Real life applications of deep learning (DL) are often limited by the lack of expert labeled data required to effectively train DL models. Creation of such data usually requires substantial amount of time for manual categorization, which is costly and is considered to be one of the major impediments in development of DL methods in many areas. This work proposes a classification approach which completely removes the need for costly expert labeled data and utilizes noisy web data created by the users who are not subject matter experts. The experiments are performed with two well-known Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architectures: VGG16 and ResNet50 trained on three randomly collected Instagram-based sets of images from three distinct domains: metropolitan cities, popular food and common objects - the last two sets were compiled by the authors and made freely available to the research community. The dataset containing common objects is a webly counterpart of PascalVOC2007 set. It is demonstrated that despite significant amount of label noise in the training data, application of proposed approach paired with standard training CNN protocol leads to high classification accuracy on representative data in all three above-mentioned domains. Additionally, two straightforward procedures of automatic cleaning of the data, before its use in the training process, are proposed. Apparently, data cleaning does not lead to improvement of results which suggests that the presence of noise in webly data is actually helpful in learning meaningful and robust class representations. Manual inspection of a subset of web-based test data shows that labels assigned to many images are ambiguous even for humans. It is our conclusion that for the datasets and CNN architectures used in this paper, in case of training with webly data, a major factor contributing to the final classification accuracy is representativeness of test data rather than application of data cleaning procedures.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Computer Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Databases and Data Mining