- [pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
Rethinking Dilated Convolution for Real-Time Semantic Segmentation
The field-of-view is an important metric when designing a model for semantic segmentation. To obtain a large field-of-view, previous approaches generally choose to rapidly downsample the resolution, usually with average poolings or stride 2 convolutions. We take a different approach by using dilated convolutions with large dilation rates throughout the backbone, allowing the backbone to easily tune its field-of-view by adjusting its dilation rates, and show that it's competitive with existing approaches. To effectively use the dilated convolution, we show a simple upper bound on the dilation rate in order to not leave gaps in between the covolutional weights, and design an SE-ResNeXt inspired block structure that uses two parallel 3 x 3 convolutions with different dilation rates to preserve the local details. Manually tuning the dilation rates for every block can be difficult, so we also introduce a differentiable neural architecture search method that uses gradient descent to optimize the dilation rates. In addition, we propose a lightweight decoder that restores local information better than common alternatives. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, our model RegSeg achieves competitive results on real-time Cityscapes and CamVid datasets. Using a T4 GPU with mixed precision, RegSeg achieves 78.3 mIOU on Cityscapes test set at 37 FPS, and 80.9 mIOU on CamVid test set at 112 FPS, both without ImageNet pretraining.