Continual Vision-Language Representation Learning with Off-Diagonal Information
Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 202:26129-26149, 2023.
Large-scale multi-modal contrastive learning frameworks like CLIP typically require a large amount of image-text samples for training. However, these samples are always collected continuously in real scenarios. This paper discusses the feasibility of continual CLIP training using streaming data. Unlike continual learning based on self-supervised learning methods for pure images, which is empirically robust against catastrophic forgetting, CLIP’s performance degeneration in the continual setting is significant and non-neglectable. By analyzing the changes in the model’s representation space during continual CLIP training from a spatial geometry perspective, we explore and summarize these spatial variations as Spatial Disorder (SD), which can be divided into Intra-modal Rotation and Inter-modal Deviation. Moreover, we empirically and theoretically demonstrate how SD leads to a performance decline for CLIP on cross-modal retrieval tasks. To alleviate SD, we propose a new continual vision-language representation learning framework Mod-X: Maintain off-diagonal information-matriX. By selectively aligning the off-diagonal information distribution of contrastive matrices, the Mod-X improves the capability of the multi-modal model by maintaining the multi-modal representation space alignment on the old data domain during continuously fitting the new training data domain. Experiments on commonly used datasets with different scales and scopes have demonstrated the effectiveness of our method.