Keywords: self-supervised learning, vision transformers, non-contrastive region-matching task
Abstract: This paper investigates two techniques for developing efficient self-supervised vision transformers (EsViT) for visual representation learning. First, we show through a comprehensive empirical study that multi-stage architectures with sparse self-attentions can significantly reduce modeling complexity but with a cost of losing the ability to capture fine-grained correspondences between image regions. Second, we propose a new pre-training task, non-contrastive region-matching, which allows the model to capture fine-grained region dependencies and as a result significantly improves the quality of the learned vision representations. Our results show that combining the two techniques, EsViT achieves 81.3% top-1 on the ImageNet linear probe evaluation, outperforming prior arts with around an order magnitude of higher throughput. When transferring to downstream linear classification tasks, EsViT outperforms its supervised counterpart on 17 out of 18 datasets. The code and pre-trained models are released at: https://github.com/microsoft/esvit
One-sentence Summary: Achieving SoTA ImageNet linear probe task with 10 times higher throughput, using the synergy of a multi-stage Transformer architecture and a non-contrastive region-matching pre-training task.
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