Overcoming Long-term Catastrophic Forgetting through Adversarial Neural Pruning and Synaptic Consolidation [article]

Jian Peng, Bo Tang, Hao Jiang, Zhuo Li, Yinjie Lei, Tao Lin, Haifeng Li
2021 IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems   accepted
Artificial neural networks face the well-known problem of catastrophic forgetting. What's worse, the degradation of previously learned skills becomes more severe as the task sequence increases, known as the long-term catastrophic forgetting. It is due to two facts: first, as the model learns more tasks, the intersection of the low-error parameter subspace satisfying for these tasks becomes smaller or even does not exist; second, when the model learns a new task, the cumulative error keeps
more » ... sing as the model tries to protect the parameter configuration of previous tasks from interference. Inspired by the memory consolidation mechanism in mammalian brains with synaptic plasticity, we propose a confrontation mechanism in which Adversarial Neural Pruning and synaptic Consolidation (ANPyC) is used to overcome the long-term catastrophic forgetting issue. The neural pruning acts as long-term depression to prune task-irrelevant parameters, while the novel synaptic consolidation acts as long-term potentiation to strengthen task-relevant parameters. During the training, this confrontation achieves a balance in that only crucial parameters remain, and non-significant parameters are freed to learn subsequent tasks. ANPyC avoids forgetting important information and makes the model efficient to learn a large number of tasks. Specifically, the neural pruning iteratively relaxes the current task's parameter conditions to expand the common parameter subspace of the task; the synaptic consolidation strategy, which consists of a structure-aware parameter-importance measurement and an element-wise parameter updating strategy, decreases the cumulative error when learning new tasks. The full source code is available at https://github.com/GeoX-Lab/ANPyC.
doi:10.1109/tnnls.2021.3056201 pmid:33577459 arXiv:1912.09091v2 fatcat:glic2itroraa7jpicjaamjljsu