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Probabilistic Active Meta-Learning
Jean Kaddour · Steindor Saemundsson · Marc Deisenroth

Wed Dec 09 09:00 PM -- 11:00 PM (PST) @ Poster Session 4 #1192

Data-efficient learning algorithms are essential in many practical applications where data collection is expensive, e.g., in robotics due to the wear and tear. To address this problem, meta-learning algorithms use prior experience about tasks to learn new, related tasks efficiently. Typically, a set of training tasks is assumed given or randomly chosen. However, this setting does not take into account the sequential nature that naturally arises when training a model from scratch in real-life: how do we collect a set of training tasks in a data-efficient manner? In this work, we introduce task selection based on prior experience into a meta-learning algorithm by conceptualizing the learner and the active meta-learning setting using a probabilistic latent variable model. We provide empirical evidence that our approach improves data-efficiency when compared to strong baselines on simulated robotic experiments.

Author Information

Jean Kaddour (University College London)
Steindor Saemundsson (Imperial College London)
Marc Deisenroth (University College London)

Professor Marc Deisenroth is the DeepMind Chair in Artificial Intelligence at University College London and the Deputy Director of UCL's Centre for Artificial Intelligence. He also holds a visiting faculty position at the University of Johannesburg and Imperial College London. Marc's research interests center around data-efficient machine learning, probabilistic modeling and autonomous decision making. Marc was Program Chair of EWRL 2012, Workshops Chair of RSS 2013, EXPO-Co-Chair of ICML 2020, and Tutorials Co-Chair of NeurIPS 2021. In 2019, Marc co-organized the Machine Learning Summer School in London. He received Paper Awards at ICRA 2014, ICCAS 2016, and ICML 2020. He is co-author of the book [Mathematics for Machine Learning](https://mml-book.github.io) published by Cambridge University Press (2020).

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