Multi-Loss Weighting with Coefficient of Variations

Rick Groenendijk
Sezer Karaoglu
Theo Gevers
Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)(2021)


Many interesting tasks in machine learning and computer vision are learned by optimising an objective function defined as a weighted linear combination of multiple losses. The final performance is sensitive to choosing the correct (relative) weights for these losses. Finding a good set of weights is often done by adopting them into the set of hyper-parameters, which are set using an extensive grid search. This is computationally expensive. In this paper, the weights are defined based on properties observed while training the model, including the specific batch loss, the average loss, and the variance for each of the losses. An additional advantage is that the defined weights evolve during training, instead of using static loss weights. In literature, loss weighting is mostly used in a multi-task learning setting, where the different tasks obtain different weights. However, there is a plethora of single-task multi-loss problems that can benefit from automatic loss weighting. In this paper, it is shown that these multi-task approaches do not work on single tasks. Instead, a method is proposed that automatically and dynamically tunes loss weights throughout training specifically for single-task multi-loss problems. The method incorporates a measure of uncertainty to balance the losses. The validity of the approach is shown empirically for different tasks on multiple datasets.