Soft-NMS -- Improving Object Detection With One Line of Code

Navaneeth Bodla, Bharat Singh, Rama Chellappa, Larry S. Davis; The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2017, pp. 5561-5569


Non-maximum suppression is an integral part of the object detection pipeline. First, it sorts all detection boxes on the basis of their scores. The detection box M with the maximum score is selected and all other detection boxes with a significant overlap (using a pre-defined threshold) with M are suppressed. This process is recursively applied on the remaining boxes. As per the design of the algorithm, if an object lies within the predefined overlap threshold, it leads to a miss. To this end, we propose Soft-NMS, an algorithm which decays the detection scores of all other objects as a continuous function of their overlap with M. Hence, no object is eliminated in this process. Soft-NMS obtains consistent improvements for the coco-style mAP metric on standard datasets like PASCAL VOC 2007 (1.7% for both R-FCN and Faster-RCNN) and MS-COCO (1.3% for R-FCN and 1.1% for Faster-RCNN) by just changing the NMS algorithm without any additional hyper-parameters. Using Deformable-RFCN, Soft-NMS improves state-of-the-art in object detection from 39.8% to 40.9% with a single model. Further, the computational complexity of Soft-NMS is the same as traditional NMS and hence it can be efficiently implemented. Since Soft-NMS does not require any extra training and is simple to implement, it can be easily integrated into any object detection pipeline. Code for Soft-NMS is publicly available on GitHub

Related Material

[pdf] [arXiv]
author = {Bodla, Navaneeth and Singh, Bharat and Chellappa, Rama and Davis, Larry S.},
title = {Soft-NMS -- Improving Object Detection With One Line of Code},
booktitle = {The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {Oct},
year = {2017}