I know that Deep CNN's is all everyone cares about today, and there are a lot of papers about state of the art CNN's for image classification; Alexnet, (Googles) Inception, Microsofts ResNet etc.

However, I do not feel these networks is the right answer to most peoples problems. While most of the big CNN's focuses on classifying any image from a giant pool of labels - I fell most real world problems want to classify an image from a much more limited set of labels.

Say I want to classify images of animals: My input is probably images of animals, but instead of having 10.000 labels I may have somewhere between 50 and 200. I can of course just use one of the large generic networks, but my intuition you should be able to gain some performance (in model size, memory footprint, training time, and/or error rate) by using a smaller network and/or a network optimized for fewer labels.

Is there any research into this? Anything like the ImageNet classification challenge, but with the focus on a much more limited scope?


1 Answer 1


This recent article presents some benchmarks on image classification on small databases. It is a clear review with many references about the state-of-the-art methods and presents many comparisons in small databases like medical images sets.

One of the key points is that especially for small database a careful hyperparameter optimization is essential to have an objective comparison between models. The authors also present a benchmark to have a consistent comparison between different approaches. This benchmark consists of 5 datasets spanning various domains.

If the link will break in the future, the article is "Image Classification with Small Datasets: Overview and Benchmark" of Lorenzo Brigato et al., 2022. You can find it on arXiv, a database of pre-print scientific articles.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 12:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.