Prompt-augmented Temporal Point Process for Streaming Event Sequence

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Siqiao Xue, Yan Wang, Zhixuan Chu, Xiaoming Shi, Caigao JIANG, Hongyan Hao, Gangwei Jiang, Xiaoyun Feng, James Zhang, Jun Zhou


Neural Temporal Point Processes (TPPs) are the prevalent paradigm for modeling continuous-time event sequences, such as user activities on the web and financial transactions. In real world applications, the event data typically comes in a streaming manner, where the distribution of the patterns may shift over time. Under the privacy and memory constraints commonly seen in real scenarios, how to continuously monitor a TPP to learn the streaming event sequence is an important yet under-investigated problem. In this work, we approach this problem by adopting Continual Learning (CL), which aims to enable a model to continuously learn a sequence of tasks without catastrophic forgetting. While CL for event sequence is less well studied, we present a simple yet effective framework, PromptTPP, by integrating the base TPP with a continuous-time retrieval prompt pool. In our proposed framework, prompts are small learnable parameters, maintained in a memory space and jointly optimized with the base TPP so that the model is properly instructed to learn event streams arriving sequentially without buffering past examples or task-specific attributes. We formalize a novel and realistic experimental setup for modeling event streams, where PromptTPP consistently sets state-of-the-art performance across two real user behavior datasets.