Towards Omni-supervised Referring Expression Segmentation.


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Referring Expression Segmentation (RES) is an emerging task in computer vision, which segments the target instances in images based on text descriptions. However, its development is plagued by the expensive segmentation labels. To address this issue, we propose a new learning task for RES called Omni-supervised Referring Expression Segmentation (Omni-RES), which aims to make full use of unlabeled, fully labeled and weakly labeled data, e.g., referring points or grounding boxes, for efficient RES training. To accomplish this task, we also propose a novel yet strong baseline method for Omni-RES based on the recently popular teacher-student learning, where where the weak labels are not directly transformed into supervision signals but used as a yardstick to select and refine high-quality pseudo-masks for teacher-student learning. To validate the proposed Omni-RES method, we apply it to a set of state-of-the-art RES models and conduct extensive experiments on a bunch of RES datasets. The experimental results yield the obvious merits of Omni-RES than the fully-supervised and semi-supervised training schemes. For instance, with only 10% fully labeled data, Omni-RES can help the base model achieve 100% fully supervised performance, and it also outperform the semi-supervised alternative by a large margin, e.g., +14.93% on RefCOCO and +14.95% on RefCOCO+, respectively. More importantly, Omni-RES also enable the use of large-scale vision-langauges like Visual Genome to facilitate low-cost RES training, and achieve new SOTA performance of RES, e.g., 80.66 on RefCOCO.
referring expression segmentation,omni-supervised
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