Unsupervised Representation Learning by Invariance Propagation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)

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Feng Wang, Huaping Liu, Di Guo, Sun Fuchun


<p>Unsupervised learning methods based on contrastive learning have drawn increasing attention and achieved promising results. Most of them aim to learn representations invariant to instance-level variations, which are provided by different views of the same instance. In this paper, we propose Invariance Propagation to focus on learning representations invariant to category-level variations, which are provided by different instances from the same category. Our method recursively discovers semantically consistent samples residing in the same high-density regions in representation space. We demonstrate a hard sampling strategy to concentrate on maximizing the agreement between the anchor sample and its hard positive samples, which provide more intra-class variations to help capture more abstract invariance. As a result, with a ResNet-50 as the backbone, our method achieves 71.3% top-1 accuracy on ImageNet linear classification and 78.2% top-5 accuracy fine-tuning on only 1% labels, surpassing previous results. We also achieve state-of-the-art performance on other downstream tasks, including linear classification on Places205 and Pascal VOC, and transfer learning on small scale datasets. </p>