Function Contrastive Learning of Transferable Representations

Few-shot-learning seeks to find models that are capable of fast-adaptation to novel tasks which are not encountered during training. Unlike typical few-shot learning algorithms, we propose a contrastive learning method which is not trained to solve a set of tasks, but rather attempts to find a good representation of the underlying data-generating processes (\emph{functions}). This allows for finding representations which are useful for an entire series of tasks sharing the same function. In particular, our training scheme is driven by the self-supervision signal indicating whether two sets of samples stem from the same underlying function. Our experiments on a number of synthetic and real-world datasets show that the representations we obtain can outperform strong baselines in terms of downstream performance and noise robustness, even when these baselines are trained in an end-to-end manner.

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