Scale variation is one of the key challenges in object detection. In this work, we first present a controlled experiment to investigate the effect of receptive fields on the detection of different scale objects. Based on the findings from the exploration experiments, we propose a novel Trident Network (TridentNet) aiming to generate scale-specific feature maps with a uniform representational power. We construct a parallel multi-branch architecture in which each branch shares the same transformation parameters but with different receptive fields. Then, we propose a scale-aware training scheme to specialize each branch by sampling object instances of proper scales for training. As a bonus, a fast approximation version of TridentNet could achieve significant improvements without any additional parameters and computational cost. On the COCO dataset, our TridentNet with ResNet-101 backbone achieves state-of-the-art single-model results by obtaining an mAP of 48.4. Code will be made publicly available.

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Benefit from the quick development of deep learning techniques, salient object detection has achieved remarkable progresses recently. However, there still exists following two major challenges that hinder its application in embedded devices, low resolution output and heavy model weight. To this end, this paper presents an accurate yet compact deep network for efficient salient object detection. More specifically, given a coarse saliency prediction in the deepest layer, we first employ residual learning to learn side-output residual features for saliency refinement, which can be achieved with very limited convolutional parameters while keep accuracy. Secondly, we further propose reverse attention to guide such side-output residual learning in a top-down manner. By erasing the current predicted salient regions from side-output features, the network can eventually explore the missing object parts and details which results in high resolution and accuracy. Experiments on six benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed approach compares favorably against state-of-the-art methods, and with advantages in terms of simplicity, efficiency (45 FPS) and model size (81 MB).

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Object detection in remote sensing, especially in aerial images, remains a challenging problem due to low image resolution, complex backgrounds, and variation of scale and angles of objects in images. In current implementations, multi-scale based and angle-based networks have been proposed and generate promising results with aerial image detection. In this paper, we propose a novel loss function, called Salience Biased Loss (SBL), for deep neural networks, which uses salience information of the input image to achieve improved performance for object detection. Our novel loss function treats training examples differently based on input complexity in order to avoid the over-contribution of easy cases in the training process. In our experiments, RetinaNet was trained with SBL to generate an one-stage detector, SBL-RetinaNet. SBL-RetinaNet is applied to the largest existing public aerial image dataset, DOTA. Experimental results show our proposed loss function with the RetinaNet architecture outperformed other state-of-art object detection models by at least 4.31 mAP, and RetinaNet by 2.26 mAP with the same inference speed of RetinaNet.

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Although it is well believed for years that modeling relations between objects would help object recognition, there has not been evidence that the idea is working in the deep learning era. All state-of-the-art object detection systems still rely on recognizing object instances individually, without exploiting their relations during learning. This work proposes an object relation module. It processes a set of objects simultaneously through interaction between their appearance feature and geometry, thus allowing modeling of their relations. It is lightweight and in-place. It does not require additional supervision and is easy to embed in existing networks. It is shown effective on improving object recognition and duplicate removal steps in the modern object detection pipeline. It verifies the efficacy of modeling object relations in CNN based detection. It gives rise to the first fully end-to-end object detector.

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In this paper, we propose an efficient and fast object detector which can process hundreds of frames per second. To achieve this goal we investigate three main aspects of the object detection framework: network architecture, loss function and training data (labeled and unlabeled). In order to obtain compact network architecture, we introduce various improvements, based on recent work, to develop an architecture which is computationally light-weight and achieves a reasonable performance. To further improve the performance, while keeping the complexity same, we utilize distillation loss function. Using distillation loss we transfer the knowledge of a more accurate teacher network to proposed light-weight student network. We propose various innovations to make distillation efficient for the proposed one stage detector pipeline: objectness scaled distillation loss, feature map non-maximal suppression and a single unified distillation loss function for detection. Finally, building upon the distillation loss, we explore how much can we push the performance by utilizing the unlabeled data. We train our model with unlabeled data using the soft labels of the teacher network. Our final network consists of 10x fewer parameters than the VGG based object detection network and it achieves a speed of more than 200 FPS and proposed changes improve the detection accuracy by 14 mAP over the baseline on Pascal dataset.

