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Learning Prototype-oriented Set Representations for Meta-Learning

Dandan Guo · Long Tian · Minghe Zhang · Mingyuan Zhou · Hongyuan Zha

Keywords: [ optimal transport ]


Learning from set-structured data is a fundamental problem that has recently attracted increasing attention, where a series of summary networks are introduced to deal with the set input. In fact, many meta-learning problems can be treated as set-input tasks. Most existing summary networks aim to design different architectures for the input set in order to enforce permutation invariance. However, scant attention has been paid to the common cases where different sets in a meta distribution are closely related and share certain statistical properties. Viewing each set as a distribution over a set of global prototypes, this paper provides a novel prototype-oriented optimal transport (POT) framework to improve existing summary networks. To learn the distribution over the global prototypes, we minimize its regularized optimal transport distance to the set empirical distribution over data points, providing a natural unsupervised way to improve the summary network. Since our plug-and-play framework can be applied to many meta learning problems, we further instantiate it to the cases of few-shot classification and implicit meta generative modeling. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our framework significantly improves the existing summary networks on learning more powerful summary statistics from sets and can be successfully integrated into metric-based few-shot classification and generative modeling applications, providing a promising tool for addressing set-input and meta-learning problems.

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