Robust Target Training for Multi-Source Domain Adaptation

Zhongying Deng (University of Surrey),* Da Li (Samsung), Yi-Zhe Song (University of Surrey), Tao Xiang (University of Surrey)
The 33rd British Machine Vision Conference


Given multiple labeled source domains and a single target domain, most existing multi-source domain adaptation (MSDA) models are trained on data from all domains jointly in one step. Such an one-step approach limits their ability to adapt to the target domain. This is because the training set is dominated by the more numerous and labeled source domain data. The source-domain-bias can potentially be alleviated by introducing a second training step, where the model is fine-tuned with the unlabeled target domain data only using pseudo labels as supervision. However, the pseudo labels are inevitably noisy and when used unchecked can negatively impact the model performance. To address this problem, we propose a novel Bi-level Optimization based Robust Target Training (BORT$^2$) method for MSDA. Given any existing fully-trained one-step MSDA model, BORT$^2$ turns it to a labeling function to generate pseudo-labels for the target data and trains a target model using pseudo-labeled target data only. Crucially, the target model is a stochastic CNN which is designed to be intrinsically robust against label noise generated by the labeling function. Such a stochastic CNN models each target instance feature as a Gaussian distribution with an entropy maximization regularizer deployed to measure the label uncertainty, which is further exploited to alleviate the negative impact of noisy pseudo labels. Training the labeling function and the target model poses a nested bi-level optimization problem, for which we formulate an elegant solution based on implicit differentiation. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our proposed method achieves the state of the art performance on three MSDA benchmarks, including the large-scale DomainNet dataset.



author    = {Zhongying Deng and Da Li and Yi-Zhe Song and Tao Xiang},
title     = {Robust Target Training for Multi-Source Domain Adaptation},
booktitle = {33rd British Machine Vision Conference 2022, {BMVC} 2022, London, UK, November 21-24, 2022},
publisher = {{BMVA} Press},
year      = {2022},
url       = {}

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