Building on the theoretical analysis, we next develop a ContinUal learning method with Backward knowlEdge tRansfer (CUBER), for a fixed capacity neural network without data replay. In particular, CUBER first characterizes the task correlation to identify the positively correlated old tasks in a layer-wise manner, and then selectively modifies the learnt model of the old tasks when learning the new task. Experimental studies show that CUBER can even achieve positive backward knowledge transfer on several existing CL benchmarks for the first time without data replay, where the related baselines still suffer from catastrophic forgetting (negative backward knowledge transfer). The superior performance of CUBER on the backward knowledge transfer also leads to higher accuracy accordingly. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Identifying and understanding quality phrases from context is a fundamental task in text mining. The most challenging part of this task arguably lies in uncommon, emerging, and domain-specific phrases. The infrequent nature of these phrases significantly hurts the performance of phrase mining methods that rely on sufficient phrase occurrences in the input corpus. Context-aware tagging models, though not restricted by frequency, heavily rely on domain experts for either massive sentence-level gold labels or handcrafted gazetteers. In this work, we propose UCPhrase, a novel unsupervised context-aware quality phrase tagger. Specifically, we induce high-quality phrase spans as silver labels from consistently co-occurring word sequences within each document. Compared with typical context-agnostic distant supervision based on existing knowledge bases (KBs), our silver labels root deeply in the input domain and context, thus having unique advantages in preserving contextual completeness and capturing emerging, out-of-KB phrases. Training a conventional neural tagger based on silver labels usually faces the risk of overfitting phrase surface names. Alternatively, we observe that the contextualized attention maps generated from a Transformer-based neural language model effectively reveal the connections between words in a surface-agnostic way. Therefore, we pair such attention maps with the silver labels to train a lightweight span prediction model, which can be applied to new input to recognize (unseen) quality phrases regardless of their surface names or frequency. Thorough experiments on various tasks and datasets, including corpus-level phrase ranking, document-level keyphrase extraction, and sentence-level phrase tagging, demonstrate the superiority of our design over state-of-the-art pre-trained, unsupervised, and distantly supervised methods. 
    more » « less
  3. Obeid, I. ; Selesnik, I. ; Picone, J. (Ed.)
    The Neuronix high-performance computing cluster allows us to conduct extensive machine learning experiments on big data [1]. This heterogeneous cluster uses innovative scheduling technology, Slurm [2], that manages a network of CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs). The GPU farm consists of a variety of processors ranging from low-end consumer grade devices such as the Nvidia GTX 970 to higher-end devices such as the GeForce RTX 2080. These GPUs are essential to our research since they allow extremely compute-intensive deep learning tasks to be executed on massive data resources such as the TUH EEG Corpus [2]. We use TensorFlow [3] as the core machine learning library for our deep learning systems, and routinely employ multiple GPUs to accelerate the training process. Reproducible results are essential to machine learning research. Reproducibility in this context means the ability to replicate an existing experiment – performance metrics such as error rates should be identical and floating-point calculations should match closely. Three examples of ways we typically expect an experiment to be replicable are: (1) The same job run on the same processor should produce the same results each time it is run. (2) A job run on a CPU and GPU should produce identical results. (3) A job should produce comparable results if the data is presented in a different order. System optimization requires an ability to directly compare error rates for algorithms evaluated under comparable operating conditions. However, it is a difficult task to exactly reproduce the results for large, complex deep learning systems that often require more than a trillion calculations per experiment [5]. This is a fairly well-known issue and one we will explore in this poster. Researchers must be able to replicate results on a specific data set to establish the integrity of an implementation. They can then use that implementation as a baseline for comparison purposes. A lack of reproducibility makes it very difficult to debug algorithms and validate changes to the system. Equally important, since many results in deep learning research are dependent on the order in which the system is exposed to the data, the specific processors used, and even the order in which those processors are accessed, it becomes a challenging problem to compare two algorithms since each system must be individually optimized for a specific data set or processor. This is extremely time-consuming for algorithm research in which a single run often taxes a computing environment to its limits. Well-known techniques such as cross-validation [5,6] can be used to mitigate these effects, but this is also computationally expensive. These issues are further compounded by the fact that most deep learning algorithms are susceptible to the way computational noise propagates through the system. GPUs are particularly notorious for this because, in a clustered environment, it becomes more difficult to control which processors are used at various points in time. Another equally frustrating issue is that upgrades to the deep learning package, such as the transition from TensorFlow v1.9 to v1.13, can also result in large fluctuations in error rates when re-running the same experiment. Since TensorFlow is constantly updating functions to support GPU use, maintaining an historical archive of experimental results that can be used to calibrate algorithm research is quite a challenge. This makes it very difficult to optimize the system or select the best configurations. The overall impact of all of these issues described above is significant as error rates can fluctuate by as much as 25% due to these types of computational issues. Cross-validation is one technique used to mitigate this, but that is expensive since you need to do multiple runs over the data, which further taxes a computing infrastructure already running at max capacity. GPUs are preferred when training a large network since these systems train at least two orders of magnitude faster than CPUs [7]. Large-scale experiments are simply not feasible without using GPUs. However, there is a tradeoff to gain this performance. Since all our GPUs use the NVIDIA CUDA® Deep Neural Network library (cuDNN) [8], a GPU-accelerated library of primitives for deep neural networks, it adds an element of randomness into the experiment. When a GPU is used to train a network in TensorFlow, it automatically searches for a cuDNN implementation. NVIDIA’s cuDNN implementation provides algorithms that increase the performance and help the model train quicker, but they are non-deterministic algorithms [9,10]. Since our networks have many complex layers, there is no easy way to avoid this randomness. Instead of comparing each epoch, we compare the average performance of the experiment because it gives us a hint of how our model is performing per experiment, and if the changes we make are efficient. In this poster, we will discuss a variety of issues related to reproducibility and introduce ways we mitigate these effects. For example, TensorFlow uses a random number generator (RNG) which is not seeded by default. TensorFlow determines the initialization point and how certain functions execute using the RNG. The solution for this is seeding all the necessary components before training the model. This forces TensorFlow to use the same initialization point and sets how certain layers work (e.g., dropout layers). However, seeding all the RNGs will not guarantee a controlled experiment. Other variables can affect the outcome of the experiment such as training using GPUs, allowing multi-threading on CPUs, using certain layers, etc. To mitigate our problems with reproducibility, we first make sure that the data is processed in the same order during training. Therefore, we save the data from the last experiment and to make sure the newer experiment follows the same order. If we allow the data to be shuffled, it can affect the performance due to how the model was exposed to the data. We also specify the float data type to be 32-bit since Python defaults to 64-bit. We try to avoid using 64-bit precision because the numbers produced by a GPU can vary significantly depending on the GPU architecture [11-13]. Controlling precision somewhat reduces differences due to computational noise even though technically it increases the amount of computational noise. We are currently developing more advanced techniques for preserving the efficiency of our training process while also maintaining the ability to reproduce models. In our poster presentation we will demonstrate these issues using some novel visualization tools, present several examples of the extent to which these issues influence research results on electroencephalography (EEG) and digital pathology experiments and introduce new ways to manage such computational issues. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract Motivation

