Accepted Papers

Robust Task Grouping with Representative Tasks for Clustered Multi-Task Learning

Yaqiang Yao (University of Science and Technology of China);Jie Cao (Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of E-Business, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics);Huanhuan Chen (University of Science and Technology of China);


Multi-task learning aims to learn multiple tasks jointly by sharing information among related tasks such that the generalization performance over different tasks could be improved. Although multi-task learning has been demonstrated to obtain performance gain in comparison with the single task learning, the main challenge that learning what to share with whom is still not fully resolved. In this paper, we propose a robust clustered multi-task learning approach that clusters tasks into several groups by learning the representative tasks. The main assumption behind our approach is that each task can be represented by a linear combination of some representative tasks that can characterize all tasks. The correlation between tasks can be indicated by the corresponding combination coefficient. By imposing a row-sparse constraint on the correlation matrix, our approach could select the representative tasks and encourage information sharing among the related tasks. In addition, the $l_1,2 $-norm is applied to the representation loss to enhance the robustness of our approach. To solve the resulting bi-convex optimization problem, we design an efficient optimization method based on the alternating direction method of multipliers and accelerated proximal gradient method. Finally, experimental results on synthetic and real-world data sets validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

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