Learning Many Related Tasks at the Same Time with Backpropagation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7 (NIPS 1994)

Bibtex Metadata Paper


Rich Caruana


Hinton [6] proposed that generalization in artificial neural nets should improve if nets learn to represent the domain's underlying regularities. Abu-Mustafa's hints work [1] shows that the outputs of a backprop net can be used as inputs through which domain(cid:173) specific information can be given to the net. We extend these ideas by showing that a backprop net learning many related tasks at the same time can use these tasks as inductive bias for each other and thus learn better. We identify five mechanisms by which multitask backprop improves generalization and give empirical evidence that multi task backprop generalizes better in real domains.