FasterX: Real-Time Object Detection Based on Edge GPUs for UAV Applications

7 Sep 2022  ·  Wei Zhou, Xuanlin Min, Rui Hu, Yiwen Long, Huan Luo, JunYi ·

Real-time object detection on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is a challenging issue due to the limited computing resources of edge GPU devices as Internet of Things (IoT) nodes. To solve this problem, in this paper, we propose a novel lightweight deep learning architectures named FasterX based on YOLOX model for real-time object detection on edge GPU. First, we design an effective and lightweight PixSF head to replace the original head of YOLOX to better detect small objects, which can be further embedded in the depthwise separable convolution (DS Conv) to achieve a lighter head. Then, a slimmer structure in the Neck layer termed as SlimFPN is developed to reduce parameters of the network, which is a trade-off between accuracy and speed. Furthermore, we embed attention module in the Head layer to improve the feature extraction effect of the prediction head. Meanwhile, we also improve the label assignment strategy and loss function to alleviate category imbalance and box optimization problems of the UAV dataset. Finally, auxiliary heads are presented for online distillation to improve the ability of position embedding and feature extraction in PixSF head. The performance of our lightweight models are validated experimentally on the NVIDIA Jetson NX and Jetson Nano GPU embedded platforms.Extensive experiments show that FasterX models achieve better trade-off between accuracy and latency on VisDrone2021 dataset compared to state-of-the-art models.

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