DBDC-SSL: Deep Brownian Distance Covariance With Self-Supervised Learning for Few-Shot Image Classification

Wei Han Liu, Kian Ming Lim, Thian Song Ong, Chin Poo Lee

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Few-shot image classification remains a persistent challenge due to the intrinsic difficulty faced by visual recognition models in achieving generalization with limited training data. Existing methods primarily focus on exploiting marginal distributions and overlook the disparity between the product of marginals and the joint characteristic functions. This can lead to less robust feature representations. In this paper, we introduce DBDC-SSL, a method that aims to improve few-shot visual recognition models by learning a feature extractor that produces image representations that are more robust. To improve the robustness of the model, we integrate DeepBDC (DBDC) during the training process to learn better feature embeddings by effectively computing the disparity between product of the marginals and joint characteristic functions of the features. To reduce overfitting and improve the generalization of the model, we utilize an auxiliary rotation loss for self-supervised learning (SSL) in the training of the feature extractor. The auxiliary rotation loss is derived from a pretext task, where input images undergo rotation by predefined angles, and the model classifies the rotation angle based on the features it generates. Experimental results demonstrate that DBDC-SSL is able to outperform current state-of-the-art methods on 4 common few-shot image classification benchmark, which are miniImageNet, tieredImageNet, CUB and CIFAR-FS. For 5-way 1-shot and 5-way 5-shot tasks respectively, the proposed DBDC-SSL achieved the accuracy of 68.64±0.43 and 86.02±0.28 on miniImageNet, 73.88±0.48 and 89.03±0.29 on tieredImageNet, 84.67±0.39 and 94.76±0.16 on CUB, and 75.60±0.44 and 88.49±0.31 on CIFAR-FS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58586-58596
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Brownian distance covariance
  • Few-shot learning
  • metric learning
  • regularization
  • self-supervised learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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