Exploring Self-Supervised Vision Transformers for Deepfake Detection: A Comparative Analysis

1 May 2024  ·  Huy H. Nguyen, Junichi Yamagishi, Isao Echizen ·

This paper investigates the effectiveness of self-supervised pre-trained transformers compared to supervised pre-trained transformers and conventional neural networks (ConvNets) for detecting various types of deepfakes. We focus on their potential for improved generalization, particularly when training data is limited. Despite the notable success of large vision-language models utilizing transformer architectures in various tasks, including zero-shot and few-shot learning, the deepfake detection community has still shown some reluctance to adopt pre-trained vision transformers (ViTs), especially large ones, as feature extractors. One concern is their perceived excessive capacity, which often demands extensive data, and the resulting suboptimal generalization when training or fine-tuning data is small or less diverse. This contrasts poorly with ConvNets, which have already established themselves as robust feature extractors. Additionally, training and optimizing transformers from scratch requires significant computational resources, making this accessible primarily to large companies and hindering broader investigation within the academic community. Recent advancements in using self-supervised learning (SSL) in transformers, such as DINO and its derivatives, have showcased significant adaptability across diverse vision tasks and possess explicit semantic segmentation capabilities. By leveraging DINO for deepfake detection with modest training data and implementing partial fine-tuning, we observe comparable adaptability to the task and the natural explainability of the detection result via the attention mechanism. Moreover, partial fine-tuning of transformers for deepfake detection offers a more resource-efficient alternative, requiring significantly fewer computational resources.

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