- [pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
Guided Distillation for Semi-Supervised Instance Segmentation
Although instance segmentation methods have improved considerably, the dominant paradigm is to rely on fully annotated training images, which are tedious to obtain. To alleviate this reliance, and boost results, semi-supervised approaches leverage unlabeled data as an additional training signal that limits overfitting to the labeled samples. In this context, we present novel design choices to significantly improve teacher-student distillation models. In particular, we (i) improve the distillation approach by introducing a novel "guided burn-in" stage, and (ii) evaluate different instance segmentation architectures, as well as backbone networks and pre-training strategies. Contrary to previous work which uses only supervised data for the burn-in period of the student model, we also use guidance of the teacher model to exploit unlabeled data in the burn-in period. Our improved distillation approach leads to substantial improvements over previous state-of-the-art results. For example, on the Cityscapes dataset we improve mask-AP from 23.7 to 33.9 when using labels for 10% of images, and on the COCO dataset we improve mask-AP from 18.3 to 34.1 when using labels for only 1% of the training data.