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Triplet embeddings consist of mapping a group of images to an embedding space, such that images deemed more similar to each other end up closer together. The "triplet" comes from training, where we have (A,P,N), where A is our anchor image, P is a positive example image (one deemed similar to A), and N is a negative example.

So the architecture is as follows: each element of the triplet is first mapped through a convolutional neural net, followed by an embedding net. We denote this with function $f$, so that for image $x$, $f(x)$ is the embedding.

My question concerns the choice of loss function. As an example here are two different approaches:

FaceNet: A Unified Embedding for Face Recognition and Clustering

Deep metric learning using Triplet network

In the first approach, separation of positive/negative examples is achieved using a margin of separation:

$$[\|f(x_i^A)-f(x_i^P)\|_2^2-\|f(x_i^A)-f(x_i^N)\|_2^2+\alpha]_+.$$

The second approach is to use a softmax loss:

$$\frac{e^{\|f(x_i^a)-f(x_i^p)\|_2}}{e^{\|f(x_i^a)-f(x_i^p)\|_2}+e^{\|f(x_i^a)-f(x_i^n)\|_2}},$$

which has the property that as the loss goes to 0, $\frac{\|f(x_i^a)-f(x_i^p)\|_2}{\|f(x_i^a)-f(x_i^n)\|_2}\rightarrow 0$, which achieves the desire to embed positive examples closer than negative examples.

I'm sure there are other ways, and I'm curious if there's a nice review of which methods work better?

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