Visual In-Context Prompting

In-context prompting in large language models (LLMs) has become a prevalent approach to improve zero-shot capabilities, but this idea is less explored in the vision domain. Existing visual prompting methods focus on referring segmentation to segment the most relevant object, falling short of addressing many generic vision tasks like open-set segmentation and detection. In this paper, we introduce a universal visual in-context prompting framework for both tasks. In particular, we build on top of an encoder-decoder architecture, and develop a versatile prompt encoder to support a variety of prompts like strokes, boxes, and points. We further enhance it to take an arbitrary number of reference image segments as the context. Our extensive explorations show that the proposed visual in-context prompting elicits extraordinary referring and generic segmentation capabilities to refer and detect, yielding competitive performance to close-set in-domain datasets and showing promising results on many open-set segmentation datasets. By joint training on COCO and SA-1B, our model achieves $57.7$ PQ on COCO and $23.2$ PQ on ADE20K. Code will be available at

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