Batch Normalization (BN) is a milestone technique in the development of deep learning, enabling various networks to train. However, normalizing along the batch dimension introduces problems --- BN's error increases rapidly when the batch size becomes smaller, caused by inaccurate batch statistics estimation. This limits BN's usage for training larger models and transferring features to computer vision tasks including detection, segmentation, and video, which require small batches constrained by memory consumption. In this paper, we present Group Normalization (GN) as a simple alternative to BN. GN divides the channels into groups and computes within each group the mean and variance for normalization. GN's computation is independent of batch sizes, and its accuracy is stable in a wide range of batch sizes. On ResNet-50 trained in ImageNet, GN has 10.6% lower error than its BN counterpart when using a batch size of 2; when using typical batch sizes, GN is comparably good with BN and outperforms other normalization variants. Moreover, GN can be naturally transferred from pre-training to fine-tuning. GN can outperform or compete with its BN-based counterparts for object detection and segmentation in COCO, and for video classification in Kinetics, showing that GN can effectively replace the powerful BN in a variety of tasks. GN can be easily implemented by a few lines of code in modern libraries.
The problem of Approximate Nearest Neighbor (ANN) search is fundamental in computer science and has benefited from significant progress in the past couple of decades. However, most work has been devoted to pointsets whereas complex shapes have not been sufficiently treated. Here, we focus on distance functions between discretized curves in Euclidean space: they appear in a wide range of applications, from road segments to time-series in general dimension. For $\ell_p$-products of Euclidean metrics, for any $p$, we design simple and efficient data structures for ANN, based on randomized projections, which are of independent interest. They serve to solve proximity problems under a notion of distance between discretized curves, which generalizes both discrete Fr\'echet and Dynamic Time Warping distances. These are the most popular and practical approaches to comparing such curves. We offer the first data structures and query algorithms for ANN with arbitrarily good approximation factor, at the expense of increasing space usage and preprocessing time over existing methods. Query time complexity is comparable or significantly improved by our algorithms, our algorithm is especially efficient when the length of the curves is bounded.
Modern neural network training relies heavily on data augmentation for improved generalization. After the initial success of label-preserving augmentations, there has been a recent surge of interest in label-perturbing approaches, which combine features and labels across training samples to smooth the learned decision surface. In this paper, we propose a new augmentation method that leverages the first and second moments extracted and re-injected by feature normalization. We replace the moments of the learned features of one training image by those of another, and also interpolate the target labels. As our approach is fast, operates entirely in feature space, and mixes different signals than prior methods, one can effectively combine it with existing augmentation methods. We demonstrate its efficacy across benchmark data sets in computer vision, speech, and natural language processing, where it consistently improves the generalization performance of highly competitive baseline networks.
When and why can a neural network be successfully trained? This article provides an overview of optimization algorithms and theory for training neural networks. First, we discuss the issue of gradient explosion/vanishing and the more general issue of undesirable spectrum, and then discuss practical solutions including careful initialization and normalization methods. Second, we review generic optimization methods used in training neural networks, such as SGD, adaptive gradient methods and distributed methods, and theoretical results for these algorithms. Third, we review existing research on the global issues of neural network training, including results on bad local minima, mode connectivity, lottery ticket hypothesis and infinite-width analysis.
Person re-identification (re-ID) has attracted much attention recently due to its great importance in video surveillance. In general, distance metrics used to identify two person images are expected to be robust under various appearance changes. However, our work observes the extreme vulnerability of existing distance metrics to adversarial examples, generated by simply adding human-imperceptible perturbations to person images. Hence, the security danger is dramatically increased when deploying commercial re-ID systems in video surveillance, especially considering the highly strict requirement of public safety. Although adversarial examples have been extensively applied for classification analysis, it is rarely studied in metric analysis like person re-identification. The most likely reason is the natural gap between the training and testing of re-ID networks, that is, the predictions of a re-ID network cannot be directly used during testing without an effective metric. In this work, we bridge the gap by proposing Adversarial Metric Attack, a parallel methodology to adversarial classification attacks, which can effectively generate adversarial examples for re-ID. Comprehensive experiments clearly reveal the adversarial effects in re-ID systems. Moreover, by benchmarking various adversarial settings, we expect that our work can facilitate the development of robust feature learning with the experimental conclusions we have drawn.
