G-ACIL: Analytic Learning for Exemplar-Free Generalized Class Incremental Learning

Huiping Zhuang, Yizhu Chen, Di Fang, Run He, Kai Tong,Hongxin Wei,Ziqian Zeng,Cen Chen


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Class incremental learning (CIL) trains a network on sequential tasks with separated categories but suffers from catastrophic forgetting, where models quickly lose previously learned knowledge when acquiring new tasks. The generalized CIL (GCIL) aims to address the CIL problem in a more real-world scenario, where incoming data have mixed data categories and unknown sample size distribution, leading to intensified forgetting. Existing attempts for the GCIL either have poor performance, or invade data privacy by saving historical exemplars. To address this, in this paper, we propose an exemplar-free generalized analytic class incremental learning (G-ACIL). The G-ACIL adopts analytic learning (a gradient-free training technique), and delivers an analytical solution (i.e., closed-form) to the GCIL scenario. This solution is derived via decomposing the incoming data into exposed and unexposed classes, allowing an equivalence between the incremental learning and its joint training, i.e., the weight-invariant property. Such an equivalence is theoretically validated through matrix analysis tools, and hence contributes interpretability in GCIL. It is also empirically evidenced by experiments on various datasets and settings of GCIL. The results show that the G-ACIL exhibits leading performance with high robustness compared with existing competitive GCIL methods. Codes will be ready at https://github.com/ZHUANGHP/Analytic-continual-learning.
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