- [pdf] [supp]
RankDetNet: Delving Into Ranking Constraints for Object Detection
Modern object detection approaches cast detecting objects as optimizing two subtasks of classification and localization simultaneously. Existing methods often learn the classification task by optimizing each proposal separately and neglect the relationship among different proposals. Such detection paradigm also encounters the mismatch between classification and localization due to the inherent discrepancy of their optimization targets. In this work, we propose a ranking-based optimization algorithm for harmoniously learning to rank and localize proposals in lieu of the classification task. To this end, we comprehensively investigate three types of ranking constraints, i.e., global ranking, class-specific ranking and IoU-guided ranking losses. The global ranking loss encourages foreground samples to rank higher than background. The class-specific ranking loss ensures that positive samples rank higher than negative ones for each specific class. The IoU-guided ranking loss aims to align each pair of confidence scores with the associated pair of IoU overlap between two positive samples of a specific class. Our ranking constraints can sufficiently explore the relationships between samples from three different perspectives. They are easy-to-implement, compatible with mainstream detection frameworks and computation-free for inference. Experiments demonstrate that our RankDetNet consistently surpasses prior anchor-based and anchor-free baselines, e.g., improving RetinaNet baseline by 2.5% AP on the COCO test-dev set without bells and whistles. We also apply the proposed ranking constraints for 3D object detection and achieve improved performance, which further validates the superiority and generality of our method.