Learning Similarity Attention

by   Meng Zheng, et al.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

We consider the problem of learning similarity functions. While there has been substantial progress in learning suitable distance metrics, these techniques in general lack decision reasoning, i.e., explaining why the input set of images is similar or dissimilar. In this work, we solve this key problem by proposing the first method to generate generic visual similarity explanations with gradient-based attention. We demonstrate that our technique is agnostic to the specific similarity model type, e.g., we show applicability to Siamese, triplet, and quadruplet models. Furthermore, we make our proposed similarity attention a principled part of the learning process, resulting in a new paradigm for learning similarity functions. We demonstrate that our learning mechanism results in more generalizable, as well as explainable, similarity models. Finally, we demonstrate the generality of our framework by means of experiments on a variety of tasks, including image retrieval, person re-identification, and low-shot semantic segmentation.


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