Alaaeldin El-Nouby

I am an AI Research PhD student at Meta AI (FAIR) and DI ENS/INRIA Paris, advised by Ivan Laptev, Natalia Neverova and Hervé Jégou.

I have previously interned at Apple Inc. under the supervision of Joshua M Susskind and Shuangfei Zhai. I have also interned at Microsoft Research Montreal with Shikhar Sharma. I have worked as a Research Engineer at Microsoft ATLC

I have a MSc in Computer Engineering from University of Guelph, where I was advised by Dr. Graham Taylor. During that time, I was a student researcher at the Vector Institute.

Email:  /  Google Scholar  /  Resume

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  • March 2023: Our recent work on neural image compression ( PQ-MIM) has been accepted at TMLR.
  • February 2023: 2 papers accepted at CVPR 2023 ! (OmniMAE and ImageBind).
  • February 2023: 1 paper accepted at ICASSP 2023 with Federico Baldassarre and Herve Jegou.
  • December 2022: Released PQ-MIM, a novel neural image compression method based on Product-Quantization and Masked Image Modeling.
  • June 2022: Released and open-sourced the code for OmniMAE
  • December 2021: A new preprint titled "Augmenting Convolutional networks with attention-based aggregation"
  • December 2021: A new preprint titled "Are Large-scale Datasets Necessary for Self-Supervised Pre-training?"
  • September 2021: XCiT has been accepted at NeurIPS 2021
  • July 2021: LeViT has been accepted at ICCV 2021
  • June 2021: XCiT has been covered and explained by Yannic Kilcher, check out the video !.
  • June 2021: A new preprint for our XCiT model offering a strong and general vision backbone with linear complexity in image-size.
  • May 2021: We released the ResMLP paper, investigating the architectures built solely upon MLP blocks, with surprisingly strong performance on ImageNet.
  • April 2021: A new preprint for our recent research on efficient vision transformers "LeViT: a Vision Transformer in ConvNet's Clothing for Faster Inference"
  • February 2021: Released a preprint of our recent work "Training Vision Transformers for Image Retrieval"
  • August 2020: I have joined Facebook AI Research, Paris as an AI Research PhD student!
  • November 2019: Our paper "Skip-Clip" won Best Poster Award at the Holistic Video Understanding Workshop, ICCV2019.
  • September 2019: Successfully defended my MSc thesis at University of Guelph.
  • July 2019: One conference paper accepted at ICCV2019 (Acceptance rate 25%)
  • February 2019: Started a research Internship at Apple Inc. advised by Joshua M Susskind and Shuangfei Zhai
  • November 2018: One paper accepted at ViGIL workshop (NeurIPS 2018)
  • August 2018: Started an internship at Microsoft Research Montreal.
  • February 2018: One paper accepted for oral presentation at CRV 2018.


I'm interested in vision transformers, self-supervised learning, language-vision pre-training, multi-modal learning, image retrieval, and image compression.

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Image Compression with Product Quantized Masked Image Modeling

Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Matthew J. Muckley, Karen Ullrich, Ivan Laptev, Jakob Verbeek, Hervé Jégou
Transactions of Machine Learning Research (TMLR)
arxiv /

In this work, we attempt to bring image generation and neural compression lines of research closer by revisiting vector quantization for image compression. First, we replace the vanilla vector quantizer by a product quantizer. Second, inspired by the success of Masked Image Modeling (MIM) in the context of self-supervised learning and generative image models, we propose a novel conditional entropy model which improves entropy coding by modelling the co-dependencies of the quantized latent codes. The resulting PQ-MIM model is surprisingly effectiv, we explore the extreme compression regime where an image is compressed into 200 bytes, i.e., less than a tweet.

