Boosting Self-Supervised Learning via Knowledge Transfer

Mehdi Noroozi, Ananth Vinjimoor, Paolo Favaro, Hamed Pirsiavash; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018, pp. 9359-9367


In self-supervised learning one trains a model to solve a so-called pretext task on a dataset without the need for human annotation. The main objective, however, is to transfer this model to a target domain and task. Currently, the most effective transfer strategy is fine-tuning, which restricts one to use the same model or parts thereof for both pretext and target tasks. In this paper, we present a novel framework for self-supervised learning that overcomes limitations in designing and comparing different tasks, models, and data domains. In particular, our framework decouples the structure of the self-supervised model from the final task-specific fine-tuned model. This allows us to: 1) quantitatively assess previously incompatible models including handcrafted features; 2) show that deeper neural network models can learn better representations from the same pretext task; 3) transfer knowledge learned with a deep model to a shallower one and thus boost its learning. We use this framework to design a novel self-supervised task, which achieves state-of-the-art performance on the common benchmarks in PASCAL VOC 2007, ILSVRC12 and Places by a significant margin. A surprising result is that our learned features shrink the mAP gap between models trained via self-supervised learning and supervised learning from $5.9$ to $2.6$ in object detection on PASCAL VOC 2007.

Related Material

[pdf] [arXiv]
author = {Noroozi, Mehdi and Vinjimoor, Ananth and Favaro, Paolo and Pirsiavash, Hamed},
title = {Boosting Self-Supervised Learning via Knowledge Transfer},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2018}