OTA: Optimal Transport Assignment for Object Detection

Recent advances in label assignment in object detection mainly seek to independently define positive/negative training samples for each ground-truth (gt) object. In this paper, we innovatively revisit the label assignment from a global perspective and propose to formulate the assigning procedure as an Optimal Transport (OT) problem -- a well-studied topic in Optimization Theory. Concretely, we define the unit transportation cost between each demander (anchor) and supplier (gt) pair as the weighted summation of their classification and regression losses. After formulation, finding the best assignment solution is converted to solve the optimal transport plan at minimal transportation costs, which can be solved via Sinkhorn-Knopp Iteration. On COCO, a single FCOS-ResNet-50 detector equipped with Optimal Transport Assignment (OTA) can reach 40.7% mAP under 1X scheduler, outperforming all other existing assigning methods. Extensive experiments conducted on COCO and CrowdHuman further validate the effectiveness of our proposed OTA, especially its superiority in crowd scenarios. The code is available at https://github.com/Megvii-BaseDetection/OTA.

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Results from the Paper

Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Object Detection COCO test-dev OTA (ResNeXt-101+DCN, multiscale) box AP 51.5 # 49
AP50 68.6 # 48
AP75 57.1 # 28
APS 34.1 # 27
APM 53.7 # 38
APL 64.1 # 32
Hardware Burden None # 1
Operations per network pass None # 1


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