Demystifying CLIP Data, Hu Xu, Saining Xie, Xiaoqing Tan, Po-Yao Huang, Russell Howes, Vasu Sharma, Shang-Wen Li, Gargi Ghosh, Luke Zettlemoyer, Christoph Feichtenhofer. (2023)


Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training (CLIP) is an approach that has advanced research and applications in computer vision, fueling modern recognition systems and generative models. We believe that the main ingredient to the success of CLIP is its \textit{data} and \textit{not} the \textit{model} architecture or pre-training {objective}. However, CLIP only provides very limited information about its data and how it has been collected, leading to works that aim to reproduce CLIP's data by filtering with its model parameters. In this work, we intend to reveal CLIP's data curation approach and in our pursuit of making it open to the community introduce Metadata-Curated Language-Image Pre-training (MetaCLIP). MetaCLIP takes a raw data pool and metadata (derived from CLIP's concepts) and yields a balanced subset over the metadata distribution. Our experimental study rigorously isolates the model and training settings, concentrating solely on data. MetaCLIP applied to CommonCrawl with 400M image-text data pairs outperforms CLIP's data on multiple standard benchmarks. In zero-shot ImageNet classification, MetaCLIP achieves 70.8\% accuracy, surpassing CLIP's 68.3\% on \mbox{ViT-B} models. Scaling to 1B data, while maintaining the same training budget, attains \textbf{72.4\%}. Our observations hold across various model sizes, exemplified by ViT-H achieving \textbf{80.5\%}, without any bells-and-whistles. Curation code and training data distribution over metadata will be made available.