Keywords: feature learning, computer vision, deep learning
TL;DR: (Camera-ready version) A feature intertwiner module to leverage features from one accurate set to help the learning of another less reliable set.
Abstract: A well-trained model should classify objects with unanimous score for every category. This requires the high-level semantic features should be alike among samples, despite a wide span in resolution, texture, deformation, etc. Previous works focus on re-designing the loss function or proposing new regularization constraints on the loss. In this paper, we address this problem via a new perspective. For each category, it is assumed that there are two sets in the feature space: one with more reliable information and the other with less reliable source. We argue that the reliable set could guide the feature learning of the less reliable set during training - in spirit of student mimicking teacher’s behavior and thus pushing towards a more compact class centroid in the high-dimensional space. Such a scheme also benefits the reliable set since samples become more closer within the same category - implying that it is easilier for the classifier to identify. We refer to this mutual learning process as feature intertwiner and embed the spirit into object detection. It is well-known that objects of low resolution are more difficult to detect due to the loss of detailed information during network forward pass. We thus regard objects of high resolution as the reliable set and objects of low resolution as the less reliable set. Specifically, an intertwiner is achieved by minimizing the distribution divergence between two sets. We design a historical buffer to represent all previous samples in the reliable set and utilize them to guide the feature learning of the less reliable set. The design of obtaining an effective feature representation for the reliable set is further investigated, where we introduce the optimal transport (OT) algorithm into the framework. Samples in the less reliable set are better aligned with the reliable set with aid of OT metric. Incorporated with such a plug-and-play intertwiner, we achieve an evident improvement over previous state-of-the-arts on the COCO object detection benchmark.
Code: [![github](/images/github_icon.svg) hli2020/feature_intertwiner](https://github.com/hli2020/feature_intertwiner) + [![Papers with Code](/images/pwc_icon.svg) 1 community implementation](https://paperswithcode.com/paper/?openreview=SyxZJn05YX)