An Empirical Study on Disentanglement of Negative-free Contrastive Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

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Jinkun Cao, Ruiqian Nai, Qing Yang, Jialei Huang, Yang Gao


Negative-free contrastive learning methods have attracted a lot of attention with simplicity and impressive performances for large-scale pretraining. However, its disentanglement property remains unexplored. In this paper, we examine negative-free contrastive learning methods to study the disentanglement property empirically. We find that existing disentanglement metrics fail to make meaningful measurements for high-dimensional representation models, so we propose a new disentanglement metric based on Mutual Information between latent representations and data factors. With this proposed metric, we benchmark the disentanglement property of negative-free contrastive learning on both popular synthetic datasets and a real-world dataset CelebA. Our study shows that the investigated methods can learn a well-disentangled subset of representation. As far as we know, we are the first to extend the study of disentangled representation learning to high-dimensional representation space and introduce negative-free contrastive learning methods into this area. The source code of this paper is available at