Unsupervised Domain Adaptation in the Dissimilarity Space for Person Re-identification
Person re-identification (ReID) remains a challenging task in many real-word video analytics and surveillance applications, even though state-of-the-art accuracy has improved considerably with the advent of deep learning (DL) models trained on large image datasets. Given the shift in distributions that typically occurs between video data captured from the source and target domains, and absence of labeled data from the target domain, it is difficult to adapt a DL model for accurate recognition of target data. DL models for unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) are commonly designed in the feature representation space. We argue that for pair-wise matchers that rely on metric learning, e.g., Siamese networks for person ReID, the UDA objective should consist in aligning pair-wise dissimilarity between domains, rather than aligning feature representations. Moreover, dissimilarity representations are more suitable for designing open-set ReID systems, where identities differ in the source and target domains. In this paper, we propose a novel Dissimilarity-based Maximum Mean Discrepancy (D-MMD) loss for aligning pair-wise distances that can be optimized via gradient descent using relatively small batch sizes. From a person ReID perspective, the evaluation of D-MMD loss is straightforward since the tracklet information (provided by a person tracker) allows to label a distance vector as being either within-class (within-tracklet) or between-class (between-tracklet). This allows approximating the underlying distribution of target pair-wise distances for D-MMD loss optimization, and accordingly align source and target distance distributions. Empirical results with three challenging benchmark datasets show that the proposed D-MMD loss decreases as source and domain distributions become more similar. Extensive experimental evaluation also indicates that UDA methods that rely on the D-MMD loss can significantly outperform baseline and state-of-the-art UDA methods for person ReID. The dissimilarity space transformation allows to design reliable pair-wise matchers, without the common requirement for data augmentation and/or complex networks. Code is available on GitHub link: https://github.com/djidje/D-MMD"