Sparse Cross-scale Attention Network for Efficient LiDAR Panoptic Segmentation

16 Jan 2022  ·  Shuangjie Xu, Rui Wan, Maosheng Ye, Xiaoyi Zou, Tongyi Cao ·

Two major challenges of 3D LiDAR Panoptic Segmentation (PS) are that point clouds of an object are surface-aggregated and thus hard to model the long-range dependency especially for large instances, and that objects are too close to separate each other. Recent literature addresses these problems by time-consuming grouping processes such as dual-clustering, mean-shift offsets, etc., or by bird-eye-view (BEV) dense centroid representation that downplays geometry. However, the long-range geometry relationship has not been sufficiently modeled by local feature learning from the above methods. To this end, we present SCAN, a novel sparse cross-scale attention network to first align multi-scale sparse features with global voxel-encoded attention to capture the long-range relationship of instance context, which can boost the regression accuracy of the over-segmented large objects. For the surface-aggregated points, SCAN adopts a novel sparse class-agnostic representation of instance centroids, which can not only maintain the sparsity of aligned features to solve the under-segmentation on small objects, but also reduce the computation amount of the network through sparse convolution. Our method outperforms previous methods by a large margin in the SemanticKITTI dataset for the challenging 3D PS task, achieving 1st place with a real-time inference speed.

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