Active Few-Shot Learning for Sound Event Detection

Yu Wang, Mark Cartwright, Juan Pablo Bello

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Few-shot learning has shown promising results in sound event detection where the model can learn to recognize novel classes assuming a few labeled examples (typically five) are available at inference time. Most research studies simulate this process by sampling support examples randomly and uniformly from all test data with the target class label. However, in many real-world scenarios, users might not even have five examples at hand or these examples may be from a limited context and not representative, resulting in model performance lower than expected. In this work, we relax these assumptions, and to recover model performance, we propose to use active learning techniques to efficiently sample additional informative support examples at inference time. We developed a novel dataset simulating the long-term temporal characteristics of sound events in real-world environmental soundscapes. Then we ran a series of experiments with this dataset to explore the modeling and sampling choices that arise when combining few-shot learning and active learning, including different training schemes, sampling strategies, models, and temporal windows in sampling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1551-1555
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
StatePublished - 2022
Event23rd Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2022 - Incheon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Sep 18 2022Sep 22 2022


  • active learning
  • few-shot learning
  • sound event detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation


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