Sachin Ravi and Hugo Larochelle

Though deep neural networks have shown great success in the large data domain, they generally perform poorly on few-shot learning tasks, where a classifier has to quickly generalize after seeing very few examples from each class. The general belief is that gradient-based optimization in high capacity classifiers requires many iterative steps over many examples to perform well. Here, we propose an LSTM-based meta-learner model to learn the exact optimization algorithm used to train another learner neural network classifier in the few-shot regime. The parametrization of our model allows it to learn appropriate parameter updates specifically for the scenario where a set amount of updates will be made, while also learning a general initialization of the learner (classifier) network that allows for quick convergence of training. We emonstrate that this meta-learning model is competitive with deep metric-learning techniques for few-shot learning.