On the Effectiveness of Lipschitz-Driven Rehearsal in Continual Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Lorenzo Bonicelli, Matteo Boschini, Angelo Porrello, Concetto Spampinato, SIMONE CALDERARA


Rehearsal approaches enjoy immense popularity with Continual Learning (CL) practitioners. These methods collect samples from previously encountered data distributions in a small memory buffer; subsequently, they repeatedly optimize on the latter to prevent catastrophic forgetting. This work draws attention to a hidden pitfall of this widespread practice: repeated optimization on a small pool of data inevitably leads to tight and unstable decision boundaries, which are a major hindrance to generalization. To address this issue, we propose Lipschitz-DrivEn Rehearsal (LiDER), a surrogate objective that induces smoothness in the backbone network by constraining its layer-wise Lipschitz constants w.r.t. replay examples. By means of extensive experiments, we show that applying LiDER delivers a stable performance gain to several state-of-the-art rehearsal CL methods across multiple datasets, both in the presence and absence of pre-training. Through additional ablative experiments, we highlight peculiar aspects of buffer overfitting in CL and better characterize the effect produced by LiDER. Code is available at https://github.com/aimagelab/LiDER.