Rethinking Object Detection in Retail Stores


  • Yuanqiang Cai State Key Laboratory of Computer Science, ISCAS University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Longyin Wen Bytedance Inc.
  • Libo Zhang State Key Laboratory of Computer Science, ISCAS University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Dawei Du University at Albany, SUNY
  • Weiqiang Wang University of Chinese Academy of Sciences




The conventional standard for object detection uses a bounding box to represent each individual object instance. However, it is not practical in the industry-relevant applications in the context of warehouses due to severe occlusions among groups of instances of the same categories. In this paper, we propose a new task, i.e., simultaneously object localization and counting, abbreviated as Locount, which requires algorithms to localize groups of objects of interest with the number of instances. However, there does not exist a dataset or benchmark designed for such a task. To this end, we collect a large-scale object localization and counting dataset with rich annotations in retail stores, which consists of 50,394 images with more than 1.9 million object instances in 140 categories. Together with this dataset, we provide a new evaluation protocol and divide the training and testing subsets to fairly evaluate the performance of algorithms for Locount, developing a new benchmark for the Locount task. Moreover, we present a cascaded localization and counting network as a strong baseline, which gradually classifies and regresses the bounding boxes of objects with the predicted numbers of instances enclosed in the bounding boxes, trained in an end-to-end manner. Extensive experiments are conducted on the proposed dataset to demonstrate its significance and the analysis is provided to indicate future directions. Dataset is available at




How to Cite

Cai, Y., Wen, L., Zhang, L., Du, D., & Wang, W. (2021). Rethinking Object Detection in Retail Stores. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 35(2), 947-954. Retrieved from



AAAI Technical Track on Computer Vision I