A popular and efficient method in continual learning is to do rehearsal. Aka the action of reviewing a limited amount of previous images.

Continuum provides a helper class to manage this memory and functions to samples (“to herd”) examples into the memory.

How to use the memory:

from import DataLoader

from continuum import ClassIncremental
from continuum.datasets import CIFAR100
from continuum import rehearsal

scenario = ClassIncremental(
    CIFAR100(data_path="my/data/path", download=True, train=True),

memory = rehearsal.RehearsalMemory(

for task_id, taskset in enumerate(scenario):
    if task_id > 0:
        mem_x, mem_y, mem_t = memory.get()
        taskset.add_samples(mem_x, mem_y, mem_t)

    loader = DataLoader(taskset, shuffle=True)
    for epoch in range(epochs):
        for x, y, t in loader:
            # Do your training here

    # Herding based on the barycenter (as iCaRL did) needs features,
    # so we need to extract those features, but beware to use a loader
    # without shuffling.
    loader = DataLoader(taskset, shuffle=False)

    features = my_function_to_extract_features(my_model, loader)

    # Important! Draw the raw samples from `scenario[task_id]` to
    # re-generate the taskset, otherwise you'd risk sampling from both new
    # data and memory data which is probably not what you want to do.
        *scenario[task_id].get_raw_samples(), features


We predefine three methods to herd new samples: - random: random (quite efficient despite its simplicity…) - cluster: samples whose features are closest to their class mean feature - barycenter: samples whose features are closest to a moving barycenter as iCaRL did

Note that all these predefined herding methods are done per class.

If you want to define your own herding method and provide it to RehearsalMemory (instead of the string ‘barycenter’ as in the previous example), you should:

  1. Take three parameters in arguments x, y, t, z, nb_per_classes.

x, y, t are the input data, targets and task ids. z is an extra info, that can be whatever you want. For ‘barycenter’ and ‘cluster’ it’s features.

  1. Returns the sampled x, y, t. Note that you could even create new x, y, t and returns those if you want.

Saving and loading

Computing rehearsal samples can be slow, and thus if you want to re-start from a checkpoint, you would also want to avoid re-computing the herding. Thus, the memory provide a save and load methods:"/my/path/memory.npz")

Fixed memory or flexible memory

There are currently to way to handle the memory growth, either fixed or flexible.

  • flexible: Usually in settings where all class increments are of the same size, including the first one, like in iCaRL, all the memory is used: if I have a memory size of 10, and I saw 2 classes over 5, each class can store 5 images. Then, when I see all 5 classes, each class can only store 2 images.

  • fixed: On the other hand, in settings where the initial class increment is bigger, like in UCIR, each class can store an amout of images that stay fixed for the whole continual training. e.g. if I have a memory size of 10, and I saw 2 classes over 5, each class can store 2 images. Likewise, when I see all 5 classes, each class can still only store 2 images.

The option is fixed_memory=True/False in the initialization of the RehearsalMemory:

from continuum import rehearsal

memory = rehearsal.RehearsalMemory(