Multitask image clustering via deep information bottleneck

Xiaoqiang Yan, Yiqiao Mao, Mingyuan Li, Yangdong Ye, Hui Yu

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Multitask image clustering approaches intend to improve the model accuracy on each task by exploring the relationships of multiple related image clustering tasks. However, most existing multitask clustering (MTC) approaches isolate the representation abstraction from the downstream clustering procedure, which makes the MTC models unable to perform unified optimization. In addition, the existing MTC relies on exploring the relevant information of multiple related tasks to discover their latent correlations while ignoring the irrelevant information between partially related tasks, which may also degrade the clustering performance. To tackle these issues, a multitask image clustering method named deep multitask information bottleneck (DMTIB) is devised, which aims at conducting multiple related image clustering by maximizing the relevant information of multiple tasks while minimizing the irrelevant information among them. Specifically, DMTIB consists of a main-net and multiple subnets to characterize the relationships across tasks and the correlations hidden in a single clustering task. Then, an information maximin discriminator is devised to maximize the mutual information (MI) measurement of positive samples and minimize the MI of negative ones, in which the positive and negative sample pairs are constructed by a high-confidence pseudo-graph. Finally, a unified loss function is devised for the optimization of task relatedness discovery and MTC simultaneously. Empirical comparisons on several benchmark datasets, NUS-WIDE, Pascal VOC, Caltech-256, CIFAR-100, and COCO, show that our DMTIB approach outperforms more than 20 single-task clustering and MTC approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Early online date17 May 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 17 May 2023


  • correlation
  • cybernetics
  • feature extraction
  • image clustering
  • information bottleneck (IB)
  • multitask learning
  • mutual information
  • mutual information (MI)
  • optimization
  • task analysis
  • training

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