Triplet is All You Need with Random Mappings for Unsupervised Visual Representation Learning

22 Jul 2021  ·  Wenbin Li, Xuesong Yang, Meihao Kong, Lei Wang, Jing Huo, Yang Gao, Jiebo Luo ·

Contrastive self-supervised learning (SSL) has achieved great success in unsupervised visual representation learning by maximizing the similarity between two augmented views of the same image (positive pairs) and simultaneously contrasting other different images (negative pairs). However, this type of methods, such as SimCLR and MoCo, relies heavily on a large number of negative pairs and thus requires either large batches or memory banks. In contrast, some recent non-contrastive SSL methods, such as BYOL and SimSiam, attempt to discard negative pairs by introducing asymmetry and show remarkable performance. Unfortunately, to avoid collapsed solutions caused by not using negative pairs, these methods require sophisticated asymmetry designs. In this paper, we argue that negative pairs are still necessary but one is sufficient, i.e., triplet is all you need. A simple triplet-based loss can achieve surprisingly good performance without requiring large batches or asymmetry. Moreover, we observe that unsupervised visual representation learning can gain significantly from randomness. Based on this observation, we propose a simple plug-in RandOm MApping (ROMA) strategy by randomly mapping samples into other spaces and enforcing these randomly projected samples to satisfy the same correlation requirement. The proposed ROMA strategy not only achieves the state-of-the-art performance in conjunction with the triplet-based loss, but also can further effectively boost other SSL methods.

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