Guided Curriculum Model Adaptation and Uncertainty-Aware Evaluation for Semantic Nighttime Image Segmentation

Christos Sakaridis, Dengxin Dai, Luc Van Gool; The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2019, pp. 7374-7383


Most progress in semantic segmentation reports on daytime images taken under favorable illumination conditions. We instead address the problem of semantic segmentation of nighttime images and improve the state-of-the-art, by adapting daytime models to nighttime without using nighttime annotations. Moreover, we design a new evaluation framework to address the substantial uncertainty of semantics in nighttime images. Our central contributions are: 1) a curriculum framework to gradually adapt semantic segmentation models from day to night via labeled synthetic images and unlabeled real images, both for progressively darker times of day, which exploits cross-time-of-day correspondences for the real images to guide the inference of their labels; 2) a novel uncertainty-aware annotation and evaluation framework and metric for semantic segmentation, designed for adverse conditions and including image regions beyond human recognition capability in the evaluation in a principled fashion; 3) the Dark Zurich dataset, which comprises 2416 unlabeled nighttime and 2920 unlabeled twilight images with correspondences to their daytime counterparts plus a set of 151 nighttime images with fine pixel-level annotations created with our protocol, which serves as a first benchmark to perform our novel evaluation. Experiments show that our guided curriculum adaptation significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods on real nighttime sets both for standard metrics and our uncertainty-aware metric. Furthermore, our uncertainty-aware evaluation reveals that selective invalidation of predictions can lead to better results on data with ambiguous content such as our nighttime benchmark and profit safety-oriented applications which involve invalid inputs.

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[pdf] [supp]
author = {Sakaridis, Christos and Dai, Dengxin and Gool, Luc Van},
title = {Guided Curriculum Model Adaptation and Uncertainty-Aware Evaluation for Semantic Nighttime Image Segmentation},
booktitle = {The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {October},
year = {2019}