Meta-RCNN: Meta Learning for Few-Shot Object Detection

25 Sep 2019  ·  Xiongwei Wu, Doyen Sahoo, Steven C. H. Hoi ·

Despite significant advances in object detection in recent years, training effective detectors in a small data regime remains an open challenge. Labelling training data for object detection is extremely expensive, and there is a need to develop techniques that can generalize well from small amounts of labelled data. We investigate this problem of few-shot object detection, where a detector has access to only limited amounts of annotated data. Based on the recently evolving meta-learning principle, we propose a novel meta-learning framework for object detection named ``Meta-RCNN", which learns the ability to perform few-shot detection via meta-learning. Specifically, Meta-RCNN learns an object detector in an episodic learning paradigm on the (meta) training data. This learning scheme helps acquire a prior which enables Meta-RCNN to do few-shot detection on novel tasks. Built on top of the Faster RCNN model, in Meta-RCNN, both the Region Proposal Network (RPN) and the object classification branch are meta-learned. The meta-trained RPN learns to provide class-specific proposals, while the object classifier learns to do few-shot classification. The novel loss objectives and learning strategy of Meta-RCNN can be trained in an end-to-end manner. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Meta-RCNN in addressing few-shot detection on Pascal VOC dataset and achieve promising results.

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