Google Research

Impact of Aliasing on Generalization in Deep Convolutional Networks

International Conference on Computer Vision ICCV 2021, IEEE/CVF (2021)


Traditionally image pre-processing in the frequency domain has played a vital role in computer vision and was even part of the standard pipeline in the early days of Deep Learning. However, with the advent of large datasets many practitioners concluded that this was unnecessary due to the belief that these priors can be learned from the data itself \emph{if they aid in achieving stronger performance}. Frequency aliasing is a phenomena that may occur when down-sampling (sub-sampling) any signal, such as an image or feature map. We demonstrate that substantial improvements on OOD generalization can be obtained by mitigating the effects of aliasing by placing non-trainable blur filters and using smooth activation functions at key locations in the ResNet family of architectures -- helping to achieve new state-of-the-art results on two benchmarks without any hyper-parameter sweeps.

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