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Dense Contrastive Learning (DenseCL) for self-supervised representation learning, CVPR 2021 Oral.


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Dense Contrastive Learning for Self-Supervised Visual Pre-Training

This project hosts the code for implementing the DenseCL algorithm for self-supervised representation learning.

Dense Contrastive Learning for Self-Supervised Visual Pre-Training,
Xinlong Wang, Rufeng Zhang, Chunhua Shen, Tao Kong, Lei Li
In: Proc. IEEE Conf. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2021, Oral
arXiv preprint (arXiv 2011.09157)



  • Boosting dense predictions: DenseCL pre-trained models largely benefit dense prediction tasks including object detection and semantic segmentation (up to +2% AP and +3% mIoU).
  • Simple implementation: The core part of DenseCL can be implemented in 10 lines of code, thus being easy to use and modify.
  • Flexible usage: DenseCL is decoupled from the data pre-processing, thus enabling fast and flexible training while being agnostic about what kind of augmentation is used and how the images are sampled.
  • Efficient training: Our method introduces negligible computation overhead (only <1% slower) compared to the baseline method.



  • Simple tutorial for using DenseCL in AdelaiDet (e.g., with SOLOv2 and FCOS) is provided. (05/16/2021)
  • Code and pre-trained models of DenseCL are released. (02/03/2021)


Please refer to for installation and dataset preparation.


For your convenience, we provide the following pre-trained models on COCO or ImageNet.

pre-train method pre-train dataset backbone #epoch training time VOC det VOC seg Link
MoCo-v2 COCO ResNet-50 800 1.0d 54.7 64.5
DenseCL COCO ResNet-50 800 1.0d 56.7 67.5 download
DenseCL COCO ResNet-50 1600 2.0d 57.2 68.0 download
MoCo-v2 ImageNet ResNet-50 200 2.3d 57.0 67.5
DenseCL ImageNet ResNet-50 200 2.3d 58.7 69.4 download
DenseCL ImageNet ResNet-101 200 4.3d 61.3 74.1 download


  • The metrics for VOC det and seg are AP (COCO-style) and mIoU. The results are averaged over 5 trials.
  • The training time is measured on 8 V100 GPUs.
  • See our paper for more results on different benchmarks.

We also provide experiments of using DenseCL in AdelaiDet models, e.g., SOLOv2 and FCOS. Please refer to the instructions for simple usage.

  • SOLOv2 on COCO Instance Segmentation
pre-train method pre-train dataset mask AP
Supervised ImageNet 35.2
MoCo-v2 ImageNet 35.2
DenseCL ImageNet 35.7 (+0.5)
  • FCOS on COCO Object Detection
pre-train method pre-train dataset box AP
Supervised ImageNet 39.9
MoCo-v2 ImageNet 40.3
DenseCL ImageNet 40.9 (+1.0)



./tools/ configs/selfsup/densecl/ 8

Extracting Backbone Weights


python tools/ ${CHECKPOINT} ${WEIGHT_FILE}

Transferring to Object Detection and Segmentation

Please refer to for transferring to object detection and semantic segmentation. Please refer to the instructions for transferring to dense prediction models in AdelaiDet, e.g., SOLOv2 and FCOS.


  • After extracting the backbone weights, the model can be used to replace the original ImageNet pre-trained model as initialization for many dense prediction tasks.
  • If your machine has a slow data loading issue, especially for ImageNet, your are suggested to convert ImageNet to lmdb format through or, and use this config_imagenet or config_coco for training.


We would like to thank the OpenSelfSup for its open-source project and PyContrast for its detection evaluation configs.


Please consider citing our paper in your publications if the project helps your research. BibTeX reference is as follow.

  title={Dense Contrastive Learning for Self-Supervised Visual Pre-Training},
  author={Wang, Xinlong and Zhang, Rufeng and Shen, Chunhua and Kong, Tao and Li, Lei},
  booktitle =  {Proc. IEEE Conf. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},


Dense Contrastive Learning (DenseCL) for self-supervised representation learning, CVPR 2021 Oral.








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