Overcoming Classifier Imbalance for Long-Tail Object Detection With Balanced Group Softmax

CVPR 2020

Authors: Yu Li, Tao Wang, Bingyi Kang, Sheng Tang, Chunfeng Wang, Jintao Li, Jiashi Feng Description: Solving long-tail large vocabulary object detection with deep learning based models is a challenging and demanding task, which is however under-explored. In this work, we provide the first systematic analysis on the underperformance of state-of-the-art models in front of long-tail distribution. We find existing detection methods are unable to model few-shot classes when the dataset is extremely skewed, which can result in classifier imbalance in terms of parameter magnitude. Directly adapting long-tail classification models to detection frameworks can not solve this problem due to the intrinsic difference between detection and classification. In this work, we propose a novel balanced group softmax (BAGS) module for balancing the classifiers within the detection frameworks through group-wise training. It implicitly modulates the training process for the head and tail classes and ensures they are both sufficiently trained, without requiring any extra sampling for the instances from the tail classes. Extensive experiments on the very recent long-tail large vocabulary object recognition benchmark LVIS show that our proposed BAGS significantly improves the performance of detectors with various backbones and frameworks on both object detection and instance segmentation. It beats all state-of-the-art methods transferred from long-tail image classification and establishes new state-of-the-art. Code is available at https://github.com/FishYuLi/BalancedGroupSoftmax.