Efficient and Scalable Multi-Task Regression on Massive Number of Tasks

  • Xiao He NEC Laboratories Europe
  • Francesco Alesiani NEC Laboratories Europe
  • Ammar Shaker NEC Laboratories Europe

Abstract

Many real-world large-scale regression problems can be formulated as Multi-task Learning (MTL) problems with a massive number of tasks, as in retail and transportation domains. However, existing MTL methods still fail to offer both the generalization performance and the scalability for such problems. Scaling up MTL methods to problems with a tremendous number of tasks is a big challenge. Here, we propose a novel algorithm, named Convex Clustering Multi-Task regression Learning (CCMTL), which integrates with convex clustering on the k-nearest neighbor graph of the prediction models. Further, CCMTL efficiently solves the underlying convex problem with a newly proposed optimization method. CCMTL is accurate, efficient to train, and empirically scales linearly in the number of tasks. On both synthetic and real-world datasets, the proposed CCMTL outperforms seven state-of-the-art (SoA) multi-task learning methods in terms of prediction accuracy as well as computational efficiency. On a real-world retail dataset with 23,812 tasks, CCMTL requires only around 30 seconds to train on a single thread, while the SoA methods need up to hours or even days.

Published
2019-07-17
Section
AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning