Pseudo-task Augmentation: From Deep Multitask Learning to Intratask Sharing---and Back

Elliot Meyerson, Risto Miikkulainen

Deep multitask learning boosts performance by sharing learned structure across related tasks. This paper adapts ideas from deep multitask learning to the setting where only a single task is available. The method is formalized as pseudo-task augmentation, in which models are trained with multiple decoders for each task. Pseudo-tasks simulate the effect of training towards closely-related tasks drawn from the same universe. In a suite of experiments, pseudo-task augmentation is shown to improve performance on single-task learning problems. When combined with multitask learning, further improvements are achieved, including state-of-the-art performance on the CelebA dataset, showing that pseudo-task augmentation and multitask learning have complementary value. All in all, pseudo-task augmentation is a broadly applicable and efficient way to boost performance in deep learning systems.

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