Exploring and Exploiting Diversity for Image Segmentation

09/05/2017 ∙ by Payman Yadollahpour, et al. ∙ 0

Semantic image segmentation is an important computer vision task that is difficult because it consists of both recognition and segmentation. The task is often cast as a structured output problem on an exponentially large output-space, which is typically modeled by a discrete probabilistic model. The best segmentation is found by inferring the Maximum a-Posteriori (MAP) solution over the output distribution defined by the model. Due to limitations in optimization, the model cannot be arbitrarily complex. This leads to a trade-off: devise a more accurate model that incorporates rich high-order interactions between image elements at the cost of inaccurate and possibly intractable optimization OR leverage a tractable model which produces less accurate MAP solutions but may contain high quality solutions as other modes of its output distribution. This thesis investigates the latter and presents a two stage approach to semantic segmentation. In the first stage a tractable segmentation model outputs a set of high probability segmentations from the underlying distribution that are not just minor perturbations of each other. Critically the output of this stage is a diverse set of plausible solutions and not just a single one. In the second stage, a discriminatively trained re-ranking model selects the best segmentation from this set. The re-ranking stage can use much more complex features than what could be tractably used in the segmentation model, allowing a better exploration of the solution space than simply returning the MAP solution. The formulation is agnostic to the underlying segmentation model (e.g. CRF, CNN, etc.) and optimization algorithm, which makes it applicable to a wide range of models and inference methods. Evaluation of the approach on a number of semantic image segmentation benchmark datasets highlight its superiority over inferring the MAP solution.



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