Global Gated Mixture of Second-order Pooling for Improving Deep Convolutional Neural Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)

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Qilong Wang, Zilin Gao, Jiangtao Xie, Wangmeng Zuo, Peihua Li


In most of existing deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for classification, global average (first-order) pooling (GAP) has become a standard module to summarize activations of the last convolution layer as final representation for prediction. Recent researches show integration of higher-order pooling (HOP) methods clearly improves performance of deep CNNs. However, both GAP and existing HOP methods assume unimodal distributions, which cannot fully capture statistics of convolutional activations, limiting representation ability of deep CNNs, especially for samples with complex contents. To overcome the above limitation, this paper proposes a global Gated Mixture of Second-order Pooling (GM-SOP) method to further improve representation ability of deep CNNs. To this end, we introduce a sparsity-constrained gating mechanism and propose a novel parametric SOP as component of mixture model. Given a bank of SOP candidates, our method can adaptively choose Top-K (K > 1) candidates for each input sample through the sparsity-constrained gating module, and performs weighted sum of outputs of K selected candidates as representation of the sample. The proposed GM-SOP can flexibly accommodate a large number of personalized SOP candidates in an efficient way, leading to richer representations. The deep networks with our GM-SOP can be end-to-end trained, having potential to characterize complex, multi-modal distributions. The proposed method is evaluated on two large scale image benchmarks (i.e., downsampled ImageNet-1K and Places365), and experimental results show our GM-SOP is superior to its counterparts and achieves very competitive performance. The source code will be available at