Few-shot Action Recognition with Permutation-invariant Attention

Hongguang Zhang, Li Zhang, Xiaojuan Qi, Hongdong Li, Philip H. S. Torr, Piotr Koniusz ;


Many few-shot learning models focus on recognising images. In contrast, we tackle a challenging task of few-shot action recognition from videos. We build on a C3D encoder for spatio-temporal video blocks to capture short-range action patterns. Such encoded blocks are aggregated by permutation-invariant pooling to make our approach robust to varying action lengths and long-range temporal dependencies whose patterns are unlikely to repeat even in clips of the same class. Subsequently, the pooled representations are combined into simple relation descriptors which encode so-called query and support clips. Finally, relation descriptors are fed to the comparator with the goal of similarity learning between query and support clips. Importantly, to re-weight block contributions during pooling, we exploit spatial and temporal attention modules and self-supervision. In naturalistic clips (of the same class) there exists a temporal distribution shift--the locations of discriminative temporal action hotspots vary. Thus, we permute blocks of a clip and align the resulting attention regions with similarly permuted attention regions of non-permuted clip to train the attention mechanism invariant to block (and thus long-term hotspot) permutations. Our method outperforms the state of the art on the HMDB51, UCF101, miniMIT datasets."

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