Probabilistic Ranking-Aware Ensembles for Enhanced Object Detections

Model ensembles are becoming one of the most effective approaches for improving object detection performance already optimized for a single detector. Conventional methods directly fuse bounding boxes but typically fail to consider proposal qualities when combining detectors. This leads to a new problem of confidence discrepancy for the detector ensembles. The confidence has little effect on single detectors but significantly affects detector ensembles. To address this issue, we propose a novel ensemble called the Probabilistic Ranking Aware Ensemble (PRAE) that refines the confidence of bounding boxes from detectors. By simultaneously considering the category and the location on the same validation set, we obtain a more reliable confidence based on statistical probability. We can then rank the detected bounding boxes for assembly. We also introduce a bandit approach to address the confidence imbalance problem caused by the need to deal with different numbers of boxes at different confidence levels. We use our PRAE-based non-maximum suppression (P-NMS) to replace the conventional NMS method in ensemble learning. Experiments on the PASCAL VOC and COCO2017 datasets demonstrate that our PRAE method consistently outperforms state-of-the-art methods by significant margins.

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