Bootstrapping the Performance of Webly Supervised Semantic Segmentation

CVPR 2018  ·  Tong Shen, Guosheng Lin, Chunhua Shen, Ian Reid ·

Fully supervised methods for semantic segmentation require pixel-level class masks to train, the creation of which are expensive in terms of manual labour and time. In this work, we focus on weak supervision, developing a method for training a high-quality pixel-level classifier for semantic segmentation, using only image-level class labels as the provided ground-truth. Our method is formulated as a two-stage approach in which we first aim to create accurate pixel-level masks for the training images via a bootstrapping process, and then use these now-accurately segmented images as a proxy ground-truth in a more standard supervised setting. The key driver for our work is that in the target dataset we typically have reliable ground-truth image-level labels, while data crawled from the web may have unreliable labels, but can be filtered to comprise only easy images to segment, therefore having reliable boundaries. These two forms of information are complementary and we use this observation to build a novel bi-directional transfer learning. This framework transfers knowledge between two domains, target domain and web domain, bootstrapping the performance of weakly supervised semantic segmentation. Conducting experiments on the popular benchmark dataset PASCAL VOC 2012 based on both a VGG16 network and on ResNet50, we reach state-of-the-art performance with scores of 60.2% IoU and 63.9% IoU respectively.

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