Global and Local Contrastive Self-Supervised Learning for Semantic Segmentation of HR Remote Sensing Images

20 Jun 2021  ·  Haifeng Li, Yi Li, Guo Zhang, Ruoyun Liu, Haozhe Huang, Qing Zhu, Chao Tao ·

Supervised learning for semantic segmentation requires a large number of labeled samples, which is difficult to obtain in the field of remote sensing. Self-supervised learning (SSL), can be used to solve such problems by pre-training a general model with a large number of unlabeled images and then fine-tuning it on a downstream task with very few labeled samples. Contrastive learning is a typical method of SSL that can learn general invariant features. However, most existing contrastive learning methods are designed for classification tasks to obtain an image-level representation, which may be suboptimal for semantic segmentation tasks requiring pixel-level discrimination. Therefore, we propose a global style and local matching contrastive learning network (GLCNet) for remote sensing image semantic segmentation. Specifically, 1) the global style contrastive learning module is used to better learn an image-level representation, as we consider that style features can better represent the overall image features. 2) The local features matching contrastive learning module is designed to learn representations of local regions, which is beneficial for semantic segmentation. The experimental results show that our method mostly outperforms SOTA self-supervised methods and the ImageNet pre-training method. Specifically, with 1\% annotation from the original dataset, our approach improves Kappa by 6\% on the ISPRS Potsdam dataset relative to the existing baseline. Moreover, our method outperforms supervised learning methods when there are some differences between the datasets of upstream tasks and downstream tasks. Since SSL could directly learn the essential characteristics of data from unlabeled data, which is easy to obtain in the remote sensing field, this may be of great significance for tasks such as global mapping. The source code is available at

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