One of the key limitations of modern deep learning based approaches lies in the amount of data required to train them. Humans, on the other hand, can learn to recognize novel categories from just a few examples. Instrumental to this rapid learning ability is the compositional structure of concept representations in the human brain - something that deep learning models are lacking. In this work we make a step towards bridging this gap between human and machine learning by introducing a simple regularization technique that allows the learned representation to be decomposable into parts. We evaluate the proposed approach on three datasets: CUB-200-2011, SUN397, and ImageNet, and demonstrate that our compositional representations require fewer examples to learn classifiers for novel categories, outperforming state-of-the-art few-shot learning approaches by a significant margin.
This paper presents SimCLR: a simple framework for contrastive learning of visual representations. We simplify recently proposed contrastive self-supervised learning algorithms without requiring specialized architectures or a memory bank. In order to understand what enables the contrastive prediction tasks to learn useful representations, we systematically study the major components of our framework. We show that (1) composition of data augmentations plays a critical role in defining effective predictive tasks, (2) introducing a learnable nonlinear transformation between the representation and the contrastive loss substantially improves the quality of the learned representations, and (3) contrastive learning benefits from larger batch sizes and more training steps compared to supervised learning. By combining these findings, we are able to considerably outperform previous methods for self-supervised and semi-supervised learning on ImageNet. A linear classifier trained on self-supervised representations learned by SimCLR achieves 76.5% top-1 accuracy, which is a 7% relative improvement over previous state-of-the-art, matching the performance of a supervised ResNet-50. When fine-tuned on only 1% of the labels, we achieve 85.8% top-5 accuracy, outperforming AlexNet with 100X fewer labels.
Continual learning aims to improve the ability of modern learning systems to deal with non-stationary distributions, typically by attempting to learn a series of tasks sequentially. Prior art in the field has largely considered supervised or reinforcement learning tasks, and often assumes full knowledge of task labels and boundaries. In this work, we propose an approach (CURL) to tackle a more general problem that we will refer to as unsupervised continual learning. The focus is on learning representations without any knowledge about task identity, and we explore scenarios when there are abrupt changes between tasks, smooth transitions from one task to another, or even when the data is shuffled. The proposed approach performs task inference directly within the model, is able to dynamically expand to capture new concepts over its lifetime, and incorporates additional rehearsal-based techniques to deal with catastrophic forgetting. We demonstrate the efficacy of CURL in an unsupervised learning setting with MNIST and Omniglot, where the lack of labels ensures no information is leaked about the task. Further, we demonstrate strong performance compared to prior art in an i.i.d setting, or when adapting the technique to supervised tasks such as incremental class learning.
For many natural language processing (NLP) tasks the amount of annotated data is limited. This urges a need to apply semi-supervised learning techniques, such as transfer learning or meta-learning. In this work we tackle Named Entity Recognition (NER) task using Prototypical Network - a metric learning technique. It learns intermediate representations of words which cluster well into named entity classes. This property of the model allows classifying words with extremely limited number of training examples, and can potentially be used as a zero-shot learning method. By coupling this technique with transfer learning we achieve well-performing classifiers trained on only 20 instances of a target class.
Learning with limited data is a key challenge for visual recognition. Few-shot learning methods address this challenge by learning an instance embedding function from seen classes and apply the function to instances from unseen classes with limited labels. This style of transfer learning is task-agnostic: the embedding function is not learned optimally discriminative with respect to the unseen classes, where discerning among them is the target task. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to adapt the embedding model to the target classification task, yielding embeddings that are task-specific and are discriminative. To this end, we employ a type of self-attention mechanism called Transformer to transform the embeddings from task-agnostic to task-specific by focusing on relating instances from the test instances to the training instances in both seen and unseen classes. Our approach also extends to both transductive and generalized few-shot classification, two important settings that have essential use cases. We verify the effectiveness of our model on two standard benchmark few-shot classification datasets --- MiniImageNet and CUB, where our approach demonstrates state-of-the-art empirical performance.
Meta-learning has been proposed as a framework to address the challenging few-shot learning setting. The key idea is to leverage a large number of similar few-shot tasks in order to learn how to adapt a base-learner to a new task for which only a few labeled samples are available. As deep neural networks (DNNs) tend to overfit using a few samples only, meta-learning typically uses shallow neural networks (SNNs), thus limiting its effectiveness. In this paper we propose a novel few-shot learning method called meta-transfer learning (MTL) which learns to adapt a deep NN for few shot learning tasks. Specifically, "meta" refers to training multiple tasks, and "transfer" is achieved by learning scaling and shifting functions of DNN weights for each task. In addition, we introduce the hard task (HT) meta-batch scheme as an effective learning curriculum for MTL. We conduct experiments using (5-class, 1-shot) and (5-class, 5-shot) recognition tasks on two challenging few-shot learning benchmarks: miniImageNet and Fewshot-CIFAR100. Extensive comparisons to related works validate that our meta-transfer learning approach trained with the proposed HT meta-batch scheme achieves top performance. An ablation study also shows that both components contribute to fast convergence and high accuracy.
