Learning from Rich Semantics and Coarse Locations for Long-tailed Object Detection

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Lingchen Meng, Xiyang Dai, Jianwei Yang, Dongdong Chen, Yinpeng Chen, Mengchen Liu, Yi-Ling Chen, Zuxuan Wu, Lu Yuan, Yu-Gang Jiang


Long-tailed object detection (LTOD) aims to handle the extreme data imbalance in real-world datasets, where many tail classes have scarce instances. One popular strategy is to explore extra data with image-level labels, yet it produces limited results due to (1) semantic ambiguity---an image-level label only captures a salient part of the image, ignoring the remaining rich semantics within the image; and (2) location sensitivity---the label highly depends on the locations and crops of the original image, which may change after data transformations like random cropping.To remedy this, we propose RichSem, a simple but effective method, which is robust to learn rich semantics from coarse locations without the need of accurate bounding boxes. RichSem leverages rich semantics from images, which are then served as additional ``soft supervision'' for training detectors. Specifically, we add a semantic branch to our detector to learn these soft semantics and enhance feature representations for long-tailed object detection. The semantic branch is only used for training and is removed during inference. RichSem achieves consistent improvements on both overall and rare-category of LVIS under different backbones and detectors. Our method achieves state-of-the-art performance without requiring complex training and testing procedures. Moreover, we show the effectiveness of our method on other long-tailed datasets with additional experiments.