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Durham University

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Zhang, Haofeng, Mao, Huaqi, Long, Yang, Yang, Wankou & Shao, Ling (2020). A Probabilistic Zero-Shot Learning Method via Latent Nonnegative Prototype Synthesis of Unseen Classes. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems 31(7): 2361-2375.

Author(s) from Durham


Zero-shot learning (ZSL), a type of structured multioutput learning, has attracted much attention due to its requirement of no training data for target classes. Conventional ZSL methods usually project visual features into semantic space and assign labels by finding their nearest prototypes. However, this type of nearest neighbor search (NNS)-based method often suffers from great performance degradation because of the nonuniform variances between different categories. In this article, we propose a probabilistic framework by taking covariance into account to deal with the above-mentioned problem. In this framework, we define a new latent space, which has two characteristics. The first is that the features in this space should gather within the classes and scatter between the classes, which is implemented by triplet learning; the second is that the prototypes of unseen classes are synthesized with nonnegative coefficients, which are generated by nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) of relations between the seen classes and the unseen classes in attribute space. During training, the learned parameters are the projection model for triplet network and the nonnegative coefficients between the unseen classes and the seen classes. In the testing phase, visual features are projected into latent space and assigned with the labels that have the maximum probability among unseen classes for classic ZSL or within all classes for generalized ZSL. Extensive experiments are conducted on four popular data sets, and the results show that the proposed method can outperform the state-of-the-art methods in most circumstances.