ICE: Inter-instance Contrastive Encoding for Unsupervised Person Re-identification

Hao Chen, Benoit Lagadec, Francois Bremond

Unsupervised person re-identification (ReID) aims at learning discriminative identity features without annotations. Recently, self-supervised contrastive learning has gained increasing attention for its effectiveness in unsupervised representation learning. The main idea of instance contrastive learning is to match a same instance in different augmented views. However, the relationship between different instances of a same identity has not been explored in previous methods, leading to sub-optimal ReID performance. To address this issue, we propose Inter-instance Contrastive Encoding (ICE) that leverages inter-instance pairwise similarity scores to boost previous class-level contrastive ReID methods. We first use pairwise similarity ranking as one-hot hard pseudo labels for hard instance contrast, which aims at reducing intra-class variance. Then, we use similarity scores as soft pseudo labels to enhance the consistency between augmented and original views, which makes our model more robust to augmentation perturbations. Experiments on several large-scale person ReID datasets validate the effectiveness of our proposed unsupervised method ICE, which is competitive with even supervised methods.

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