Large-Margin Softmax Loss for Convolutional Neural Networks

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Weiyang Liu, Yandong Wen, Zhiding Yu, Meng Yang ;
Proceedings of The 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 48:507-516, 2016.

Abstract

Cross-entropy loss together with softmax is arguably one of the most common used supervision components in convolutional neural networks (CNNs). Despite its simplicity, popularity and excellent performance, the component does not explicitly encourage discriminative learning of features. In this paper, we propose a generalized large-margin softmax (L-Softmax) loss which explicitly encourages intra-class compactness and inter-class separability between learned features. Moreover, L-Softmax not only can adjust the desired margin but also can avoid overfitting. We also show that the L-Softmax loss can be optimized by typical stochastic gradient descent. Extensive experiments on four benchmark datasets demonstrate that the deeply-learned features with L-softmax loss become more discriminative, hence significantly boosting the performance on a variety of visual classification and verification tasks.

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