An Unsupervised Temporal Consistency (TC) Loss To Improve the Performance of Semantic Segmentation Networks
Deep neural networks (DNNs) for highly automated driving are often trained on a large and diverse dataset, and evaluation metrics are reported usually on a per-frame basis. However, when evaluated on video sequences, the predictions are often unstable between consecutive frames. As such unstable predictions over time can lead to severe safety consequences, there is a growing need to understand, evaluate, and improve the temporal consistency of DNNs. In this paper, we explore such a temporal characteristic and propose a novel unsupervised temporal consistency (TC) loss that penalizes unstable semantic segmentation predictions. This loss function is used in a two-stage training scheme to jointly optimize for both, the accuracy of semantic segmentation predictions, and its temporal consistency based on video sequences. We demonstrate that our training strategy helps in improving the temporal consistency of two state-of-the-art semantic segmentation networks on two different road-scenes datasets. We report an absolute 4.25% improvement in the mean temporal consistency (mTC) of the HRNetV2 network and an absolute 2.78% improvement on the DeepLabv3+ network, both evaluated on the Cityscapes dataset, with only a slight decrease in accuracy. When evaluating on the same video sequences using a synthetic dataset Sim KI-A, we show absolute improvements in both, accuracy (2.19% mIoU) and temporal consistency (0.21% mTC) for the DeepLabv3+ network. We confirm similar improvements for the HRNetV2 network.