MiCE: Mixture of Contrastive Experts for Unsupervised Image Clustering

Tsung Wei Tsai · Chongxuan Li · Jun Zhu


Keywords: [ unsupervised learning ] [ clustering ] [ self supervised learning ] [ mixture of experts ]

[ Abstract ]
[ Slides [ Paper ]
Tue 4 May 1 a.m. PDT — 3 a.m. PDT


We present Mixture of Contrastive Experts (MiCE), a unified probabilistic clustering framework that simultaneously exploits the discriminative representations learned by contrastive learning and the semantic structures captured by a latent mixture model. Motivated by the mixture of experts, MiCE employs a gating function to partition an unlabeled dataset into subsets according to the latent semantics and multiple experts to discriminate distinct subsets of instances assigned to them in a contrastive learning manner. To solve the nontrivial inference and learning problems caused by the latent variables, we further develop a scalable variant of the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm for MiCE and provide proof of the convergence. Empirically, we evaluate the clustering performance of MiCE on four widely adopted natural image datasets. MiCE achieves significantly better results than various previous methods and a strong contrastive learning baseline.

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