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Gradient based sample selection for online continual learning
Rahaf Aljundi · Min Lin · Baptiste Goujaud · Yoshua Bengio

Wed Dec 11 05:00 PM -- 07:00 PM (PST) @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #41

A continual learning agent learns online with a non-stationary and never-ending stream of data. The key to such learning process is to overcome the catastrophic forgetting of previously seen data, which is a well known problem of neural networks. To prevent forgetting, a replay buffer is usually employed to store the previous data for the purpose of rehearsal. Previous work often depend on task boundary and i.i.d. assumptions to properly select samples for the replay buffer. In this work, we formulate sample selection as a constraint reduction problem based on the constrained optimization view of continual learning. The goal is to select a fixed subset of constraints that best approximate the feasible region defined by the original constraints. We show that it is equivalent to maximizing the diversity of samples in the replay buffer with parameter gradient as the feature. We further develop a greedy alternative that is cheap and efficient. The advantage of the proposed method is demonstrated by comparing to other alternatives under the continual learning setting. Further comparisons are made against state of the art methods that rely on task boundaries which show comparable or even better results for our method.

Author Information

Rahaf Aljundi (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Min Lin (MILA)
Baptiste Goujaud (MILA)
Yoshua Bengio (Mila)

Yoshua Bengio is Full Professor in the computer science and operations research department at U. Montreal, scientific director and founder of Mila and of IVADO, Turing Award 2018 recipient, Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms, as well as a Canada AI CIFAR Chair. He pioneered deep learning and has been getting the most citations per day in 2018 among all computer scientists, worldwide. He is an officer of the Order of Canada, member of the Royal Society of Canada, was awarded the Killam Prize, the Marie-Victorin Prize and the Radio-Canada Scientist of the year in 2017, and he is a member of the NeurIPS advisory board and co-founder of the ICLR conference, as well as program director of the CIFAR program on Learning in Machines and Brains. His goal is to contribute to uncover the principles giving rise to intelligence through learning, as well as favour the development of AI for the benefit of all.

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