Prototype-based Incremental Few-Shot Segmentation
Fabio Cermelli, Massimiliano Mancini, Yongqin Xian, Zeynep Akata, Barbara Caputo
British Machine Vision Conference, BMVC


Semantic segmentation models have two fundamental weaknesses: i) they require large training sets with costly pixel-level annotations, and ii) they have a static output space, constrained to the classes of the training set. Toward addressing both problems, we introduce a new task, Incremental Few-Shot Segmentation (iFSS). The goal of iFSS is to extend a pretrained segmentation model with new classes from few annotated images and without access to old training data. To overcome the limitations of existing models in iFSS, we propose Prototype-based Incremental Few-Shot Segmentation (PIFS) that couples prototype learning and knowledge distillation. PIFS exploits prototypes to initialize the classifiers of new classes, fine-tuning the network to refine its features representation. We design a prototype-based distillation loss on the scores of both old and new class prototypes to avoid overfitting and forgetting, and batch-renormalization to cope with non-i.i.d. few-shot data. We create an extensive benchmark for iFSS showing that PIFS outperforms several few-shot and incremental learning methods in all scenarios.

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