Serving Personalized Models

In the recent NIPS 2016 Workshop on Machine Learning Systems, one paper attracts my attention:

The central idea is very simple: we need to learn and serve personalized models on top of a global model to users. The argument of such setting is two-folds:

  1. A global model might be hard to train, given the size of the model. It usually takes significant amount of computing efforts.
  2. Depending on what types of model, it might be even difficult to serve and update the global model as well.

So, it is very natural that, the model for each individual user is trained separately while it is derived from a global model. The paper demonstrates a particular way of deriving such a model. But there could be many different ways of doing this.

Of course, this is not the first such reasoning. As the paper mentioned, prior work in multi-task learning has formalized similar problems. However, it might be the first time from the system perspective to show the advantages of having personalized models.

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