- Keywords: few-shot learning, spatial attention
- TL;DR: We study a new problem where a pretrained model is adapted for few-shot learning using limited base class data and introduce a spatial attention mechanism for this task.
- Abstract: Few-shot learning is often motivated by the ability of humans to learn new tasks from few examples. However, standard few-shot classification benchmarks assume that the representation is learned on a limited amount of base class data, ignoring the amount of prior knowledge that a human may have accumulated before learning new tasks. At the same time, even if a powerful representation is available, it may happen in some domain that base class data are limited or non-existent. This motivates us to study a problem where the representation is obtained from a classifier pre-trained on a large-scale dataset of a different domain, assuming no access to its training process, while the base class data are limited to few examples per class and their role is to adapt the representation to the domain at hand rather than learn from scratch. We adapt the representation in two stages, namely on the few base class data if available and on the even fewer data of new tasks. In doing so, we obtain from the pre-trained classifier a spatial attention map that allows focusing on objects and suppressing background clutter. This is important in the new problem, because when base class data are few, the network cannot learn where to focus implicitly. We also show that a pre-trained network may be easily adapted to novel classes, without meta-learning.