Impact of base dataset design on few-shot image classification
The quality and generality of deep image features is crucially determined by the data they have been trained on, but little is known about this often overlooked effect. In this paper, we systematically study the effect of variations in the training data by evaluating deep features trained on different image sets in a few-shot classification setting. The experimental protocol we define allows to explore key practical questions. What is the influence of the similarity between base and test classes? Given a fixed annotation budget, what is the optimal trade-off between the number of images per class and the number of classes? Given a fixed dataset, can features be improved by splitting or combining different classes? Should simple or diverse classes be annotated? In a wide range of experiments, we provide clear answers to these questions on the miniImageNet, ImageNet and CUB-200 datasets. We also show how the base dataset design can improve performance in few-shot classification more drastically than replacing a simple baseline by an advanced state of the art algorithm."