Sebastian Flennerhag

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  • Transferring Knowledge across Learning Processes

    In complex transfer learning scenarios new tasks might not be tightly linked to previous tasks. Approaches that transfer information contained only in the final parameters of a source model will therefore struggle. Instead, transfer learning at a higher level of abstraction is needed. We propose Leap, a framework that achieves this by transferring knowledge across learning processes. We associate each task with a manifold on which the training process travels from initialization to final parameters and construct a meta learning objective that minimizes the expected length of this path. Our framework leverages only information obtained during training and can be computed on the fly at negligible cost. We demonstrate that our framework outperforms competing methods, both in meta learning and transfer learning, on a set of computer vision tasks. Finally, we demonstrate that Leap can transfer knowledge across learning processes in demanding Reinforcement Learning environments (Atari) that involve millions of gradient steps.

    12/03/2018 ∙ by Sebastian Flennerhag, et al. ∙ 126 share

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  • Breaking the Activation Function Bottleneck through Adaptive Parameterization

    Standard neural network architectures are non-linear only by virtue of a simple element-wise activation function, making them both brittle and excessively large. In this paper, we consider methods for making the feed-forward layer more flexible while preserving its basic structure. We develop simple drop-in replacements that learn to adapt their parameterization conditional on the input, thereby increasing statistical efficiency significantly. We present an adaptive LSTM that advances the state of the art for the Penn Treebank and Wikitext-2 word-modeling tasks while using fewer parameters and converging in half as many iterations.

    05/22/2018 ∙ by Sebastian Flennerhag, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Augmenting correlation structures in spatial data using deep generative models

    State-of-the-art deep learning methods have shown a remarkable capacity to model complex data domains, but struggle with geospatial data. In this paper, we introduce SpaceGAN, a novel generative model for geospatial domains that learns neighbourhood structures through spatial conditioning. We propose to enhance spatial representation beyond mere spatial coordinates, by conditioning each data point on feature vectors of its spatial neighbours, thus allowing for a more flexible representation of the spatial structure. To overcome issues of training convergence, we employ a metric capturing the loss in local spatial autocorrelation between real and generated data as stopping criterion for SpaceGAN parametrization. This way, we ensure that the generator produces synthetic samples faithful to the spatial patterns observed in the input. SpaceGAN is successfully applied for data augmentation and outperforms compared to other methods of synthetic spatial data generation. Finally, we propose an ensemble learning framework for the geospatial domain, taking augmented SpaceGAN samples as training data for a set of ensemble learners. We empirically show the superiority of this approach over conventional ensemble learning approaches and rivaling spatial data augmentation methods, using synthetic and real-world prediction tasks. Our findings suggest that SpaceGAN can be used as a tool for (1) artificially inflating sparse geospatial data and (2) improving generalization of geospatial models.

    05/23/2019 ∙ by Konstantin Klemmer, et al. ∙ 0 share

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