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Dilated Convolutions with Lateral Inhibitions for Semantic Image Segmentation

by   Yujiang Wang, et al.
Imperial College London

Dilated convolutions are widely used in deep semantic segmentation models as they can enlarge the filters' receptive field without adding additional weights nor sacrificing spatial resolution. However, as dilated convolutional filters do not possess positional knowledge about the pixels on semantically meaningful contours, they could lead to ambiguous predictions on object boundaries. In addition, although dilating the filter can expand its receptive field, the total number of sampled pixels remains unchanged, which usually comprises a small fraction of the receptive field's total area. Inspired by the Lateral Inhibition (LI) mechanisms in human visual systems, we propose the dilated convolution with lateral inhibitions (LI-Convs) to overcome these limitations. Introducing LI mechanisms improves the convolutional filter's sensitivity to semantic object boundaries. Moreover, since LI-Convs also implicitly take the pixels from the laterally inhibited zones into consideration, they can also extract features at a denser scale. By integrating LI-Convs into the Deeplabv3+ architecture, we propose the Lateral Inhibited Atrous Spatial Pyramid Pooling (LI-ASPP) and the Lateral Inhibited MobileNet-V2 (LI-MNV2). Experimental results on three benchmark datasets (PASCAL VOC 2012, CelebAMask-HQ and ADE20K) show that our LI-based segmentation models outperform the baseline on all of them, thus verify the effectiveness and generality of the proposed LI-Convs.


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