Making Reconstruction-based Method Great Again for Video Anomaly Detection

Anomaly detection in videos is a significant yet challenging problem. Previous approaches based on deep neural networks employ either reconstruction-based or prediction-based approaches. Nevertheless, existing reconstruction-based methods 1) rely on old-fashioned convolutional autoencoders and are poor at modeling temporal dependency; 2) are prone to overfit the training samples, leading to indistinguishable reconstruction errors of normal and abnormal frames during the inference phase. To address such issues, firstly, we get inspiration from transformer and propose ${\textbf S}$patio-${\textbf T}$emporal ${\textbf A}$uto-${\textbf T}$rans-${\textbf E}$ncoder, dubbed as $\textbf{STATE}$, as a new autoencoder model for enhanced consecutive frame reconstruction. Our STATE is equipped with a specifically designed learnable convolutional attention module for efficient temporal learning and reasoning. Secondly, we put forward a novel reconstruction-based input perturbation technique during testing to further differentiate anomalous frames. With the same perturbation magnitude, the testing reconstruction error of the normal frames lowers more than that of the abnormal frames, which contributes to mitigating the overfitting problem of reconstruction. Owing to the high relevance of the frame abnormality and the objects in the frame, we conduct object-level reconstruction using both the raw frame and the corresponding optical flow patches. Finally, the anomaly score is designed based on the combination of the raw and motion reconstruction errors using perturbed inputs. Extensive experiments on benchmark video anomaly detection datasets demonstrate that our approach outperforms previous reconstruction-based methods by a notable margin, and achieves state-of-the-art anomaly detection performance consistently. The code is available at

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