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Trident Pyramid Networks: The importance of processing at the feature pyramid level for better object detection

by   Cédric Picron, et al.
KU Leuven

Feature pyramids have become ubiquitous in multi-scale computer vision tasks such as object detection. Based on their importance, we divide a computer vision network into three parts: a backbone (generating a feature pyramid), a core (refining the feature pyramid) and a head (generating the final output). Most existing networks operating on feature pyramids, named cores, are shallow and mostly focus on communication-based processing in the form of top-down and bottom-up operations. We present a new core architecture called Trident Pyramid Network (TPN), that allows for a deeper design and for a better balance between communication-based processing and self-processing. We show consistent improvements when using our TPN core on the COCO object detection benchmark, outperforming the popular BiFPN baseline by 1.5 AP. Additionally, we empirically show that it is more beneficial to put additional computation into the TPN core, rather than into the backbone, by outperforming a ResNet-101+FPN baseline with our ResNet-50+TPN network by 1.7 AP, while operating under similar computation budgets. This emphasizes the importance of performing computation at the feature pyramid level in modern-day object detection systems. Code will be released.


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