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Learning Multiple Tasks over Multiple Paths

Time: Fri 2022-11-11 11.00 - 12.00

Location: Malvinas väg 10, floor 7, Harry Nyquist

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Language: English

Participating: Samet Oymak, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Riverside

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Conventional multitask learning (MTL) methods build a shared representation across tasks. A desirable 
refinement of using a shared one-fits-all representation is to construct task-specific representations. 
To this end, recent PathNet/muNet architectures represent individual tasks as pathways within a larger 
supernet. The subnetworks induced by pathways can be viewed as task-specific representations that are 
composition of modules within supernet's computation graph. This work explores the pathways proposal from 
the lens of statistical learning: We first develop generalization bounds for empirical risk minimization 
problems learning multiple tasks over multiple paths (Multipath MTL). In conjunction, we formalize the 
benefits of resulting multipath representation when adapting to new downstream tasks. Our bounds are 
expressed in terms of Gaussian complexity, capture modularity of supernet, and lead to tangible 
guarantees for parametric representations. These reveal theoretical insights into benefits of a multipath 
representation (e.g. when is Multipath MTL superior to traditional MTL) and how over-parameterized 
supernets are important for ensuring representational fairness across tasks.
Samet Oymak is an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of 
California, Riverside. Prior to UCR, he spent three years at Google and in algorithmic finance. During 
his postdoc, he was at UC Berkeley as a Simons Fellow and AMPLab member. He obtained his PhD degree 
from Caltech in 2015 for which he received a Charles Wilts Prize for the best departmental thesis. 
At UCR, he received an NSF CAREER award as well as a Research Scholar award from Google.