Batch Normalization (BN) improves both convergence and generalization in training neural networks. This work understands these phenomena theoretically. We analyze BN by using a basic block of neural networks, consisting of a kernel layer, a BN layer, and a nonlinear activation function. This basic network helps us understand the impacts of BN in three aspects. First, by viewing BN as an implicit regularizer, BN can be decomposed into population normalization (PN) and gamma decay as an explicit regularization. Second, learning dynamics of BN and the regularization show that training converged with large maximum and effective learning rate. Third, generalization of BN is explored by using statistical mechanics. Experiments demonstrate that BN in convolutional neural networks share the same traits of regularization as the above analyses.
Predictive models can fail to generalize from training to deployment environments because of dataset shift, posing a threat to model reliability and the safety of downstream decisions made in practice. Instead of using samples from the target distribution to reactively correct dataset shift, we use graphical knowledge of the causal mechanisms relating variables in a prediction problem to proactively remove relationships that do not generalize across environments, even when these relationships may depend on unobserved variables (violations of the "no unobserved confounders" assumption). To accomplish this, we identify variables with unstable paths of statistical influence and remove them from the model. We also augment the causal graph with latent counterfactual variables that isolate unstable paths of statistical influence, allowing us to retain stable paths that would otherwise be removed. Our experiments demonstrate that models that remove vulnerable variables and use estimates of the latent variables transfer better, often outperforming in the target domain despite some accuracy loss in the training domain.
Inductive transfer learning has greatly impacted computer vision, but existing approaches in NLP still require task-specific modifications and training from scratch. We propose Universal Language Model Fine-tuning (ULMFiT), an effective transfer learning method that can be applied to any task in NLP, and introduce techniques that are key for fine-tuning a language model. Our method significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art on six text classification tasks, reducing the error by 18-24% on the majority of datasets. Furthermore, with only 100 labeled examples, it matches the performance of training from scratch on 100x more data. We open-source our pretrained models and code.
Class labels have been empirically shown useful in improving the sample quality of generative adversarial nets (GANs). In this paper, we mathematically study the properties of the current variants of GANs that make use of class label information. With class aware gradient and cross-entropy decomposition, we reveal how class labels and associated losses influence GAN's training. Based on that, we propose Activation Maximization Generative Adversarial Networks (AM-GAN) as an advanced solution. Comprehensive experiments have been conducted to validate our analysis and evaluate the effectiveness of our solution, where AM-GAN outperforms other strong baselines and achieves state-of-the-art Inception Score (8.91) on CIFAR-10. In addition, we demonstrate that, with the Inception ImageNet classifier, Inception Score mainly tracks the diversity of the generator, and there is, however, no reliable evidence that it can reflect the true sample quality. We thus propose a new metric, called AM Score, to provide more accurate estimation on the sample quality. Our proposed model also outperforms the baseline methods in the new metric.
Training a deep architecture using a ranking loss has become standard for the person re-identification task. Increasingly, these deep architectures include additional components that leverage part detections, attribute predictions, pose estimators and other auxiliary information, in order to more effectively localize and align discriminative image regions. In this paper we adopt a different approach and carefully design each component of a simple deep architecture and, critically, the strategy for training it effectively for person re-identification. We extensively evaluate each design choice, leading to a list of good practices for person re-identification. By following these practices, our approach outperforms the state of the art, including more complex methods with auxiliary components, by large margins on four benchmark datasets. We also provide a qualitative analysis of our trained representation which indicates that, while compact, it is able to capture information from localized and discriminative regions, in a manner akin to an implicit attention mechanism.
Learning from a few examples remains a key challenge in machine learning. Despite recent advances in important domains such as vision and language, the standard supervised deep learning paradigm does not offer a satisfactory solution for learning new concepts rapidly from little data. In this work, we employ ideas from metric learning based on deep neural features and from recent advances that augment neural networks with external memories. Our framework learns a network that maps a small labelled support set and an unlabelled example to its label, obviating the need for fine-tuning to adapt to new class types. We then define one-shot learning problems on vision (using Omniglot, ImageNet) and language tasks. Our algorithm improves one-shot accuracy on ImageNet from 87.6% to 93.2% and from 88.0% to 93.8% on Omniglot compared to competing approaches. We also demonstrate the usefulness of the same model on language modeling by introducing a one-shot task on the Penn Treebank.