Revisiting Fine-tuning for Few-shot Learning

Sep 25, 2019 ICLR 2020 Conference Withdrawn Submission readers: everyone
  • Keywords: few-shot learning, fine-tuning
  • TL;DR: An empirical study that provides a novel perspective on few-shot learning, in which a fine-tuning method shows comparable accuracy to more complex state-of-the-art methods in several classification tasks.
  • Abstract: Few-shot learning is the process of learning novel classes using only a few examples and it remains a challenging task in machine learning. Many sophisticated few-shot learning algorithms have been proposed based on the notion that networks can easily overfit to novel examples if they are simply fine-tuned using only a few examples. In this study, we show that in the commonly used low-resolution mini-ImageNet dataset, the fine-tuning method achieves higher accuracy than common few-shot learning algorithms in the 1-shot task and nearly the same accuracy as that of the state-of-the-art algorithm in the 5-shot task. We then evaluate our method with more practical tasks, namely the high-resolution single-domain and cross-domain tasks. With both tasks, we show that our method achieves higher accuracy than common few-shot learning algorithms. We further analyze the experimental results and show that: 1) the retraining process can be stabilized by employing a low learning rate, 2) using adaptive gradient optimizers during fine-tuning can increase test accuracy, and 3) test accuracy can be improved by updating the entire network when a large domain-shift exists between base and novel classes.
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