R. Mittelman, H. Lee, B. Kuipers and S. Savarese. 2013.
Weakly supervised learning of mid-level features with Beta-Bernoulli process restricted Boltzmann machines.
IEEE Int. Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR).


The use of semantic attributes in computer vision problems has been gaining increased popularity in recent years. Attributes provide an intermediate feature representation in between low-level features and the class categories, leading to improved learning on novel categories from few examples. However, a major caveat is that learning semantic attributes is a laborious task, requiring a significant amount of time and human intervention to provide labels. In order to address this issue, we propose a weakly supervised approach to learn mid-level features, where only class-level supervision is provided during training. We develop a novel extension of the restricted Boltzmann machine (RBM) by incorporating a Beta-Bernoulli process factor potential for hidden units. Unlike the standard RBM, our model uses the class labels to promote category-dependent sharing of learned features, which tends to improve the generalization performance. By using semantic attributes for which annotations are available, we show that we can find correspondences between the learned mid-level features and the labeled attributes. Therefore, the mid-level features have distinct semantic characterization which is similar to that given by the semantic attributes, even though their labeling was not provided during training. Our experimental results on object recognition tasks show significant performance gains, outperforming existing methods which rely on manually labeled semantic attributes.