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Kill Two Birds with One Stone: Rethinking Data Augmentation for Deep Long-tailed Learning

Binwu Wang · Pengkun Wang · Wei Xu · Xu Wang · Yudong Zhang · Kun Wang · Yang Wang

Halle B #155
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Wed 8 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Real-world tasks are universally associated with training samples that exhibit a long-tailed class distribution, and traditional deep learning models are not suitable for fitting this distribution, thus resulting in a biased trained model. To surmount this dilemma, massive deep long-tailed learning studies have been proposed to achieve inter-class fairness models by designing sophisticated sampling strategies or improving existing model structures and loss functions. Habitually, these studies tend to apply data augmentation strategies to improve the generalization performance of their models. However, this augmentation strategy applied to balanced distributions may not be the best option for long-tailed distributions. For a profound understanding of data augmentation, we first theoretically analyze the gains of traditional augmentation strategies in long-tailed learning, and observe that augmentation methods cause the long-tailed distribution to be imbalanced again, resulting in an intertwined imbalance: inherent data-wise imbalance and extrinsic augmentation-wise imbalance, i.e., two 'birds' co-exist in long-tailed learning. Motivated by this observation, we propose an adaptive Dynamic Optional Data Augmentation (DODA) to address this intertwined imbalance, i.e., one 'stone' simultaneously 'kills' two 'birds', which allows each class to choose appropriate augmentation methods by maintaining a corresponding augmentation probability distribution for each class during training. Extensive experiments across mainstream long-tailed recognition benchmarks (e.g., CIFAR-100-LT, ImageNet-LT, and iNaturalist 2018) prove the effectiveness and flexibility of the DODA in overcoming the intertwined imbalance.

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