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Contrastive Learning with Boosted Memorization

Zhihan Zhou · Jiangchao Yao · Yan-Feng Wang · Bo Han · Ya Zhang

Hall E #508

Keywords: [ SA: Trustworthy Machine Learning ] [ MISC: Representation Learning ] [ DL: Robustness ] [ DL: Self-Supervised Learning ]


Self-supervised learning has achieved a great success in the representation learning of visual and textual data. However, the current methods are mainly validated on the well-curated datasets, which do not exhibit the real-world long-tailed distribution. Recent attempts to consider self-supervised long-tailed learning are made by rebalancing in the loss perspective or the model perspective, resembling the paradigms in the supervised long-tailed learning. Nevertheless, without the aid of labels, these explorations have not shown the expected significant promise due to the limitation in tail sample discovery or the heuristic structure design. Different from previous works, we explore this direction from an alternative perspective, i.e., the data perspective, and propose a novel Boosted Contrastive Learning (BCL) method. Specifically, BCL leverages the memorization effect of deep neural networks to automatically drive the information discrepancy of the sample views in contrastive learning, which is more efficient to enhance the long-tailed learning in the label-unaware context. Extensive experiments on a range of benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of BCL over several state-of-the-art methods. Our code is available at

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