Scaling up neural networks has led to remarkable performance across a wide range of tasks. Moreover, performance often follows reliable scaling laws as a function of training set size, model size, and compute, which offers valuable guidance as large-scale experiments are becoming increasingly expensive. However, previous work on scaling laws has primarily used private data & models or focused on uni-modal language or vision learning. To address these limitations, we investigate scaling laws for contrastive language-image pretraining (CLIP) with the public LAION dataset and the opensource OpenCLIP repository. Our large-scale experiments involve models trained on up to two billion image-text pairs and identify power law scaling for multiple downstream tasks including zero-shot classification, retrieval, linear probing, and end-to-end fine-tuning. We find that the training distribution plays a key role in scaling laws as the OpenAI and OpenCLIP models exhibit different scaling behavior despite identical model architectures and similar training recipes. We open-source our evaluation workflow and all models, including the largest public CLIP models, to ensure reproducibility and make scaling laws research more accessible.



Mehdi Cherti, Romain Beaumont, Ross Wightman, Mitchell Wortsman, Gabriel Ilharco, Cade Gordon, Christoph Schuhmann, Ludwig Schmidt, and Jenia Jitsev. Reproducible scaling laws for contrastive language-image learning. Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2023.


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