Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (NIPS 2017)
David Lopez-Paz, Marc'Aurelio Ranzato
One major obstacle towards AI is the poor ability of models to solve new problems quicker, and without forgetting previously acquired knowledge. To better understand this issue, we study the problem of continual learning, where the model observes, once and one by one, examples concerning a sequence of tasks. First, we propose a set of metrics to evaluate models learning over a continuum of data. These metrics characterize models not only by their test accuracy, but also in terms of their ability to transfer knowledge across tasks. Second, we propose a model for continual learning, called Gradient Episodic Memory (GEM) that alleviates forgetting, while allowing beneficial transfer of knowledge to previous tasks. Our experiments on variants of the MNIST and CIFAR-100 datasets demonstrate the strong performance of GEM when compared to the state-of-the-art.