Review and Analysis of Zero, One and Few Shot Learning Approaches

  • Suvarna KadamEmail author
  • Vinay Vaidya
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 940)


Machine Learning (ML) has come a long way with a neural networks based genre of ML algorithms, Deep Learning, that claims near-human performances in certain tasks in domains such as visual concept learning. While humans can efficiently learn new concepts with just one or few exemplars, most current generation ML algorithms need large datasets to train for effective concept learning. Visual concept learning is especially data hungry as computer vision is yet to mature in comparison with human vision. Human vision has far efficient concept learning even from fewer exemplars due to rich cognitive processing.

ML Algorithms capable of learning from fewer examples has becoming pressing need as ML enters mainstream domains such as healthcare where it may be nearly impossible (for ex. rare disease prediction) or cost prohibitive to obtain a larger training data. Few-shot learning is desirable even when larger datasets are available as labeling data can be time consuming and training on larger data can be computationally expensive. There have been several approaches to learn with fewer labeled samples with diversity in the modeling (Shallow models, Bayesian networks and Neural Networks), in the training (domain adaptation to transfer learning, to associative memory based training), task domains (Visual concept learning, motor control tasks in robotics) and type of data (Symbolic images, real world images, Speech, etc.) This paper reviews the diverse approaches that effectively learn models for problems that lack larger training data. The approaches are broadly categorized into the data-bound approaches and learning-bound approaches for easier comprehension of current state of art. Approaches are categorized & compared for better analysis and to identify the future directions in few shot learning. This paper also intends to disambiguate several related terms in the context of few shot learning.


Few shot learning One shot learning K shot learning Zero shot learning Transfer learning Domain adaptation Deep learning Visual concept learning 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TechnologySavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia

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