Transferrable Contrastive Learning for Visual Domain Adaptation

by   Yang Chen, et al.

Self-supervised learning (SSL) has recently become the favorite among feature learning methodologies. It is therefore appealing for domain adaptation approaches to consider incorporating SSL. The intuition is to enforce instance-level feature consistency such that the predictor becomes somehow invariant across domains. However, most existing SSL methods in the regime of domain adaptation usually are treated as standalone auxiliary components, leaving the signatures of domain adaptation unattended. Actually, the optimal region where the domain gap vanishes and the instance level constraint that SSL peruses may not coincide at all. From this point, we present a particular paradigm of self-supervised learning tailored for domain adaptation, i.e., Transferrable Contrastive Learning (TCL), which links the SSL and the desired cross-domain transferability congruently. We find contrastive learning intrinsically a suitable candidate for domain adaptation, as its instance invariance assumption can be conveniently promoted to cross-domain class-level invariance favored by domain adaptation tasks. Based on particular memory bank constructions and pseudo label strategies, TCL then penalizes cross-domain intra-class domain discrepancy between source and target through a clean and novel contrastive loss. The free lunch is, thanks to the incorporation of contrastive learning, TCL relies on a moving-averaged key encoder that naturally achieves a temporally ensembled version of pseudo labels for target data, which avoids pseudo label error propagation at no extra cost. TCL therefore efficiently reduces cross-domain gaps. Through extensive experiments on benchmarks (Office-Home, VisDA-2017, Digits-five, PACS and DomainNet) for both single-source and multi-source domain adaptation tasks, TCL has demonstrated state-of-the-art performances.


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