Rethinking Few-shot Image Classification: A Good Embedding is All You Need?

Yonglong Tian, Yue Wang, Dilip Krishnan, Joshua B. Tenenbaum, Phillip Isola ;


The focus of recent meta-learning research has been on the development of learning algorithms that can quickly adapt to test time tasks with limited data and low computational cost. Few-shot learning is widely used as one of the standard benchmarks in meta-learning. In this work, we show that a simple baseline: learning a supervised or self-supervised representation on the meta-training set, followed by training a linear classifier on top of this representation, outperforms state-of-the-art few-shot learning methods. An additional boost can be achieved through the use of self-distillation. This demonstrates that using a good learned embedding model can be more effective than sophisticated meta-learning algorithms. We believe that our findings motivate a rethinking of few-shot image classification benchmarks and the associated role of meta-learning algorithms. "

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