Spatial Likelihood Voting with Self-Knowledge Distillation for Weakly Supervised Object Detection

Weakly supervised object detection (WSOD), which is an effective way to train an object detection model using only image-level annotations, has attracted considerable attention from researchers. However, most of the existing methods, which are based on multiple instance learning (MIL), tend to localize instances to the discriminative parts of salient objects instead of the entire content of all objects. In this paper, we propose a WSOD framework called the Spatial Likelihood Voting with Self-knowledge Distillation Network (SLV-SD Net). In this framework, we introduce a spatial likelihood voting (SLV) module to converge region proposal localization without bounding box annotations. Specifically, in every iteration during training, all the region proposals in a given image act as voters voting for the likelihood of each category in the spatial dimensions. After dilating the alignment on the area with large likelihood values, the voting results are regularized as bounding boxes, which are then used for the final classification and localization. Based on SLV, we further propose a self-knowledge distillation (SD) module to refine the feature representations of the given image. The likelihood maps generated by the SLV module are used to supervise the feature learning of the backbone network, encouraging the network to attend to wider and more diverse areas of the image. Extensive experiments on the PASCAL VOC 2007/2012 and MS-COCO datasets demonstrate the excellent performance of SLV-SD Net. In addition, SLV-SD Net produces new state-of-the-art results on these benchmarks.

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