Active Lifelong Learning With "Watchdog"


  • Gan Sun Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Yang Cong Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Xiaowei Xu University of Arkansas at Little Rock


Transfer, Adaptation, Multitask Learning, Online Learning, Active Learning, Supervised Learning


Lifelong learning intends to learn new consecutive tasks depending on previously accumulated experiences, i.e., knowledge library. However, the knowledge among different new coming tasks are imbalance. Therefore, in this paper, we try to mimic an effective "human cognition" strategy by actively sorting the importance of new tasks in the process of unknown-to-known and selecting to learn the important tasks with more information preferentially. To achieve this, we consider to assess the importance of the new coming task, i.e., unknown or not, as an outlier detection issue, and design a hierarchical dictionary learning model consisting of two-level task descriptors to sparse reconstruct each task with the l0 norm constraint. The new coming tasks are sorted depending on the sparse reconstruction score in descending order, and the task with high reconstruction score will be permitted to pass, where this mechanism is called as "watchdog." Next, the knowledge library of the lifelong learning framework encode the selected task by transferring previous knowledge, and then can also update itself with knowledge from both previously learned task and current task automatically. For model optimization, the alternating direction method is employed to solve our model and converges to a fixed point. Extensive experiments on both benchmark datasets and our own dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed model especially in task selection and dictionary learning.




How to Cite

Sun, G., Cong, Y., & Xu, X. (2018). Active Lifelong Learning With "Watchdog". Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 32(1). Retrieved from