Piggyback: Adapting a Single Network to Multiple Tasks by Learning to Mask Weights

Arun Mallya, Dillon Davis, Svetlana Lazebnik; The European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2018, pp. 67-82


This work presents a method for adapting a single, fixed deep neural network to multiple tasks without affecting performance on already learned tasks. By building upon ideas from network quantization and pruning, we learn binary masks that ``piggyback'' on an existing network, or are applied to unmodified weights of that network to provide good performance on a new task. These masks are learned in an end-to-end differentiable fashion, and incur a low overhead of 1 bit per network parameter, per task. Even though the underlying network is fixed, the ability to mask individual weights allows for the learning of a large number of filters. We show performance comparable to dedicated fine-tuned networks for a variety of classification tasks, including those with large domain shifts from the initial task (ImageNet), and a variety of network architectures. Unlike prior work, we do not suffer from catastrophic forgetting or competition between tasks, and our performance is agnostic to task ordering.

Related Material

author = {Mallya, Arun and Davis, Dillon and Lazebnik, Svetlana},
title = {Piggyback: Adapting a Single Network to Multiple Tasks by Learning to Mask Weights},
booktitle = {The European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV)},
month = {September},
year = {2018}