Don't Judge an Object by Its Context: Learning to Overcome Contextual Bias

Existing models often leverage co-occurrences between objects and their context to improve recognition accuracy. However, strongly relying on context risks a model's generalizability, especially when typical co-occurrence patterns are absent... This work focuses on addressing such contextual biases to improve the robustness of the learnt feature representations. Our goal is to accurately recognize a category in the absence of its context, without compromising on performance when it co-occurs with context. Our key idea is to decorrelate feature representations of a category from its co-occurring context. We achieve this by learning a feature subspace that explicitly represents categories occurring in the absence of context along side a joint feature subspace that represents both categories and context. Our very simple yet effective method is extensible to two multi-label tasks -- object and attribute classification. On 4 challenging datasets, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in reducing contextual bias. read more

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Reproducibility Reports

Apr 28 2021
[Re] Don't Judge an Object by Its Context: Learning to Overcome Contextual Bias

We found that both proposed methods in the original paper help mitigate contextual bias, although for some methods, we could not completely replicate the quantitative results in the paper even after completing an extensive hyperparameter search. For example, on COCO-Stuff, DeepFashion, and UnRel, our feature-split model achieved an increase in accuracy on out-of-context images over the standard baseline, whereas on AwA, we saw a drop in performance. For the proposed CAM-based method, we were able to reproduce the original paperʼs results to within 0.5% mAP.

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