In this paper, we propose a novel multi-task learning architecture, which incorporates recent advances in attention mechanisms. Our approach, the Multi-Task Attention Network (MTAN), consists of a single shared network containing a global feature pool, together with task-specific soft-attention modules, which are trainable in an end-to-end manner. These attention modules allow for learning of task-specific features from the global pool, whilst simultaneously allowing for features to be shared across different tasks. The architecture can be built upon any feed-forward neural network, is simple to implement, and is parameter efficient. Experiments on the CityScapes dataset show that our method outperforms several baselines in both single-task and multi-task learning, and is also more robust to the various weighting schemes in the multi-task loss function. We further explore the effectiveness of our method through experiments over a range of task complexities, and show how our method scales well with task complexity compared to baselines.

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Attention机制最早是在视觉图像领域提出来的,但是真正火起来应该算是google mind团队的这篇论文《Recurrent Models of Visual Attention》[14],他们在RNN模型上使用了attention机制来进行图像分类。随后,Bahdanau等人在论文《Neural Machine Translation by Jointly Learning to Align and Translate》 [1]中,使用类似attention的机制在机器翻译任务上将翻译和对齐同时进行,他们的工作算是是第一个提出attention机制应用到NLP领域中。接着类似的基于attention机制的RNN模型扩展开始应用到各种NLP任务中。最近,如何在CNN中使用attention机制也成为了大家的研究热点。下图表示了attention研究进展的大概趋势。

Recently, numerous handcrafted and searched networks have been applied for semantic segmentation. However, previous works intend to handle inputs with various scales in pre-defined static architectures, such as FCN, U-Net, and DeepLab series. This paper studies a conceptually new method to alleviate the scale variance in semantic representation, named dynamic routing. The proposed framework generates data-dependent routes, adapting to the scale distribution of each image. To this end, a differentiable gating function, called soft conditional gate, is proposed to select scale transform paths on the fly. In addition, the computational cost can be further reduced in an end-to-end manner by giving budget constraints to the gating function. We further relax the network level routing space to support multi-path propagations and skip-connections in each forward, bringing substantial network capacity. To demonstrate the superiority of the dynamic property, we compare with several static architectures, which can be modeled as special cases in the routing space. Extensive experiments are conducted on Cityscapes and PASCAL VOC 2012 to illustrate the effectiveness of the dynamic framework. Code is available at https://github.com/yanwei-li/DynamicRouting.

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In this paper, we introduce the prior knowledge, multi-scale structure, into self-attention modules. We propose a Multi-Scale Transformer which uses multi-scale multi-head self-attention to capture features from different scales. Based on the linguistic perspective and the analysis of pre-trained Transformer (BERT) on a huge corpus, we further design a strategy to control the scale distribution for each layer. Results of three different kinds of tasks (21 datasets) show our Multi-Scale Transformer outperforms the standard Transformer consistently and significantly on small and moderate size datasets.

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Benefit from the quick development of deep learning techniques, salient object detection has achieved remarkable progresses recently. However, there still exists following two major challenges that hinder its application in embedded devices, low resolution output and heavy model weight. To this end, this paper presents an accurate yet compact deep network for efficient salient object detection. More specifically, given a coarse saliency prediction in the deepest layer, we first employ residual learning to learn side-output residual features for saliency refinement, which can be achieved with very limited convolutional parameters while keep accuracy. Secondly, we further propose reverse attention to guide such side-output residual learning in a top-down manner. By erasing the current predicted salient regions from side-output features, the network can eventually explore the missing object parts and details which results in high resolution and accuracy. Experiments on six benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed approach compares favorably against state-of-the-art methods, and with advantages in terms of simplicity, efficiency (45 FPS) and model size (81 MB).

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The reinforcement learning community has made great strides in designing algorithms capable of exceeding human performance on specific tasks. These algorithms are mostly trained one task at the time, each new task requiring to train a brand new agent instance. This means the learning algorithm is general, but each solution is not; each agent can only solve the one task it was trained on. In this work, we study the problem of learning to master not one but multiple sequential-decision tasks at once. A general issue in multi-task learning is that a balance must be found between the needs of multiple tasks competing for the limited resources of a single learning system. Many learning algorithms can get distracted by certain tasks in the set of tasks to solve. Such tasks appear more salient to the learning process, for instance because of the density or magnitude of the in-task rewards. This causes the algorithm to focus on those salient tasks at the expense of generality. We propose to automatically adapt the contribution of each task to the agent's updates, so that all tasks have a similar impact on the learning dynamics. This resulted in state of the art performance on learning to play all games in a set of 57 diverse Atari games. Excitingly, our method learned a single trained policy - with a single set of weights - that exceeds median human performance. To our knowledge, this was the first time a single agent surpassed human-level performance on this multi-task domain. The same approach also demonstrated state of the art performance on a set of 30 tasks in the 3D reinforcement learning platform DeepMind Lab.