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OmniMAE: Single Model Masked Pretraining on Images and Videos

Rohit Girdhar*, Alaaeldin El-Nouby*, Mannat Singh*, Kalyan Vasudev Alwala*, Armand Joulin, Ishan Misra*
CVPR 2023
arxiv / code /

In this work, we show that masked autoencoding can be used to train a simple Vision Transformer on images and videos, without requiring any labeled data. This single model learns visual representations that are comparable to or better than single-modality representations on both image and video benchmarks, while using a much simpler architecture. In particular, our single pretrained model can be finetuned to achieve 86.5% on ImageNet and 75.3% on the challenging Something Something-v2 video benchmark. Furthermore, this model can be learned by dropping 90% of the image and 95% of the video patches, enabling extremely fast training.

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Three things everyone should know about Vision Transformers

Hugo Touvron, Matthieu Cord, Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Jakob Verbeek, Hervé Jégou
ECCV 2022
arxiv / code /

We offer three insights based on simple and easy to implement variants of vision transformers. (1) The residual layers of vision transformers, which are usually processed sequentially, can to some extent be processed efficiently in parallel without noticeably affecting the accuracy. (2) Fine-tuning the weights of the attention layers is sufficient to adapt vision transformers to a higher resolution and to other classification tasks. This saves compute, reduces the peak memory consumption at fine-tuning time, and allows sharing the majority of weights across tasks. (3) Adding MLP-based patch pre-processing layers improves Bert-like self-supervised training based on patch masking. We evaluate the impact of these design choices using the ImageNet-1k dataset, and confirm our findings on the ImageNet-v2 test set. Transfer performance is measured across six smaller datasets.

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Are Large-scale Datasets Necessary for Self-Supervised Pre-training?

Alaaeldin El-Nouby*, Gautier Izacard*, Hugo Touvron, Ivan Laptev, Hervé Jegou, Edouard Grave
Under Review
arxiv /

Pre-training models on large scale datasets, like ImageNet, is a standard practice in computer vision. We consider a self-supervised pre-training scenario that only leverages the target task data. We consider datasets, like Stanford Cars, Sketch or COCO, which are order(s) of magnitude smaller than Imagenet. Our study shows that denoising autoencoders, such as BEiT or a variant that we introduce in this paper, are more robust to the type and size of the pre-training data than popular self-supervised methods trained by comparing image embeddings.

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XCiT: Cross-Covariance Image Transformer

Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Hugo Touvron, Mathilde Caron, Piotr Bojanowski, Matthijs Douze, Armand Joulin, Ivan Laptev, Natalia Neverova, Gabriel Synnaeve, Jakob Verbeek, Hervé Jegou
NeurIPS 2021
arxiv / video / code /

We propose a “transposed” version of self-attention that operates across feature channels rather than tokens. The resulting cross-covariance attention (XCA) has linear complexity in the number of tokens. Our cross-covariance image transformer (XCiT) is built upon XCA. It combines the accuracy of conventional transformers with the scalability of convnets. XCiT povides excellent results on multiple vision benchmarks, including image classification and self-supervised feature learning on ImageNet-1k, object detection and instance segmentation on COCO, and semantic segmentation on ADE20k.

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ResMLP: Feedforward networks for image classification with data-efficient training

Hugo Touvron, Piotr Bojanowski, Mathilde Caron, Matthieu Cord, Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Edouard Grave, Gautier Izacard, Armand Joulin, Gabriel Synnaeve, Jakob Verbeek, Hervé Jégou
arxiv / code /

We present ResMLP, an architecture built entirely upon multi-layer perceptrons for image classification. It is a simple residual network that alternates (i) a linear layer in which image patches interact, independently and identically across channels, and (ii) a two-layer feed-forward network in which channels interact independently per patch.

