Abstract: Frozen pretrained models have become a viable alternative to the pretraining-then-finetuning paradigm for transfer learning. However, with frozen models there are relatively few parameters available for adapting to downstream tasks, which is problematic in computer vision where tasks vary significantly in input/output format and the type of information that is of value. In this paper, we present a study of frozen pretrained models when applied to diverse and representative computer vision tasks, including object detection, semantic segmentation and video action recognition. From this empirical analysis, our work answers the questions of what pretraining task fits best with this frozen setting, how to make the frozen setting more flexible to various downstream tasks, and the effect of larger model sizes. We additionally examine the upper bound of performance using a giant frozen pretrained model with 3 billion parameters (SwinV2-G) and find that it reaches competitive performance on a varied set of major benchmarks with only one shared frozen base network: 60.0 box mAP and 52.2 mask mAP on COCO object detection test-dev, 57.6 val mIoU on ADE20K semantic segmentation, and 81.7 top-1 accuracy on Kinetics-400 action recognition. With this work, we hope to bring greater attention to this promising path of freezing pretrained image models.
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