Deep Neural Decision Forests

Peter Kontschieder, Madalina Fiterau, Antonio Criminisi, Samuel Rota Bulo; The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2015, pp. 1467-1475


We present Deep Neural Decision Forests - a novel approach that unifies classification trees with the representation learning functionality known from deep convolutional networks, by training them in an end-to-end manner. To combine these two worlds, we introduce a stochastic and differentiable decision tree model, which steers the representation learning usually conducted in the initial layers of a (deep) convolutional network. Our model differs from conventional deep networks because a decision forest provides the final predictions and it differs from conventional decision forests since we propose a principled, joint and global optimization of split and leaf node parameters. We show experimental results on benchmark machine learning datasets like MNIST and ImageNet and find on-par or superior results when compared to state-of-the-art deep models. Most remarkably, we obtain Top5-Errors of only 7.84%/6.38% on ImageNet validation data when integrating our forests in a single-crop, single/seven model GoogLeNet architecture, respectively. Thus, even without any form of training data set augmentation we are improving on the 6.67% error obtained by the best GoogLeNet architecture (7 models, 144 crops).

Related Material

author = {Kontschieder, Peter and Fiterau, Madalina and Criminisi, Antonio and Rota Bulo, Samuel},
title = {Deep Neural Decision Forests},
booktitle = {The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {December},
year = {2015}