Variational Prototype Inference for Few-Shot Semantic Segmentation

Haochen Wang, Yandan Yang, Xianbin Cao, Xiantong Zhen, Cees Snoek, Ling Shao; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2021, pp. 525-534


In this paper, we propose variational prototype inference to address few-shot semantic segmentation in a probabilistic framework. A probabilistic latent variable model infers the distribution of the prototype that is treated as the latent variable. We formulate the optimization as a variational inference problem, which is established with an amortized inference network based on an auto-encoder architecture. The probabilistic modeling of the prototype enhances its generalization ability to handle the inherent uncertainty caused by limited data and the huge intra-class variations of objects. Moreover, it offers a principled way to incorporate the prototype extracted from support images into the prediction of the segmentation maps for query images. We conduct extensive experimental evaluation on three benchmark datasets. Ablation studies show the effectiveness of variational prototype inference for few-shot semantic segmentation by probabilistic modeling. On all three benchmarks, our proposal achieves high segmentation accuracy and surpasses previous methods by considerable margins.

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@InProceedings{Wang_2021_WACV, author = {Wang, Haochen and Yang, Yandan and Cao, Xianbin and Zhen, Xiantong and Snoek, Cees and Shao, Ling}, title = {Variational Prototype Inference for Few-Shot Semantic Segmentation}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2021}, pages = {525-534} }