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Perceptual Group Tokenizer: Building Perception with Iterative Grouping

Zhiwei Deng · Ting Chen · Yang Li

Halle B #266
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Tue 7 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


Human visual recognition system shows astonishing capability of compressing visual information into a set of tokens containing rich representations without label supervision. One critical driving principle behind it is perceptual grouping. Despite being widely used in computer vision in the early 2010s, it remains a mystery whether perceptual grouping can be leveraged to derive a neural visual recognition backbone that generates as powerful representations. In this paper, we propose the Perceptual Group Tokenizer, a model that entirely relies on grouping operations to extract visual features and perform self-supervised representation learning, where a series of grouping operations are used to iteratively hypothesize the context for pixels or superpixels to refine feature representations. We show that the proposed model can achieve competitive performance compared to state-of-the-art vision architectures, and inherits desirable properties including adaptive computation without re-training, and interpretability. Specifically, Perceptual Group Tokenizer achieves 79.7% on ImageNet-1K self-supervised learning benchmark with linear probe evaluation, marking a new progress under this paradigm.

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