Learning a Metric Embedding for Face Recognition using the Multibatch Method

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Oren Tadmor, Tal Rosenwein, Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Yonatan Wexler, Amnon Shashua


This work is motivated by the engineering task of achieving a near state-of-the-art face recognition on a minimal computing budget running on an embedded system. Our main technical contribution centers around a novel training method, called Multibatch, for similarity learning, i.e., for the task of generating an invariant ``face signature'' through training pairs of ``same'' and ``not-same'' face images. The Multibatch method first generates signatures for a mini-batch of $k$ face images and then constructs an unbiased estimate of the full gradient by relying on all $k^2-k$ pairs from the mini-batch. We prove that the variance of the Multibatch estimator is bounded by $O(1/k^2)$, under some mild conditions. In contrast, the standard gradient estimator that relies on random $k/2$ pairs has a variance of order $1/k$. The smaller variance of the Multibatch estimator significantly speeds up the convergence rate of stochastic gradient descent. Using the Multibatch method we train a deep convolutional neural network that achieves an accuracy of $98.2\%$ on the LFW benchmark, while its prediction runtime takes only $30$msec on a single ARM Cortex A9 core. Furthermore, the entire training process took only 12 hours on a single Titan X GPU.