Hierarchical Auxiliary Learning

Jaehoon Cha, Kyeong Soo Kim, Sanghyuk Lee

Conventional application of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for image classification and recognition is based on the assumption that all target classes are equal(i.e., no hierarchy) and exclusive of one another (i.e., no overlap). CNN-based image classifiers built on this assumption, therefore, cannot take into account an innate hierarchy among target classes (e.g., cats and dogs in animal image classification) or additional information that can be easily derived from the data (e.g.,numbers larger than five in the recognition of handwritten digits), thereby resulting in scalability issues when the number of target classes is large. Combining two related but slightly different ideas of hierarchical classification and logical learning by auxiliary inputs, we propose a new learning framework called hierarchical auxiliary learning, which not only address the scalability issues with a large number of classes but also could further reduce the classification/recognition errors with a reasonable number of classes. In the hierarchical auxiliary learning, target classes are semantically or non-semantically grouped into superclasses, which turns the original problem of mapping between an image and its target class into a new problem of mapping between a pair of an image and its superclass and the target class. To take the advantage of superclasses, we introduce an auxiliary block into a neural network, which generates auxiliary scores used as additional information for final classification/recognition; in this paper, we add the auxiliary block between the last residual block and the fully-connected output layer of the ResNet. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed hierarchical auxiliary learning can reduce classification errors up to 0.56, 1.6 and 3.56 percent with MNIST, SVHN and CIFAR-10 datasets, respectively.

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