Learning to Adapt with Memory for Probabilistic Few-Shot Learning


Few-shot learning has recently generated increasing popularity in machine learning, which addresses the fundamental yet challenging problem of learning to adapt to new tasks with the limited data. In this paper, we propose a new probabilistic framework that learns to fast adapt with external memory. We model the classifier parameters as distributions that are inferred from the support set and directly applied to the query set for prediction. The model is optimized by formulating as a variational inference problem. The probabilistic modeling enables better handling prediction uncertainty due to the limited data. We impose a discriminative constraint on the feature representations by exploring the class structure, which can improve the classification performance. We further introduce a memory unit to store task-specific information extracted from the support set and used for the query set to achieve explicit adaption to individual tasks. By episodic training, the model learns to acquire the capability of adapting to specific tasks, which guarantees its performance on new related tasks. We conduct extensive experiments on widely-used benchmarks for few-shot recognition. Our method achieves new state-of-the-art performance and largely surpassing previous methods by large margins. The ablation study further demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed discriminative learning and memory unit.

IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology 2021