The NeurIPS 2020 paper Learning to Learn Variational Semantic Memory by Xiantong Zhen*, Yingjun Du*, Huan Xiong, Qiang Qiu, Cees G. M. Snoek, and Ling Shao is now available. In this paper, we introduce variational semantic memory into meta-learning to acquire long-term knowledge for few-shot learning. The variational semantic memory accrues and stores semantic information for the probabilistic inference of class prototypes in a hierarchical Bayesian framework. The semantic memory is grown from scratch and gradually consolidated by absorbing information from tasks it experiences. By doing so, it is able to accumulate long-term, general knowledge that enables it to learn new concepts of objects. We formulate memory recall as the variational inference of a latent memory variable from addressed contents, which offers a principled way to adapt the knowledge to individual tasks. Our variational semantic memory, as a new long-term memory module, confers principled recall and update mechanisms that enable semantic information to be efficiently accrued and adapted for few-shot learning. Experiments demonstrate that the probabilistic modelling of prototypes achieves a more informative representation of object classes compared to deterministic vectors. The consistent new state-of-the-art performance on four benchmarks shows the benefit of variational semantic memory in boosting few-shot recognition.
The ECCV 2020 paper PointMixup: Augmentation for Point Clouds by Yunlu Chen, Vincent Tao Hu, Efstratios Gavves, Thomas Mensink. Pascal Mettes, Pengwan Yang and Cees Snoek is now available. This paper introduces data augmentation for point clouds by interpolation between examples. Data augmentation by interpolation has shown to be a simple and effective approach in the image domain. Such a mixup is however not directly transferable to point clouds, as we do not have a one-to-one correspondence between the points of two different objects. In this paper, we define data augmentation between point clouds as a shortest path linear interpolation. To that end, we introduce PointMixup, an interpolation method that generates new examples through an optimal assignment of the path function between two point clouds. We prove that our PointMixup finds the shortest path between two point clouds and that the interpolation is assignment invariant and linear. With the definition of interpolation, PointMixup allows to introduce strong interpolation-based regularizers such as mixup and manifold mixup to the point cloud domain. Experimentally, we show the potential of PointMixup for point cloud classification, especially when examples are scarce, as well as increased robustness to noise and geometric transformations to points. The code for PointMixup and the experimental details are publicly available.
The ECCV 2020 paper Localizing the Common Action Among a Few Videos by Pengwan Yang, Vincent Tao Hu, Pascal Mettes and Cees Snoek is now available. This paper strives to localize the temporal extent of an action in a long untrimmed video. Where existing work leverages many examples with their start, their ending, and/or the class of the action during training time, we propose few-shot common action localization. The start and end of an action in a long untrimmed video is determined based on just a hand-full of trimmed video examples containing the same action, without knowing their common class label. To address this task, we introduce a new 3D convolutional network architecture able to align representations from the support videos with the relevant query video segments. The network contains: (i) a mutual enhancement module to simultaneously complement the representation of the few trimmed support videos and the untrimmed query video; (ii) a progressive alignment module that iteratively fuses the support videos into the query branch; and (iii) a pairwise matching module to weigh the importance of different support videos. Evaluation of few-shot common action localization in untrimmed videos containing a single or multiple action instances demonstrates the effectiveness and general applicability of our proposal.
The BMVC 2020 paper Bias-Awareness for Zero-Shot Learning the Seen and Unseen by William Thong and Cees Snoek is now available. Generalized zero-shot learning recognizes inputs from both seen and unseen classes. Yet, existing methods tend to be biased towards the classes seen during training. In this paper, we strive to mitigate this bias. We propose a bias-aware learner to map inputs to a semantic embedding space for generalized zero-shot learning. During training, the model learns to regress to real-valued class prototypes in the embedding space with temperature scaling, while a margin-based bidirectional entropy term regularizes seen and unseen probabilities. Relying on a real-valued semantic embedding space provides a versatile approach, as the model can operate on different types of semantic information for both seen and unseen classes. Experiments are carried out on four benchmarks for generalized zero-shot learning and demonstrate the benefits of the proposed bias-aware classifier, both as a stand-alone method or in combination with generated features.
