Transferring Pre-trained Multimodal Representations with Cross-modal Similarity Matching

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Byoungjip Kim, Sungik Choi, Dasol Hwang, Moontae Lee, Honglak Lee


Despite surprising performance on zero-shot transfer, pre-training a large-scale multimodal model is often prohibitive as it requires a huge amount of data and computing resources. In this paper, we propose a method (BeamCLIP) that can effectively transfer the representations of a large pre-trained multimodal model (CLIP-ViT) into a small target model (e.g., ResNet-18). For unsupervised transfer, we introduce cross-modal similarity matching (CSM) that enables a student model to learn the representations of a teacher model by matching the relative similarity distribution across text prompt embeddings. To better encode the text prompts, we design context-based prompt augmentation (CPA) that can alleviate the lexical ambiguity of input text prompts. Our experiments show that unsupervised representation transfer of a pre-trained vision-language model enables a small ResNet-18 to achieve a better ImageNet-1K top-1 linear probe accuracy (66.2%) than vision-only self-supervised learning (SSL) methods (e.g., SimCLR: 51.8%, SwAV: 63.7%), while closing the gap with supervised learning (69.8%).