Embarrassingly Simple Binary Representation Learning

Yuming Shen, Jie Qin,Jiaxin Chen, Li Liu, and Fan Zhu. ICCVW 2019

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Recent binary representation learning models usually require sophisticated binary optimization, similarity measure or even generative models as auxiliaries. However, one may wonder whether these non-trivial components are needed to formulate practical and effective hashing models. In this paper, we answer the above question by proposing an embarrassingly simple approach to binary representation learning. With a simple classification objective, our model only incorporates two additional fully-connected layers onto the top of an arbitrary backbone network, whilst complying with the binary constraints during training. The proposed model lower-bounds the Information Bottleneck (IB) between data samples and their semantics, and can be related to many recent `learning to hash’ paradigms. We show that, when properly designed, even such a simple network can generate effective binary codes, by fully exploring data semantics without any held-out alternating updating steps or auxiliary models. Experiments are conducted on conventional large-scale benchmarks, i.e., CIFAR-10, NUS-WIDE, and ImageNet, where the proposed simple model outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.