LaFTer: Label-Free Tuning of Zero-shot Classifier using Language and Unlabeled Image Collections

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Muhammad Jehanzeb Mirza, Leonid Karlinsky, Wei Lin, Horst Possegger, Mateusz Kozinski, Rogerio Feris, Horst Bischof


Recently, large-scale pre-trained Vision and Language (VL) models have set a new state-of-the-art (SOTA) in zero-shot visual classification enabling open-vocabulary recognition of potentially unlimited set of categories defined as simple language prompts. However, despite these great advances, the performance of these zero-shot classifiers still falls short of the results of dedicated (closed category set) classifiers trained with supervised fine-tuning. In this paper we show, for the first time, how to reduce this gap without any labels and without any paired VL data, using an unlabeled image collection and a set of texts auto-generated using a Large Language Model (LLM) describing the categories of interest and effectively substituting labeled visual instances of those categories. Using our label-free approach, we are able to attain significant performance improvements over the zero-shot performance of the base VL model and other contemporary methods and baselines on a wide variety of datasets, demonstrating absolute improvement of up to $11.7\%$ ($3.8\%$ on average) in the label-free setting. Moreover, despite our approach being label-free, we observe $1.3\%$ average gains over leading few-shot prompting baselines that do use 5-shot supervision.