General Incremental Learning with Domain-aware Categorical Representations

Method Overview.


Continual learning is an important problem for achieving human-level intelligence in real-world applications as an agent must continuously accumulate knowledge in response to streaming data/tasks. In this work, we consider a general and yet under-explored incremental learning problem in which both the class distribution and class-specific domain distribution change over time. In addition to the typical challenges in class incremental learning, this setting also faces the intra-class stability-plasticity dilemma and intra-class domain imbalance problems. To address above issues, we develop a novel domain-aware continual learning method based on the EM framework. Specifically, we introduce a flexible class representation based on the von Mises-Fisher mixture model to capture the intra-class structure, using an expansion-and-reduction strategy to dynamically increase the number of components according to the class complexity. Moreover, we design a bi-level balanced memory to cope with data imbalances within and across classes, which combines with a distillation loss to achieve better inter- and intra-class stability-plasticity trade-off. We conduct exhaustive experiments on three benchmarks:iDigits, iDomainNet and iCIFAR-20. The results show that our approach consistently outperforms previous methods by a significant margin, demonstrating its superiority.

In Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition 2022
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