Fixing the train-test resolution discrepancy

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Hugo Touvron, Andrea Vedaldi, Matthijs Douze, Herve Jegou


Data-augmentation is key to the training of neural networks for image classification. This paper first shows that existing augmentations induce a significant discrepancy between the size of the objects seen by the classifier at train and test time: in fact, a lower train resolution improves the classification at test time!

We then propose a simple strategy to optimize the classifier performance, that employs different train and test resolutions. It relies on a computationally cheap fine-tuning of the network at the test resolution. This enables training strong classifiers using small training images, and therefore significantly reduce the training time. For instance, we obtain 77.1% top-1 accuracy on ImageNet with a ResNet-50 trained on 128x128 images, and 79.8% with one trained at 224x224.

A ResNeXt-101 32x48d pre-trained with weak supervision on 940 million 224x224 images and further optimized with our technique for test resolution 320x320 achieves 86.4% top-1 accuracy (top-5: 98.0%). To the best of our knowledge this is the highest ImageNet single-crop accuracy to date.