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Zero-Mean Regularized Spectral Contrastive Learning: Implicitly Mitigating Wrong Connections in Positive-Pair Graphs

Xiong Zhou · Xianming Liu · feilong zhang · Gang Wu · Deming Zhai · Junjun Jiang · Xiangyang Ji

Halle B #141
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Contrastive learning has emerged as a popular paradigm of self-supervised learning that learns representations by encouraging representations of positive pairs to be similar while representations of negative pairs to be far apart. The spectral contrastive loss, in synergy with the notion of positive-pair graphs, offers valuable theoretical insights into the empirical successes of contrastive learning. In this paper, we propose incorporating an additive factor into the term of spectral contrastive loss involving negative pairs. This simple modification can be equivalently viewed as introducing a regularization term that enforces the mean of representations to be zero, which thus is referred to as zero-mean regularization. It intuitively relaxes the orthogonality of representations between negative pairs and implicitly alleviates the adverse effect of wrong connections in the positive-pair graph, leading to better performance and robustness. To clarify this, we thoroughly investigate the role of zero-mean regularized spectral contrastive loss in both unsupervised and supervised scenarios with respect to theoretical analysis and quantitative evaluation. These results highlight the potential of zero-mean regularized spectral contrastive learning to be a promising approach in various tasks.

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