- [pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
BPKD: Boundary Privileged Knowledge Distillation for Semantic Segmentation
Current knowledge distillation approaches in semantic segmentation tend to adopt a holistic approach that treats all spatial locations equally. However, for dense prediction, students' predictions on edge regions are highly uncertain due to contextual information leakage, requiring higher spatial sensitivity knowledge than the body regions. To address this challenge, this paper proposes a novel approach called boundary-privileged knowledge distillation (BPKD). it distils the knowledge from the teacher model's body and edges separately to the compact student model. Specifically, we employ two distinct loss functions: (i) edge loss, which aims to distinguish between ambiguous classes at the pixel level in edge regions; (ii) body loss, which utilizes shape constraints and selectively attends to the inner-semantic regions. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed BPKD method provides extensive refinements and aggregation for edge and body regions. Additionally, the method achieves state-of-the-art distillation performance for semantic segmentation on three popular benchmark datasets, highlighting its effectiveness and generalization ability. BPKD shows consistent improvements across a diverse array of lightweight segmentation structures, including both CNNs and transformers, underscoring its architecture-agnostic adaptability.