Unicom: Universal and Compact Representation Learning for Image Retrieval

arXiv (Cornell University)(2023)

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Modern image retrieval methods typically rely on fine-tuning pre-trained encoders to extract image-level descriptors. However, the most widely used models are pre-trained on ImageNet-1K with limited classes. The pre-trained feature representation is therefore not universal enough to generalize well to the diverse open-world classes. In this paper, we first cluster the large-scale LAION400M into one million pseudo classes based on the joint textual and visual features extracted by the CLIP model. Due to the confusion of label granularity, the automatically clustered dataset inevitably contains heavy inter-class conflict. To alleviate such conflict, we randomly select partial inter-class prototypes to construct the margin-based softmax loss. To further enhance the low-dimensional feature representation, we randomly select partial feature dimensions when calculating the similarities between embeddings and class-wise prototypes. The dual random partial selections are with respect to the class dimension and the feature dimension of the prototype matrix, making the classification conflict-robust and the feature embedding compact. Our method significantly outperforms state-of-the-art unsupervised and supervised image retrieval approaches on multiple benchmarks. The code and pre-trained models are released to facilitate future research
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