Keywords: incremental learning, few-shot, vector quantization
Abstract: The capability of incrementally learning new tasks without forgetting old ones is a challenging problem due to catastrophic forgetting. This challenge becomes greater when novel tasks contain very few labelled training samples. Currently, most methods are dedicated to class-incremental learning and rely on sufficient training data to learn additional weights for newly added classes. Those methods cannot be easily extended to incremental regression tasks and could suffer from severe overfitting when learning few-shot novel tasks. In this study, we propose a nonparametric method in deep embedded space to tackle incremental few-shot learning problems. The knowledge about the learned tasks are compressed into a small number of quantized reference vectors. The proposed method learns new tasks sequentially by adding more reference vectors to the model using few-shot samples in each novel task. For classification problems, we employ the nearest neighbor scheme to make classification on sparsely available data and incorporate intra-class variation, less forgetting regularization and calibration of reference vectors to mitigate catastrophic forgetting. In addition, the proposed learning vector quantization (LVQ) in deep embedded space can be customized as a kernel smoother to handle incremental few-shot regression tasks. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms other state-of-the-art methods in incremental learning.
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