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FREE: Faster and Better Data-Free Meta-Learning

Yongxian Wei · Zixuan Hu · Zhenyi Wang · Li Shen · Chun Yuan · Dacheng Tao

Arch 4A-E Poster #364
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Fri 21 Jun 10:30 a.m. PDT — noon PDT

Abstract: Data-Free Meta-Learning (DFML) aims to extract knowledge from a collection of pre-trained models without requiring the original data, presenting practical benefits in contexts constrained by data privacy concerns. Current DFML methods primarily focus on the data recovery from these pre-trained models. However, they suffer from slow recovery speed and overlook gaps inherent in heterogeneous pre-trained models. In response to these challenges, we introduce the Faster and Better Data-Free Meta-Learning (FREE) framework, which contains: (i) a meta-generator for rapidly recovering training tasks from pre-trained models; and (ii) a meta-learner for generalizing to new unseen tasks. Specifically, within the module Faster Inversion via Meta-Generator, each pre-trained model is perceived as a distinct task. The meta-generator can rapidly adapt to a specific task in just five steps, significantly accelerating the data recovery. Furthermore, we propose Better Generalization via Meta-Learner and introduce an implicit gradient alignment algorithm to optimize the meta-learner. This is achieved as aligned gradient directions alleviate potential conflicts among tasks from heterogeneous pre-trained models. Empirical experiments on multiple benchmarks affirm the superiority of our approach, marking a notable speed-up (20$\times$) and performance enhancement (1.42\% $\sim$ 4.78\%) in comparison to the state-of-the-art.

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