Long-tailed visual recognition has received increasing attention in recent years. Due to the extremely imbalanced data distribution in long-tailed learning, the learning process shows great uncertainties. For example, the predictions of different experts on the same image vary remarkably despite the same training settings. To alleviate the uncertainty, we propose a Nested Collaborative Learning (NCL++) which tackles the long-tailed learning problem by a collaborative learning. To be specific, the collaborative learning consists of two folds, namely inter-expert collaborative learning (InterCL) and intra-expert collaborative learning (IntraCL). In-terCL learns multiple experts collaboratively and concurrently, aiming to transfer the knowledge among different experts. IntraCL is similar to InterCL, but it aims to conduct the collaborative learning on multiple augmented copies of the same image within the single expert. To achieve the collaborative learning in long-tailed learning, the balanced online distillation is proposed to force the consistent predictions among different experts and augmented copies, which reduces the learning uncertainties. Moreover, in order to improve the meticulous distinguishing ability on the confusing categories, we further propose a Hard Category Mining (HCM), which selects the negative categories with high predicted scores as the hard categories. Then, the collaborative learning is formulated in a nested way, in which the learning is conducted on not just all categories from a full perspective but some hard categories from a partial perspective. Extensive experiments manifest the superiority of our method with outperforming the state-of-the-art whether with using a single model or an ensemble. The code will be publicly released.
Neural architecture search (NAS) proves to be among the effective approaches for many tasks by generating an application-adaptive neural architecture, which is still challenged by high computational cost and memory consumption. At the same time, 1-bit convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with binary weights and activations show their potential for resource-limited embedded devices. One natural approach is to use 1-bit CNNs to reduce the computation and memory cost of NAS by taking advantage of the strengths of each in a unified framework, while searching the 1-bit CNNs is more challenging due to the more complicated processes involved. In this paper, we introduce Discrepant Child-Parent Neural Architecture Search (DCP-NAS) to efficiently search 1-bit CNNs, based on a new framework of searching the 1-bit model (Child) under the supervision of a real-valued model (Parent). Particularly, we first utilize a Parent model to calculate a tangent direction, based on which the tangent propagation method is introduced to search the optimized 1-bit Child. We further observe a coupling relationship between the weights and architecture parameters existing in such differentiable frameworks. To address the issue, we propose a decoupled optimization method to search an optimized architecture. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our DCP-NAS achieves much better results than prior arts on both CIFAR-10 and ImageNet datasets. In particular, the backbones achieved by our DCP-NAS achieve strong generalization performance on person re-identification and object detection.
The availability of handy multi-modal (i.e., RGB-D) sensors has brought about a surge of face anti-spoofing research. However, the current multi-modal face presentation attack detection (PAD) has two defects: (1) The framework based on multi-modal fusion requires providing modalities consistent with the training input, which seriously limits the deployment scenario. (2) The performance of ConvNet-based model on high fidelity datasets is increasingly limited. In this work, we present a pure transformer-based framework, dubbed the Flexible Modal Vision Transformer (FM-ViT), for face anti-spoofing to flexibly target any single-modal (i.e., RGB) attack scenarios with the help of available multi-modal data. Specifically, FM-ViT retains a specific branch for each modality to capture different modal information and introduces the Cross-Modal Transformer Block (CMTB), which consists of two cascaded attentions named Multi-headed Mutual-Attention (MMA) and Fusion-Attention (MFA) to guide each modal branch to mine potential features from informative patch tokens, and to learn modality-agnostic liveness features by enriching the modal information of own CLS token, respectively. Experiments demonstrate that the single model trained based on FM-ViT can not only flexibly evaluate different modal samples, but also outperforms existing single-modal frameworks by a large margin, and approaches the multi-modal frameworks introduced with smaller FLOPs and model parameters.
The recent detection transformer (DETR) has advanced object detection, but its application on resource-constrained devices requires massive computation and memory resources. Quantization stands out as a solution by representing the network in low-bit parameters and operations. However, there is a significant performance drop when performing low-bit quantized DETR (Q-DETR) with existing quantization methods. We find that the bottlenecks of Q-DETR come from the query information distortion through our empirical analyses. This paper addresses this problem based on a distribution rectification distillation (DRD). We formulate our DRD as a bi-level optimization problem, which can be derived by generalizing the information bottleneck (IB) principle to the learning of Q-DETR. At the inner level, we conduct a distribution alignment for the queries to maximize the self-information entropy. At the upper level, we introduce a new foreground-aware query matching scheme to effectively transfer the teacher information to distillation-desired features to minimize the conditional information entropy. Extensive experimental results show that our method performs much better than prior arts. For example, the 4-bit Q-DETR can theoretically accelerate DETR with ResNet-50 backbone by 6.6x and achieve 39.4% AP, with only 2.6% performance gaps than its real-valued counterpart on the COCO dataset.
Facial Expression Recognition (FER) in the wild is an extremely challenging task. Recently, some Vision Transformers (ViT) have been explored for FER, but most of them perform inferiorly compared to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). This is mainly because the new proposed modules are difficult to converge well from scratch due to lacking inductive bias and easy to focus on the occlusion and noisy areas. TransFER, a representative transformer-based method for FER, alleviates this with multi-branch attention dropping but brings excessive computations. On the contrary, we present two attentive pooling (AP) modules to pool noisy features directly. The AP modules include Attentive Patch Pooling (APP) and Attentive Token Pooling (ATP). They aim to guide the model to emphasize the most discriminative features while reducing the impacts of less relevant features. The proposed APP is employed to select the most informative patches on CNN features, and ATP discards unimportant tokens in ViT. Being simple to implement and without learnable parameters, the APP and ATP intuitively reduce the computational cost while boosting the performance by ONLY pursuing the most discriminative features. Qualitative results demonstrate the motivations and effectiveness of our attentive poolings. Besides, quantitative results on six in-the-wild datasets outperform other state-of-the-art methods.
