Astroformer: More Data Might not be all you need for Classification

3 Apr 2023  ·  Rishit Dagli ·

Recent advancements in areas such as natural language processing and computer vision rely on intricate and massive models that have been trained using vast amounts of unlabelled or partly labeled data and training or deploying these state-of-the-art methods to resource constraint environments has been a challenge. Galaxy morphologies are crucial to understanding the processes by which galaxies form and evolve. Efficient methods to classify galaxy morphologies are required to extract physical information from modern-day astronomy surveys. In this paper, we introduce Astroformer, a method to learn from less amount of data. We propose using a hybrid transformer-convolutional architecture drawing much inspiration from the success of CoAtNet and MaxViT. Concretely, we use the transformer-convolutional hybrid with a new stack design for the network, a different way of creating a relative self-attention layer, and pair it with a careful selection of data augmentation and regularization techniques. Our approach sets a new state-of-the-art on predicting galaxy morphologies from images on the Galaxy10 DECals dataset, a science objective, which consists of 17736 labeled images achieving 94.86% top-$1$ accuracy, beating the current state-of-the-art for this task by 4.62%. Furthermore, this approach also sets a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100 and Tiny ImageNet. We also find that models and training methods used for larger datasets would often not work very well in the low-data regime.

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Image Classification CIFAR-10 Astroformer Percentage correct 99.12 # 12
Image Classification CIFAR-100 Astroformer Percentage correct 93.36 # 9
Image Classification Galaxy10 DECals Astroformer Top-1 Accuracy (%) 94.86 # 1
Image Classification Tiny ImageNet Classification Astroformer Validation Acc 92.98 # 1


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