Variational metric scaling for metric-based meta-learning

Jiaxin Chen, Li Ming Zhan, Xiao Ming Wu, Fu Lai Chung

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Metric-based meta-learning has attracted a lot of attention due to its effectiveness and efficiency in few-shot learning. Recent studies show that metric scaling plays a crucial role in the performance of metric-based meta-learning algorithms. However, there still lacks a principled method for learning the metric scaling parameter automatically. In this paper, we recast metric-based meta-learning from a Bayesian perspective and develop a variational metric scaling framework for learning a proper metric scaling parameter. Firstly, we propose a stochastic variational method to learn a single global scaling parameter. To better fit the embedding space to a given data distribution, we extend our method to learn a dimensional scaling vector to transform the embedding space. Furthermore, to learn task-specific embeddings, we generate task-dependent dimensional scaling vectors with amortized variational inference. Our method is end-to-end without any pre-training and can be used as a simple plug-and-play module for existing metric-based meta-algorithms. Experiments on miniImageNet show that our methods can be used to consistently improve the performance of existing metric-based meta-algorithms including prototypical networks and TADAM.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAAAI 2020 - 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
PublisherAAAI press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781577358350
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2020 - New York, United States
Duration: 7 Feb 202012 Feb 2020

Publication series

NameAAAI 2020 - 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence


Conference34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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