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VGG-16 | CNN model

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  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 24 Aug, 2022
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ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC) is an annual computer vision competition. Each year, teams compete on two tasks. The first is to detect objects within an image coming from 200 classes, which is called object localization. The second is to classify images, each labeled with one of 1000 categories, which is called image classification. VGG 16 was proposed by Karen Simonyan and Andrew Zisserman of the Visual Geometry Group Lab of Oxford University in 2014 in the paper “VERY DEEP CONVOLUTIONAL NETWORKS FOR LARGE-SCALE IMAGE RECOGNITION”. This model won 1st  and 2nd place in the above categories in the 2014 ILSVRC challenge.

VGG-16 architecture

This model achieves 92.7% top-5 test accuracy on the ImageNet dataset which contains 14 million images belonging to 1000 classes. 

Objective: The ImageNet dataset contains images of fixed size of 224*224 and have RGB channels. So, we have a tensor of (224, 224, 3) as our input. This model process the input image and outputs the a vector of 1000 values.\kern 6pc \hat{y} =\begin{bmatrix} \hat{y_0}\\ \hat{y_1} \\ \hat{y_2} \\ \hat{y_3} \\. \\. \\ . \\ . \\. \hat{y_{999}} \end{bmatrix}   This vector represents the classification probability for the corresponding class. Suppose we have a model that predicts that the image belongs to class 0 with probability 1, class 1 with probability 0.05, class 2 with probability 0.05, class 3 with probability 0.03, class 780 with probability 0.72, class 999 with probability 0.05 and all other class with 0. so, the classification vector for this will be:\kern 6pc \hat{y}=\begin{bmatrix} \hat{y_{0}}=0.1\\ 0.05\\ 0.05\\ 0.03\\ .\\ .\\ .\\ \hat{y_{780}} = 0.72\\ .\\ .\\ \hat{y_{999}} = 0.05 \end{bmatrix}   To make sure these probabilities add to 1, we use softmax function. 

This softmax function is defined as follows:

Softmax function

After this we take the 5 most probable candidates into the vector.C =\begin{bmatrix} 780\\ 0\\ 1\\ 2\\ 999 \end{bmatrix}   and our ground truth vector is defined as follows:G = \begin{bmatrix} G_{0}\\ G_{1}\\ G_{2} \end{bmatrix}=\begin{bmatrix} 780\\ 2\\ 999 \end{bmatrix}   Then we define our Error function as follows:\kern 6pc E = \frac{1}{n}\sum_{k}min_{i}d(c_{i}, G_{k})    [Tex]where \, d = 0 \, if \, c_{i} \, = \, G_{k}\, else \, d \, = \, 1   [/Tex]So, the loss function for this example is :\kern 6pc E =\frac{1}{3}\left ( min_{i}d(c_{i}, G_{1}) +min_{i}d(c_{i}, G_{2})+min_{i}d(c_{i}, G_{3}) \right )   So, \kern 6pc E \, = \, \frac{1}{3}(0 \, + \, 0 + \, 0) \\    [Tex]\kern 6pc E \, = \, 0 \\    [/Tex]Since, all the categories in ground truth are in the Predicted top-5 matrix, so the loss becomes 0.  

VGG Architecture: The input to the network is an image of dimensions (224, 224, 3). The first two layers have 64 channels of a 3*3 filter size and the same padding. Then after a max pool layer of stride (2, 2), two layers have convolution layers of 128 filter size and filter size (3, 3). This is followed by a max-pooling layer of stride (2, 2) which is the same as the previous layer. Then there are 2 convolution layers of filter size (3, 3) and 256 filters. After that, there are 2 sets of 3 convolution layers and a max pool layer. Each has 512 filters of (3, 3) size with the same padding. This image is then passed to the stack of two convolution layers. In these convolution and max-pooling layers, the filters we use are of the size 3*3 instead of 11*11 in AlexNet and 7*7 in ZF-Net. In some of the layers, it also uses 1*1 pixel which is used to manipulate the number of input channels. There is a padding of 1-pixel (same padding) done after each convolution layer to prevent the spatial feature of the image.

VGG-16 architecture Map

After the stack of convolution and max-pooling layer, we got a (7, 7, 512) feature map. We flatten this output to make it a (1, 25088) feature vector. After this there is 3 fully connected layer, the first layer takes input from the last feature vector and outputs a (1, 4096) vector, the second layer also outputs a vector of size (1, 4096) but the third layer output a 1000 channels for 1000 classes of ILSVRC challenge i.e. 3rd fully connected layer is used to implement softmax function to classify 1000 classes. All the hidden layers use ReLU as its activation function. ReLU is more computationally efficient because it results in faster learning and it also decreases the likelihood of vanishing gradient problems.


Configuration: The table below listed different VGG architectures. We can see that there are 2 versions of VGG-16 (C and D). There is not much difference between them except for one that except for some convolution layers, (3, 3) filter size convolution is used instead of (1, 1). These two contain 134 million and 138 million parameters respectively.

Different VGG Configuration

Object Localization In Image: To perform localization, we need to replace the class score by bounding box location coordinates. A bounding box location is represented by the 4-D vector (center coordinates(x,y), height, width). There are two versions of localization architecture, one is bounding box is shared among different candidates (the output is 4 parameter vector) and the other is a bounding box is class-specific (the output is 4000 parameter vector). The paper experimented with both approaches on VGG -16 (D) architecture. Here we also need to change loss from classification loss to regression loss functions (such as MSE) that penalize the deviation of predicted loss from the ground truth. 

Results: VGG-16 was one of the best performing architectures in the ILSVRC challenge 2014.It was the runner up in the classification task with a top-5 classification error of 7.32% (only behind GoogLeNet with a classification error of 6.66%). It was also the winner of localization task with 25.32% localization error.

Limitations Of VGG 16:

  • It is very slow to train (the original VGG model was trained on Nvidia Titan GPU for 2-3 weeks).
  • The size of VGG-16 trained imageNet weights is 528 MB. So, it takes quite a lot of disk space and bandwidth which makes it inefficient.
  • 138 million parameters lead to exploding gradients problem.

Further advancements: Resnets are introduced to prevent exploding gradients problem that occurred in VGG-16.

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