Fine-grained image classification is to recognize hundreds of subcategories belonging to the same basic-level category, which is a highly challenging task due to the quite subtle visual distinctions among similar subcategories. Most existing methods generally learn part detectors to discover discriminative regions for better performance. However, not all localized parts are beneficial and indispensable for classification, and the setting for number of part detectors relies heavily on prior knowledge as well as experimental results. As is known to all, when we describe the object of an image into text via natural language, we only focus on the pivotal characteristics, and rarely pay attention to common characteristics as well as the background areas. This is an involuntary transfer from human visual attention to textual attention, which leads to the fact that textual attention tells us how many and which parts are discriminative and significant. So textual attention of natural language descriptions could help us to discover visual attention in image. Inspired by this, we propose a visual-textual attention driven fine-grained representation learning (VTA) approach, and its main contributions are: (1) Fine-grained visual-textual pattern mining devotes to discovering discriminative visual-textual pairwise information for boosting classification through jointly modeling vision and text with generative adversarial networks (GANs), which automatically and adaptively discovers discriminative parts. (2) Visual-textual representation learning jointly combine visual and textual information, which preserves the intra-modality and inter-modality information to generate complementary fine-grained representation, and further improve classification performance. Experiments on the two widely-used datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our VTA approach, which achieves the best classification accuracy.
In this paper, a novel video classification methodology is presented that aims to recognize different categories of third-person videos efficiently. The idea is to keep track of motion in videos by following optical flow elements over time. To classify the resulted motion time series efficiently, the idea is letting the machine to learn temporal features along the time dimension. This is done by training a multi-channel one dimensional Convolutional Neural Network (1D-CNN). Since CNNs represent the input data hierarchically, high level features are obtained by further processing of features in lower level layers. As a result, in the case of time series, long-term temporal features are extracted from short-term ones. Besides, the superiority of the proposed method over most of the deep-learning based approaches is that we only try to learn representative temporal features along the time dimension. This reduces the number of learning parameters significantly which results in trainability of our method on even smaller datasets. It is illustrated that the proposed method could reach state-of-the-art results on two public datasets UCF11 and jHMDB with the aid of a more efficient feature vector representation.
Standard deep learning systems require thousands or millions of examples to learn a concept, and cannot integrate new concepts easily. By contrast, humans have an incredible ability to do one-shot or few-shot learning. For instance, from just hearing a word used in a sentence, humans can infer a great deal about it, by leveraging what the syntax and semantics of the surrounding words tells us. Here, we draw inspiration from this to highlight a simple technique by which deep recurrent networks can similarly exploit their prior knowledge to learn a useful representation for a new word from little data. This could make natural language processing systems much more flexible, by allowing them to learn continually from the new words they encounter.
Prevalent techniques in zero-shot learning do not generalize well to other related problem scenarios. Here, we present a unified approach for conventional zero-shot, generalized zero-shot and few-shot learning problems. Our approach is based on a novel Class Adapting Principal Directions (CAPD) concept that allows multiple embeddings of image features into a semantic space. Given an image, our method produces one principal direction for each seen class. Then, it learns how to combine these directions to obtain the principal direction for each unseen class such that the CAPD of the test image is aligned with the semantic embedding of the true class, and opposite to the other classes. This allows efficient and class-adaptive information transfer from seen to unseen classes. In addition, we propose an automatic process for selection of the most useful seen classes for each unseen class to achieve robustness in zero-shot learning. Our method can update the unseen CAPD taking the advantages of few unseen images to work in a few-shot learning scenario. Furthermore, our method can generalize the seen CAPDs by estimating seen-unseen diversity that significantly improves the performance of generalized zero-shot learning. Our extensive evaluations demonstrate that the proposed approach consistently achieves superior performance in zero-shot, generalized zero-shot and few/one-shot learning problems.
In multi-task learning, a learner is given a collection of prediction tasks and needs to solve all of them. In contrast to previous work, which required that annotated training data is available for all tasks, we consider a new setting, in which for some tasks, potentially most of them, only unlabeled training data is provided. Consequently, to solve all tasks, information must be transferred between tasks with labels and tasks without labels. Focusing on an instance-based transfer method we analyze two variants of this setting: when the set of labeled tasks is fixed, and when it can be actively selected by the learner. We state and prove a generalization bound that covers both scenarios and derive from it an algorithm for making the choice of labeled tasks (in the active case) and for transferring information between the tasks in a principled way. We also illustrate the effectiveness of the algorithm by experiments on synthetic and real data.