Adapting Self-Supervised Vision Transformers by Probing Attention-Conditioned Masking Consistency

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Viraj Prabhu, Sriram Yenamandra, Aaditya Singh, Judy Hoffman


Visual domain adaptation (DA) seeks to transfer trained models to unseen, unlabeled domains across distribution shift, but approaches typically focus on adapting convolutional neural network architectures initialized with supervised ImageNet representations. In this work, we shift focus to adapting modern architectures for object recognition -- the increasingly popular Vision Transformer (ViT) -- initialized with modern pretraining based on self-supervised learning (SSL). Inspired by the design of recent SSL approaches based on learning from partial image inputs generated via masking or cropping -- either by learning to predict the missing pixels, or learning representational invariances to such augmentations -- we propose PACMAC, a two-stage adaptation algorithm for self-supervised ViTs. PACMAC first performs in-domain SSL on pooled source and target data to learn task-discriminative features, and then probes the model's predictive consistency across a set of partial target inputs generated via a novel attention-conditioned masking strategy, to identify reliable candidates for self-training. Our simple approach leads to consistent performance gains over competing methods that use ViTs and self-supervised initializations on standard object recognition benchmarks. Our code is available at