An Empirical Study and Analysis of Generalized Zero-Shot Learning for Object Recognition in the Wild

author: Wei-Lun Chao, Computer Science Department, University of Southern California
published: Oct. 24, 2016,   recorded: October 2016,   views: 5


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We investigate the problem of generalized zero-shot learning (GZSL). GZSL relaxes the unrealistic assumption in conventional ZSL that test data belong only to unseen novel classes. In GZSL, test data might also come from seen classes and the labeling space is the union of both types of classes. We show empirically that a straightforward application of the classifiers provided by existing ZSL approaches does not perform well in the setting of GZSL. Motivated by this, we propose a surprisingly simple but effective method to adapt ZSL approaches for GZSL. The main idea is to introduce a calibration factor to calibrate the classifiers for both seen and unseen classes so as to balance two conflicting forces: recognizing data from seen classes and those from unseen ones. We develop a new performance metric called the Area Under Seen-Unseen accuracy Curve to characterize this tradeoff. We demonstrate the utility of this metric by analyzing existing ZSL approaches applied to the generalized setting. Extensive empirical studies reveal strengths and weaknesses of those approaches on three well-studied benchmark datasets, including the large-scale ImageNet Full 2011 with 21,000 unseen categories. We complement our comparative studies in learning methods by further establishing an upper-bound on the performance limit of GZSL. There, our idea is to use class-representative visual features as the idealized semantic embeddings. We show that there is a large gap between the performance of existing approaches and the performance limit, suggesting that improving the quality of class semantic embeddings is vital to improving zero-shot learning.

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