UNFUSED: UNsupervised Finetuning Using SElf supervised Distillation


In this paper, we introduce UnFuSeD, a novel approach to leverage self-supervised learning and reduce the need for large amounts of labeled data for audio classification. Unlike prior works, which directly fine-tune a self-supervised pre-trained encoder on a target dataset, we use the encoder to generate pseudo-labels for unsupervised fine-tuning before the actual fine-tuning step. We first train an encoder using a novel self-supervised learning algorithm (SSL) on an unlabeled audio dataset. Then, we use that encoder to generate pseudo-labels on our target task dataset via clustering the extracted representations. These pseudo-labels are then used to guide self-distillation on a randomly initialized model, which we call unsupervised fine-tuning. Finally, the resultant encoder is then fine-tuned on our target task dataset. Through UnFuSeD, we propose the first system that moves away from generic SSL paradigms in literature, which pre-train and fine-tune the same encoder, and present a novel self-distillation-based system to leverage SSL pre-training for low-resource audio classification. In practice, UnFuSeD achieves state-of-the-art results on the LAPE Benchmark, significantly outperforming all our baselines. Additionally, UnFuSeD allows us to achieve this at a 40% reduction in the number of parameters over the previous state-of-the-art system. We make all our codes publicly available.

International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (SASB Workshop) (ICASSP), 2023