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Feature Directions Matter: Long-Tailed Learning via Rotated Balanced Representation

Peifeng Gao · Qianqian Xu · Peisong Wen · Zhiyong Yang · Huiyang Shao · Qingming Huang

Exhibit Hall 1 #315
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[ Slides [ PDF [ Poster


Long-tailed learning is one of the most challenging problems in visual recognition. There are some studies aiming to solve long-tailed classification from the perspective of feature learning. Recent work proposes to learn the balanced representation by fixing the linear classifier as Equiangular Tight Frame (ETF), since they argue what matters in classification is the structure of the feature, instead of their directions. Holding a different view, in this paper, we show that features with fixed directions may be harmful to the generalization of models, even if it is completely symmetric. To avoid this issue, we propose Representation-Balanced Learning Framework (RBL), which introduces orthogonal matrices to learn directions while maintaining the geometric structure of ETF. Theoretically, our contributions are two-fold: 1). we point out that the feature learning of RBL is insensitive toward training set label distribution, it always learns a balanced representation space. 2). we provide a generalization analysis of proposed RBL through training stability. To analyze the stability of the parameter with orthogonal constraint, we propose a novel training stability analysis paradigm, Two-Parameter Model Stability. Practically, our method is extremely simple in implementation but shows great superiority on several benchmark datasets.

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