Keywords: Few-shot learning, Vicinal risk minimization, Task-specific generalization
Abstract: Recent years have witnessed the rapid development of meta-learning in improving the meta generalization over tasks in few-shot learning. However, the task-specific level generalization is overlooked in most algorithms. For a novel few-shot learning task where the empirical distribution likely deviates from the true distribution, the model obtained via minimizing the empirical loss can hardly generalize to unseen data. A viable solution to improving the generalization comes as a more accurate approximation of the true distribution; that is, admitting a Gaussian-like vicinal distribution for each of the limited training samples. Thereupon we derive the resulting vicinal loss function over vicinities of all training samples and minimize it instead of the conventional empirical loss over training samples only, favorably free from the exhaustive sampling of all vicinal samples. It remains challenging to obtain the statistical parameters of the vicinal distribution for each sample. To tackle this challenge, we further propose to estimate the statistical parameters as the weighted mean and variance of a set of unlabeled data it passed by a random walk starting from training samples. To verify the performance of the proposed method, we conduct experiments on four standard few-shot learning benchmarks and consolidate the superiority of the proposed method over state-of-the-art few-shot learning baselines.
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