The goal of few-shot learning is to learn a classifier that generalizes well even when trained with a limited number of training instances per class. The recently introduced meta-learning approaches tackle this problem by learning a generic classifier across a large number of multiclass classification tasks and generalizing the model to a new task. Yet, even with such meta-learning, the low-data problem in the novel classification task still remains. In this paper, we propose Transductive Propagation Network (TPN), a novel meta-learning framework for transductive inference that classifies the entire test set at once to alleviate the low-data problem. Specifically, we propose to learn to propagate labels from labeled instances to unlabeled test instances, by learning a graph construction module that exploits the manifold structure in the data. TPN jointly learns both the parameters of feature embedding and the graph construction in an end-to-end manner. We validate TPN on multiple benchmark datasets, on which it largely outperforms existing few-shot learning approaches and achieves the state-of-the-art results.

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小样本学习(Few-Shot Learning,以下简称 FSL )用于解决当可用的数据量比较少时,如何提升神经网络的性能。在 FSL 中,经常用到的一类方法被称为 Meta-learning。和普通的神经网络的训练方法一样,Meta-learning 也包含训练过程和测试过程,但是它的训练过程被称作 Meta-training 和 Meta-testing。

Convolutional Neural Networks experience catastrophic forgetting when optimized on a sequence of learning problems: as they meet the objective of the current training examples, their performance on previous tasks drops drastically. In this work, we introduce a novel framework to tackle this problem with conditional computation. We equip each convolutional layer with task-specific gating modules, selecting which filters to apply on the given input. This way, we achieve two appealing properties. Firstly, the execution patterns of the gates allow to identify and protect important filters, ensuring no loss in the performance of the model for previously learned tasks. Secondly, by using a sparsity objective, we can promote the selection of a limited set of kernels, allowing to retain sufficient model capacity to digest new tasks.Existing solutions require, at test time, awareness of the task to which each example belongs to. This knowledge, however, may not be available in many practical scenarios. Therefore, we additionally introduce a task classifier that predicts the task label of each example, to deal with settings in which a task oracle is not available. We validate our proposal on four continual learning datasets. Results show that our model consistently outperforms existing methods both in the presence and the absence of a task oracle. Notably, on Split SVHN and Imagenet-50 datasets, our model yields up to 23.98% and 17.42% improvement in accuracy w.r.t. competing methods.

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We extend this idea further to explicitly model the distribution-level relation of one example to all other examples in a 1-vs-N manner. We propose a novel approach named distribution propagation graph network (DPGN) for few-shot learning. It conveys both the distribution-level relations and instance-level relations in each few-shot learning task. To combine the distribution-level relations and instance-level relations for all examples, we construct a dual complete graph network which consists of a point graph and a distribution graph with each node standing for an example. Equipped with dual graph architecture, DPGN propagates label information from labeled examples to unlabeled examples within several update generations. In extensive experiments on few-shot learning benchmarks, DPGN outperforms state-of-the-art results by a large margin in 5% $\sim$ 12% under supervised settings and 7% $\sim$ 13% under semi-supervised settings.

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Label Propagation (LPA) and Graph Convolutional Neural Networks (GCN) are both message passing algorithms on graphs. Both solve the task of node classification but LPA propagates node label information across the edges of the graph, while GCN propagates and transforms node feature information. However, while conceptually similar, theoretical relation between LPA and GCN has not yet been investigated. Here we study the relationship between LPA and GCN in terms of two aspects: (1) feature/label smoothing where we analyze how the feature/label of one node is spread over its neighbors; And, (2) feature/label influence of how much the initial feature/label of one node influences the final feature/label of another node. Based on our theoretical analysis, we propose an end-to-end model that unifies GCN and LPA for node classification. In our unified model, edge weights are learnable, and the LPA serves as regularization to assist the GCN in learning proper edge weights that lead to improved classification performance. Our model can also be seen as learning attention weights based on node labels, which is more task-oriented than existing feature-based attention models. In a number of experiments on real-world graphs, our model shows superiority over state-of-the-art GCN-based methods in terms of node classification accuracy.

