Attention Diversification for Domain Generalization

Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have demonstrated gratifying results at learning discriminative features. However, when applied to unseen domains, state-of-the-art models are usually prone to errors due to domain shift. After investigating this issue from the perspective of shortcut learning, we find the devils lie in the fact that models trained on different domains merely bias to different domain-specific features yet overlook diverse task-related features. Under this guidance, a novel Attention Diversification framework is proposed, in which Intra-Model and Inter-Model Attention Diversification Regularization are collaborated to reassign appropriate attention to diverse task-related features. Briefly, Intra-Model Attention Diversification Regularization is equipped on the high-level feature maps to achieve in-channel discrimination and cross-channel diversification via forcing different channels to pay their most salient attention to different spatial locations. Besides, Inter-Model Attention Diversification Regularization is proposed to further provide task-related attention diversification and domain-related attention suppression, which is a paradigm of "simulate, divide and assemble": simulate domain shift via exploiting multiple domain-specific models, divide attention maps into task-related and domain-related groups, and assemble them within each group respectively to execute regularization. Extensive experiments and analyses are conducted on various benchmarks to demonstrate that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance over other competing methods. Code is available at

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