SA-Det3D: Self-Attention Based Context-Aware 3D Object Detection

7 Jan 2021  ·  Prarthana Bhattacharyya, Chengjie Huang, Krzysztof Czarnecki ·

Existing point-cloud based 3D object detectors use convolution-like operators to process information in a local neighbourhood with fixed-weight kernels and aggregate global context hierarchically. However, non-local neural networks and self-attention for 2D vision have shown that explicitly modeling long-range interactions can lead to more robust and competitive models. In this paper, we propose two variants of self-attention for contextual modeling in 3D object detection by augmenting convolutional features with self-attention features. We first incorporate the pairwise self-attention mechanism into the current state-of-the-art BEV, voxel and point-based detectors and show consistent improvement over strong baseline models of up to 1.5 3D AP while simultaneously reducing their parameter footprint and computational cost by 15-80% and 30-50%, respectively, on the KITTI validation set. We next propose a self-attention variant that samples a subset of the most representative features by learning deformations over randomly sampled locations. This not only allows us to scale explicit global contextual modeling to larger point-clouds, but also leads to more discriminative and informative feature descriptors. Our method can be flexibly applied to most state-of-the-art detectors with increased accuracy and parameter and compute efficiency. We show our proposed method improves 3D object detection performance on KITTI, nuScenes and Waymo Open datasets. Code is available at

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
3D Object Detection KITTI Cyclists Hard SA-Det3D AP 61.33% # 1


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