Pseudo-task Augmentation: From Deep Multitask Learning to Intratask Sharing—and Back

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Elliot Meyerson, Risto Miikkulainen ;
Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 80:3511-3520, 2018.

Abstract

Deep multitask learning boosts performance by sharing learned structure across related tasks. This paper adapts ideas from deep multitask learning to the setting where only a single task is available. The method is formalized as pseudo-task augmentation, in which models are trained with multiple decoders for each task. Pseudo-tasks simulate the effect of training towards closely-related tasks drawn from the same universe. In a suite of experiments, pseudo-task augmentation is shown to improve performance on single-task learning problems. When combined with multitask learning, further improvements are achieved, including state-of-the-art performance on the CelebA dataset, showing that pseudo-task augmentation and multitask learning have complementary value. All in all, pseudo-task augmentation is a broadly applicable and efficient way to boost performance in deep learning systems.

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