CROMA: Remote Sensing Representations with Contrastive Radar-Optical Masked Autoencoders

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Anthony Fuller, Koreen Millard, James Green


A vital and rapidly growing application, remote sensing offers vast yet sparsely labeled, spatially aligned multimodal data; this makes self-supervised learning algorithms invaluable. We present CROMA: a framework that combines contrastive and reconstruction self-supervised objectives to learn rich unimodal and multimodal representations. Our method separately encodes masked-out multispectral optical and synthetic aperture radar samples—aligned in space and time—and performs cross-modal contrastive learning. Another encoder fuses these sensors, producing joint multimodal encodings that are used to predict the masked patches via a lightweight decoder. We show that these objectives are complementary when leveraged on spatially aligned multimodal data. We also introduce X- and 2D-ALiBi, which spatially biases our cross- and self-attention matrices. These strategies improve representations and allow our models to effectively extrapolate to images up to $17.6\times$ larger at test-time. CROMA outperforms the current SoTA multispectral model, evaluated on: four classification benchmarks—finetuning (avg.$\uparrow$ 1.8%), linear (avg.$\uparrow$ 2.4%) and nonlinear (avg.$\uparrow$ 1.4%) probing, $k$NN classification (avg.$\uparrow$ 3.5%), and $K$-means clustering (avg.$\uparrow$ 8.4%); and three segmentation benchmarks (avg.$\uparrow$ 6.4%). CROMA’s rich, optionally multimodal representations can be widely leveraged across remote sensing applications.