Co-Learning of Representation and Classifier for Imbalanced Semi-Supervised Learning

Yue Fan, Dengxin Dai, Anna Kukleva, Bernt Schiele

Standard semi-supervised learning (SSL) using class-balanced datasets has shown great progress to leverage unlabeled data effectively. However, the more realistic setting of class-imbalanced data – called imbalanced SSL – is largely underexplored and standard SSL tends to underperform. In this paper, we propose a novel co-learning framework (CoSSL), which decouples representation and classifier learning while coupling them closely. To handle the data imbalance, we devise Tail-class Feature Enhancement (TFE) for classifier learning. Furthermore, the current evaluation protocol for imbalanced SSL focuses only on balanced test sets, which has limited practicality in real-world scenarios. Therefore, we further conduct a comprehensive evaluation under various shifted test distributions. In experiments, we show that our approach outperforms other methods over a large range of shifted distributions, achieving state-of-the-art performance on benchmark datasets ranging from CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, ImageNet, to Food-101. Our code will be made publicly available.

Figure 1. Conventional recognition tasks focus on constrained settings: long-tailed recognition does not involve unlabeled data; semi-supervised learning (SSL) assumes class-balanced distributions for both labeled and unlabeled data. In this work, we aim at imbalanced SSL, where the training data is partially annotated, and both labeled and unlabeled data are not manually balanced. This setting is more general and poses great challenges to existing algorithms. A robust learning algorithm should still be able to learn a good classifier under this setting.

Our co-learning framework CoSSL decouples the training of representation and classifier while coupling them in a non-gradient manner. CoSSL consists of three modules: a semi-supervised representation learning module, a balanced classifier learning module, and a carefully designed pseudo-label generation module. The representation module provides a momentum encoder for feature extraction in the other two modules, and the classifier module produces a balanced classifier using our novel Tail-class Feature Enhancement (TFE). Then, pseudo-label module generates pseudo-labels for the representation module using the momentum encoder and the balanced classifier. The interplay between these modules enhances each other, leading to both a more powerful representation and a more balanced classifier. Additionally, our framework is flexible as it can accommodate any standard SSL methods and classifier learning methods

Table.1: Classification accuracy (%) on CIFAR-10-LT using a Wide ResNet-28-2 under the uniform test distribution of three different class-imbalance ratios γ. The numbers are averaged over 5 different folds.

Table 2. Averaged class recall (%) on Small-ImageNet-127 and Food-101. We test image size 32 × 32 and 64 × 64 for SmallImageNet-127 and γ = 50 and γ = 100 for Food-101.


CoSSL: Co-Learning of Representation and Classifier for Imbalanced Semi-Supervised Learning

Yue Fan, Dengxin Dai, Anna Kukleva, Bernt Schiele

CVPR 2022