Negative Margin Matters: Understanding Margin in Few-shot Classification

Bin Liu, Yue Cao, Yutong Lin, Qi Li, Zheng Zhang, Mingsheng Long, Han Hu ;


In this paper, we unconventionally propose to adopt appropriate negative-margin to softmax loss for few-shot classification, which surprisingly works well for the open-set scenarios of few-shot classification. We then provide the intuitive explanation and the theoretical proof to understand why negative margin works well for few-shot classification. This claim is also demonstrated via sufficient experiments. With the negative-margin softmax loss, our approach achieves the state-of-the-art performance on all three standard benchmarks of few-shot classification. In the future, the negative margin may be applied in more general open-set scenarios that do not restrict the number of samples in novel classes."

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