Abstract: Discovering what is learned by neural networks remains a challenge. In self-supervised learning, classification is the most common task used to evaluate how good a representation is. However, relying only on such downstream task can limit our understanding of what information is retained in the representation of a given input. In this work, we showcase the use of a Representation Conditional Diffusion Model (RCDM) to visualize in data space the representations learned by self-supervised models. The use of RCDM is motivated by its ability to generate high-quality samples ---on par with state-of-the-art generative models--- while ensuring that the representations of those samples are faithful i.e. close to the one used for conditioning. By using RCDM to analyze self-supervised models, we are able to clearly show visually that i) SSL (backbone) representation are not invariant to the data augmentations they were trained with -- thus debunking an often restated but mistaken belief; ii) SSL post-projector embeddings appear indeed invariant to these data augmentation, along with many other data symmetries; iii) SSL representations appear more robust to small adversarial perturbation of their inputs than representations trained in a supervised manner; and iv) that SSL-trained representations exhibit an inherent structure that can be explored thanks to RCDM visualization and enables image manipulation.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Dumitru_Erhan1