On the global optimality of model-Agnostic meta-learning: Reinforcement learning and supervised learning

Lingxiao Wang*, Qi Cai, Zhuoyan Yang, Zhaoran Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

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

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Model-Agnostic meta-learning (MAML) formulates meta-learning as a bilevel optimization problem, where the inner level solves each subtask based on a shared prior, while the outer level searches for the optimal shared prior by optimizing its aggregated performance over all the subtasks. Despite its empirical success, MAML remains less understood in theory, especially in terms of its global optimality, due to the nonconvexity of the meta-objective (the outer-level objective). To bridge such a gap between theory and practice, we characterize the optimality gap of the stationary points attained by MAML for both reinforcement learning and supervised learning, where the inner-level and outer-level problems are solved via first-order optimization methods. In particular, our characterization connects the optimality gap of such stationary points with (i) the functional geometry of inner-level objectives and (ii) the representation power of function approximators, including linear models and neural networks. To the best of our knowledge, our analysis establishes the global optimality of MAML with nonconvex meta-objectives for the first time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020
EditorsHal Daume, Aarti Singh
PublisherInternational Machine Learning Society (IMLS)
Pages9779-9788
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781713821120
StatePublished - 2020
Event37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 13 2020Jul 18 2020

Publication series

Name37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020
VolumePartF168147-13

Conference

Conference37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period7/13/207/18/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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