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# Multitask Learning via Shared Features: Algorithms and Hardness

*Proceedings of Thirty Sixth Conference on Learning Theory*, PMLR 195:747-772, 2023.

#### Abstract

We investigate the computational efficiency of multitask learning of Boolean functions over the $d$-dimensional hypercube, that are related by means of a feature representation of size $k\ll d$ shared across all tasks. We present a polynomial time multitask learning algorithm for the concept class of halfspaces with margin $\gamma$, which is based on a simultaneous boosting technique and requires only $\mathrm{poly}(k/\gamma)$ samples-per-task and $\mathrm{poly}(k\log(d)/\gamma)$ samples in total. In addition, we prove a computational separation, showing that assuming there exists a concept class that cannot be learned in the attribute-efficient model, we can construct another concept class such that can be learned in the attribute-efficient model, but cannot be multitask learned efficiently—multitask learning this concept class either requires super-polynomial time complexity or a much larger total number of samples.