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Prompt, Generate, Then Cache: Cascade of Foundation Models Makes Strong Few-Shot Learners

Renrui Zhang · Xiangfei Hu · Bohao Li · Siyuan Huang · Hanqiu Deng · Yu Qiao · Peng Gao · Hongsheng Li

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 272


Visual recognition in low-data regimes requires deep neural networks to learn generalized representations from limited training samples. Recently, CLIP-based methods have shown promising few-shot performance benefited from the contrastive language-image pre-training. We then question, if the more diverse pre-training knowledge can be cascaded to further assist few-shot representation learning. In this paper, we propose CaFo, a Cascade of Foundation models that incorporates diverse prior knowledge of various pre training paradigms for better few-shot learning. Our CaFo incorporates CLIP’s language-contrastive knowledge, DINO’s vision-contrastive knowledge, DALL-E’s vision generative knowledge, and GPT-3’s language-generative knowledge. Specifically, CaFo works by ‘Prompt, Generate, then Cache’. Firstly, we leverage GPT-3 to produce textual inputs for prompting CLIP with rich downstream linguistic semantics. Then, we generate synthetic images via DALL-E to expand the few-shot training data without any manpower. At last, we introduce a learnable cache model to adaptively blend the predictions from CLIP and DINO. By such col laboration, CaFo can fully unleash the potential of different pre-training methods and unify them to perform state-of the-art for few-shot classification. Code is available at

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