Zero-CL: Instance and Feature decorrelation for negative-free symmetric contrastive learning

Shaofeng Zhang · Feng Zhu · Junchi Yan · Rui Zhao · Xiaokang Yang

Keywords: [ self supervised learning ] [ representation learning ]

[ Abstract ]
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Mon 25 Apr 6:30 p.m. PDT — 8:30 p.m. PDT

Abstract: For self-supervised contrastive learning, models can easily collapse and generate trivial constant solutions. The issue has been mitigated by recent improvement on objective design, which however often requires square complexity either for the size of instances ($\mathcal{O}(N^{2})$) or feature dimensions ($\mathcal{O}(d)^2$). To prevent such collapse, we develop two novel methods by decorrelating on different dimensions on the instance embedding stacking matrix, i.e., \textbf{I}nstance-wise (ICL) and \textbf{F}eature-wise (FCL) \textbf{C}ontrastive \textbf{L}earning. The proposed two methods (FCL, ICL) can be combined synthetically, called Zero-CL, where ``Zero'' means negative samples are \textbf{zero} relevant, which allows Zero-CL to completely discard negative pairs i.e., with \textbf{zero} negative samples. Compared with previous methods, Zero-CL mainly enjoys three advantages: 1) Negative free in symmetric architecture. 2) By whitening transformation, the correlation of the different features is equal to zero, alleviating information redundancy. 3) Zero-CL remains original information to a great extent after transformation, which improves the accuracy against other whitening transformation techniques. Extensive experimental results on CIFAR-10/100 and ImageNet show that Zero-CL outperforms or is on par with state-of-the-art symmetric contrastive learning methods.

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