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Adaptive Aggregation Networks for Class-Incremental Learning

Yaoyao Liu1   Bernt Schiele1   Qianru Sun2

1Max Planck Institute for Informatics   2Singapore Management University  
2021 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
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Class-Incremental Learning (CIL) aims to learn a classification model with the number of classes increasing phase-by-phase. An inherent problem in CIL is the stability-plasticity dilemma between the learning of old and new classes, i.e., high-plasticity models easily forget old classes but high-stability models are weak to learn new classes. We alleviate this issue by proposing a novel network architecture called Adaptive Aggregation Networks (AANets) in which we explicitly build two residual blocks at each residual level (taking ResNet as the baseline architecture): a stable block and a plastic block. We aggregate the output feature maps from these two blocks and then feed the results to the next-level blocks. We meta-learn the aggregation weights in order to dynamically optimize and balance between the two types of blocks, i.e., inherently between stability and plasticity. We conduct extensive experiments on three CIL benchmarks: CIFAR-100, ImageNet-Subset, and ImageNet, and show that many existing CIL methods can be straightforwardly incorporated on the architecture of AANets to boost their performances.


Our Method: Adaptive Aggregation Networks (AANets)

Fig 1.  Conceptual illustrations of different CIL methods. (a) Conventional methods use all available data (which are imbalanced among classes) to train the model. (b) Recent methods follow this convention but add a fine-tuning step on a balanced subset of all classes. (c) The proposed Adaptive Aggregation Networks (AANets) is a new architecture and it applies a different data strategy: using all available data to update the parameters of plastic and stable blocks, and the balanced set of exemplars to meta-learn the aggregation weights for these blocks. Our key lies in that meta-learned weights can balance the usage of the plastic and stable blocks, i.e., balance between plasticity and stability.

Fig 2. An example architecture of AANets with three levels of residual blocks. At each level, we compute the feature maps from a stable block (blue) as well as a plastic block (orange), respectively, aggregate the maps with meta-learned weights, and feed the result maps to the next level. The outputs of the final level are used to train classifiers.


Table 1. Average incremental accuracies (%) of four state-of-the-art methods w/ and w/o our AANets as a plug-in architecture. In the upper block, we present some comparable results reported in some other related work.


Please cite our paper if it is helpful to your work:

  author    = {Liu, Yaoyao and
               Schiele, Bernt and
               Sun, Qianru},
  title     = {Adaptive Aggregation Networks for Class-Incremental Learning},
  booktitle = {IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
  pages     = {2544-2553},
  year      = {2020}

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