Squeeze-and-Attention Networks for Semantic Segmentation

CVPR 2020

Authors: Zilong Zhong, Zhong Qiu Lin, Rene Bidart, Xiaodan Hu, Ibrahim Ben Daya, Zhifeng Li, Wei-Shi Zheng, Jonathan Li, Alexander Wong Description: The recent integration of attention mechanisms into segmentation networks improves their representational capabilities through a great emphasis on more informative features. However, these attention mechanisms ignore an implicit sub-task of semantic segmentation and are constrained by the grid structure of convolution kernels. In this paper, we propose a novel squeeze-and-attention network (SANet) architecture that leverages an effective squeeze-and-attention (SA) module to account for two distinctive characteristics of segmentation: i) pixel-group attention, and ii) pixel-wise prediction. Specifically, the proposed SA modules impose pixel-group attention on conventional convolution by introducing an 'attention' convolutional channel, thus taking into account spatial-channel inter-dependencies in an efficient manner. The final segmentation results are produced by merging outputs from four hierarchical stages of a SANet to integrate multi-scale contexts for obtaining an enhanced pixel-wise prediction. Empirical experiments on two challenging public datasets validate the effectiveness of the proposed SANets, which achieves 83.2 % mIoU (without COCO pre-training) on PASCAL VOC and a state-of-the-art mIoU of 54.4 % on PASCAL Context.