Visual object recognition has achieved great success with advancements in deep learning technologies. Notably, the existing recognition models have gained human-level performance on many of the recognition tasks. However, these models are data hungry, and their performance is constrained by the amount of training data. Inspired by the human ability to recognize object categories based on textual descriptions of objects and previous visual knowledge, the research community has extensively pursued the area of zero-shot learning. In this area of research, machine vision models are trained to recognize object categories that are not observed during the training process. Zero-shot learning models leverage textual information to transfer visual knowledge from seen object categories in order to recognize unseen object categories.
Generative models have recently gained popularity as they synthesize unseen visual features and convert zero-shot learning into a classical supervised learning problem. These generative models are trained using seen classes and are expected to implicitly transfer the knowledge from seen to unseen classes. However, their performance is stymied by overfitting towards seen classes, which leads to substandard performance in generalized zero-shot learning. To address this concern, this dissertation proposes a novel generative model that leverages the semantic relationship between seen and unseen categories and explicitly performs knowledge transfer from seen categories to unseen categories. Experiments were conducted on several benchmark datasets to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed model for both zero-shot learning and generalized zero-shot learning. The dissertation also provides a unique Student-Teacher based generative model for zero-shot learning and concludes with future research directions in this area.