Learning to Branch for Multi-Task Learning

Part of Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning 1 pre-proceedings (ICML 2020)

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Pengsheng Guo, Chen-Yu Lee, Daniel Ulbricht


<p>Training multiple tasks jointly in one deep network yields reduced latency during inference and better performance over the single-task counterpart by sharing certain layers of a network. However, over-sharing a network could erroneously enforce over-generalization, causing negative knowledge transfer across tasks. Prior works rely on human intuition or pre-computed task relatedness scores for ad hoc branching structures. They provide sub-optimal end results and often require huge efforts for the trial-and-error process.</p> <p>In this work, we present an automated multi-task learning algorithm that learns where to share or branch within a network, designing an effective network topology that is directly optimized for multiple objectives across tasks. Specifically, we propose a novel tree-structured design space that casts a tree branching operation as a gumbel-softmax sampling procedure. This enables differentiable network splitting that is end-to-end trainable. We validate the proposed method on controlled synthetic data, CelebA, and Taskonomy. </p>