Circle Loss: A Unified Perspective of Pair Similarity Optimization

CVPR 2020

Authors: Yifan Sun, Changmao Cheng, Yuhan Zhang, Chi Zhang, Liang Zheng, Zhongdao Wang, Yichen Wei Description: This paper provides a pair similarity optimization viewpoint on deep feature learning, aiming to maximize the within-class similarity $ and minimize the between-class similarity $. We find a majority of loss functions, including the triplet loss and the softmax cross-entropy loss, embed $ and $ into similarity pairs and seek to reduce $. Such an optimization manner is inflexible, because the penalty strength on every single similarity score is restricted to be equal. Our intuition is that if a similarity score deviates far from the optimum, it should be emphasized. To this end, we simply re-weight each similarity to highlight the less-optimized similarity scores. It results in a Circle loss, which is named due to its circular decision boundary. The Circle loss has a unified formula for two elemental deep feature learning paradigms, \emph {i.e.}, learning with class-level labels and pair-wise labels. Analytically, we show that the Circle loss offers a more flexible optimization approach towards a more definite convergence target, compared with the loss functions optimizing $. Experimentally, we demonstrate the superiority of the Circle loss on a variety of deep feature learning tasks. On face recognition, person re-identification, as well as several fine-grained image retrieval datasets, the achieved performance is on par with the state of the art.