A Picture of the Space of Typical Learnable Tasks
Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 202:28680-28700, 2023.
We develop information geometric techniques to understand the representations learned by deep networks when they are trained on different tasks using supervised, meta-, semi-supervised and contrastive learning. We shed light on the following phenomena that relate to the structure of the space of tasks: (1) the manifold of probabilistic models trained on different tasks using different representation learning methods is effectively low-dimensional; (2) supervised learning on one task results in a surprising amount of progress even on seemingly dissimilar tasks; progress on other tasks is larger if the training task has diverse classes; (3) the structure of the space of tasks indicated by our analysis is consistent with parts of the Wordnet phylogenetic tree; (4) episodic meta-learning algorithms and supervised learning traverse different trajectories during training but they fit similar models eventually; (5) contrastive and semi-supervised learning methods traverse trajectories similar to those of supervised learning. We use classification tasks constructed from the CIFAR-10 and Imagenet datasets to study these phenomena. Code is available at https://github.com/grasp-lyrl/picture_of_space_of_tasks.