Google Research

Deep Reinforcement Learning of Region Proposal Networks for Object Detection

CVPR 2018 (2018)


We propose drl-RPN, a deep reinforcement learningbased visual recognition model consisting of a sequential region proposal network (RPN) and an object detector. In contrast to typical RPNs, where candidate object regions (RoIs) are selected greedily via class-agnostic NMS, drlRPN optimizes an objective closer to the final detection task. This is achieved by replacing the greedy RoI selection process with a sequential attention mechanism which is trained via deep reinforcement learning (RL). Our model is capable of accumulating class-specific evidence over time, potentially affecting subsequent proposals and classification scores, and we show that such context integration significantly boosts detection accuracy. Moreover, drl-RPN automatically decides when to stop the search process and has the benefit of being able to jointly learn the parameters of the policy and the detector, both represented as deep networks. Our model can further learn to search over a wide range of exploration-accuracy trade-offs making it possible to specify or adapt the exploration extent at test time. The resulting search trajectories are image- and categorydependent, yet rely only on a single policy over all object categories. Results on the MS COCO and PASCAL VOC challenges show that our approach outperforms established, typical state-of-the-art object detection pipelines.

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