Transductive Few-Shot Learning: Clustering is All You Need?

16 Jun 2021  ·  Imtiaz Masud Ziko, Malik Boudiaf, Jose Dolz, Eric Granger, Ismail Ben Ayed ·

We investigate a general formulation for clustering and transductive few-shot learning, which integrates prototype-based objectives, Laplacian regularization and supervision constraints from a few labeled data points. We propose a concave-convex relaxation of the problem, and derive a computationally efficient block-coordinate bound optimizer, with convergence guarantee. At each iteration,our optimizer computes independent (parallel) updates for each point-to-cluster assignment. Therefore, it could be trivially distributed for large-scale clustering and few-shot tasks. Furthermore, we provides a thorough convergence analysis based on point-to-set maps. Were port comprehensive clustering and few-shot learning experiments over various data sets, showing that our method yields competitive performances, in term of accuracy and optimization quality, while scaling up to large problems. Using standard training on the base classes, without resorting to complex meta-learning and episodic-training strategies, our approach outperforms state-of-the-art few-shot methods by significant margins, across various models, settings and data sets. Surprisingly, we found that even standard clustering procedures (e.g., K-means), which correspond to particular, non-regularized cases of our general model, already achieve competitive performances in comparison to the state-of-the-art in few-shot learning. These surprising results point to the limitations of the current few-shot benchmarks, and question the viability of a large body of convoluted few-shot learning techniques in the recent literature.

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