Detecting the unknown in Object Detection

Object detection methods have witnessed impressive improvements in the last years thanks to the design of novel neural network architectures and the availability of large scale datasets. However, current methods have a significant limitation: they are able to detect only the classes observed during training time, that are only a subset of all the classes that a detector may encounter in the real world. Furthermore, the presence of unknown classes is often not considered at training time, resulting in methods not even able to detect that an unknown object is present in the image. In this work, we address the problem of detecting unknown objects, known as open-set object detection. We propose a novel training strategy, called UNKAD, able to predict unknown objects without requiring any annotation of them, exploiting non annotated objects that are already present in the background of training images. In particular, exploiting the four-steps training strategy of Faster R-CNN, UNKAD first identifies and pseudo-labels unknown objects and then uses the pseudo-annotations to train an additional unknown class. While UNKAD can directly detect unknown objects, we further combine it with previous unknown detection techniques, showing that it improves their performance at no costs.

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