Task-Independent Knowledge Makes for Transferable Representations for Generalized Zero-Shot Learning

Chaoqun Wang, Xuejin Chen*, Shaobo Min, Xiaoyan Sun, Houqiang Li

School of Data Science

National Engineering Laboratory for Brain-inspired Intelligence Technology and Application

University of Science and Technology of China

The Thirty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-21)


Generalized Zero-Shot Learning (GZSL) targets recognizing new categories by learning transferable image representations. Existing methods find that, by aligning image representations with corresponding semantic labels, the semantic-aligned representations can be transferred to unseen categories. However, supervised by only seen category labels, the learned semantic knowledge is highly task-specific, which makes image representations biased towards seen categories. In this paper, we propose a novel Dual-Contrastive Embedding Network (DCEN) that simultaneously learns task-specific and task-independent knowledge via semantic alignment and instance discrimination. First, DCEN leverages task labels to cluster representations of the same semantic category by cross-modal contrastive learning and exploring semantic-visual complementarity. Besides task-specific knowledge, DCEN then introduces task-independent knowledge by attracting representations of different views of the same image and repelling representations of different images. Compared to high-level seen category supervision, this instance discrimination supervision encourages DCEN to capture low-level visual knowledge, which is less biased toward seen categories and alleviates the representation bias. Consequently, the task-specific and task-independent knowledge jointly make for transferable representations of DCEN, which obtains averaged 4.1% improvement on four public benchmarks.

Figure 1: Motivation of this paper. (a) Existing methods focus on using task labels to learn semantic-aligned representations, which can be transferred to unseen categories. (b) Besides, this paper further learns task-independent knowledge via instance discrimination supervision, which significantly improves the representation transferability.


Figure 2: Effects of different $\lambda_1$ and $\lambda_2$ for $\mathcal{L}_{id}$ and $\mathcal{L}_{sp}$, respectively.
Table 1: Evaluating different visual augmentations on CUB by successively adding operations. When a certain operation brings positive effects, it is retained, otherwise, it is removed.
Table 2: Effects of each component of DCEN on CUB.
Table 3: Results of GZSL on four classification benchmarks. Generative methods (GEN) utilize extra synthetic unseen domain data for training.

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China with grant No. 2020AAA0108602, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Grants 61632006 and 62076230, and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under Grants WK3490000003.

author = {Chaoqun Wang and Xuejin Chen and Shaobo Min and Xiaoyan Sun and Houqiang Li},
title = {Task-Independent Knowledge Makes for Transferable Representations for Generalized Zero-Shot Learning},
booktitle={Thirty-Fifth {AAAI} Conference on Artificial Intelligence, {AAAI} 2021},
year = {2021}
pages = {2710--2718}
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