Unifying Training and Inference for Panoptic Segmentation

CVPR 2020

Authors: Qizhu Li, Xiaojuan Qi, Philip H.S. Torr Description: We present an end-to-end network to bridge the gap between training and inference pipeline for panoptic segmentation, a task that seeks to partition an image into semantic regions for stuff and object instances for things. In contrast to recent works, our network exploits a parametrised, yet lightweight panoptic segmentation submodule, powered by an end-to-end learnt dense instance affinity, to capture the probability that any pair of pixels belong to the same instance. This panoptic submodule gives rise to a novel propagation mechanism for panoptic logits and enables the network to output a coherent panoptic segmentation map for both stuff and thing classes, without any post-processing. Reaping the benefits of end-to-end training, our full system sets new records on the popular street scene dataset, Cityscapes, achieving 61.4 PQ with a ResNet-50 backbone using only the fine annotations. On the challenging COCO dataset, our ResNet-50-based network also delivers state-of-the-art accuracy of 43.4 PQ. Moreover, our network flexibly works with and without object mask cues, performing competitively under both settings, which is of interest for applications with computation budgets.