Meta Clustering Learning for Large-scale Unsupervised Person Re-identification

Unsupervised Person Re-identification (U-ReID) with pseudo labeling recently reaches a competitive performance compared to fully-supervised ReID methods based on modern clustering algorithms. However, such clustering-based scheme becomes computationally prohibitive for large-scale datasets. How to efficiently leverage endless unlabeled data with limited computing resources for better U-ReID is under-explored. In this paper, we make the first attempt to the large-scale U-ReID and propose a "small data for big task" paradigm dubbed Meta Clustering Learning (MCL). MCL only pseudo-labels a subset of the entire unlabeled data via clustering to save computing for the first-phase training. After that, the learned cluster centroids, termed as meta-prototypes in our MCL, are regarded as a proxy annotator to softly annotate the rest unlabeled data for further polishing the model. To alleviate the potential noisy labeling issue in the polishment phase, we enforce two well-designed loss constraints to promise intra-identity consistency and inter-identity strong correlation. For multiple widely-used U-ReID benchmarks, our method significantly saves computational cost while achieving a comparable or even better performance compared to prior works.

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