Feature Reuse with ANIL¶
Written by Ewina Pun on 3/30/2020.
In this article, we will dive into a meta-learning algorithm called ANIL (Almost No Inner Loop) presented by Raghu et al., 2019, and explain how to implement it with learn2learn.
This tutorial is written for experienced PyTorch users who are getting started with meta-learning.
- We look into how ANIL takes advantage of feature reuse for few-shot learning.
- ANIL simplifies MAML by removing the inner loop for all but the task-specific head of the underlying neural network.
- ANIL performs as well as MAML on benchmark few-shot classification and reinforcement learning tasks, and is computationally more efficient than MAML.
- We implement ANIL with learn2learn and provide additional results of how ANIL performs on other datasets.
- Lastly, we explain the implementation code step-be-step, making it easy for users to try ANIL on other datasets.
Among various meta-learning algorithms for few-shot learning, MAML (model-agnostic meta-learning) (Finn et al. 2017) has been highly popular due to its substantial performance on several benchmarks. Its idea is to establish a meta-learner that seeks an initialization useful for fast learning of different tasks, then adapt to specific tasks quickly (within a few steps) and efficiently (with only a few examples). There are two types of parameter updates: the outer loop and the inner loop. The outer loop updates the meta-initialization of the neural network parameters to a setting that enables fast adaptation to new tasks. The inner loop takes the outer loop initialization and performs task-specific adaptation over a few labeled samples. To read more about meta-learning and MAML, you can read the summary article written by Finn on learning to learn and Lilian Weng's review on meta-learning.
In 2019, Raghu et al. conjectured that we can obtain the same rapid learning performance of MAML solely through feature reuse. To test this hypothesis, they introduced ANIL (almost no inner loop), a simplified algorithm of MAML that is equally effective but computationally faster.
Rapid learning vs. feature reuse
Before we describe ANIL, we have to understand the difference between rapid learning and feature reuse. In rapid learning, the meta-initialization in the outer loop results in a parameter setting that is favorable for fast learning, thus significant adaptation to new tasks can rapidly take place in the inner loop. In feature reuse, the meta-initialization already contains useful features that can be reused, so little adaptation on the parameters is required in the inner loop. To prove feature reuse is a competitive alternative to rapid learning in MAML, the authors proposed a simplified algorithm, ANIL, where the inner loop is removed for all but the task-specific head of the underlying neural network during training and testing.
ANIL vs. MAML
Now, let us illustrate the difference mathematically. Let be the set of meta-initialization parameters for the feature extractable layers of the network and be the meta-initialization parameters for the head. We obtain the label prediction , where x is the input data and is a feature extractor parametrized by .
Given and at iteration step , the outer loop updates both parameters via gradient descent:
where is the loss computed for task , and is the meta learning rate in the outer loop. Notice how the gradient is taken with respect to the initialization parameters and , but the loss is computed on the adapted parameters and . For one adaptation step in the inner loop, ANIL computes those adapted parameters as: where is the learning rate of the inner loop. Concretely, ANIL keeps the feature extractor constant and only adapts the head with gradient descent. In contrast, MAML updates both the head and the feature extractor:
Unsurprisingly, ANIL is much more computationally efficient since it requires fewer updates in the inner loop. What might be surprising, is that this efficiency comes at almost no cost in terms of performance.
ANIL provides fast adaptation in the absence of almost all inner loop parameter updates, while still matching the performance of MAML on few-shot image classification with Mini-ImageNet and Omniglot and standard reinforcement learning tasks.
|MAML||93.7 ± 0.7||96.4 ± 0.1||46.9 ± 0.2||63.1 ± 0.4|
|ANIL||96.2 ± 0.5||98.0 ± 0.3||46.7 ± 0.4||61.5 ± 0.5|
Using ANIL with learn2learn¶
With our understanding of how ANIL works, we are ready to implement the algorithm. An example implementation on the FC100 dataset is available at:
anil_fc100.py. Using this implementation, we are able to obtain the following results on datasets such as Mini-ImageNet, CIFAR-FS and FC100 as well.
This section breaks down step-by-step the ANIL implementation with our example code.
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First, data are obtained and separated into train, validation and test dataset with
tv.transforms.ToTensor() converts Python Imaging Library (PIL) images to PyTorch tensors.
l2l.data.MetaDataset is a thin wrapper around torch datasets that automatically generates bookkeeping information to create new tasks.
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l2l.data.TaskDataset creates a set of tasks from the MetaDataset using a list of task transformations:
FusedNWaysKShots(dataset, n=ways, k=2*shots): efficient implementation to keep data samples from randomly sampled labels.
LoadData(dataset): loads a sample from the dataset given its index.
RemapLabels(dataset): given samples from classes, maps the labels to .
ConsecutiveLabels(dataset): re-orders the samples in the task description such that they are sorted in consecutive order.
k = 2*shots?
The number of samples is twice the number of shots because one half of the samples are for adaption and the other half are for evaluation in the inner loop.
For more details, please refer to the documentation of learn2learn.data.
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We then instantiate two modules, one for features and one for the head. ConvBase instantiates a four-layer CNN, and the head is a fully connected layer. Because we are not updating the feature extractor parameters, we only need to wrap the head with the
l2l.algorithms.MAML() wrapper, which takes in the fast adaptation learning rate
fast_lr used for the inner loop later.
For more details on the MAML wrapper, please refer to the documentation of l2l.algorithms.
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Next, we set up the optimizer with mini-batch SGD using
torch.optim.Adam, which takes in both feature and head parameters, and learning rate
meta_lr used for the outer loop.
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For training, validation and testing, we first sample a task, then copy the head with
head.clone(), which is a method exposed by the MAML wrapper for PyTorch modules, akin to
tensor.clone() for PyTorch tensors. Calling
clone() allows us to update the parameters of the clone while maintaining ability to back-propagate to the parameters in
head. There's no need for
feature.clone() as we are only adapting the head.
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fast_adapt(), we separate data into adaptation and evaluation sets with
k shot samples each. In each adaptation step,
learner.adapt() takes a gradient step on the loss and updates the cloned parameter,
learner, such that we can back-propagate through the adaptation step. Under the hood, this is achieved by calling
torch.autograd.grad() and setting
fast_adapt() then returns the evaluation loss and accuracy based on the predicted and true labels.
Why is the number of adaptation steps so small?
To demonstrate fast adaptation, we want the algorithm to adapt to each specific task quickly within a few steps. Since the number of samples is so small in few-shot learning, increasing number of adaptation steps would not help raising the performance.
Closing the outer loop
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We compute the gradients with
evaluation_error.backward() right after the inner loop updates to free activation and adaptation buffers from memory as early as possible. Lastly, after collecting the gradients, we average the accumulated gradients and updates the parameter at the end of each iteration with
Having explained the inner-workings of ANIL and its code implementation with learn2learn, I hope this tutorial will be helpful to those who are interested in using ANIL for their own research and applications.
- Raghu, A., Raghu, M., Bengio, S., & Vinyals, O. (2019). Rapid Learning or Feature Reuse? Towards Understanding the Effectiveness of MAML. In arXiv [cs.LG]. arXiv. http://arxiv.org/abs/1909.09157
- Finn, C., Abbeel, P., & Levine, S. (2017). Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning for Fast Adaptation of Deep Networks. In arXiv [cs.LG]. arXiv. http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.03400