Balanced Contrastive Learning for Long-Tailed Visual Recognition [article]

Jianggang Zhu and Zheng Wang and Jingjing Chen and Yi-Ping Phoebe Chen and Yu-Gang Jiang
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Real-world data typically follow a long-tailed distribution, where a few majority categories occupy most of the data while most minority categories contain a limited number of samples. Classification models minimizing cross-entropy struggle to represent and classify the tail classes. Although the problem of learning unbiased classifiers has been well studied, methods for representing imbalanced data are under-explored. In this paper, we focus on representation learning for imbalanced data.
more » ... tly, supervised contrastive learning has shown promising performance on balanced data recently. However, through our theoretical analysis, we find that for long-tailed data, it fails to form a regular simplex which is an ideal geometric configuration for representation learning. To correct the optimization behavior of SCL and further improve the performance of long-tailed visual recognition, we propose a novel loss for balanced contrastive learning (BCL). Compared with SCL, we have two improvements in BCL: class-averaging, which balances the gradient contribution of negative classes; class-complement, which allows all classes to appear in every mini-batch. The proposed balanced contrastive learning (BCL) method satisfies the condition of forming a regular simplex and assists the optimization of cross-entropy. Equipped with BCL, the proposed two-branch framework can obtain a stronger feature representation and achieve competitive performance on long-tailed benchmark datasets such as CIFAR-10-LT, CIFAR-100-LT, ImageNet-LT, and iNaturalist2018. Our code is available at https://github.com/FlamieZhu/BCL .
arXiv:2207.09052v3 fatcat:57w5h2vf4bhe3nakjwqvycu2qm