Decoders Matter for Semantic Segmentation: Data-Dependent Decoding Enables Flexible Feature Aggregation

CVPR 2019  ·  Zhi Tian, Tong He, Chunhua Shen, Youliang Yan ·

Recent semantic segmentation methods exploit encoder-decoder architectures to produce the desired pixel-wise segmentation prediction. The last layer of the decoders is typically a bilinear upsampling procedure to recover the final pixel-wise prediction. We empirically show that this oversimple and data-independent bilinear upsampling may lead to sub-optimal results. In this work, we propose a data-dependent upsampling (DUpsampling) to replace bilinear, which takes advantages of the redundancy in the label space of semantic segmentation and is able to recover the pixel-wise prediction from low-resolution outputs of CNNs. The main advantage of the new upsampling layer lies in that with a relatively lower-resolution feature map such as $\frac{1}{16}$ or $\frac{1}{32}$ of the input size, we can achieve even better segmentation accuracy, significantly reducing computation complexity. This is made possible by 1) the new upsampling layer's much improved reconstruction capability; and more importantly 2) the DUpsampling based decoder's flexibility in leveraging almost arbitrary combinations of the CNN encoders' features. Experiments demonstrate that our proposed decoder outperforms the state-of-the-art decoder, with only $\sim$20\% of computation. Finally, without any post-processing, the framework equipped with our proposed decoder achieves new state-of-the-art performance on two datasets: 88.1\% mIOU on PASCAL VOC with 30\% computation of the previously best model; and 52.5\% mIOU on PASCAL Context.

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Semantic Segmentation PASCAL Context DUpsampling mIoU 52.5 # 39


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