Contextual Image Masking Modeling via Synergized Contrasting without View Augmentation for Faster and Better Visual Pretraining
Keywords: Mask Image Modeling, Self-supervised learning
TL;DR: We propose a novel framework for synergizing MIM and contrastive learning in a close-loop.
Abstract: We propose a new contextual masking image modeling (MIM) approach called contrasting-aided contextual MIM (ccMIM), under the MIM paradigm for visual pretraining. Specifically, we adopt importance sampling to select the masked patches with richer semantic information for reconstruction, instead of random sampling as done in previous MIM works. As such, the resulting patch reconstruction task from the remaining less semantic patches could be more difficult and helps to learn. To speed up the possibly slowed convergence due to our more difficult reconstruction task, we further propose a new contrastive loss that aligns the tokens of the vision transformer extracted from the selected masked patches and the remaining ones, respectively. The hope is that it serves as a regularizer for patch feature learning such that the image-level global information could be captured in both masked and unmasked patches, and notably such a single-view contrasting avoids the tedious image augmentation step required in recent efforts of introducing contrastive learning to MIM (to speedup convergence and discriminative ability). Meanwhile, the attention score from the contrastive global feature can also carry effective semantic clues to in turn guide our above masking patch selection scheme. In consequence, our contextual MIM and contrastive learning are synergetically performed in a loop (semantic patch selection-token alignment contrasting) to boost the best of the two worlds: fast convergence and strong performance on downstream tasks without ad-hoc augmentations, which are verified by empirical results on ImageNet-1K for both classification and dense vision tasks.
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