Meta-DMoE: Adapting to Domain Shift by Meta-Distillation from Mixture-of-Experts

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Tao Zhong, Zhixiang Chi, Li Gu, Yang Wang, Yuanhao Yu, Jin Tang


In this paper, we tackle the problem of domain shift. Most existing methods perform training on multiple source domains using a single model, and the same trained model is used on all unseen target domains. Such solutions are sub-optimal as each target domain exhibits its own specialty, which is not adapted. Furthermore, expecting single-model training to learn extensive knowledge from multiple source domains is counterintuitive. The model is more biased toward learning only domain-invariant features and may result in negative knowledge transfer. In this work, we propose a novel framework for unsupervised test-time adaptation, which is formulated as a knowledge distillation process to address domain shift. Specifically, we incorporate Mixture-of-Experts (MoE) as teachers, where each expert is separately trained on different source domains to maximize their specialty. Given a test-time target domain, a small set of unlabeled data is sampled to query the knowledge from MoE. As the source domains are correlated to the target domains, a transformer-based aggregator then combines the domain knowledge by examining the interconnection among them. The output is treated as a supervision signal to adapt a student prediction network toward the target domain. We further employ meta-learning to enforce the aggregator to distill positive knowledge and the student network to achieve fast adaptation. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art and validates the effectiveness of each proposed component. Our code is available at