Temporal Self-Ensembling Teacher for Semi-Supervised Object Detection

13 Jul 2020  ·  Cong Chen, Shouyang Dong, Ye Tian, Kunlin Cao, Li Liu, Yuanhao Guo ·

This paper focuses on Semi-Supervised Object Detection (SSOD). Knowledge Distillation (KD) has been widely used for semi-supervised image classification. However, adapting these methods for SSOD has the following obstacles. (1) The teacher model serves a dual role as a teacher and a student, such that the teacher predictions on unlabeled images may be very close to those of student, which limits the upper-bound of the student. (2) The class imbalance issue in SSOD hinders an efficient knowledge transfer from teacher to student. To address these problems, we propose a novel method Temporal Self-Ensembling Teacher (TSE-T) for SSOD. Differently from previous KD based methods, we devise a temporally evolved teacher model. First, our teacher model ensembles its temporal predictions for unlabeled images under stochastic perturbations. Second, our teacher model ensembles its temporal model weights with the student model weights by an exponential moving average (EMA) which allows the teacher gradually learn from the student. These self-ensembling strategies increase data and model diversity, thus improving teacher predictions on unlabeled images. Finally, we use focal loss to formulate consistency regularization term to handle the data imbalance problem, which is a more efficient manner to utilize the useful information from unlabeled images than a simple hard-thresholding method which solely preserves confident predictions. Evaluated on the widely used VOC and COCO benchmarks, the mAP of our method has achieved 80.73% and 40.52% on the VOC2007 test set and the COCO2014 minval5k set respectively, which outperforms a strong fully-supervised detector by 2.37% and 1.49%. Furthermore, our method sets the new state-of-the-art in SSOD on VOC2007 test set which outperforms the baseline SSOD method by 1.44%. The source code of this work is publicly available at http://github.com/syangdong/tse-t.

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