LGD: Label-guided Self-distillation for Object Detection

23 Sep 2021  ·  Peizhen Zhang, Zijian Kang, Tong Yang, Xiangyu Zhang, Nanning Zheng, Jian Sun ·

In this paper, we propose the first self-distillation framework for general object detection, termed LGD (Label-Guided self-Distillation). Previous studies rely on a strong pretrained teacher to provide instructive knowledge that could be unavailable in real-world scenarios. Instead, we generate an instructive knowledge based only on student representations and regular labels. Our framework includes sparse label-appearance encoder, inter-object relation adapter and intra-object knowledge mapper that jointly form an implicit teacher at training phase, dynamically dependent on labels and evolving student representations. They are trained end-to-end with detector and discarded in inference. Experimentally, LGD obtains decent results on various detectors, datasets, and extensive tasks like instance segmentation. For example in MS-COCO dataset, LGD improves RetinaNet with ResNet-50 under 2x single-scale training from 36.2% to 39.0% mAP (+ 2.8%). It boosts much stronger detectors like FCOS with ResNeXt-101 DCN v2 under 2x multi-scale training from 46.1% to 47.9% (+ 1.8%). Compared with a classical teacher-based method FGFI, LGD not only performs better without requiring pretrained teacher but also reduces 51% training cost beyond inherent student learning. Codes are available at https://github.com/megvii-research/LGD.

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