Conference article  Open Access

Continuous ODE-defined image features for adaptive retrieval

Carrara F., Amato G., Falchi F., Gennaro C.

Adaptive computation  Image retrieval  Ordinary differential equations  Feature extraction  Continuous neural networks 

In the last years, content-based image retrieval largely benefited from representation extracted from deeper and more complex convolutional neural networks, which became more effective but also more computationally demanding. Despite existing hardware acceleration, query processing times may be easily saturated by deep feature extraction in high-throughput or real-time embedded scenarios, and usually, a trade-off between efficiency and effectiveness has to be accepted. In this work, we experiment with the recently proposed continuous neural networks defined by parametric ordinary differential equations, dubbed ODE-Nets, for adaptive extraction of image representations. Given the continuous evolution of the network hidden state, we propose to approximate the exact feature extraction by taking a previous "near-in-time" hidden state as features with a reduced computational cost. To understand the potential and the limits of this approach, we also evaluate an ODE-only architecture in which we minimize the number of classical layers in order to delegate most of the representation learning process - - and thus the feature extraction process - - to the continuous part of the model. Preliminary experiments on standard benchmarks show that we are able to dynamically control the trade-off between efficiency and effectiveness of feature extraction at inference-time by controlling the evolution of the continuous hidden state. Although ODE-only networks provide the best fine-grained control on the effectiveness-efficiency trade-off, we observed that mixed architectures perform better or comparably to standard residual nets in both the image classification and retrieval setups while using fewer parameters and retaining the controllability of the trade-off.

Source: ICMR '20 - International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval, pp. 198–206, Dublin, Ireland, 8-11 June, 2020

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BibTeX entry
	title = {Continuous ODE-defined image features for adaptive retrieval},
	author = {Carrara F. and Amato G. and Falchi F. and Gennaro C.},
	doi = {10.1145/3372278.3390690},
	booktitle = {ICMR '20 - International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval, pp. 198–206, Dublin, Ireland, 8-11 June, 2020},
	year = {2020}