Iterative Reorganization With Weak Spatial Constraints: Solving Arbitrary Jigsaw Puzzles for Unsupervised Representation Learning

Chen Wei, Lingxi Xie, Xutong Ren, Yingda Xia, Chi Su, Jiaying Liu, Qi Tian, Alan L. Yuille; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2019, pp. 1910-1919

Abstract


Learning visual features from unlabeled image data is an important yet challenging task, which is often achieved by training a model on some annotation-free information. We consider spatial contexts, for which we solve so-called jigsaw puzzles, i.e., each image is cut into grids and then disordered, and the goal is to recover the correct configuration. Existing approaches formulated it as a classification task by defining a fixed mapping from a small subset of configurations to a class set, but these approaches ignore the underlying relationship between different configurations and also limit their applications to more complex scenarios. This paper presents a novel approach which applies to jigsaw puzzles with an arbitrary grid size and dimensionality. We provide a fundamental and generalized principle, that weaker cues are easier to be learned in an unsupervised manner and also transfer better. In the context of puzzle recognition, we use an iterative manner which, instead of solving the puzzle all at once, adjusts the order of the patches in each step until convergence. In each step, we combine both unary and binary features of each patch into a cost function judging the correctness of the current configuration. Our approach, by taking similarity between puzzles into consideration, enjoys a more efficient way of learning visual knowledge. We verify the effectiveness of our approach from two aspects. First, it solves arbitrarily complex puzzles, including high-dimensional puzzles, that prior methods are difficult to handle. Second, it serves as a reliable way of network initialization, which leads to better transfer performance in visual recognition tasks including classification, detection and segmentation.

Related Material


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[bibtex]
@InProceedings{Wei_2019_CVPR,
author = {Wei, Chen and Xie, Lingxi and Ren, Xutong and Xia, Yingda and Su, Chi and Liu, Jiaying and Tian, Qi and Yuille, Alan L.},
title = {Iterative Reorganization With Weak Spatial Constraints: Solving Arbitrary Jigsaw Puzzles for Unsupervised Representation Learning},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2019}
}