RegBN: Batch Normalization of Multimodal Data with Regularization

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

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Morteza Ghahremani Boozandani, Christian Wachinger


Recent years have witnessed a surge of interest in integrating high-dimensional data captured by multisource sensors, driven by the impressive success of neural networks in integrating multimodal data. However, the integration of heterogeneous multimodal data poses a significant challenge, as confounding effects and dependencies among such heterogeneous data sources introduce unwanted variability and bias, leading to suboptimal performance of multimodal models. Therefore, it becomes crucial to normalize the low- or high-level features extracted from data modalities before their fusion takes place. This paper introduces RegBN, a novel approach for multimodal Batch Normalization with REGularization. RegBN uses the Frobenius norm as a regularizer term to address the side effects of confounders and underlying dependencies among different data sources. The proposed method generalizes well across multiple modalities and eliminates the need for learnable parameters, simplifying training and inference. We validate the effectiveness of RegBN on eight databases from five research areas, encompassing diverse modalities such as language, audio, image, video, depth, tabular, and 3D MRI. The proposed method demonstrates broad applicability across different architectures such as multilayer perceptrons, convolutional neural networks, and vision transformers, enabling effective normalization of both low- and high-level features in multimodal neural networks. RegBN is available at