Efficient Controllable Multi-Task Architectures We aim to train a multi-task model such that users can adjust the desired compute budget and relative importance of task performances after deployment, without retraining. This enables optimizing performance for dynamically varying user needs, without heavy computational overhead to train and save models for various scenarios. To this end, we propose a multi-task model consisting of a shared encoder and task-specific decoders where both encoder and decoder channel widths are slimmable. Our key idea is to control the task importance by varying the capacities of task-specific decoders, while controlling the total computational cost by jointly adjusting the encoder capacity. This improves overall accuracy by allowing a stronger encoder for a given budget, increases control over computational cost, and delivers high-quality slimmed sub-architectures based on user’s constraints. Our training strategy involves a novel `Configuration-Invariant Knowledge Distillation’ loss that enforces backbone representations to be invariant under different runtime width configurations to enhance accuracy. Further, we present a simple but effective search algorithm that translates user constraints to runtime width configurations of both the shared encoder and task decoders, for sampling the sub-architectures. The key rule for the search algorithm is to provide a larger computational budget to the higher preferred task decoder, while searching a shared encoder configuration that enhances the overall MTL performance. Various experiments on three multi-task benchmarks (PASCALContext, NYUDv2, and CIFAR100-MTL) with diverse backbone architectures demonstrate the advantage of our approach. For example, our method shows a higher controllability by 33.5% in the NYUD-v2 dataset over prior methods, while incurring much less compute cost.
Language-based object detection is a promising direction towards building a natural interface to describe objects in images that goes far beyond plain category names. While recent methods show great progress in that direction, proper evaluation is lacking. With OmniLabel, we propose a novel task definition, dataset, and evaluation metric. The task subsumes standard and open-vocabulary detection as well as referring expressions. With more than 30K unique object descriptions on over 25K images, OmniLabel provides a challenge benchmark with diverse and complex object descriptions in a naturally open-vocabulary setting. Moreover, a key differentiation to existing benchmarks is that our object descriptions can refer to one, multiple or even no object, hence, providing negative examples in free-form text. The proposed evaluation handles the large label space and judges performance via a modified average precision metric, which we validate by evaluating strong language-based baselines. OmniLabel indeed provides a challenging test bed for future research on language-based detection.
Improving Pseudo Labels for Open-Vocabulary Object Detection Recent studies show promising performance in open-vocabulary object detection (OVD) using pseudo labels (PLs) from pretrained vision and language models (VLMs). However, PLs generated by VLMs are extremely noisy due to the gap between the pretraining objective of VLMs and OVD, which blocks further advances on PLs. In this paper, we aim to reduce the noise in PLs and propose a method called online Self-training And a Split-and-fusion head for OVD (SAS-Det). First, the self-training finetunes VLMs to generate high quality PLs while prevents forgetting the knowledge learned in the pretraining. Second, a split-and-fusion (SAF) head is designed to remove the noise in localization of PLs, which is usually ignored in existing methods. It also fuses complementary knowledge learned from both precise ground truth and noisy pseudo labels to boost the performance. Extensive experiments demonstrate SAS-Det is both efficient and effective. Our pseudo labeling is 3 times faster than prior methods. SAS-Det outperforms prior state-of-the-art models of the same scale by a clear margin and achieves 37.4 AP50 and 27.3 APr on novel categories of the COCO and LVIS benchmarks, respectively.
Confidence and Dispersity Speak: Characterizing Prediction Matrix for Unsupervised Accuracy Estimation This work aims to assess how well a model performs under distribution shifts without using labels. While recent methods study prediction confidence, this work reports prediction dispersity is another informative cue. Confidence reflects whether the individual prediction is certain; dispersity indicates how the overall predictions are distributed across all categories. Our key insight is that a well-performing model should give predictions with high confidence and high dispersity. That is, we need to consider both properties so as to make more accurate estimates. To this end, we use the nuclear norm that has been shown to be effective in characterizing both properties. Extensive experiments validate the effectiveness of nuclear norm for various models (e.g., ViT and ConvNeXt), different datasets (e.g., ImageNet and CUB-200), and diverse types of distribution shifts (e.g., style shift and reproduction shift). We show that the nuclear norm is more accurate and robust in accuracy estimation than existing methods. Furthermore, we validate the feasibility of other measurements (e.g., mutual information maximization) for characterizing dispersity and confidence. Lastly, we investigate the limitation of the nuclear norm, study its improved variant under severe class imbalance, and discuss potential directions.
Split to Learn: Gradient Split for Multi-Task Human Image Analysis This paper presents an approach to train a unified deep network that simultaneously solves multiple human-related tasks. A multi-task framework is favorable for sharing information across tasks under restricted computational resources. However, tasks not only share information but may also compete for resources and conflict with each other, making the optimization of shared parameters difficult and leading to suboptimal performance. We propose a simple but effective training scheme called GradSplit that alleviates this issue by utilizing asymmetric inter-task relations. Specifically, at each convolution module, it splits features into T groups for T tasks and trains each group only using the gradient back-propagated from the task losses with which it does not have conflicts. During training, we apply GradSplit to a series of convolution modules. As a result, each module is trained to generate a set of task-specific features using the shared features from the previous module. This enables a network to use complementary information across tasks while circumventing gradient conflicts. Experimental results show that GradSplit achieves a better accuracy-efficiency trade-off than existing methods. It minimizes accuracy drop caused by task conflicts while significantly saving compute resources in terms of both FLOPs and memory at inference. We further show that GradSplit achieves higher cross-dataset accuracy compared to single-task and other multi-task networks.
