Predicting What You Already Know Helps: Provable Self-Supervised Learning

Jason D. Lee, Qi Lei, Nikunj Saunshi, Jiacheng Zhuo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-supervised representation learning solves auxiliary prediction tasks (known as pretext tasks) without requiring labeled data to learn useful semantic representations. These pretext tasks are created solely using the input features, such as predicting a missing image patch, recovering the color channels of an image from context, or predicting missing words in text; yet predicting this known information helps in learning representations effective for downstream prediction tasks. We posit a mechanism exploiting the statistical connections between certain reconstruction-based pretext tasks that guarantee to learn a good representation. Formally, we quantify how the approximate independence between the components of the pretext task (conditional on the label and latent variables) allows us to learn representations that can solve the downstream task by just training a linear layer on top of the learned representation. We prove the linear layer yields small approximation error even for complex ground truth function class and will drastically reduce labeled sample complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 - 35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021
EditorsMarc'Aurelio Ranzato, Alina Beygelzimer, Yann Dauphin, Percy S. Liang, Jenn Wortman Vaughan
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
Pages309-323
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781713845393
StatePublished - 2021
Event35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 6 2021Dec 14 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1049-5258

Conference

Conference35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period12/6/2112/14/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing

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