PromptFusion: Decoupling Stability and Plasticity for Continual Learning


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Continual learning refers to the capability of continuously learning from a stream of data. Current research mainly focuses on relieving catastrophic forgetting, and most of their success is at the cost of limiting the performance of newly incoming tasks. Such a trade-off is referred to as the stabilityplasticity dilemma and is a more general and challenging problem for continual learning. However, the inherent conflict between these two concepts makes it seemingly impossible to devise a satisfactory solution to both of them simultaneously. Therefore, we ask, "is it possible to divide them into two problems to conquer independently?" To this end, we propose a prompt-tuning-based method termed PromptFusion to enable the decoupling of stability and plasticity. Specifically, PromptFusion consists of a carefully designed Stabilizer module that deals with catastrophic forgetting and a Booster module to learn new knowledge concurrently. During training, PromptFusion first passes an input image to the two modules separately. Then the resulting logits are further fused with a learnable weight parameter. Finally, a weight mask is applied to the derived logits to balance between old and new classes. Extensive experiments show that our method achieves promising results on popular continual learning datasets for both class-incremental and domain incremental settings. Especially on Split-Imagenet-R, one of the most challenging datasets for class-incremental learning, our method exceeds state-of-the-art prompt-based methods L2P and DualPrompt by more than 10%.
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