A pre-trained model is a machine learning or artificial intelligence model that, instead of being trained from scratch with a randomly initialized network, has already been trained on a large benchmark dataset. This process, typically carried out on massive datasets, allows the model to learn and extract useful details and features. The main advantage is that by leveraging already learned patterns from abundant data, pre-trained models enable us to tackle similar problems even with smaller datasets, thereby drastically reducing the computational costs and time for training.
Pre-trained models act as a starting point for further training or fine-tuning, especially when the subsequent task is closely related to the original one that the model was trained on. This concept is based on the principle of transfer learning, which suggests that knowledge gained while solving one problem can be partially transferred to solving another related problem. For example, a model trained on a large dataset of general images could be fine-tuned to perform specific tasks like detecting a certain type of object in images or diagnosing diseases from medical imaging.
Pre-trained models have been paramount in tasks involving deep learning models, specifically convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for image recognition and transformer models for natural language processing tasks. Notable examples include ImageNet for image-based tasks and BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) for natural language processing tasks. By utilizing pre-trained models, researchers and professionals can avoid the prohibitive costs of time and computational resources that are often associated with training profound neural networks, thereby democratizing the benefits of advanced deep learning models.« Back to Glossary Index