ICLR 2022
Conference paper

Auto-Transfer: Learning to Route Transferable Representations

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Knowledge transfer between heterogeneous source and target networks and tasks has received a lot of attention in recent times as large amounts of quality labelled data can be difficult to obtain in many applications. Existing approaches typically constrain the target deep neural network (DNN) feature representations to be close to the source DNNs feature representations, which can be limiting. We, in this paper, propose a novel adversarial multi-armed bandit approach which automatically learns to route source representations to appropriate target representations following which they are combined in meaningful ways to produce accurate target models. We see upwards of 5% accuracy improvements compared with the state-of-the-art knowledge transfer methods on four benchmark (target) image datasets CUB200, Stanford Dogs, MIT67 and Stanford40 where the source dataset is ImageNet. We qualitatively analyze the goodness of our transfer scheme by showing individual examples of the important features our target network focuses on in different layers compared with the (closest) competitors. We also observe that our improvement over other methods is higher for smaller target datasets making it an effective tool for small data applications that may benefit from transfer learning.