Unified Contrastive Learning in Image-Text-Label Space

Jianwei Yang, Chunyuan Li, Pengchuan Zhang, Bin Xiao, Ce Liu, Lu Yuan, Jianfeng Gao; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2022, pp. 19163-19173


Visual recognition is recently learned via either supervised learning on human-annotated image-label data or language-image contrastive learning with webly-crawled image-text pairs. While supervised learning may result in a more discriminative representation, language-image pretraining shows unprecedented zero-shot recognition capability, largely due to the different data sources and learning objectives. In this work, we introduce a new formulation by combining the two data sources into a common image-text-label space. In this new space, we further propose a new learning method, called Unified Contrastive Learning (UniCL) with a single learning objective to seamlessly prompt the synergy between two types of data. Extensive experiments show that our UniCL is an effective way of learning semantically rich yet discriminative representations, universally for zero-shot, linear-probing, fully finetune and transfer learning scenarios. Particularly, it attains gains up to 9.2% and 14.5% in average on zero-shot recognition benchmarks over the language-image contrastive learning and supervised learning methods, respectively. In linear probing setting, it also boosts the performance over the two methods by 7.3% and 3.4%, respectively. Our further study indicates that UniCL is also a good learner on pure image-label data, rivaling the supervised learning methods across three image classification datasets and two types of vision backbone, ResNet and vision Transformer. ResNet and Swin Transformer. Code is available at: https://github.com/microsoft/UniCL.

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@InProceedings{Yang_2022_CVPR, author = {Yang, Jianwei and Li, Chunyuan and Zhang, Pengchuan and Xiao, Bin and Liu, Ce and Yuan, Lu and Gao, Jianfeng}, title = {Unified Contrastive Learning in Image-Text-Label Space}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2022}, pages = {19163-19173} }