Mix-and-Match Tuning for Self-Supervised Semantic Segmentation
Keywords:self-supervision, semantic segmentation, mix-and-match
Deep convolutional networks for semantic image segmentation typically require large-scale labeled data, e.g., ImageNet and MS COCO, for network pre-training. To reduce annotation efforts, self-supervised semantic segmentation is recently proposed to pre-train a network without any human-provided labels. The key of this new form of learning is to design a proxy task (e.g., image colorization), from which a discriminative loss can be formulated on unlabeled data. Many proxy tasks, however, lack the critical supervision signals that could induce discriminative representation for the target image segmentation task. Thus self-supervision’s performance is still far from that of supervised pre-training. In this study, we overcome this limitation by incorporating a "mix-and-match" (M&M) tuning stage in the self-supervision pipeline. The proposed approach is readily pluggable to many self-supervision methods and does not use more annotated samples than the original process. Yet, it is capable of boosting the performance of target image segmentation task to surpass fully-supervised pre-trained counterpart. The improvement is made possible by better harnessing the limited pixel-wise annotations in the target dataset. Specifically, we first introduce the "mix" stage, which sparsely samples and mixes patches from the target set to reflect rich and diverse local patch statistics of target images. A ‘match’ stage then forms a class-wise connected graph, which can be used to derive a strong triplet-based discriminative loss for finetuning the network. Our paradigm follows the standard practice in existing self-supervised studies and no extra data or label is required. With the proposed M&M approach, for the first time, a self-supervision method can achieve comparable or even better performance compared to its ImageNet pretrained counterpart on both PASCAL VOC2012 dataset and CityScapes dataset.