RESEARCH

COMPUTER VISION

Scaling and Benchmarking Self-Supervised Visual Representation Learning

October 27, 2019

Abstract

Self-supervised learning aims to learn representations from the data itself without explicit manual supervision. Existing efforts ignore a crucial aspect of self-supervised learning – the ability to scale to large amount of data because self-supervision requires no manual labels. In this work, we revisit this principle and scale two popular self-supervised approaches to 100 million images. We show that by scaling on various axes (including data size and problem ‘hardness’), one can largely match or even exceed the performance of supervised pre-training on a variety of tasks such as object detection, surface normal estimation (3D) and visual navigation using reinforcement learning. Scaling these methods also provides many interesting insights into the limitations of current self-supervised techniques and evaluations. We conclude that current self-supervised methods are not ‘hard’ enough to take full advantage of large scale data and do not seem to learn effective high level semantic representations. We also introduce an extensive benchmark across 9 different datasets and tasks. We believe that such a benchmark along with comparable evaluation settings is necessary to make meaningful progress. Code is at: https://github.com/facebookresearch/fair_self_supervision_benchmark.

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