Knowledge and Information Systems

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 585–605 | Cite as

Visual domain adaptation via transfer feature learning

  • Jafar Tahmoresnezhad
  • Sattar Hashemi
Regular Paper


One of the serious challenges in computer vision and image classification is learning an accurate classifier for a new unlabeled image dataset, considering that there is no available labeled training data. Transfer learning and domain adaptation are two outstanding solutions that tackle this challenge by employing available datasets, even with significant difference in distribution and properties, and transfer the knowledge from a related domain to the target domain. The main difference between these two solutions is their primary assumption about change in marginal and conditional distributions where transfer learning emphasizes on problems with same marginal distribution and different conditional distribution, and domain adaptation deals with opposite conditions. Most prior works have exploited these two learning strategies separately for domain shift problem where training and test sets are drawn from different distributions. In this paper, we exploit joint transfer learning and domain adaptation to cope with domain shift problem in which the distribution difference is significantly large, particularly vision datasets. We therefore put forward a novel transfer learning and domain adaptation approach, referred to as visual domain adaptation (VDA). Specifically, VDA reduces the joint marginal and conditional distributions across domains in an unsupervised manner where no label is available in test set. Moreover, VDA constructs condensed domain invariant clusters in the embedding representation to separate various classes alongside the domain transfer. In this work, we employ pseudo target labels refinement to iteratively converge to final solution. Employing an iterative procedure along with a novel optimization problem creates a robust and effective representation for adaptation across domains. Extensive experiments on 16 real vision datasets with different difficulties verify that VDA can significantly outperform state-of-the-art methods in image classification problem.


Transfer learning Unsupervised domain adaptation Domain invariant clustering Domain shift Invariant feature representation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSE and IT DepartmentShiraz UniversityShirazIran

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