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Recently, graph neural networks (GNNs) have revolutionized the field of graph representation learning through effectively learned node embeddings, and achieved state-of-the-art results in tasks such as node classification and link prediction. However, current GNN methods are inherently flat and do not learn hierarchical representations of graphs---a limitation that is especially problematic for the task of graph classification, where the goal is to predict the label associated with an entire graph. Here we propose DiffPool, a differentiable graph pooling module that can generate hierarchical representations of graphs and can be combined with various graph neural network architectures in an end-to-end fashion. DiffPool learns a differentiable soft cluster assignment for nodes at each layer of a deep GNN, mapping nodes to a set of clusters, which then form the coarsened input for the next GNN layer. Our experimental results show that combining existing GNN methods with DiffPool yields an average improvement of 5-10% accuracy on graph classification benchmarks, compared to all existing pooling approaches, achieving a new state-of-the-art on four out of five benchmark data sets.

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Recently, ensemble has been applied to deep metric learning to yield state-of-the-art results. Deep metric learning aims to learn deep neural networks for feature embeddings, distances of which satisfy given constraint. In deep metric learning, ensemble takes average of distances learned by multiple learners. As one important aspect of ensemble, the learners should be diverse in their feature embeddings. To this end, we propose an attention-based ensemble, which uses multiple attention masks, so that each learner can attend to different parts of the object. We also propose a divergence loss, which encourages diversity among the learners. The proposed method is applied to the standard benchmarks of deep metric learning and experimental results show that it outperforms the state-of-the-art methods by a significant margin on image retrieval tasks.

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This paper proposes an Agile Aggregating Multi-Level feaTure framework (Agile Amulet) for salient object detection. The Agile Amulet builds on previous works to predict saliency maps using multi-level convolutional features. Compared to previous works, Agile Amulet employs some key innovations to improve training and testing speed while also increase prediction accuracy. More specifically, we first introduce a contextual attention module that can rapidly highlight most salient objects or regions with contextual pyramids. Thus, it effectively guides the learning of low-layer convolutional features and tells the backbone network where to look. The contextual attention module is a fully convolutional mechanism that simultaneously learns complementary features and predicts saliency scores at each pixel. In addition, we propose a novel method to aggregate multi-level deep convolutional features. As a result, we are able to use the integrated side-output features of pre-trained convolutional networks alone, which significantly reduces the model parameters leading to a model size of 67 MB, about half of Amulet. Compared to other deep learning based saliency methods, Agile Amulet is of much lighter-weight, runs faster (30 fps in real-time) and achieves higher performance on seven public benchmarks in terms of both quantitative and qualitative evaluation.

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Learning similarity functions between image pairs with deep neural networks yields highly correlated activations of embeddings. In this work, we show how to improve the robustness of such embeddings by exploiting the independence within ensembles. To this end, we divide the last embedding layer of a deep network into an embedding ensemble and formulate training this ensemble as an online gradient boosting problem. Each learner receives a reweighted training sample from the previous learners. Further, we propose two loss functions which increase the diversity in our ensemble. These loss functions can be applied either for weight initialization or during training. Together, our contributions leverage large embedding sizes more effectively by significantly reducing correlation of the embedding and consequently increase retrieval accuracy of the embedding. Our method works with any differentiable loss function and does not introduce any additional parameters during test time. We evaluate our metric learning method on image retrieval tasks and show that it improves over state-of-the-art methods on the CUB 200-2011, Cars-196, Stanford Online Products, In-Shop Clothes Retrieval and VehicleID datasets.

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Recent works have shown that exploiting multi-scale representations deeply learned via convolutional neural networks (CNN) is of tremendous importance for accurate contour detection. This paper presents a novel approach for predicting contours which advances the state of the art in two fundamental aspects, i.e. multi-scale feature generation and fusion. Different from previous works directly consider- ing multi-scale feature maps obtained from the inner layers of a primary CNN architecture, we introduce a hierarchical deep model which produces more rich and complementary representations. Furthermore, to refine and robustly fuse the representations learned at different scales, the novel Attention-Gated Conditional Random Fields (AG-CRFs) are proposed. The experiments ran on two publicly available datasets (BSDS500 and NYUDv2) demonstrate the effectiveness of the latent AG-CRF model and of the overall hierarchical framework.

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In multi-task learning, a learner is given a collection of prediction tasks and needs to solve all of them. In contrast to previous work, which required that annotated training data is available for all tasks, we consider a new setting, in which for some tasks, potentially most of them, only unlabeled training data is provided. Consequently, to solve all tasks, information must be transferred between tasks with labels and tasks without labels. Focusing on an instance-based transfer method we analyze two variants of this setting: when the set of labeled tasks is fixed, and when it can be actively selected by the learner. We state and prove a generalization bound that covers both scenarios and derive from it an algorithm for making the choice of labeled tasks (in the active case) and for transferring information between the tasks in a principled way. We also illustrate the effectiveness of the algorithm by experiments on synthetic and real data.

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