HigherHRNet: Scale-Aware Representation Learning for Bottom-Up Human Pose Estimation

CVPR 2020

Authors: Bowen Cheng, Bin Xiao, Jingdong Wang, Honghui Shi, Thomas S. Huang, Lei Zhang Description: Bottom-up human pose estimation methods have difficulties in predicting the correct pose for small persons due to challenges in scale variation. In this paper, we present HigherHRNet: a novel bottom-up human pose estimation method for learning scale-aware representations using high-resolution feature pyramids. Equipped with multi-resolution supervision for training and multi-resolution aggregation for inference, the proposed approach is able to solve the scale variation challenge in bottom-up multi-person pose estimation and localize keypoints more precisely, especially for small person. The feature pyramid in HigherHRNet consists of feature map outputs from HRNet and upsampled higher-resolution outputs through a transposed convolution. HigherHRNet outperforms the previous best bottom-up method by 2.5% AP for medium person on COCO test-dev, showing its effectiveness in handling scale variation. Furthermore, HigherHRNet achieves new state-of-the-art result on COCO test-dev (70.5% AP) without using refinement or other post-processing techniques, surpassing all existing bottom-up methods. HigherHRNet even surpasses all top-down methods on CrowdPose test (67.6% AP), suggesting its robustness in crowded scene.