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Transfer/Low-Shot/Semi/Unsupervised Learning


18 July 2020

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CVPR2020: Transfer/Low-Shot/Semi/Unsupervised Learning

Task Agnostic Robust Learning on Corrupt Outputs by Correlation-Guided Mixture Density Networks


In this paper, we focus on weakly supervised learning with noisy training data for both classification and regression problems. We assume that the training outputs are collected from a mixture of a target and correlated noise distributions. Our proposed method simultaneously estimates the target distribution and the quality of each data which is defined as the correlation between the target and data generating distributions. The cornerstone of the proposed method is a Cholesky Block that enables modeling dependencies among mixture distributions in a differentiable manner where we maintain the distribution over the network weights. We first provide illustrative examples in both regression and classification tasks to show the effectiveness of the proposed method. Then, the proposed method is extensively evaluated in a number of experiments where we show that it constantly shows comparable or superior performances compared to existing baseline methods in the handling of noisy data.

METAL: Minimum Effort Temporal Activity Localization in Untrimmed Videos


Existing Temporal Activity Localization (TAL) methods largely adopt strong supervision for model training, which requires (1) vast amounts of untrimmed videos per each activity category and (2) accurate segment-level boundary annotations (start time and end time) for every instance. This poses a critical restriction to the current methods in practical scenarios where not only segment-level annotations are expensive to obtain, but many activity categories are also rare and unobserved during training. Therefore, Can we learn a TAL model under weak supervision that can localize unseen activity classes? To address this scenario, we define a novel example-based TAL problem called Minimum Effort Temporal Activity Localization (METAL): Given only a few examples, the goal is to find the occurrences of semantically-related segments in an untrimmed video sequence while model training is only supervised by the video-level annotation. Towards this objective, we propose a novel Similarity Pyramid Network (SPN) that adopts the few-shot learning technique of Relation Network and directly encodes hierarchical multi-scale correlations, which we learn by optimizing two complimentary loss functions in an end-to-end manner. We evaluate the SPN on the THUMOS’14 and ActivityNet datasets, of which we rearrange the videos to fit the METAL setup. Results show that our SPN achieves performance superior or competitive to state-of-the-art approaches with stronger supervision.

Neural Data Server: A Large-Scale Search Engine for Transfer Learning Data


Transfer learning has proven to be a successful technique to train deep learning models in the domains where little training data is available. The dominant approach is to pretrain a model on a large generic dataset such as ImageNet and finetune its weights on the target domain. However, in the new era of an ever-increasing number of massive datasets, selecting the relevant data for pretraining is a critical issue. We introduce Neural Data Server (NDS), a large-scale search engine for finding the most useful transfer learning data to the target domain. NDS consists of a dataserver which indexes several large popular image datasets, and aims to recommend data to a client, an end-user with a target application with its own small labeled dataset. The dataserver represents large datasets with a much more compact mixture-of-experts model, and employs it to perform data search in a series of dataserver-client transactions at a low computational cost. We show the effectiveness of NDS in various transfer learning scenarios, demonstrating state-of-the-art performance on several target datasets and tasks such as image classification, object detection and instance segmentation. Neural Data Server is available as a web-service at http://aidemo

Revisiting Knowledge Distillation via Label Smoothing Regularization


Knowledge Distillation (KD) aims to distill the knowledge of a cumbersome teacher model into a lightweight student model. Its success is generally attributed to the privileged information on similarities among categories provided by the teacher model, and in this sense, only strong teacher models are deployed to teach weaker students in practice. In this work, we challenge this common belief by following experimental observations: 1) beyond the acknowledgment that the teacher can improve the student, the student can also enhance the teacher significantly by reversing the KD procedure. 2) a poorly-trained teacher with much lower accuracy than the student can still improve the latter significantly. To explain these observations, we provide a theoretical analysis of the relationships between KD and label smoothing regularization. We prove that 1) KD is a type of learned label smoothing regularization and 2) label smoothing regularization provides a virtual teacher model for KD. From these results, we argue that the success of KD is not fully due to the similarity information between categories from teachers, but also to the regularization of soft targets, which is equally or even more important. Based on these analyses, we further propose a novel Teacher-free Knowledge Distillation (Tf-KD) framework, where a student model learns from itself or manually-designed regularization distribution. The Tf-KD achieves comparable performance with normal KD from a superior teacher, which is well applied when a stronger teacher model is unavailable. Meanwhile, Tf-KD is generic and can be directly deployed for training deep neural networks. Without any extra computation cost, Tf-KD achieves up to 0.65% improvement on ImageNet over well-established baseline models, which is superior to label smoothing regularization.

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