Improving Visual Representation Learning Through Perceptual Understanding

Samyakh Tukra · Frederick Hoffman · Ken Chatfield

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 204


We present an extension to masked autoencoders (MAE) which improves on the representations learnt by the model by explicitly encouraging the learning of higher scene-level features. We do this by: (i) the introduction of a perceptual similarity term between generated and real images (ii) incorporating several techniques from the adversarial training literature including multi-scale training and adaptive discriminator augmentation. The combination of these results in not only better pixel reconstruction but also representations which appear to capture better higher-level details within images. More consequentially, we show how our method, Perceptual MAE, leads to better performance when used for downstream tasks outperforming previous methods. We achieve 78.1% top-1 accuracy linear probing on ImageNet-1K and up to 88.1% when fine-tuning, with similar results for other downstream tasks, all without use of additional pre-trained models or data.

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