PCANet: A Simple Deep Learning Baseline for Image Classification?

Tsung-Han Chan, Kui Jia, Shenghua Gao, Jiwen Lu, Zinan Zeng, Yi Ma

In this work, we propose a very simple deep learning network for image classification which comprises only the very basic data processing components: cascaded principal component analysis (PCA), binary hashing, and block-wise histograms. In the proposed architecture, PCA is employed to learn multistage filter banks. It is followed by simple binary hashing and block histograms for indexing and pooling. This architecture is thus named as a PCA network (PCANet) and can be designed and learned extremely easily and efficiently. For comparison and better understanding, we also introduce and study two simple variations to the PCANet, namely the RandNet and LDANet. They share the same topology of PCANet but their cascaded filters are either selected randomly or learned from LDA. We have tested these basic networks extensively on many benchmark visual datasets for different tasks, such as LFW for face verification, MultiPIE, Extended Yale B, AR, FERET datasets for face recognition, as well as MNIST for hand-written digits recognition. Surprisingly, for all tasks, such a seemingly naive PCANet model is on par with the state of the art features, either prefixed, highly hand-crafted or carefully learned (by DNNs). Even more surprisingly, it sets new records for many classification tasks in Extended Yale B, AR, FERET datasets, and MNIST variations. Additional experiments on other public datasets also demonstrate the potential of the PCANet serving as a simple but highly competitive baseline for texture classification and object recognition.

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