    Best performing named entity recognition (NER) methods for biomedical literature are based on hand-crafted features or task-specific rules, which are costly to produce and difficult to generalize to other corpora. End-to-end neural networks achieve state-of-the-art performance without hand-crafted features and task-specific knowledge in non-biomedical NER tasks. However, in the biomedical domain, using the same architecture does not yield competitive performance compared with conventional machine learning models.

    Results

    We propose a novel end-to-end deep learning approach for biomedical NER tasks that leverages the local contexts based on n-gram character and word embeddings via Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). We call this approach GRAM-CNN. To automatically label a word, this method uses the local information around a word. Therefore, the GRAM-CNN method does not require any specific knowledge or feature engineering and can be theoretically applied to a wide range of existing NER problems. The GRAM-CNN approach was evaluated on three well-known biomedical datasets containing different BioNER entities. It obtained an F1-score of 87.26% on the Biocreative II dataset, 87.26% on the NCBI dataset and 72.57% on the JNLPBA dataset. Those results put GRAM-CNN in the lead of the biological NER methods. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to apply CNN based structures to BioNER problems.

    Availability and implementation

    The GRAM-CNN source code, datasets and pre-trained model are available online at: https://github.com/valdersoul/GRAM-CNN.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

     
    more » « less
  5. We introduce a neural network framework, utilizing adversarial learning to partition an image into two cuts, with one cut falling into a reference distribution provided by the user. This concept tackles the task of unsupervised anomaly segmentation, which has attracted increasing attention in recent years due to their broad applications in tasks with unlabelled data. This Adversarial-based Selective Cutting network (ASC-Net) bridges the two domains of cluster-based deep learning methods and adversarial-based anomaly/novelty detection algorithms. We evaluate this unsupervised learning model on BraTS brain tumor segmentation, LiTS liver lesion segmentation, and MS-SEG2015 segmentation tasks. Compared to existing methods like the AnoGAN family, our model demonstrates tremendous performance gains in unsupervised anomaly segmentation tasks. Although there is still room to further improve performance compared to supervised learning algorithms, the promising experimental results shed light on building an unsupervised learning algorithm using user-defined knowledge. 
    more » « less