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Optimizing Mode Connectivity for Class Incremental Learning

Haitao Wen · haoyang cheng · Heqian Qiu · Lanxiao Wang · Lili Pan · Hongliang Li

Exhibit Hall 1 #305


Class incremental learning (CIL) is one of the most challenging scenarios in continual learning. Existing work mainly focuses on strategies like memory replay, regularization, or dynamic architecture but ignores a crucial aspect: mode connectivity. Recent studies have shown that different minima can be connected by a low-loss valley, and ensembling over the valley shows improved performance and robustness. Motivated by this, we try to investigate the connectivity in CIL and find that the high-loss ridge exists along the linear connection between two adjacent continual minima. To dodge the ridge, we propose parameter-saving OPtimizing Connectivity (OPC) based on Fourier series and gradient projection for finding the low-loss path between minima. The optimized path provides infinite low-loss solutions. We further propose EOPC to ensemble points within a local bent cylinder to improve performance on learned tasks. Our scheme can serve as a plug-in unit, extensive experiments on CIFAR-100, ImageNet-100, and ImageNet-1K show consistent improvements when adapting EOPC to existing representative CIL methods. Our code is available at

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