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Vision-based vehicle detection approaches achieve incredible success in recent years with the development of deep convolutional neural network (CNN). However, existing CNN based algorithms suffer from the problem that the convolutional features are scale-sensitive in object detection task but it is common that traffic images and videos contain vehicles with a large variance of scales. In this paper, we delve into the source of scale sensitivity, and reveal two key issues: 1) existing RoI pooling destroys the structure of small scale objects, 2) the large intra-class distance for a large variance of scales exceeds the representation capability of a single network. Based on these findings, we present a scale-insensitive convolutional neural network (SINet) for fast detecting vehicles with a large variance of scales. First, we present a context-aware RoI pooling to maintain the contextual information and original structure of small scale objects. Second, we present a multi-branch decision network to minimize the intra-class distance of features. These lightweight techniques bring zero extra time complexity but prominent detection accuracy improvement. The proposed techniques can be equipped with any deep network architectures and keep them trained end-to-end. Our SINet achieves state-of-the-art performance in terms of accuracy and speed (up to 37 FPS) on the KITTI benchmark and a new highway dataset, which contains a large variance of scales and extremely small objects.

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Recent CNN based object detectors, no matter one-stage methods like YOLO, SSD, and RetinaNe or two-stage detectors like Faster R-CNN, R-FCN and FPN are usually trying to directly finetune from ImageNet pre-trained models designed for image classification. There has been little work discussing on the backbone feature extractor specifically designed for the object detection. More importantly, there are several differences between the tasks of image classification and object detection. 1. Recent object detectors like FPN and RetinaNet usually involve extra stages against the task of image classification to handle the objects with various scales. 2. Object detection not only needs to recognize the category of the object instances but also spatially locate the position. Large downsampling factor brings large valid receptive field, which is good for image classification but compromises the object location ability. Due to the gap between the image classification and object detection, we propose DetNet in this paper, which is a novel backbone network specifically designed for object detection. Moreover, DetNet includes the extra stages against traditional backbone network for image classification, while maintains high spatial resolution in deeper layers. Without any bells and whistles, state-of-the-art results have been obtained for both object detection and instance segmentation on the MSCOCO benchmark based on our DetNet~(4.8G FLOPs) backbone. The code will be released for the reproduction.

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Although Faster R-CNN and its variants have shown promising performance in object detection, they only exploit simple first-order representation of object proposals for final classification and regression. Recent classification methods demonstrate that the integration of high-order statistics into deep convolutional neural networks can achieve impressive improvement, but their goal is to model whole images by discarding location information so that they cannot be directly adopted to object detection. In this paper, we make an attempt to exploit high-order statistics in object detection, aiming at generating more discriminative representations for proposals to enhance the performance of detectors. To this end, we propose a novel Multi-scale Location-aware Kernel Representation (MLKP) to capture high-order statistics of deep features in proposals. Our MLKP can be efficiently computed on a modified multi-scale feature map using a low-dimensional polynomial kernel approximation.Moreover, different from existing orderless global representations based on high-order statistics, our proposed MLKP is location retentive and sensitive so that it can be flexibly adopted to object detection. Through integrating into Faster R-CNN schema, the proposed MLKP achieves very competitive performance with state-of-the-art methods, and improves Faster R-CNN by 4.9% (mAP), 4.7% (mAP) and 5.0% (AP at IOU=[0.5:0.05:0.95]) on PASCAL VOC 2007, VOC 2012 and MS COCO benchmarks, respectively. Code is available at: https://github.com/Hwang64/MLKP.

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This paper introduces an online model for object detection in videos designed to run in real-time on low-powered mobile and embedded devices. Our approach combines fast single-image object detection with convolutional long short term memory (LSTM) layers to create an interweaved recurrent-convolutional architecture. Additionally, we propose an efficient Bottleneck-LSTM layer that significantly reduces computational cost compared to regular LSTMs. Our network achieves temporal awareness by using Bottleneck-LSTMs to refine and propagate feature maps across frames. This approach is substantially faster than existing detection methods in video, outperforming the fastest single-frame models in model size and computational cost while attaining accuracy comparable to much more expensive single-frame models on the Imagenet VID 2015 dataset. Our model reaches a real-time inference speed of up to 15 FPS on a mobile CPU.

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While most steps in the modern object detection methods are learnable, the region feature extraction step remains largely hand-crafted, featured by RoI pooling methods. This work proposes a general viewpoint that unifies existing region feature extraction methods and a novel method that is end-to-end learnable. The proposed method removes most heuristic choices and outperforms its RoI pooling counterparts. It moves further towards fully learnable object detection.

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