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Collaborative Layer-wise Discriminative Learning in Deep Neural Networks

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arXiv ID: 1607.05440
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Intermediate features at different layers of a deep neural network are known to be discriminative for visual patterns of different complexities. However, most existing works ignore such cross-layer heterogeneities when classifying samples of different complexities. For example, if a training sample has already been correctly classified at a specific layer with high confidence, we argue that it is unnecessary to enforce rest layers to classify this sample correctly and a better strategy is to encourage those layers to focus on other samples. In this paper, we propose a layer-wise discriminative learning method to enhance the discriminative capability of a deep network by allowing its layers to work collaboratively for classification. Towards this target, we introduce multiple classifiers on top of multiple layers. Each classifier not only tries to correctly classify the features from its input layer, but also coordinates with other classifiers to jointly maximize the final classification performance. Guided by the other companion classifiers, each classifier learns to concentrate on certain training examples and boosts the overall performance. Allowing for end-to-end training, our method can be conveniently embedded into state-of-the-art deep networks. Experiments with multiple popular deep networks, including Network in Network, GoogLeNet and VGGNet, on scale-various object classification benchmarks, including CIFAR100, MNIST and ImageNet, and scene classification benchmarks, including MIT67, SUN397 and Places205, demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. In addition, we also analyze the relationship between the proposed method and classical conditional random fields models.

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