Learning With Noisy Labels via Sparse Regularization

Xiong Zhou, Xianming Liu, Chenyang Wang, Deming Zhai, Junjun Jiang, Xiangyang Ji; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2021, pp. 72-81


Learning with noisy labels is an important and challenging task for training accurate deep neural networks. However, some commonly-used loss functions, such as Cross Entropy (CE), always suffer from severe overfitting to noisy labels. Although robust loss functions have been designed, they often encounter underfitting. In this paper, we theoretically prove that any loss will be robust to noisy labels when restricting the output of a network to the set of permutations over any fixed vector. When the fixed vector is one-hot, we only need to constrain the output to be one-hot, which means a discrete image and thus zero gradients almost everywhere. This prohibits gradient-based learning of models. In this work, we introduce two sparse regularization strategies to approximate the one-hot constraint: output sharpening and l_p-norm (p\le 1). Output sharpening directly modifies the output distribution of a network to be sharp by adjusting the "temperature" parameter. l_p-norm plays the role of a regularization term to make the output to be sparse. These two simple strategies guarantee the robustness of arbitrary loss functions while not hindering the fitting ability of networks. Experiments on baseline and real-world datasets demonstrate that the sparse regularization can significantly improve the performance of commonly-used loss functions in the presence of noisy labels, and outperform state-of-the-art methods.

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@InProceedings{Zhou_2021_ICCV, author = {Zhou, Xiong and Liu, Xianming and Wang, Chenyang and Zhai, Deming and Jiang, Junjun and Ji, Xiangyang}, title = {Learning With Noisy Labels via Sparse Regularization}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)}, month = {October}, year = {2021}, pages = {72-81} }