Continual Deep Learning by Functional Regularisation of Memorable Past

Pingbo Pan, Siddharth Swaroop, Alexander Immer, Runa Eschenhagen, Richard E. Turner, Mohammad Emtiyaz Khan

Continually learning new skills is important for intelligent systems, yet most deep learning methods suffer from catastrophic forgetting of the past. Recent works address this with weight regularisation. Functional regularisation, although computationally expensive, is expected to perform better, but rarely does so in practice. In this paper, we fix this issue by proposing a new functional-regularisation approach that utilises a few memorable past examples that are crucial to avoid forgetting. By using a Gaussian Process formulation of deep networks, our approach enables training in weight-space while identifying both the memorable past and a functional prior. Our method achieves state-of-the-art performance on standard benchmarks and opens a new direction for life-long learning where regularisation and memory-based methods are naturally combined.

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