Worst-case Few-shot Evaluation: Are Neural Networks Robust Few-shot Learners?

ICLR 2023(2023)

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Neural networks have achieved remarkable performance on various few-shot tasks. However, recent studies reveal that existing few-shot models often exploit the spurious correlations between training and test sets, achieving a high performance that is hard to generalize. Motivated that a robust few-shot learner should accurately classify data given any valid training set, we consider a worst-case few-shot evaluation that computes worst-case generalization errors by constructing a challenging few-shot set. Specifically, we search for the label-balanced subset of a full-size training set that results in the largest expected risks. Since the search space is enormous, we propose an efficient method NMMD-attack to optimize the target by maximizing NMMD distance (maximum mean discrepancy based on neural tangent kernel). Experiments show that NMMD-attack can successfully attack various architectures. The large gap between average performance and worst-case performance shows that neural networks still suffer from poor robustness. We appeal to more worst-case benchmarks for better robust few-shot evaluation.
Distributional Robustness,few-shot evaluation
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