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Teaching Multiple Concepts to Forgetful Learners

Hunziker, Anette and Chen, Yuxin and Mac Aodha, Oisin and Gomez Rodriguez, Manuel and Krause, Andreas and Perona, Pietro and Yue, Yisong and Singla, Adish (2018) Teaching Multiple Concepts to Forgetful Learners. . (Unpublished)

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How can we help a forgetful learner learn multiple concepts within a limited time frame? For long-term learning, it is crucial to devise teaching strategies that leverage the underlying forgetting mechanisms of the learners. In this paper, we cast the problem of adaptively teaching a forgetful learner as a novel discrete optimization problem, where we seek to optimize a natural objective function that characterizes the learner's expected performance throughout the teaching session. We then propose a simple greedy teaching strategy and derive strong performance guarantees based on two intuitive data-dependent parameters, which characterize the degree of diminishing returns of teaching each concept. We show that, given some assumptions of the learner's memory model, one can efficiently compute the performance bounds. Furthermore, we identify parameter settings of our memory models where greedy is guaranteed to achieve high performance. We have deployed our approach in two concrete applications, namely (1) an educational app for online vocabulary teaching and (2) an app for teaching novices how to recognize bird species. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm using simulations along with user studies.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Krause, Andreas0000-0001-7260-9673
Perona, Pietro0000-0002-7583-5809
Additional Information:This work was supported in part by NSF Award #1645832, Northrop Grumman, Bloomberg, AWS Research Credits, Google as part of the Visipedia project, and a Swiss NSF Early Mobility Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Northrop Grumman CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180613-133348044
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87072
Deposited By: Caroline Murphy
Deposited On:13 Jun 2018 20:50
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:52

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