Meta Learning Backpropagation And Improving It

12/29/2020 ∙ by Louis Kirsch, et al. ∙ 92

Many concepts have been proposed for meta learning with neural networks (NNs), e.g., NNs that learn to control fast weights, hyper networks, learned learning rules, and meta recurrent NNs. Our Variable Shared Meta Learning (VS-ML) unifies the above and demonstrates that simple weight-sharing and sparsity in an NN is sufficient to express powerful learning algorithms (LAs) in a reusable fashion. A simple implementation of VS-ML called VS-ML RNN allows for implementing the backpropagation LA solely by running an RNN in forward-mode. It can even meta-learn new LAs that improve upon backpropagation and generalize to datasets outside of the meta training distribution without explicit gradient calculation. Introspection reveals that our meta-learned LAs learn qualitatively different from gradient descent through fast association.

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