Self-Supervised Learning from Semantically Imprecise Data

2022 | PDF
Computer Vision Theory and Applications (VISAPP)

Authors: Clemens-Alexander Brust and Björn Barz and Joachim Denzler

Abstract: Learning from imprecise labels such as “animal” or “bird”, but making precise predictions like “snow bunting” at test time is an important capability when expertly labeled training data is scarce. Contributions by volunteers or results of web crawling lack precision in this manner, but are still valuable. And crucially, these weakly labeled examples are available in larger quantities for lower cost than high-quality bespoke training data. CHILLAX, a recently proposed method to tackle this task, leverages a hierarchical classifier to learn from imprecise labels. However, it has two major limitations. First, it is not capable of learning from effectively unlabeled examples at the root of the hierarchy, e.g. “object”. Second, an extrapolation of annotations to precise labels is only performed at test time, where confident extrapolations could be already used as training data. In this work, we extend CHILLAX with a self-supervised scheme using constrained extrapolation to generate pseudo-labels. This addresses the second concern, which in turn solves the first problem, enabling an even weaker supervision requirement than CHILLAX. We evaluate our approach empirically and show that our method allows for a consistent accuracy improvement of 0.84 to 1.19 percent points over CHILLAX and is suitable as a drop-in replacement without any negative consequences such as longer training times.