Learning To Learn
Sebastian Thrun and Lorien Y. PrattKluwer Academic Publishers
Over the past three decades, research on machine learning and data mining has led to a wide variety of algorithms that induce general functions from examples. As machine learning is maturing, it has begun to make the successful transition from academic research to various practical applications. Generic techniques such as decision trees and artificial neural networks, for example, are now being used in various commercial and industrial applications.
Learning to learn is an exciting new research direction within machine learning. Similar to traditional machine learning algorithms, the methods described in LEARNING TO LEARN induce general functions from experience. However, the book investigates algorithms that can change the way they generalize, i.e., practice the last of learning itself, and improve on it.
To illustrate the utility of learning to learn, it is worthwhile to compare machine learning to human learning. Humans encounter a continual stream of learning tasks. They do not just learn concepts of motor skills, they also learn bias, i.e., they learn how to generalize. As a result, humans are often able to generalize correctly from extremely few examples---often just a single example suffices to teach us a new thing.
A deeper understanding of computer programs that improve their ability to learn can have large practical impact on the field of machine learning and beyond. In recent years, the field has made significant progress towards a theory of learning to learn along with practical new algorithms, some of which led to impressive results in real-world applications.
LEARNING TO LEARN provides a survey of some of the most exciting new research approaches, written by leading researchers in the field. Its objective is to investigate the utility and feasibility of computer programs that can learn how to learn, both from a practical and a theoretical point of view.
This book is organized into four parts:
LEARNING TO LEARN features contributions by the following authors: