Low-Shot Learning of Plankton Categories

  • Simon-Martin SchröderEmail author
  • Rainer Kiko
  • Jean-Olivier Irisson
  • Reinhard Koch
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11269)


The size of current plankton image datasets renders manual classification virtually infeasible. The training of models for machine classification is complicated by the fact that a large number of classes consist of only a few examples. We employ the recently introduced weight imprinting technique in order to use the available training data to train accurate classifiers in absence of enough examples for some classes.

The model architecture used in this work succeeds in the identification of plankton using machine learning with its unique challenges, i.e. a limited number of training examples and a severely skewed class size distribution. Weight imprinting enables a neural network to recognize small classes immediately without re-training. This permits the mining of examples for novel classes.



Rainer Kiko was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) as part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 754 “Climate-Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean.” Rainer Kiko, Reinhard Koch and Simon-Martin Schröder were furthermore supported by grants CP1650 and CP1733 of the Cluster of Excellence 80 “The Future Ocean.” “The Future Ocean” is funded within the framework of the Excellence Initiative by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) on behalf of the German federal and state governments. Jean-Olivier Irisson was supported by CNRS LEFE-MANU through project DL-PIC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceKiel UniversityKielGermany
  2. 2.GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean ResearchKielGermany
  3. 3.Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefanche, LOVVillefranche-sur-merFrance

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