Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)
Angtian Wang, Shenxiao Mei, Alan L. Yuille, Adam Kortylewski
We study the problem of learning to estimate the 3D object pose from a few labelled examples and a collection of unlabelled data. Our main contribution is a learning framework, neural view synthesis and matching, that can transfer the 3D pose annotation from the labelled to unlabelled images reliably, despite unseen 3D views and nuisance variations such as the object shape, texture, illumination or scene context. In our approach, objects are represented as 3D cuboid meshes composed of feature vectors at each mesh vertex. The model is initialized from a few labelled images and is subsequently used to synthesize feature representations of unseen 3D views. The synthesized views are matched with the feature representations of unlabelled images to generate pseudo-labels of the 3D pose. The pseudo-labelled data is, in turn, used to train the feature extractor such that the features at each mesh vertex are more invariant across varying 3D views of the object. Our model is trained in an EM-type manner alternating between increasing the 3D pose invariance of the feature extractor and annotating unlabelled data through neural view synthesis and matching. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed semi-supervised learning framework for 3D pose estimation on the PASCAL3D+ and KITTI datasets. We find that our approach outperforms all baselines by a wide margin, particularly in an extreme few-shot setting where only 7 annotated images are given. Remarkably, we observe that our model also achieves an exceptional robustness in out-of-distribution scenarios that involve partial occlusion.