Online Task-Free Continual Learning with Dynamic Sparse Distributed Memory

Julien Pourcel, Ngoc-Son Vu, Robert M. French ;


"This paper addresses the very challenging problem of online task-free continual learning in which a sequence of new tasks is learned from non-stationary data using each sample only once for training and without knowledge of task boundaries. We propose in this paper an efficient semi-distributed associative memory algorithm called Dynamic Sparse Distributed Memory (DSDM) where learning and evaluating can be carried out at any point of time. DSDM evolves dynamically and continually modeling the distribution of any non-stationary data streams. DSDM relies on locally distributed, but only partially overlapping clusters of representations to effectively eliminate catastrophic forgetting, while at the same time, maintaining the generalization capacities of distributed networks. In addition, a local density-based pruning technique is used to control the network’s memory footprint. DSDM significantly outperforms state-of-the-art continual learning methods on different image classification baselines, even in a low data regime. Code is publicly available: "

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