Class Subset Selection for Transfer Learning using Submodularity

by   Varun Manjunatha, et al.

In recent years, it is common practice to extract fully-connected layer (fc) features that were learned while performing image classification on a source dataset, such as ImageNet, and apply them generally to a wide range of other tasks. The general usefulness of some large training datasets for transfer learning is not yet well understood, and raises a number of questions. For example, in the context of transfer learning, what is the role of a specific class in the source dataset, and how is the transferability of fc features affected when they are trained using various subsets of the set of all classes in the source dataset? In this paper, we address the question of how to select an optimal subset of the set of classes, subject to a budget constraint, that will more likely generate good features for other tasks. To accomplish this, we use a submodular set function to model the accuracy achievable on a new task when the features have been learned on a given subset of classes of the source dataset. An optimal subset is identified as the set that maximizes this submodular function. The maximization can be accomplished using an efficient greedy algorithm that comes with guarantees on the optimality of the solution. We empirically validate our submodular model by successfully identifying subsets of classes that produce good features for new tasks.


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