SMILE: Self-Distilled MIxup for Efficient Transfer LEarning

03/25/2021 ∙ by Xingjian Li, et al. ∙ 0

To improve the performance of deep learning, mixup has been proposed to force the neural networks favoring simple linear behaviors in-between training samples. Performing mixup for transfer learning with pre-trained models however is not that simple, a high capacity pre-trained model with a large fully-connected (FC) layer could easily overfit to the target dataset even with samples-to-labels mixed up. In this work, we propose SMILE - Self-Distilled Mixup for EffIcient Transfer LEarning. With mixed images as inputs, SMILE regularizes the outputs of CNN feature extractors to learn from the mixed feature vectors of inputs (sample-to-feature mixup), in addition to the mixed labels. Specifically, SMILE incorporates a mean teacher, inherited from the pre-trained model, to provide the feature vectors of input samples in a self-distilling fashion, and mixes up the feature vectors accordingly via a novel triplet regularizer. The triple regularizer balances the mixup effects in both feature and label spaces while bounding the linearity in-between samples for pre-training tasks. Extensive experiments have been done to verify the performance improvement made by SMILE, in comparisons with a wide spectrum of transfer learning algorithms, including fine-tuning, L2-SP, DELTA, and RIFLE, even with mixup strategies combined. Ablation studies show that the vanilla sample-to-label mixup strategies could marginally increase the linearity in-between training samples but lack of generalizability, while SMILE significantly improve the mixup effects in both label and feature spaces with both training and testing datasets. The empirical observations backup our design intuition and purposes.

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