Incremental few-shot learning with attention attractor networks

Mengye Ren, Renjie Liao, Ethan Fetaya, Richard S. Zemel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations

Abstract

Machine learning classifiers are often trained to recognize a set of pre-defined classes. However, in many applications, it is often desirable to have the flexibility of learning additional concepts, with limited data and without re-training on the full training set. This paper addresses this problem, incremental few-shot learning, where a regular classification network has already been trained to recognize a set of base classes, and several extra novel classes are being considered, each with only a few labeled examples. After learning the novel classes, the model is then evaluated on the overall classification performance on both base and novel classes. To this end, we propose a meta-learning model, the Attention Attractor Network, which regularizes the learning of novel classes. In each episode, we train a set of new weights to recognize novel classes until they converge, and we show that the technique of recurrent back-propagation can back-propagate through the optimization process and facilitate the learning of these parameters. We demonstrate that the learned attractor network can help recognize novel classes while remembering old classes without the need to review the original training set, outperforming various baselines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Volume32
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2019 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 8 Dec 201914 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Neural information processing systems foundation. All rights reserved.

Funding

Acknowledgment Supported by NSERC and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) via Department of Interior/Interior Business Center (DoI/IBC) contract number D16PC00003. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright annotation thereon. Disclaimer: The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of IARPA, DoI/IBC, or the U.S. Government. Supported by NSERC and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) via Department of Interior/Interior Business Center (DoI/IBC) contract number D16PC00003. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright annotation thereon. Disclaimer: The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of IARPA, DoI/IBC, or the U.S. Government.

FundersFunder number
Department of Interior/Interior Business Center
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Interior Business CenterD16PC00003
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

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