Decoupling Representation and Classifier for Long-Tailed Recognition [article]

Bingyi Kang, Saining Xie, Marcus Rohrbach, Zhicheng Yan, Albert Gordo, Jiashi Feng, Yannis Kalantidis
2020 arXiv   pre-print
The long-tail distribution of the visual world poses great challenges for deep learning based classification models on how to handle the class imbalance problem. Existing solutions usually involve class-balancing strategies, e.g., by loss re-weighting, data re-sampling, or transfer learning from head- to tail-classes, but most of them adhere to the scheme of jointly learning representations and classifiers. In this work, we decouple the learning procedure into representation learning and
more » ... ication, and systematically explore how different balancing strategies affect them for long-tailed recognition. The findings are surprising: (1) data imbalance might not be an issue in learning high-quality representations; (2) with representations learned with the simplest instance-balanced (natural) sampling, it is also possible to achieve strong long-tailed recognition ability by adjusting only the classifier. We conduct extensive experiments and set new state-of-the-art performance on common long-tailed benchmarks like ImageNet-LT, Places-LT and iNaturalist, showing that it is possible to outperform carefully designed losses, sampling strategies, even complex modules with memory, by using a straightforward approach that decouples representation and classification. Our code is available at https://github.com/facebookresearch/classifier-balancing.
arXiv:1910.09217v2 fatcat:dnqprca7ebdf3iymafr63hsxje