Learning Compositional Representations for Few-Shot Recognition

ICCV 2019  ·  Pavel Tokmakov, Yu-Xiong Wang, Martial Hebert ·

One of the key limitations of modern deep learning approaches lies in the amount of data required to train them. Humans, by contrast, can learn to recognize novel categories from just a few examples. Instrumental to this rapid learning ability is the compositional structure of concept representations in the human brain --- something that deep learning models are lacking. In this work, we make a step towards bridging this gap between human and machine learning by introducing a simple regularization technique that allows the learned representation to be decomposable into parts. Our method uses category-level attribute annotations to disentangle the feature space of a network into subspaces corresponding to the attributes. These attributes can be either purely visual, like object parts, or more abstract, like openness and symmetry. We demonstrate the value of compositional representations on three datasets: CUB-200-2011, SUN397, and ImageNet, and show that they require fewer examples to learn classifiers for novel categories.

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