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Co-Training 2L Submodels for Visual Recognition
This paper introduces submodel co-training, a regularization method related to co-training, self-distillation and stochastic depth. Given a neural network to be trained, for each sample we implicitly instantiate two altered networks, "submodels", with stochastic depth: i.e. activating only a subset of the layers and skipping others. Each network serves as a soft teacher to the other, by providing a cross-entropy loss that complements the regular softmax cross-entropy loss provided by the one-hot label. Our approach, dubbed "cosub", uses a single set of weights, and does not involve a pre-trained external model or temporal averaging. Experimentally, we show that submodel co-training is effective to train backbones for recognition tasks such as image classification and semantic segmentation, and that our approach is compatible with multiple recent architectures, including RegNet, PiT, and Swin. We report new state-of-the-art results for vision transformers trained on ImageNet only. For instance, a ViT-B pre-trained with cosub on Imagenet-21k achieves 87.4% top-1 acc. on Imagenet-val.