Deep Learning from Noisy Image Labels with Quality Embedding

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Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, 2019, 28 (4), pp. 1909 - 1922
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© 1992-2012 IEEE. There is an emerging trend to leverage noisy image datasets in many visual recognition tasks. However, the label noise among datasets severely degenerates the performance of deep learning approaches. Recently, one mainstream is to introduce the latent label to handle label noise, which has shown promising improvement in the network designs. Nevertheless, the mismatch between latent labels and noisy labels still affects the predictions in such methods. To address this issue, we propose a probabilistic model, which explicitly introduces an extra variable to represent the trustworthiness of noisy labels, termed as the quality variable. Our key idea is to identify the mismatch between the latent and noisy labels by embedding the quality variables into different subspaces, which effectively minimizes the influence of label noise. At the same time, reliable labels are still able to be applied for training. To instantiate the model, we further propose a contrastive-additive noise network (CAN), which consists of two important layers: 1) the contrastive layer that estimates the quality variable in the embedding space to reduce the influence of noisy labels and 2) the additive layer that aggregates the prior prediction and noisy labels as the posterior to train the classifier. Moreover, to tackle the challenges in optimization, we deduce an SGD algorithm with the reparameterization tricks, which makes our method scalable to big data. We validate the proposed method on a range of noisy image datasets. Comprehensive results have demonstrated that CAN outperforms the state-of-the-art deep learning approaches.
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