Keywords: Mode connectivity, incremental learning, COVID-19
TL;DR: Conceptualising an incremental learning framework as an elaborate network of modes in the parameter space
Abstract: Dynamic distribution shifts caused by evolving diseases and demographic changes require domain-incremental adaptation of clinical deep learning models. However, this process of adaptation is often accompanied by catastrophic forgetting, and even the most sophisticated methods are not good enough for clinical applications. This paper studies incremental learning from the perspective of mode connections, that is, the low-loss paths connecting the minimisers of neural architectures (modes or trained weights) in the parameter space. The paper argues for learning the low-loss paths originating from an existing mode and exploring the learned paths to find an acceptable mode for the new domain. The learned paths, and hence the new domain mode, are a function of the existing mode. As a result, unlike traditional incremental learning, the proposed approach is able to exploit information from a deployed model without changing its weights. Pre-COVID and COVID-19 data collected in Oxford University hospitals is used as a case study to demonstrate the need for domain-incremental learning and the advantages of the proposed approach.