Understanding Transferable Representation Learning and Zero-shot Transfer in CLIP

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024ICLR 2024 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
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Keywords: Representation Learning, Multimodal learning, Learning Theory
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Abstract: Multi-modal learning has become increasingly popular due to its ability to leverage information from different data sources (e.g., text and images) to improve the model performance. Recently, CLIP has emerged as an effective approach that employs vision-language contrastive pretraining to learn joint image and text representations and exhibits remarkable performance in zero-shot learning and text-guided natural image generation. Despite the substantial practical success of CLIP, its theoretical understanding remains elusive. In this paper, we formally study transferrable representation learning underlying CLIP and demonstrate how features from different modalities get aligned. We also analyze its zero-shot transfer performance on the downstream tasks. In addition, we conduct empirical evaluations on real data to back up our theory. Inspired by our analysis, we propose a new CLIP-type approach, which achieves better performance than CLIP and other state-of-the-art methods on benchmark datasets.
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Primary Area: unsupervised, self-supervised, semi-supervised, and supervised representation learning
Submission Number: 5970