Keywords: Contrastive learning, out-of-distribution generalization
TL;DR: This paper studies the out-of-distribution generalization of contrastive self-supervised learning, and propose an augmentation-robust contrastive learning algorithm to improve the OOD performance.
Abstract: Self-Supervised Learning (SSL) is a paradigm that leverages unlabeled data for model training. Empirical studies show that SSL can achieve promising performance in distribution shift scenarios, where the downstream and training distributions differ. However, the theoretical understanding of its transferability remains limited. In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework to analyze the transferability of self-supervised contrastive learning, by investigating the impact of data augmentation on it. Our results reveal that the downstream performance of contrastive learning depends largely on the choice of data augmentation. Moreover, we show that contrastive learning fails to learn domain-invariant features, which limits its transferability. Based on these theoretical insights, we propose a novel method called Augmentation-robust Contrastive Learning (ArCL), which guarantees to learn domain-invariant features and can be easily integrated with existing contrastive learning algorithms. We conduct experiments on several datasets and show that ArCL significantly improves the transferability of contrastive learning.
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Please Choose The Closest Area That Your Submission Falls Into: Unsupervised and Self-supervised learning