Continual Neural Network Model Retraining

Xiaofeng Zhu, Diego Klabjan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We propose incremental (re)training of a neural network model to cope with a continuous flow of new data. As such, this is a life-long learning process. We address two challenges of life-long retraining: catastrophic forgetting and efficient retraining. If we combine all past and new data it can easily become intractable to retrain the neural network model. On the other hand, if the model is retrained using only new data, it can easily suffer catastrophic forgetting and thus it is paramount to strike the right balance. Moreover, if we retrain all weights of the model every time new data is collected, retraining tends to require too many computing resources. To solve these two issues, we propose a novel retraining model that can select important samples and important weights utilizing multi-armed bandits. To further address forgetting, we propose a new regularization term focusing on synapse and neuron importance. We analyze multiple datasets to document the outcome of the proposed retraining methods. Various experiments demonstrate that our retraining methodologies mitigate the catastrophic forgetting problem while boosting model performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2021
EditorsYixin Chen, Heiko Ludwig, Yicheng Tu, Usama Fayyad, Xingquan Zhu, Xiaohua Tony Hu, Suren Byna, Xiong Liu, Jianping Zhang, Shirui Pan, Vagelis Papalexakis, Jianwu Wang, Alfredo Cuzzocrea, Carlos Ordonez
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781665439022
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Dec 15 2021Dec 18 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2021 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2021


Conference2021 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • catastrophic forgetting
  • continual learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Information Systems


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