The fundamental goal of self-supervised learning (SSL) is to produce useful representations of data without access to any labels for classifying the data. Modern methods in SSL, which form representations based on known or constructed relationships between samples, have been particularly effective at this task. Here, we aim to extend this framework to incorporate algorithms based on kernel methods where embeddings are constructed by linear maps acting on the feature space of a kernel. In this kernel regime, we derive methods to find the optimal form of the output representations for contrastive and non-contrastive loss functions. This procedure produces a new representation space with an inner product denoted as the induced kernel which generally correlates points which are related by an augmentation in kernel space and de-correlates points otherwise. We analyze our kernel model on small datasets to identify common features of self-supervised learning algorithms and gain theoretical insights into their performance on downstream tasks.
Bobak Kiani is a PhD student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT advised by Seth Lloyd. He is also a student researcher at Meta AI advised by Yann LeCun. His research interests span from algorithms in quantum computation to the theory of machine learning.
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