Towards Robust Prompts on Vision-Language Models


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With the advent of vision-language models (VLMs) that can perform in-context and prompt-based learning, how can we design prompting approaches that robustly generalize to distribution shift and can be used on novel classes outside the support set of the prompts? In this work, we first define two types of robustness to distribution shift on VLMs, namely, robustness on base classes (the classes included in the support set of prompts) and robustness on novel classes. Then, we study the robustness of existing in-context learning and prompt learning approaches, where we find that prompt learning performs robustly on test images from base classes, while it does not generalize well on images from novel classes. We propose robust prompt learning by integrating multiple-scale image features into the prompt, which improves both types of robustness. Comprehensive experiments are conducted to study the defined robustness on six benchmarks and show the effectiveness of our proposal.
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