Meta learning can be categorized in several ways, right from finding the optimal sets of weights to learning the optimizer. We will categorize meta learning into the following three categories:

- Learning the metric space
- Learning the initializations
- Learning the optimizer

In the metric-based meta learning setting, we will learn the appropriate metric space. Let's say we want to learn the similarity between two images. In the metric-based setting, we use a simple neural network that extracts the features from two images and finds the similarity by computing the distance between features of these two images. This approach is widely used in a few-shot learning setting where we don't have many data points. In the upcoming chapters, we will learn about metric-based learning algorithms such as Siamese networks, prototypical networks, and relation networks.

In this method, we try to learn optimal initial parameter values. What do we mean by that? Let's say we are a building a neural network to classify images. First, we initialize random weights, calculate loss, and minimize the loss through a gradient descent. So, we will find the optimal weights through gradient descent and minimize the loss. Instead of initializing the weights randomly, if can we initialize the weights with optimal values or close to optimal values, then we can attain the convergence faster and we can learn very quickly. We will see how exactly we can find these optimal initial weights with algorithms such as MAML, Reptile, and Meta-SGD in the upcoming chapters.

In this method, we try to learn the optimizer. How do we generally optimize our neural network? We optimize our neural network by training on a large dataset and minimize the loss using gradient descent. But in the few-shot learning setting, gradient descent fails as we will have a smaller dataset. So, in this case, we will learn the optimizer itself. We will have two networks: a base network that actually tries to learn and a meta network that optimizes the base network. We will explore how exactly this works in the upcoming sections.