ML-Decoder: Scalable and Versatile Classification Head

Tal Ridnik, Gilad Sharir, Avi Ben-Cohen, Emanuel Ben-Baruch, Asaf Noy; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2023, pp. 32-41


In this paper, we introduce ML-Decoder, a new attention-based classification head. ML-Decoder predicts the existence of class labels via queries, and enables better utilization of spatial data compared to global average pooling. By redesigning the decoder architecture, and using a novel group-decoding scheme, ML-Decoder is highly efficient, and can scale well to thousands of classes. Compared to using a larger backbone, ML-Decoder consistently provides a better speed-accuracy trade-off. ML-Decoder is also versatile - it can be used as a drop-in replacement for various classification heads, and generalize to unseen classes when operated with word queries. Novel query augmentations further improve its generalization ability. Using ML-Decoder, we achieve state-of-the-art results on several classification tasks: on MS-COCO multi-label, we reach 91.1% mAP; on NUS-WIDE zero-shot, we reach 31.1% ZSL mAP; and on ImageNet single-label, we reach with vanilla ResNet50 backbone a new top score of 80.7%, without extra data or distillation. Public code will be available.

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@InProceedings{Ridnik_2023_WACV, author = {Ridnik, Tal and Sharir, Gilad and Ben-Cohen, Avi and Ben-Baruch, Emanuel and Noy, Asaf}, title = {ML-Decoder: Scalable and Versatile Classification Head}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2023}, pages = {32-41} }