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Workshop: 4th Workshop on Self-Supervised Learning: Theory and Practice

Spectral Temporal Contrastive Learning

Sacha Morin · Somjit Nath · Samira Ebrahimi Kahou · Guy Wolf


Learning useful data representations without requiring labels is a cornerstone of modern deep learning. Self-supervised learning methods, particularly contrastive learning (CL), have proven successful by leveraging data augmentations to define positive pairs. This success has prompted a number of theoretical studies to better understand CL and investigate theoretical bounds for downstream linear probing tasks. This work is concerned with the temporal contrastive learning (TCL) setting where the sequential structure of the data is used instead to define positive pairs, which is more commonly used in RL and robotics contexts. In this paper, we adapt recent work on Spectral CL to formulate Spectral Temporal Contrastive Learning (STCL). We discuss a population loss based on a state graph derived from a time-homogeneous reversible Markov chain with uniform stationary distribution. The STCL loss enables to connect the linear probing performance to the spectral properties of the graph, and can be estimated by considering previously observed data sequences as an ensemble of MCMC chains.

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