SEED: Self-supervised Distillation For Visual Representation

Zhiyuan Fang · Jianfeng Wang · Lijuan Wang · Lei Zhang · 'YZ' Yezhou Yang · Zicheng Liu

Keywords: [ self supervised learning ] [ knowledge distillation ] [ representation learning ]

[ Abstract ]
[ Paper ]
Wed 5 May 9 a.m. PDT — 11 a.m. PDT

Abstract: This paper is concerned with self-supervised learning for small models. The problem is motivated by our empirical studies that while the widely used contrastive self-supervised learning method has shown great progress on large model training, it does not work well for small models. To address this problem, we propose a new learning paradigm, named $\textbf{SE}$lf-Sup$\textbf{E}$rvised $\textbf{D}$istillation (${\large S}$EED), where we leverage a larger network (as Teacher) to transfer its representational knowledge into a smaller architecture (as Student) in a self-supervised fashion. Instead of directly learning from unlabeled data, we train a student encoder to mimic the similarity score distribution inferred by a teacher over a set of instances. We show that ${\large S}$EED dramatically boosts the performance of small networks on downstream tasks. Compared with self-supervised baselines, ${\large S}$EED improves the top-1 accuracy from 42.2% to 67.6% on EfficientNet-B0 and from 36.3% to 68.2% on MobileNet-v3-Large on the ImageNet-1k dataset.

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