Weakly-Supervised Free Space Estimation Through Stochastic Co-Teaching

François Robinet, Claudia Parera, Christian Hundt, Raphaël Frank; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV) Workshops, 2022, pp. 618-627


Free space estimation is an important problem for autonomous robot navigation. Traditional camera-based approaches train a segmentation model using an annotated dataset. The training data needs to capture the wide variety of environments and weather conditions encountered at runtime, making the annotation cost prohibitively high. In this work, we propose a novel approach for obtaining free space estimates from images taken with a single road-facing camera. We rely on a technique that generates weak free space labels without any supervision, which are then used as ground truth to train a segmentation model for free space estimation. Our work differs from prior attempts by explicitly taking label noise into account through the use of Co-Teaching. Since Co-Teaching has traditionally been investigated in classification tasks, we adapt it for segmentation and examine how its parameters affect performances in our experiments. In addition, we propose Stochastic Co-Teaching, which is a novel method to select clean samples that leads to enhanced results. We achieve an IoU of 82.6%, a Precision of 90.9%, and a Recall of 90.3%. Our best model reaches 87% of the IoU, 93% of the Precision, and 93% of the Recall of the equivalent fully-supervised baseline while using no human annotations. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first to use Co-Teaching to train a free space segmentation model under explicit label noise. Our implementation and trained models are freely available online.

Related Material

@InProceedings{Robinet_2022_WACV, author = {Robinet, Fran\c{c}ois and Parera, Claudia and Hundt, Christian and Frank, Rapha\"el}, title = {Weakly-Supervised Free Space Estimation Through Stochastic Co-Teaching}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV) Workshops}, month = {January}, year = {2022}, pages = {618-627} }