Cascade RPN: Delving into High-Quality Region Proposal Network with Adaptive Convolution

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Thang Vu, Hyunjun Jang, Trung X. Pham, Chang Yoo


This paper considers an architecture referred to as Cascade Region Proposal Network (Cascade RPN) for improving the region-proposal quality and detection performance by systematically addressing the limitation of the conventional RPN that heuristically defines the anchors and aligns the features to the anchors. First, instead of using multiple anchors with predefined scales and aspect ratios, Cascade RPN relies on a single anchor per location and performs multi-stage refinement. Each stage is progressively more stringent in defining positive samples by starting out with an anchor-free metric followed by anchor-based metrics in the ensuing stages. Second, to attain alignment between the features and the anchors throughout the stages, adaptive convolution is proposed that takes the anchors in addition to the image features as its input and learns the sampled features guided by the anchors. A simple implementation of a two-stage Cascade RPN achieves 13.4 point AR higher than that of the conventional RPN, surpassing any existing region proposal methods. When adopting to Fast R-CNN and Faster R-CNN, Cascade RPN can improve the detection mAP by 3.1 and 3.5 points, respectively. The code will be made publicly available at