Learning Dynamic Routing for Semantic Segmentation

Recently, numerous handcrafted and searched networks have been applied for semantic segmentation. However, previous works intend to handle inputs with various scales in pre-defined static architectures, such as FCN, U-Net, and DeepLab series. This paper studies a conceptually new method to alleviate the scale variance in semantic representation, named dynamic routing. The proposed framework generates data-dependent routes, adapting to the scale distribution of each image. To this end, a differentiable gating function, called soft conditional gate, is proposed to select scale transform paths on the fly. In addition, the computational cost can be further reduced in an end-to-end manner by giving budget constraints to the gating function. We further relax the network level routing space to support multi-path propagations and skip-connections in each forward, bringing substantial network capacity. To demonstrate the superiority of the dynamic property, we compare with several static architectures, which can be modeled as special cases in the routing space. Extensive experiments are conducted on Cityscapes and PASCAL VOC 2012 to illustrate the effectiveness of the dynamic framework. Code is available at https://github.com/yanwei-li/DynamicRouting.

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