RegionCLIP: Region-based Language-Image Pretraining

Contrastive language-image pretraining (CLIP) using image-text pairs has achieved impressive results on image classification in both zero-shot and transfer learning settings. However, we show that directly applying such models to recognize image regions for object detection leads to poor performance due to a domain shift: CLIP was trained to match an image as a whole to a text description, without capturing the fine-grained alignment between image regions and text spans. To mitigate this issue, we propose a new method called RegionCLIP that significantly extends CLIP to learn region-level visual representations, thus enabling fine-grained alignment between image regions and textual concepts. Our method leverages a CLIP model to match image regions with template captions and then pretrains our model to align these region-text pairs in the feature space. When transferring our pretrained model to the open-vocabulary object detection tasks, our method significantly outperforms the state of the art by 3.8 AP50 and 2.2 AP for novel categories on COCO and LVIS datasets, respectively. Moreoever, the learned region representations support zero-shot inference for object detection, showing promising results on both COCO and LVIS datasets. Our code is available at https://github.com/microsoft/RegionCLIP.

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