SegNeXt: Rethinking Convolutional Attention Design for Semantic Segmentation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

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Meng-Hao Guo, Cheng-Ze Lu, Qibin Hou, Zhengning Liu, Ming-Ming Cheng, Shi-min Hu


We present SegNeXt, a simple convolutional network architecture for semantic segmentation. Recent transformer-based models have dominated the field of se- mantic segmentation due to the efficiency of self-attention in encoding spatial information. In this paper, we show that convolutional attention is a more efficient and effective way to encode contextual information than the self-attention mech- anism in transformers. By re-examining the characteristics owned by successful segmentation models, we discover several key components leading to the perfor- mance improvement of segmentation models. This motivates us to design a novel convolutional attention network that uses cheap convolutional operations. Without bells and whistles, our SegNeXt significantly improves the performance of previous state-of-the-art methods on popular benchmarks, including ADE20K, Cityscapes, COCO-Stuff, Pascal VOC, Pascal Context, and iSAID. Notably, SegNeXt out- performs EfficientNet-L2 w/ NAS-FPN and achieves 90.6% mIoU on the Pascal VOC 2012 test leaderboard using only 1/10 parameters of it. On average, SegNeXt achieves about 2.0% mIoU improvements compared to the state-of-the-art methods on the ADE20K datasets with the same or fewer computations.