Wasserstein Expansible Variational Autoencoder for Discriminative and Generative Continual Learning

ICCV 2023  ·  Fei Ye, Adrian G. Bors ·

Task-Free Continual Learning (TFCL) represents a challenging learning paradigm where a model is trained on the non-stationary data distributions without any knowledge of the task information, thus representing a more practical approach. Despite promising achievements by the Variational Autoencoder (VAE) mixtures in continual learning, such methods ignore the redundancy among the probabilistic representations of their components when performing model expansion, leading to mixture components learning similar tasks. This paper proposes the Wasserstein Expansible Variational Autoencoder (WEVAE), which evaluates the statistical similarity between the probabilistic representation of new data and that represented by each mixture component and then uses it for deciding when to expand the model. Such a mechanism can avoid unnecessary model expansion while ensuring the knowledge diversity among the trained components. In addition, we propose an energy-based sample selection approach that assigns high energies to novel samples and low energies to the samples which are similar to the model's knowledge. Extensive empirical studies on both supervised and unsupervised benchmark tasks demonstrate that our model outperforms all competing methods. The code is available at https://github.com/dtuzi123/WEVAE/.

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