Learning Semantic Segmentation from Multiple Datasets with Label Shifts While it is desirable to train segmentation models on an aggregation of multiple datasets, a major challenge is that the label space of each dataset may be in conflict with one another. To tackle this challenge, we propose UniSeg, an effective and model-agnostic approach to automatically train segmentation models across multiple datasets with heterogeneous label spaces, without requiring any manual relabeling efforts. Specifically, we introduce two new ideas that account for conflicting and co-occurring labels to achieve better generalization performance in unseen domains. First, we identify a gradient conflict in training incurred by mismatched label spaces and propose a class-independent binary cross-entropy loss to alleviate such label conflicts. Second, we propose a loss function that considers class-relationships across datasets for a better multi-dataset training scheme. Extensive quantitative and qualitative analyses on road-scene datasets show that UniSeg improves over multi-dataset baselines, especially on unseen datasets, e.g., achieving more than 8%p gain in IoU on KITTI. Furthermore, UniSeg achieves 39.4% IoU on the WildDash2 public benchmark, making it one of the strongest submissions in the zero-shot setting. Our project page is available at https://www.nec-labs.com/~mas/UniSeg.
Controllable Dynamic Multi-Task Architectures Multi-task learning commonly encounters competition for resources among tasks, specifically when model capacity is limited. This challenge motivates models which allow control over the relative importance of tasks and total compute cost during inference time. In this work, we propose such a controllable multi-task network that dynamically adjusts its architecture and weights to match the desired task preference as well as the resource constraints. In contrast to the existing dynamic multi-task approaches that adjust only the weights within a fixed architecture, our approach affords the flexibility to dynamically control the total computational cost and match the user-preferred task importance better. We propose a disentangled training of two hyper networks, by exploiting task affinity and a novel branching regularized loss, to take input preferences and accordingly predict tree-structured models with adapted weights. Experiments on three multi-task benchmarks, namely PASCAL-Context, NYU-v2, and CIFAR-100, show the efficacy of our approach. Project page is available at https://www.nec-labs.com/-mas/DYMU.
On Generalizing Beyond Domains in Cross-Domain Continual Learning Humans have the ability to accumulate knowledge of new tasks in varying conditions, but deep neural networks of-ten suffer from catastrophic forgetting of previously learned knowledge after learning a new task. Many recent methods focus on preventing catastrophic forgetting under the assumption of train and test data following similar distributions. In this work, we consider a more realistic scenario of continual learning under domain shifts where the model must generalize its inference to an unseen domain. To this end, we encourage learning semantically meaningful features by equipping the classifier with class similarity metrics as learning parameters which are obtained through Mahalanobis similarity computations. Learning of the backbone representation along with these extra parameters is done seamlessly in an end-to-end manner. In addition, we propose an approach based on the exponential moving average of the parameters for better knowledge distillation. We demonstrate that, to a great extent, existing continual learning algorithms fail to handle the forgetting issue under multiple distributions, while our proposed approach learns new tasks under domain shift with accuracy boosts up to 10% on challenging datasets such as DomainNet and OfficeHome.
Confidence and Dispersity Speak: Characterizing Prediction Matrix for Unsupervised Accuracy Estimation This work aims to assess how well a model performs under distribution shifts without using labels. While recent methods study prediction confidence, this work reports prediction dispersity is another informative cue. Confidence reflects whether the individual prediction is certain, dispersity indicates how the overall predictions are distributed across all categories. Our key insight is that a well performing model should give predictions with high confidence and high dispersity. That is, we need to consider both properties so as to make more accurate estimates. To this end, we use the nuclear norm that has been shown to be effective in characterizing both properties. Extensive experiments validate the effectiveness of nuclear norm for various models (e.g., ViT and ConvNeXt), different datasets (e.g., ImageNet and CUB 200), and diverse types of distribution shifts (e.g., style shift and reproduction shift). We show that the nuclear norm is more accurate and robust in accuracy estimation than existing methods. Furthermore, we validate the feasibility of other measurements (e.g., mutual information maximization) for characterizing dispersity and confidence. Lastly, we investigate the limitation of the nuclear norm, study its improved variant under severe class imbalance, and discuss potential directions.
Cross-Domain Similarity Learning for Face Recognition in Unseen Domains Face recognition models trained under the assumption of identical training and test distributions often suffer from poor generalization when faced with unknown variations, such as a novel ethnicity or unpredictable individual make-ups during test time. In this paper, we introduce a novel cross-domain metric learning loss, which we dub Cross-Domain Triplet (CDT) loss, to improve face recognition in unseen domains. The CDT loss encourages learning semantically meaningful features by enforcing compact feature clusters of identities from one domain, where the compactness is measured by underlying similarity metrics that belong to another training domain with different statistics. Intuitively, it discriminatively correlates explicit metrics derived from one domain, with triplet samples from another domain in a unified loss function to be minimized within a network, which leads to better alignment of the training domains. The network parameters are further enforced to learn generalized features under domain shift, in a model-agnostic learning pipeline. Unlike the recent work of Meta Face Recognition , our method does not require careful hard-pair sample mining and filtering strategy during training. Extensive experiments on various face recognition benchmarks show the superiority of our method in handling variations, compared to baseline and the state-of-the-art methods.
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