Lifelong learning using Eigentasks: Task separation, skill acquisition, and selective transfer

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A. Raghavan, J. Hostetler, I. Sur, A. Rahman, A. Divakaran,Lifelong learning using eigentasks: Task separation, skill acquisition, and selective transfer, ICML 2020 Workshop on Lifelong Learning


We introduce the eigentask framework for lifelong learning. An eigentask is a pairing of a skill that solves a set of related tasks, paired with a generative model that can sample from the skill’s input space. The framework extends generative replay approaches, which have mainly been used to avoid catastrophic forgetting, to also address other lifelong learning goals such as forward knowledge transfer. We propose a wake-sleep cycle of alternating task learning and knowledge consolidation for learning in our framework, and instantiate it for lifelong supervised learning and lifelong RL. We achieve improved performance over the state-of-the-art in supervised continual learning, and show evidence of forward knowledge transfer in a lifelong RL application in the game Starcraft2.

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