AB

Artem Babenko

Publications

  • On Embeddings for Numerical Features in Tabular Deep Learning

    Tabular data
    Yury Gorishniy
    Ivan Rubachev
    Artem Babenko
    NeurIPS,
    2022

    Recently, Transformer-like deep architectures have shown strong performance on tabular data problems. Unlike traditional models, e.g., MLP, these architectures map scalar values of numerical features to high-dimensional embeddings before mixing them in the main backbone. In this work, we argue that embeddings for numerical features are an underexplored degree of freedom in tabular DL, which allows constructing more powerful DL models and competing with gradient boosted decision trees (GBDT) on some GBDT-friendly benchmarks (that is, where GBDT outperforms conventional DL models). We start by describing two conceptually different approaches to building embedding modules: the first one is based on a piecewise linear encoding of scalar values, and the second one utilizes periodic activations. Then, we empirically demonstrate that these two approaches can lead to significant performance boosts compared to the embeddings based on conventional blocks such as linear layers and ReLU activations. Importantly, we also show that embedding numerical features is beneficial for many backbones, not only for Transformers. Specifically, after proper embeddings, simple MLP-like models can perform on par with the attention-based architectures. Overall, we highlight embeddings for numerical features as an important design aspect with good potential for further improvements in tabular DL.

  • When, Why, and Which Pretrained GANs Are Useful?

    Generative modelsComputer vision
    Timofey Grigoryev
    Andrey Voynov
    Artem Babenko
    ICLR,
    2022

    The literature has proposed several methods to finetune pretrained GANs on new datasets, which typically results in higher performance compared to training from scratch, especially in the limited-data regime. However, despite the apparent empirical benefits of GAN pretraining, its inner mechanisms were not analyzed in-depth, and understanding of its role is not entirely clear. Moreover, the essential practical details, e.g., selecting a proper pretrained GAN checkpoint, currently do not have rigorous grounding and are typically determined by trial and error. This work aims to dissect the process of GAN finetuning. First, we show that initializing the GAN training process by a pretrained checkpoint primarily affects the model's coverage rather than the fidelity of individual samples. Second, we explicitly describe how pretrained generators and discriminators contribute to the finetuning process and explain the previous evidence on the importance of pretraining both of them. Finally, as an immediate practical benefit of our analysis, we describe a simple recipe to choose an appropriate GAN checkpoint that is the most suitable for finetuning to a particular target task. Importantly, for most of the target tasks, Imagenet-pretrained GAN, despite having poor visual quality, appears to be an excellent starting point for finetuning, resembling the typical pretraining scenario of discriminative computer vision models.

  • Label-Efficient Semantic Segmentation with Diffusion Models

    SegmentationComputer vision
    Dmitry Baranchuk
    Ivan Rubachev
    Andrey Voynov
    Valentin Khrulkov
    Artem Babenko
    ICLR,
    2022

    Denoising diffusion probabilistic models have recently received much research attention since they outperform alternative approaches, such as GANs, and currently provide state-of-the-art generative performance. The superior performance of diffusion models has made them an appealing tool in several applications, including inpainting, super-resolution, and semantic editing. In this paper, we demonstrate that diffusion models can also serve as an instrument for semantic segmentation, especially in the setup when labeled data is scarce. In particular, for several pretrained diffusion models, we investigate the intermediate activations from the networks that perform the Markov step of the reverse diffusion process. We show that these activations effectively capture the semantic information from an input image and appear to be excellent pixel-level representations for the segmentation problem. Based on these observations, we describe a simple segmentation method, which can work even if only a few training images are provided. Our approach significantly outperforms the existing alternatives on several datasets for the same amount of human supervision.

Posts