IDET: Iterative Difference-Enhanced Transformers for High-Quality Change Detection

Change detection (CD) aims to detect change regions within an image pair captured at different times, playing a significant role for diverse real-world applications. Nevertheless, most of existing works focus on designing advanced network architectures to map the feature difference to the final change map while ignoring the influence of the quality of the feature difference. In this paper, we study the CD from a new perspective, i.e., how to optimize the feature difference to highlight changes and suppress unchanged regions, and propose a novel module denoted as iterative difference-enhanced transformers (IDET). IDET contains three transformers: two transformers for extracting the long-range information of the two images and one transformer for enhancing the feature difference. In contrast to the previous transformers, the third transformer takes the outputs of the first two transformers to guide the enhancement of the feature difference iteratively. To achieve more effective refinement, we further propose the multi-scale IDET-based change detection that uses multi-scale representations of the images for multiple feature difference refinements and proposes a coarse-to-fine fusion strategy to combine all refinements. Our final CD method outperforms seven state-of-the-art methods on six large-scale datasets under diverse application scenarios, which demonstrates the importance of feature difference enhancements and the effectiveness of IDET.

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