The large pre-trained vision transformers (ViTs) have demonstrated remarkable performance on various visual tasks, but suffer from expensive computational and memory cost problems when deployed on resource-constrained devices. Among the powerful compression approaches, quantization extremely reduces the computation and memory consumption by low-bit parameters and bit-wise operations. However, low-bit ViTs remain largely unexplored and usually suffer from a significant performance drop compared with the real-valued counterparts. In this work, through extensive empirical analysis, we first identify the bottleneck for severe performance drop comes from the information distortion of the low-bit quantized self-attention map. We then develop an information rectification module (IRM) and a distribution guided distillation (DGD) scheme for fully quantized vision transformers (Q-ViT) to effectively eliminate such distortion, leading to a fully quantized ViTs. We evaluate our methods on popular DeiT and Swin backbones. Extensive experimental results show that our method achieves a much better performance than the prior arts. For example, our Q-ViT can theoretically accelerates the ViT-S by 6.14x and achieves about 80.9% Top-1 accuracy, even surpassing the full-precision counterpart by 1.0% on ImageNet dataset. Our codes and models are attached on https://github.com/YanjingLi0202/Q-ViT
No-reference image quality assessment (NR-IQA) aims to quantify how humans perceive visual distortions of digital images without access to their undistorted references. NR-IQA models are extensively studied in computational vision, and are widely used for performance evaluation and perceptual optimization of man-made vision systems. Here we make one of the first attempts to examine the perceptual robustness of NR-IQA models. Under a Lagrangian formulation, we identify insightful connections of the proposed perceptual attack to previous beautiful ideas in computer vision and machine learning. We test one knowledge-driven and three data-driven NR-IQA methods under four full-reference IQA models (as approximations to human perception of just-noticeable differences). Through carefully designed psychophysical experiments, we find that all four NR-IQA models are vulnerable to the proposed perceptual attack. More interestingly, we observe that the generated counterexamples are not transferable, manifesting themselves as distinct design flows of respective NR-IQA methods.
Vision transformer has emerged as a new paradigm in computer vision, showing excellent performance while accompanied by expensive computational cost. Image token pruning is one of the main approaches for ViT compression, due to the facts that the complexity is quadratic with respect to the token number, and many tokens containing only background regions do not truly contribute to the final prediction. Existing works either rely on additional modules to score the importance of individual tokens, or implement a fixed ratio pruning strategy for different input instances. In this work, we propose an adaptive sparse token pruning framework with a minimal cost. Our approach is based on learnable thresholds and leverages the Multi-Head Self-Attention to evaluate token informativeness with little additional operations. Specifically, we firstly propose an inexpensive attention head importance weighted class attention scoring mechanism. Then, learnable parameters are inserted in ViT as thresholds to distinguish informative tokens from unimportant ones. By comparing token attention scores and thresholds, we can discard useless tokens hierarchically and thus accelerate inference. The learnable thresholds are optimized in budget-aware training to balance accuracy and complexity, performing the corresponding pruning configurations for different input instances. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. For example, our method improves the throughput of DeiT-S by 50% and brings only 0.2% drop in top-1 accuracy, which achieves a better trade-off between accuracy and latency than the previous methods.
Binary Neural Networks (BNNs) show great promise for real-world embedded devices. As one of the critical steps to achieve a powerful BNN, the scale factor calculation plays an essential role in reducing the performance gap to their real-valued counterparts. However, existing BNNs neglect the intrinsic bilinear relationship of real-valued weights and scale factors, resulting in a sub-optimal model caused by an insufficient training process. To address this issue, Recurrent Bilinear Optimization is proposed to improve the learning process of BNNs (RBONNs) by associating the intrinsic bilinear variables in the back propagation process. Our work is the first attempt to optimize BNNs from the bilinear perspective. Specifically, we employ a recurrent optimization and Density-ReLU to sequentially backtrack the sparse real-valued weight filters, which will be sufficiently trained and reach their performance limits based on a controllable learning process. We obtain robust RBONNs, which show impressive performance over state-of-the-art BNNs on various models and datasets. Particularly, on the task of object detection, RBONNs have great generalization performance. Our code is open-sourced on https://github.com/SteveTsui/RBONN .
Humans can continuously learn new knowledge. However, machine learning models suffer from drastic dropping in performance on previous tasks after learning new tasks. Cognitive science points out that the competition of similar knowledge is an important cause of forgetting. In this paper, we design a paradigm for lifelong learning based on meta-learning and associative mechanism of the brain. It tackles the problem from two aspects: extracting knowledge and memorizing knowledge. First, we disrupt the sample's background distribution through a background attack, which strengthens the model to extract the key features of each task. Second, according to the similarity between incremental knowledge and base knowledge, we design an adaptive fusion of incremental knowledge, which helps the model allocate capacity to the knowledge of different difficulties. It is theoretically analyzed that the proposed learning paradigm can make the models of different tasks converge to the same optimum. The proposed method is validated on the MNIST, CIFAR100, CUB200 and ImageNet100 datasets.