A Hybrid Approach with Optimization and Metric-based Meta-Learner for Few-Shot Learning

by   Duo Wang, et al.
Tsinghua University

Few-shot learning aims to learn classifiers for new classes with only a few training examples per class. Most existing few-shot learning approaches belong to either metric-based meta-learning or optimization-based meta-learning category, both of which have achieved successes in the simplified "k-shot N-way" image classification settings. Specifically, the optimization-based approaches train a meta-learner to predict the parameters of the task-specific classifiers. The task-specific classifiers are required to be homogeneous-structured to ease the parameter prediction, so the meta-learning approaches could only handle few-shot learning problems where the tasks share a uniform number of classes. The metric-based approaches learn one task-invariant metric for all the tasks. Even though the metric-learning approaches allow different numbers of classes, they require the tasks all coming from a similar domain such that there exists a uniform metric that could work across tasks. In this work, we propose a hybrid meta-learning model called Meta-Metric-Learner which combines the merits of both optimization- and metric-based approaches. Our meta-metric-learning approach consists of two components, a task-specific metric-based learner as a base model, and a meta-learner that learns and specifies the base model. Thus our model is able to handle flexible numbers of classes as well as generate more generalized metrics for classification across tasks. We test our approach in the standard "k-shot N-way" few-shot learning setting following previous works and a new realistic few-shot setting with flexible class numbers in both single-source form and multi-source forms. Experiments show that our approach can obtain superior performance in all settings.


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