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Meta-learning extracts the common knowledge acquired from learning different tasks and uses it for unseen tasks. It demonstrates a clear advantage on tasks that have insufficient training data, e.g., few-shot learning. In most meta-learning methods, tasks are implicitly related via the shared model or optimizer. In this paper, we show that a meta-learner that explicitly relates tasks on a graph describing the relations of their output dimensions (e.g., classes) can significantly improve the performance of few-shot learning. This type of graph is usually free or cheap to obtain but has rarely been explored in previous works. We study the prototype based few-shot classification, in which a prototype is generated for each class, such that the nearest neighbor search between the prototypes produces an accurate classification. We introduce "Gated Propagation Network (GPN)", which learns to propagate messages between prototypes of different classes on the graph, so that learning the prototype of each class benefits from the data of other related classes. In GPN, an attention mechanism is used for the aggregation of messages from neighboring classes, and a gate is deployed to choose between the aggregated messages and the message from the class itself. GPN is trained on a sequence of tasks from many-shot to few-shot generated by subgraph sampling. During training, it is able to reuse and update previously achieved prototypes from the memory in a life-long learning cycle. In experiments, we change the training-test discrepancy and test task generation settings for thorough evaluations. GPN outperforms recent meta-learning methods on two benchmark datasets in all studied cases.

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Few-shot Learning aims to learn classifiers for new classes with only a few training examples per class. Existing meta-learning or metric-learning based few-shot learning approaches are limited in handling diverse domains with various number of labels. The meta-learning approaches train a meta learner to predict weights of homogeneous-structured task-specific networks, requiring a uniform number of classes across tasks. The metric-learning approaches learn one task-invariant metric for all the tasks, and they fail if the tasks diverge. We propose to deal with these limitations with meta metric learning. Our meta metric learning approach consists of task-specific learners, that exploit metric learning to handle flexible labels, and a meta learner, that discovers good parameters and gradient decent to specify the metrics in task-specific learners. Thus the proposed model is able to handle unbalanced classes as well as to generate task-specific metrics. We test our approach in the `$k$-shot $N$-way' few-shot learning setting used in previous work and new realistic few-shot setting with diverse multi-domain tasks and flexible label numbers. Experiments show that our approach attains superior performances in both settings.

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We study object recognition under the constraint that each object class is only represented by very few observations. In such cases, naive supervised learning would lead to severe over-fitting in deep neural networks due to limited training data. We tackle this problem by creating much more training data through label propagation from the few labeled examples to a vast collection of unannotated images. Our main insight is that such a label propagation scheme can be highly effective when the similarity metric used for propagation is learned and transferred from other related domains with lots of data. We test our approach on semi-supervised learning, transfer learning and few-shot recognition, where we learn our similarity metric using various supervised/unsupervised pretraining methods, and transfer it to unlabeled data across different data distributions. By taking advantage of unlabeled data in this way, we achieve significant improvements on all three tasks. Notably, our approach outperforms current state-of-the-art techniques by an absolute $20\%$ for semi-supervised learning on CIFAR10, $10\%$ for transfer learning from ImageNet to CIFAR10, and $6\%$ for few-shot recognition on mini-ImageNet, when labeled examples are limited.

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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.

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Deep learning has made remarkable achievement in many fields. However, learning the parameters of neural networks usually demands a large amount of labeled data. The algorithms of deep learning, therefore, encounter difficulties when applied to supervised learning where only little data are available. This specific task is called few-shot learning. To address it, we propose a novel algorithm for few-shot learning using discrete geometry, in the sense that the samples in a class are modeled as a reduced simplex. The volume of the simplex is used for the measurement of class scatter. During testing, combined with the test sample and the points in the class, a new simplex is formed. Then the similarity between the test sample and the class can be quantized with the ratio of volumes of the new simplex to the original class simplex. Moreover, we present an approach to constructing simplices using local regions of feature maps yielded by convolutional neural networks. Experiments on Omniglot and miniImageNet verify the effectiveness of our simplex algorithm on few-shot learning.

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The potential of graph convolutional neural networks for the task of zero-shot learning has been demonstrated recently. These models are highly sample efficient as related concepts in the graph structure share statistical strength allowing generalization to new classes when faced with a lack of data. However, knowledge from distant nodes can get diluted when propagating through intermediate nodes, because current approaches to zero-shot learning use graph propagation schemes that perform Laplacian smoothing at each layer. We show that extensive smoothing does not help the task of regressing classifier weights in zero-shot learning. In order to still incorporate information from distant nodes and utilize the graph structure, we propose an Attentive Dense Graph Propagation Module (ADGPM). ADGPM allows us to exploit the hierarchical graph structure of the knowledge graph through additional connections. These connections are added based on a node's relationship to its ancestors and descendants and an attention scheme is further used to weigh their contribution depending on the distance to the node. Finally, we illustrate that finetuning of the feature representation after training the ADGPM leads to considerable improvements. Our method achieves competitive results, outperforming previous zero-shot learning approaches.

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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.

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