Investigate the Essence of Long-Tailed Recognition from a Unified Perspective [article]

Lei Liu, Li Liu
2022 arXiv   pre-print
As the data scale grows, deep recognition models often suffer from long-tailed data distributions due to the heavy imbalanced sample number across categories. Indeed, real-world data usually exhibit some similarity relation among different categories (e.g., pigeons and sparrows), called category similarity in this work. It is doubly difficult when the imbalance occurs between such categories with similar appearances. However, existing solutions mainly focus on the sample number to re-balance
more » ... a distribution. In this work, we systematically investigate the essence of the long-tailed problem from a unified perspective. Specifically, we demonstrate that long-tailed recognition suffers from both sample number and category similarity. Intuitively, using a toy example, we first show that sample number is not the unique influence factor for performance dropping of long-tailed recognition. Theoretically, we demonstrate that (1) category similarity, as an inevitable factor, would also influence the model learning under long-tailed distribution via similar samples, (2) using more discriminative representation methods (e.g., self-supervised learning) for similarity reduction, the classifier bias can be further alleviated with greatly improved performance. Extensive experiments on several long-tailed datasets verify the rationality of our theoretical analysis, and show that based on existing state-of-the-arts (SOTAs), the performance could be further improved by similarity reduction. Our investigations highlight the essence behind the long-tailed problem, and claim several feasible directions for future work.
arXiv:2107.03758v2 fatcat:23y4773pxvcpzgl3qp7xihypkm