Dual Cognitive Architecture: Incorporating Biases and Multi-Memory Systems for Lifelong Learning

Shruthi Gowda · Bahram Zonooz · Elahe Arani


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Artificial neural networks (ANNs) exhibit a narrow scope of expertise on stationary independent data. However, the data in the real world is continuous and dynamic, and ANNs must adapt to novel scenarios while also retaining the learned knowledge to become lifelong learners. The ability of humans to excel at these tasks can be attributed to multiple factors ranging from cognitive computational structures, cognitive biases, and the multi-memory systems in the brain. We incorporate key concepts from each of these to design a novel framework, Dual Cognitive Architecture (DUCA), which includes multiple sub-systems, implicit and explicit knowledge representation dichotomy, inductive bias, and a multi-memory system. DUCA shows improvement across different settings and datasets, and it also exhibits reduced task recency bias, without the need for extra information. To further test the versatility of lifelong learning methods on a challenging distribution shift, we introduce a novel domain-incremental dataset DN4IL. In addition to improving performance on existing benchmarks, DUCA also demonstrates superior performance on this complex dataset.