Humans continually learn and adapt to new knowledge and environments throughout their lifetimes. Rarely does learning new information cause humans to catastrophically forget previous knowledge. While deep neural networks (DNNs) now rival human performance on several supervised machine perception tasks, when updated on changing data distributions, they catastrophically forget previous knowledge. Enabling DNNs to learn new information over time opens the door for new applications such as self-driving cars that adapt to seasonal changes or smartphones that adapt to changing user preferences. In this dissertation, we propose new methods and experimental paradigms for efficiently training continual DNNs without forgetting. We then apply these methods to several visual and multi-modal perception tasks including image classification, visual question answering, analogical reasoning, and attribute and relationship prediction in visual scenes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deep learning (Machine learning)--Technological innovations; Neural networks (Computer science)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Science (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


Christopher Kanan

Advisor/Committee Member

Kara Maki

Advisor/Committee Member

Andreas Savakis


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes