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Non-Contrastive Learning Meets Language-Image Pre-Training

Jinghao Zhou · Li Dong · Zhe Gan · Lijuan Wang · Furu Wei

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 266


Contrastive language-image pre-training (CLIP) serves as a de-facto standard to align images and texts. Nonetheless, the loose correlation between images and texts of web-crawled data renders the contrastive objective data inefficient and craving for a large training batch size. In this work, we explore the validity of non-contrastive language-image pre-training (nCLIP) and study whether nice properties exhibited in visual self-supervised models can emerge. We empirically observe that the non-contrastive objective nourishes representation learning while sufficiently underperforming under zero-shot recognition. Based on the above study, we further introduce xCLIP, a multi-tasking framework combining CLIP and nCLIP, and show that nCLIP aids CLIP in enhancing feature semantics. The synergy between two objectives lets xCLIP enjoy the best of both worlds: superior performance in both zero-shot transfer and representation learning. Systematic evaluation is conducted spanning a wide variety of downstream tasks including zero-shot classification, out-of-domain classification, retrieval, visual representation learning, and textual representation learning, showcasing a consistent performance gain and validating the effectiveness of xCLIP.

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