Patch-Level Representation Learning for Self-Supervised Vision Transformers

Sukmin Yun, Hankook Lee, Jaehyung Kim, Jinwoo Shin; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2022, pp. 8354-8363


Recent self-supervised learning (SSL) methods have shown impressive results in learning visual representations from unlabeled images. This paper aims to improve their performance further by utilizing the architectural advantages of the underlying neural network, as the current state-of-the-art visual pretext tasks for SSL do not enjoy the benefit, i.e., they are architecture-agnostic. In particular, we focus on Vision Transformers (ViTs), which have gained much attention recently as a better architectural choice, often outperforming convolutional networks for various visual tasks. The unique characteristic of ViT is that it takes a sequence of disjoint patches from an image and processes patch-level representations internally. Inspired by this, we design a simple yet effective visual pretext task, coined SelfPatch, for learning better patch-level representations. To be specific, we enforce invariance against each patch and its neighbors, i.e., each patch treats similar neighboring patches as positive samples. Consequently, training ViTs with SelfPatch learns more semantically meaningful relations among patches (without using human-annotated labels), which can be beneficial, in particular, to downstream tasks of a dense prediction type. Despite its simplicity, we demonstrate that it can significantly improve the performance of existing SSL methods for various visual tasks, including object detection and semantic segmentation. Specifically, SelfPatch significantly improves the recent self-supervised ViT, DINO, by achieving +1.3 AP on COCO object detection, +1.2 AP on COCO instance segmentation, and +2.9 mIoU on ADE20K semantic segmentation.

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@InProceedings{Yun_2022_CVPR, author = {Yun, Sukmin and Lee, Hankook and Kim, Jaehyung and Shin, Jinwoo}, title = {Patch-Level Representation Learning for Self-Supervised Vision Transformers}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2022}, pages = {8354-8363} }