Multiple Granularity Descriptors for Fine-grained Categorization


Fine-grained categorization, which aims to distinguish subordinate-level categories such as bird species or dog breeds, is an extremely challenging task. This is due to two main issues: how to localize discriminative regions for recognition and how to learn sophisticated features for representation. Neither of them is easy to handle if there is insufficient labeled data. We leverage the fact that a subordinate-level object already has other labels in its ontology tree. These “free” labels can be used to train a series of CNN-based classifiers, each specialized at one grain level. The internal representations of these networks have different region of interests, allowing the construction of multi-grained descriptors that encode informative and discriminative features covering all the grain levels. Our multiple granularity framework can be learned with the weakest supervision, requiring only image-level label and avoiding the use of labor-intensive bounding box or part annotations. Experimental results on three challenging fine-grained image datasets demonstrate that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms, including those requiring strong labels.

International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2015