Hot-Refresh Model Upgrades with Regression-Alleviating Compatible Training in Image Retrieval

24 Jan 2022  ·  Binjie Zhang, Yixiao Ge, Yantao Shen, Yu Li, Chun Yuan, Xuyuan Xu, Yexin Wang, Ying Shan ·

The task of hot-refresh model upgrades of image retrieval systems plays an essential role in the industry but has never been investigated in academia before. Conventional cold-refresh model upgrades can only deploy new models after the gallery is overall backfilled, taking weeks or even months for massive data. In contrast, hot-refresh model upgrades deploy the new model immediately and then gradually improve the retrieval accuracy by backfilling the gallery on-the-fly. Compatible training has made it possible, however, the problem of model regression with negative flips poses a great challenge to the stable improvement of user experience. We argue that it is mainly due to the fact that new-to-old positive query-gallery pairs may show less similarity than new-to-new negative pairs. To solve the problem, we introduce a Regression-Alleviating Compatible Training (RACT) method to properly constrain the feature compatibility while reducing negative flips. The core is to encourage the new-to-old positive pairs to be more similar than both the new-to-old negative pairs and the new-to-new negative pairs. An efficient uncertainty-based backfilling strategy is further introduced to fasten accuracy improvements. Extensive experiments on large-scale retrieval benchmarks (e.g., Google Landmark) demonstrate that our RACT effectively alleviates the model regression for one more step towards seamless model upgrades. The code will be available at

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