Hierarchical Prompts for Rehearsal-free Continual Learning


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Continual learning endeavors to equip the model with the capability to integrate current task knowledge while mitigating the forgetting of past task knowledge. Inspired by prompt tuning, prompt-based methods maintain a frozen backbone and train with slight learnable prompts to minimize the catastrophic forgetting that arises due to updating a large number of backbone parameters. Nonetheless, these learnable prompts tend to concentrate on the discriminatory knowledge of the current task while ignoring past task knowledge, leading to that learnable prompts still suffering from catastrophic forgetting. This paper introduces a novel rehearsal-free paradigm for continual learning termed Hierarchical Prompts (H-Prompts), comprising three categories of prompts – class prompt, task prompt, and general prompt. To effectively depict the knowledge of past classes, class prompt leverages Bayesian Distribution Alignment to model the distribution of classes in each task. To reduce the forgetting of past task knowledge, task prompt employs Cross-task Knowledge Excavation to amalgamate the knowledge encapsulated in the learned class prompts of past tasks and current task knowledge. Furthermore, general prompt utilizes Generalized Knowledge Exploration to deduce highly generalized knowledge in a self-supervised manner. Evaluations on two benchmarks substantiate the efficacy of the proposed H-Prompts, exemplified by an average accuracy of 87.8
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