The ECCV 2020 paper Learning to Learn with Variational Information Bottleneck for Domain Generalization by Yingjun Du, Jun Xu, Huan Xiong, Qiang Qiu, Xiantong Zhen, Cees G. M. Snoek and Ling Shao is now available. Domain generalization models learn to generalize to previously unseen domains, but suffer from prediction uncertainty and domain shift. In this paper, we address both problems. We introduce a probabilistic meta-learning model for domain generalization, in which classifier parameters shared across domains are modeled as distributions. This enables better handling of prediction uncertainty on unseen domains. To deal with domain shift, we learn domain-invariant representations by the proposed principle of meta variational information bottleneck, we call MetaVIB. MetaVIB is derived from novel variational bounds of mutual information, by leveraging the meta-learning setting of domain generalization. Through episodic training, MetaVIB learns to gradually narrow domain gaps to establish domain-invariant representations, while simultaneously maximizing prediction accuracy. We conduct experiments on three benchmarks for cross-domain visual recognition. Comprehensive ablation studies validate the benefits of MetaVIB for domain generalization. The comparison results demonstrate our method outperforms previous approaches consistently.
The ECCV 2020 paper Latent Embedding Feedback and Discriminative Features for Zero-Shot Classification by Sanath Narayan, Akshita Gupta and Fahad Khan, Cees G. M. Snoek and Ling Shao is now available. Zero-shot learning strives to classify unseen categories for which no data is available during training. In the generalized variant, the test samples can further belong to seen or unseen categories. The state-of-the-art relies on Generative Adversarial Networks that synthesize unseen class features by leveraging class-specific semantic embeddings. During training, they generate semantically consistent features, but discard this constraint during feature synthesis and classification. We propose to enforce semantic consistency at all stages of (generalized) zero-shot learning: training, feature synthesis and classification. We further introduce a feedback loop, from a semantic embedding decoder, that iteratively refines the generated features during both the training and feature synthesis stages. The synthesized features together with their corresponding latent embeddings from the decoder are transformed into discriminative features and utilized during classification to reduce ambiguities among categories. Experiments on (generalized) zero-shot learning for object and action classification reveal the benefit of semantic consistency and iterative feedback, outperforming existing methods on six zero-shot learning benchmarks.
The ICML 2020 paper Learning to Learn Kernels with Variational Random Features by Xiantong Zhen, Haoliang Sun, Yingjun Du, Jun Xu, Yilong Yin, Ling Shaoand Cees Snoek is now available. In this work, we introduce kernels with random Fourier features in the meta-learning framework to leverage their strong few-shot learning ability. We propose meta variational random features (MetaVRF) to learn adaptive kernels for the base-learner, which is developed in a latent variable model by treating the random feature basis as the latent variable. We formulate the optimization of MetaVRF as a variational inference problem by deriving an evidence lower bound under the meta-learning framework. To incorporate shared knowledge from related tasks, we propose a context inference of the posterior, which is established by an LSTM architecture. The LSTM-based inference network can effectively integrate the context information of previous tasks with task-specific information, generating informative and adaptive features. The learned MetaVRF can produce kernels of high representational power with a relatively low spectral sampling rate and also enables fast adaptation to new tasks. Experimental results on a variety of few-shot regression and classification tasks demonstrate that MetaVRF delivers much better, or at least competitive, performance compared to existing meta-learning alternatives.
The ICMR 2020 paper Interactivity Proposals for Surveillance Videos by Shuo Chen, Pascal Mettes, Tao Hu and Cees Snoek is now available. This paper introduces spatio-temporal interactivity proposals for video surveillance. Rather than focusing solely on actions performed by subjects, we explicitly include the objects that the subjects interact with. To enable interactivity proposals, we introduce the notion of interactivityness, a score that reflects the likelihood that a subject and object have an interplay. For its estimation, we propose a network containing an interactivity block and geometric encoding between subjects and objects. The network computes local interactivity likelihoods from subject and object trajectories, which we use to link intervals of high scores into spatio-temporal proposals. Experiments on an interactivity dataset with new evaluation metrics show the general benefit of interactivity proposals as well as its favorable performance compared to traditional temporal and spatio-temporal action proposals.