PARTICLE: Part Discovery and Contrastive Learning for Fine-Grained Recognition

Oindrila Saha, Subhransu Maji; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) Workshops, 2023, pp. 167-176


We develop techniques for refining representations for fine-grained classification and segmentation tasks in a self-supervised manner. We find that fine-tuning methods based on instance-discriminative contrastive learning are not as effective, and posit that recognizing part-specific variations is crucial for fine-grained categorization. We present an iterative learning approach that incorporates part-centric equivariance and invariance objectives. First, pixel representations are clustered to discover parts. We analyze the representations from convolutional and vision transformer networks that are best suited for this task. Then, a part-centric learning step aggregates and contrasts representations of parts within an image. We show that this improves the performance on image classification and part segmentation tasks across datasets. For example, under a linear-evaluation scheme, the classification accuracy of a ResNet50 trained on ImageNet using DetCon, a self-supervised learning approach, improves from 35.4% to 42.0% on the Caltech-UCSD Birds, from 35.5% to 44.1% on the FGVC Aircraft, and from 29.7% to 37.4% on the Stanford Cars. We also observe significant gains in few-shot part segmentation tasks using the proposed technique, while instance-discriminative learning was not as effective. Smaller, yet consistent, improvements are also observed for stronger networks based on transformers.

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@InProceedings{Saha_2023_ICCV, author = {Saha, Oindrila and Maji, Subhransu}, title = {PARTICLE: Part Discovery and Contrastive Learning for Fine-Grained Recognition}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) Workshops}, month = {October}, year = {2023}, pages = {167-176} }