Transferability Metrics for selecting Source Model Ensembles

Andrea Agostinelli
Vittorio Ferrari


We address the problem of ensemble selection in transfer learning: Given a large pool of source models we want to select an ensemble of models which, after fine-tuning on the target training set, yields the best performance on the target test set. Since fine-tuning all possible ensembles is computationally prohibitive, we aim at predicting performance on the target dataset using a computationally efficient transferability metric. We propose several new transferability metrics designed for this task and evaluate them in a challenging and realistic transfer learning setup for semantic segmentation: we create a large and diverse pool of source models by considering 17 source datasets covering a wide variety of image domain, two different architectures, and two pre-training schemes. Given this pool, we then automatically select a subset to form an ensemble performing well on a given target dataset. We compare the ensemble selected by our method to two baselines which select a single source model, either (1) from the same pool as our method; or (2) from a pool containing large source models, each with similar capacity as an ensemble. Averaged over 17 target datasets, we outperform these baselines by 6.0% and 2.5% relative mean IoU, respectively.

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