Keywords: machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, multimodal, mixture of experts, conditional computation, sparse computation, contrastive learning, zeroshot classification
TL;DR: We develop a multimodal, sparsely activated Mixture of Experts model, trained contrastively on Image and Text, proposing new regularisation schemes to stabilize it, and significantly outperform dense baselines.
Abstract: Large sparsely-activated models have obtained excellent performance in multiple domains. However, such models are typically trained on a single modality at a time. We present the Language-Image MoE, LIMoE, a sparse mixture of experts model capable of multimodal learning. LIMoE accepts both images and text simultaneously, while being trained using a contrastive loss. MoEs are a natural fit for a multimodal backbone, since expert layers can learn an appropriate partitioning of modalities. However, new challenges arise; in particular, training stability and balanced expert utilization, for which we propose an entropy-based regularization scheme. Across multiple scales, we demonstrate performance improvement over dense models of equivalent computational cost. LIMoE-L/16 trained comparably to CLIP-L/14 achieves 77.9% zero-shot ImageNet accuracy (vs. 76.2%), and when further scaled to H/14 (with additional data) it achieves 83.8%, approaching state-of-the-art methods which use custom per-modality backbones and pre-training schemes. We analyse the quantitative and qualitative behavior of LIMoE, and demonstrate phenomena such as differing treatment of the modalities and the emergence of modality-specific experts.
Supplementary Material: pdf