A Relation-Augmented Fully Convolutional Network for Semantic Segmentationin Aerial Scenes

04/11/2019
by   Lichao Mou, et al.
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Most current semantic segmentation approaches fall back on deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs). However, their use of convolution operations with local receptive fields causes failures in modeling contextual spatial relations. Prior works have sought to address this issue by using graphical models or spatial propagation modules in networks. But such models often fail to capture long-range spatial relationships between entities, which leads to spatially fragmented predictions. Moreover, recent works have demonstrated that channel-wise information also acts a pivotal part in CNNs. In this work, we introduce two simple yet effective network units, the spatial relation module and the channel relation module, to learn and reason about global relationships between any two spatial positions or feature maps, and then produce relation-augmented feature representations. The spatial and channel relation modules are general and extensible, and can be used in a plug-and-play fashion with the existing fully convolutional network (FCN) framework. We evaluate relation module-equipped networks on semantic segmentation tasks using two aerial image datasets, which fundamentally depend on long-range spatial relational reasoning. The networks achieve very competitive results, bringing significant improvements over baselines.

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