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      Balanced Knowledge Distillation for Long-tailed Learning

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          Abstract

          Deep models trained on long-tailed datasets exhibit unsatisfactory performance on tail classes. Existing methods usually modify the classification loss to increase the learning focus on tail classes, which unexpectedly sacrifice the performance on head classes. In fact, this scheme leads to a contradiction between the two goals of long-tailed learning, i.e., learning generalizable representations and facilitating learning for tail classes. In this work, we explore knowledge distillation in long-tailed scenarios and propose a novel distillation framework, named Balanced Knowledge Distillation (BKD), to disentangle the contradiction between the two goals and achieve both simultaneously. Specifically, given a vanilla teacher model, we train the student model by minimizing the combination of an instance-balanced classification loss and a class-balanced distillation loss. The former benefits from the sample diversity and learns generalizable representation, while the latter considers the class priors and facilitates learning mainly for tail classes. The student model trained with BKD obtains significant performance gain even compared with its teacher model. We conduct extensive experiments on several long-tailed benchmark datasets and demonstrate that the proposed BKD is an effective knowledge distillation framework in long-tailed scenarios, as well as a new state-of-the-art method for long-tailed learning. Code is available at https://github.com/EricZsy/BalancedKnowledgeDistillation .

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          21 April 2021
          Article
          2104.10510

          http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

          Custom metadata
          10 pages, 4 figures
          cs.CV

          Computer vision & Pattern recognition

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