NDDR-CNN: Layer-wise Feature Fusing in Multi-Task CNN by Neural Discriminative Dimensionality Reduction.


State-of-the-art Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) benefits a lot from multi-task learning (MTL), which learns multiple related tasks simultaneously to obtain shared or mutually related representations for different tasks. The most widely-used MTL CNN structure is based on an empirical or heuristic split on a specific layer (e.g., the last convolutional layer) to minimize different task-specific losses. However, this heuristic sharing/splitting strategy may be harmful to the final performance of one or multiple tasks. In this paper, we propose a novel CNN structure for MTL, which enables automatic feature fusing at every layer. Specifically, we first concatenate features from different tasks according to their channel dimension, and then formulate the feature fusing problem as discriminative dimensionality reduction. We show that this discriminative dimensionality reduction can be done by 1x1 Convolution, Batch Normalization, and Weight Decay in one CNN, which we refer to as Neural Discriminative Dimensionality Reduction (NDDR). We perform ablation analysis in details for different configurations in training the network. The experiments carried out on different network structures and different task sets demonstrate the promising performance and desirable generalizability of our proposed method.

arXiv preprint arXiv:1801.08297, 2018.