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Amortized Bayesian Prototype Meta-learning: A New Probabilistic Meta-learning Approach to Few-shot Image Classification

Zhuo Sun · Jijie Wu · Xiaoxu Li · Wenming Yang · Jing-Hao Xue

Keywords: [ Probabilistic Methods ] [ Generative and Latent Variable Models ]


Probabilistic meta-learning methods recently have achieved impressive success in few-shot image classification. However, they introduce a huge number of random variables for neural network weights and thus severe computational and inferential challenges. In this paper, we propose a novel probabilistic meta-learning method called amortized Bayesian prototype meta-learning. In contrast to previous methods, we introduce only a small number of random variables for latent class prototypes rather than a huge number for network weights; we learn to learn the posterior distributions of these latent prototypes in an amortized inference way with no need for an extra amortization network, such that we can easily approximate their posteriors conditional on few labeled samples, whenever at meta-training or meta-testing stage. The proposed method can be trained end-to-end without any pre-training. Compared with other probabilistic meta-learning methods, our proposed approach is more interpretable with much less random variables, while still be able to achieve competitive performance for few-shot image classification problems on various benchmark datasets. Its excellent robustness and predictive uncertainty are also demonstrated through ablation studies.

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