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LeViT: a Vision Transformer in ConvNet's Clothing for Faster Inference

Ben Graham, Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Hugo Touvron, Pierre Stock, Armand Joulin, Hervé Jégou, Matthijs Douze
ICCV 2021
arxiv / code /

We propose LeVIT: a hybrid neural network for fast inference image classification. We consider different measures of efficiency on different hardware platforms, so as to best reflect a wide range of application scenarios. Our extensive experiments empirically validate our technical choices and show they are suitable to most architectures. Overall, LeViT significantly outperforms existing convnets and vision transformers with respect to the speed/accuracy tradeoff. For example, at 80\% ImageNet top-1 accuracy, LeViT is 3.3 times faster than EfficientNet on the CPU.

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Training Vision Transformers for Image Retrieval

Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Natalia Neverova, Ivan Laptev, Hervé Jégou
arxiv /

We adopt vision transformers for generating image descriptors and train the resulting model with a metric learning objective, which combines a contrastive loss with a differential entropy regularizer. Our results show consistent and significant improvements of transformers over convolution-based approaches. In particular, our method outperforms the state of the art on several public benchmarks for category-level retrieval, namely Stanford Online Product, In-Shop and CUB-200.

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Skip-Clip: Self-Supervised Spatiotemporal Representation Learning by Future Clip Order Ranking

Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Shuangfei Zhai, Graham W. Taylor, Joshua M. Susskind
Holistic Video Understanding Workshop ICCV2019 (Best poster Award)
arxiv / poster / bibtex /

We introduce Skip-Clip, a method that utilizes temporal coherence in videos, by training a deep model for future clip order ranking conditioned on a context clip as a surrogate objective for video future prediction. We show that features learned using our method are generalizable and transfer strongly to downstream tasks.

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Tell, Draw, and Repeat: Generating and Modifying Images Based on Continual Linguistic Instruction

Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Shikhar Sharma, Hannes Schulz, Devon Hjelm, Layla El Asri, Samira Ebrahimi Kahou, Yoshua Bengio, Graham W.Taylor
Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)
arxiv / code / poster / blog / bibtex /

In this work, we present a recurrent image generation model which takes into account both the generated output up to the current step as well as all past instructions for generation. We show that our model is able to generate the background, add new objects, and apply simple transformations to existing objects.

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Real-Time End-to-End Action Detection with Two-Stream Networks

Alaaeldin El-Nouby, Graham W. Taylor
15th Conference on Computer and Robot Vision, CRV 2018 (Oral)
arxiv / bibtex /

We present a real-time end-to-end trainable two-stream network for action detection. First, we integrate the optical flow computation in our framework by using Flownet2. Second, we apply early fusion for the two streams and train the whole pipeline jointly end-to-end. Finally, for better network initialization, we transfer from the task of action recognition to action detection by pre-training our framework using the recently released large-scale Kinetics dataset.

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Spatiotemporal Representation Learning For Human Action Recognition And Localization

Alaaeldin El-Nouby

arxiv / bibtex /

A Thesis presented toThe University of Guelph In partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Science in Engineering

Invited Talks

  • Vector Institute / University of Guelph - Masked Image Modeling for Visual Representation Learning
  • Transformers for Vision workshop, CVPR’22 - Are Large-scale Datasets Necessary for Self-Supervised Pre-training?
  • Max Planck Institute / Tübingen AI Center - Are Large-scale Datasets Necessary for Self-Supervised Pre-training?
  • Computer Vision Group (CVG), University of Bern - Are Large-scale Datasets Necessary for Self-Supervised Pre-training?
  • Large Scale Holistic Video Understanding workshop, CVPR’21 - Training Vision Transformers for Image Retrieval
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology - Training Vision Transformers for Image Retrieval
  • Microsoft Research Montreal - Sequential Scene Understanding and Generation
  • DeepVision workshop, Simon Fraser University - Real-Time End-to-End Action Detection with Two-Stream Networks
  • Twenty Billion Neurons - Real-Time End-to-End Action Detection with Two-Stream Networks


  • ICCV’21, CVPR’22-'23, ECCV’22, NeurIPS’22 SSL workshop, TPAMI (2021-Present).

Design and source code from Jon Barron's website