Dynamic Extension Nets for Few-shot Semantic Segmentation

Published in ACM MM 2020 (co-first author)


Semantic segmentation requires a large amount of densely annotated data for training and may generalize poorly to novel categories. In real-world applications, we have an urgent need for few-shot semantic segmentation which aims to empower a model to handle unseen object categories with limited data. This task is non-trivial due to several challenges. First, it is difficult to extract the class-relevant information to handle the novel class as only a few samples are available. Second, since the image content can be very complex, the novel class information may be suppressed by the base categories due to limited data. Third, one may easily learn promising base classifiers based on the large amount of training data, but it is non-trivial to exploit the knowledge to train the novel classifiers. More critically, once a novel classifier is built, the output probability space will change. How to maintain the base classifiers and dynamically include the novel classifiers remains an open question. To address the above issues, we propose a Dynamic Extension Network (DENet) in which we dynamically construct and maintain a classifier for the novel class by leveraging the knowledge from the base classes and the information from novel data. More importantly, to overcome the information suppression issue, we design a Guided Attention Module (GAM), which can be plugged into any framework to help learn class-relevant features. Last, rather than directly train the model with limited data, we propose a dynamic extension training algorithm to predict the weights of novel classifiers, which is able to exploit the knowledge of base classifiers by dynamically extending classes during training. The extensive experiments show that our proposed method achieves the state-of-the-art performance on PASCAL-5 and COCO-20 datasets.