Keywords: transfer learning, fine-tuning, multi-task learning
TL;DR: We propose Smooth Transfer Learning, in which source and target samples are simultaneously trained with optimally scheduled loss weights.
Abstract: Transfer learning for deep models has shown great success for various recognition tasks. Typically, a backbone network is pre-trained on a source dataset, then fine-tuned on a target dataset. We considered that when both datasets are at hand, learning them simultaneously at least for some period of iterations would yield higher test performance rather than the step-wise optimization. We propose Smooth Transfer Learning, which uses a learnable scheduler function for the loss coefficients so that degrees of contributions from two datasets can be smoothly changed along training time for optimal target performance. The scheduler function is designed so that it can express either pre-training-then-fine-tuning or multi-task learning with fixed weights as special cases. Our method consistently outperforms these special cases in object classification with CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100, and in digit classification with SVHN and MNIST.