ProtoCLIP: Prototypical Contrastive Language Image Pretraining


Contrastive Language Image Pretraining (CLIP) received widespread attention since its learned representations can be transferred well to various downstream tasks. During CLIP training, the InfoNCE objective aims to align positive image-text pairs and separate negative ones. In this paper, we show a representation grouping effect during this process: the InfoNCE objective indirectly groups semantically similar representations together via randomly emerged within-modal anchors. We introduce Prototypical Contrastive Language Image Pretraining (ProtoCLIP) to enhance such grouping by boosting its efficiency and increasing its robustness against modality gap. Specifically, ProtoCLIP sets up prototype-level discrimination between image and text spaces, which efficiently transfers higher-level structural knowledge. We further propose Prototypical Back Translation (PBT) to decouple representation grouping from representation alignment, resulting in effective learning of meaningful representations under large modality gap. PBT also enables us to introduce additional external teachers with richer prior knowledge. ProtoCLIP is trained with an online episodic training strategy, which makes it can be scaled up to unlimited amounts of data. We train our ProtoCLIP on Conceptual Captions and achieved an +5.81% ImageNet linear probing improvement and an +2.01% ImageNet zero-shot classification improvement. On larger YFCC dataset, ProtoCLIP matches the performance of CLIP with 4×fewer pretraining epochs.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (TNNLS). [ArXiv]
Delong Chen
Delong Chen
PhD Student

PhD Student at HKUST